Public Oversight of the Security Sector: A Handbook for Civil Society Organizations

01 Jan 2008
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Document Summary

The recent era of the ‘War on Terror’ has put at risk processes of democratization and the status of human rights in developing countries. Civil society should stay engaged to ensure that each nation’s security sector is a rights-respecting service working for security as a public good. This handbook for civil society organizations on Public Oversight of the Security Sector formulates practical guidance on how to help make the security sector law-abiding, transparent and accountable to society.


This handbook seeks to encourage societal endorsement and understanding of security as a public good and to render security policy and security sector reform processes more accessible to civil society organizations. It is divided into three parts including definitions and stakeholders, strategies and methodologies, and challenges and opportunities.


This handbook is designed primarily for civil society and non-governmental organizations. However, with its overview of conceptual and practical considerations on oversight aspects that lend themselves for civil society involvement it is also relevant to democratic institutions and representatives, policymakers, practitioners, researchers, security sector institutions, the media, as well as regional and international organizations partnering with CSOs on public oversight of the security sector. 

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  • Public Oversight of the Security Sector: A Handbook for Civil Society Organizations English