Rule of Law, Human Rights and Election Support

Modern peacemaking is not only about ending violence. It is just as much about preventing violence, through the construction of well-functioning states with respect for the rule of law, human rights and democratic 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 the rule of law principles are permeating all state institutions, and not just the police, courts and prisons. 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.

Click here to watch a short film and learn more about the rule of law.

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?

  • 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.

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THE FBA BLOG

  • Posted by Rhodri Williams

    Civil Society as a Critical Partner: Rule of Law and Accountability in the Liberian COVID-19 Response, Part II

    Part One of this post highlighted the importance of the rule of law in supporting crisis response in countries struggling with the effects of conflict. One of the most important rule of law principles in such settings is accountability, particularly “downward accountability”, in which state authorities focus on serving citizens dependent on them.

    Corruption and poor governance can lead to excessive upward accountability directed toward political superiors, leaving a gap between the state and ordinary citizens. Civil ... Read entire post »

    2021-02-15 13:43
  • Posted by Kristin Valasek

    Time for a joint vision on gender-responsive leadership

    Right before the winter break, 236 women and men from 105 different organizations and 46 countries around the world joined our International Dialogue on Gender-Responsive Leadership, to discuss an absolutely critical and often missing part of the gender equality puzzle: gender-responsive leadership.

    After twenty years of struggling to achieve the commitments of the global women, peace and security agenda, we at the FBA have learned that executives and managers are essential to success. Not just as supporters, ... Read entire post »

    2021-02-10 16:09
  • Posted by Hanna Bertelman

    Creating space for dialogue in Colombia

    In Colombia, four years after the signing of the historic peace agreement between the government and the FARC guerrilla, local civil society actors are a pivotal force for promoting change. The FBA, together with CIASE, a network of women´s organizations, and the Colombian National Police is enabling a space for joint learning for civil society actors and police officers on human security, leadership, and dialogue and mediation.

    As most of those who have seen a peace process ... Read entire post »

    2020-12-16 12:44
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Johanna Malm

Johanna is expert on the Democratic Republic of Congo

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