Twelfth International Conference of Ombuds Institutions for the Armed Forces
26-30 October 2020
Impact of COVID_19 on Ombuds Institution for the Armed Forces
26-30 October 2020
Covid-19 have had an overwhelming impact on both the functioning of the states and daily lives of people. Governmental responses have consisted of a variety of exceptional legal, organizational, and practical measures to fight Covid-19, with a huge impact on the lives, well-being and rights of not only citizens at large, but also of armed forces personnel who were tasked with important functions in addressing the pandemic.
12ICOAF will be devoted to assessing the impact of Covid-19 on not only ombuds institutions, but also on society, and the armed forces. In the majority of countries, armed forces have been called upon to assist civilian authorities in tackling this public health emergency, exposing them to new and often unusual tasks in a fast-changing environment, but also a higher risk of infection.
Facing this trend, ombuds institutions need to reflect on their practices and adapt their work to guarantee the protection of the rights of armed forces personnel during and after Covid-19, as well as the rights of citizens impacted by the activities of the armed forces. Thus, this year’s conference will examine ways in which ombuds institutions can respond to the challenges posed by Covid-19.
Participants will have an opportunity to compare notes and identify good practices related to how Covid-19 has influenced complaints, both in terms of their dynamics and handling procedures. Special attention will be given to working methods, from interviews, correspondence (oral and written), as well as other information gathered formally or informally. Responding to the continuing interest of ICOAF participants in different dimensions of fieldwork, 12ICOAF will devote a separate session to in-country and overseas field visits.
Finally, 12ICOAF will also consider important changes in the organizational and logistical aspects of ombuds institutions’ work, in terms of office hours, remote work, video conferencing, different ways of communicating with complainants, and similar.
What is ICOAF?
The aim of the International Conference of Ombuds Institutions for the Armed Forces (ICOAF) is to establish best practice and lessons learned related to the mandate, powers and functioning of ombuds institutions with a mandate to oversee the armed forces. ICOAF gathers representatives of ombuds institutions for the armed forces from around the world. To date, representatives of ombuds institutions of over 80 countries have participated in the ICOAF initiative, which has been ongoing since 2009.
Conference session topics
MONDAY 26th OCTOBER 2020
Ambassador Thomas GUERBER, Director, DCAF
SESSION 1 : IMPACT OF COVID_19 ON THE ARMED FORCES
TUESDAY 27th OCTOBER 2020
SESSION 2 : IMPACT OF COVID_19 MEASURES ON THE FREEDOMS AND RIGHTS OF CITIZENS, INCLUDING THOSE IN UNIFORM
WEDNESDAY 28th OCTOBER 2020
SESSION 3 : COMPLAINTS- HANDLING IN TIME OF COVID_19
THURSDAY 29th OCTOBER 2020
SESSION 4 : IMPACT OF COVID_19 ON FIELDWORK
FRIDAY 30th OCTOBER 2020
SESSION 5 : OMBUDS INSTITUTION AFTER COVID_19
ADOPTION OF THE CONFERENCE STATEMENT
ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE 13TH ICOAF
German Federal Foreign Office
1ICOAF - Berlin, Germany
3ICOAF - Belgrade, Serbia
5ICOAF - Oslo, Norway
7ICOAF - Prague, Czech Republic
9ICOAF - London, United Kingdom
2ICOAF - Vienna, Austria
4ICOAF - Ottawa, Canada
6ICOAF - Geneva, Switzerland
8ICOAF - Amsterdam, The Netherlands
10ICOAF - Pretoria, South Africa
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