How can the Ombudsman for the Defence Forces help to protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of Armed Forces Personnel”



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Paulyn Marrinan Quinn S.C.
Ombudsman for the Defence Forces, Ireland

Presentation to
The Rule of Law and the Security Sector

Conference
Tuesday 8 May 2012,

Istanbul, Turkey
Session III: “Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms for Governmental Security Officials”

How can the Ombudsman for the Defence Forces help to protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of Armed Forces Personnel”


In giving rights to others which belong to them,

We give rights to ourselves and to our Country.”

JFK.
I was very pleased to accept the invitation to address your Conference. Whereas this is my first time to visit Turkey, I was interviewed by the Newspaper – Zaman in 2009 about the work of my Office in Ireland.
I would like to emphasise, from the outset, that it is not my intention to give the impression that I have all the answers and that our way is the best way. Nothing further could be the case. but, it is my objective to share my experience as the founding Ombudsman for the Defence Forces in Ireland, over the past six years, and to reflect on the insights I have gained in establishing this Office and from the network of Ombudsman Offices for armed and security forces personnel that has developed in the past three years – which I shall discuss later.

The themes of this gathering are discussed within a relationship of partnership and, to my mind that means sharing.


May I say at the outset that the ideas I wish to share today are aimed at promoting further discussion about the concept of ‘Citizens in Uniform’ and its part supporting democracy. It is my endeavour to persuade you of the significance of this approach to the management of Security Forces in a democratic system.



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