Photo: Rodrigo Paras
Rule of Law, Human Rights and Elections
A common root cause of armed conflict is that a group of people perceive that they are being discriminated against, that they lack political and economic power, or that their human rights are systematically violated. In order to prevent violent conflict, it is therefore important to enhance respect for the rule of law, human rights, and free and fair elections. It is also important in order to be able to solve conflicts and rebuild societies after conflict.
Rule of law reform can include making sure that the justice institutions of a state are functioning. But it can also include improving the relation between the state and the citizens by ensuring that rule of law principles permeate all state institutions. Core rule of law principles include that all people and institutions within a state should be accountable to the same laws, and that citizens should have equal access to justice and public institutions. All people should have the opportunity to participate in decision-making. Official decisions must be transparent and possible to appeal.
The state and all state authorities are also required to respect human rights. According to the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, all human beings have the right to life and safety, education and health, freedom of religion and freedom of speech, among many other rights.
Freedom of opinion and the right to political participation are other core human rights. In a democracy, political leaders are accountable to the people.
Support for democratization and fair elections, with international election observation being an important tool, enhances respect for the right to opinion and political participation. An international election observation mission monitors the election process within a country both before, during and after election day, to ensure that it is fair and impartial. The presence of election observers can also lower the risk of electoral violence, and contribute to long-term peaceful and democratic development.
What does the FBA do?
- Training and advice
FBA offers training and advice on rule of law, human rights and election support.
FBA conducts and supports international research on rule of law, human rights and election support.
FBA seconds personnel working within the field of rule of law, human rights and election support to international peace operations that Sweden contributes to, led by the EU, UN and OSCE. Click here to see a map of where our personnel is currently deployed. FBA also seconds personnel to international election observation missions.
- Our partner countries
Within the framework of Sweden’s international development aid, FBA carries out projects concerning rule of law, human rights and election support. Click here to read more about the countries where we work.
- Support to civil society
FBA grants yearly funds to Swedish civil society organizations working to promote dialogue and debate and to spread knowledge about peace and security related issues, for example issues concerning rule of law, human rights and election support.