American University Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law
American University Washington College of Law established the Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law in 1990 and developed expansive programming on new and emerging human rights issues. In conjunction with other programs at the Center, the Initiative for Human Rights in Business is focused on pressing issues of our times. Of particular concern is the Institute's ASSURE Project to develop trainings "to improve companies’ ability to adhere to social standards and uphold human rights in their operations; to identify best practices in multi-stakeholder regulation and develop guidance for implementing elements of effective voluntary standards; and to conduct and disseminate policy and business relevant research to improve companies’ human rights compliance."
The Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law presents the webinar and webcast series that features stakeholders from business, government, and civil society, who have been working towards improving regulation, oversight, and accountability for the private military and security industry, to examine the implementation of the best practices outlined in Montreux Document as well as other relevant international initiatives. You can click the link below to watch all of the previous webinar recordings.
Starting on November 1, 2013, the Initiative for Human Rights in Business offers the series of six interactive webinars that seeks to explore requirements and methods for delivering essential training pertinent to the operations of private military and security companies (PMSCs). The outcome of this series is expected to include identifying appropriate roles for states, PMSCs, international organizations, NGOs, and qualified training institutions in developing and offering such training.
Released in advance of the Montreux+5 Conference, the report assesses a number of participating states' efforts to meet their commitments under the MontreuxDocument. It finds that, in terms of demonstrated compliance with legal obligations and the implementation of Good Practices, progress has been mixed. Some states have done well in some areas, whereas others lag behind. The report provides recommendations, including the need to ensure better oversight and accountability for PMSCs and their personnel and improve victims ability to access justice.
In addition, the Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law convened a global group of academics, activists, and experts in the private military and security industry on December 3, 2013, at American University Washington College of Law to share the findings of their report, Montreux Five Years On. A multi-stakeholder panel responded to the report and address next steps in the Montreux process.
The Center for Security Studies (CSS) is a Swiss academic center that undertakes research in the fields of international and Swiss security studies. The CSS also acts as a consultant to various political bodies and the general public; it makes a significant contribution to the academic education of future military officers, academics, and researchers; and it is engaged in research projects with a number of Swiss and international partners. The CSS is a member of the Center for Comparative and International Studies (CIS) of ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich.
This brief discusses how increasingly, the armed forces of Western countries are outsourcing military tasks to private contractors. The aim is to enhance efficiency. However, an excessive outsourcing can have a negative effect on mission fulfillment. This raises the question of how far this practice can be allowed to go.
Civilians play an increasingly important and complex role in armed conflicts, due in part to the increasing privatization of military tasks. At the same time, the lines between civilians and "combatants" are becoming blurred. How states and multilateral institutions respond to these challenges is of great importance for the legitimacy and efficiency of their stabilization efforts in crisis areas.
This brief discusses how private security and military companies are increasingly offering services that were previously provided by states. At the same time, the business sector has been progressively integrated through public-private partnerships into the collective management of security policy challenges, such as critical infrastructure protection or conflict prevention. While the trend towards dissolving the state monopoly on force raises some sensitive questions, stronger integration of the private sector in security policy is a promising approach worth developing further.
The Kenan Institute at Duke University is an interdisciplinary institute committed to promoting moral reflection and shaping policy and practice. The institute holds workshops, publishes reports, and provides a forum for debate over the ethical practice of governments, companies, and international organizations.
On December 1213, 2011, the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University convened a group of faculty and expert practitioners from a variety of disciplines to discuss the U.N. Guiding Principles on business and human rights, which were endorsed by the Human Rights Council in June 2011.This paper summarizes the discussion as a contribution to the business and human rights agenda going forward, particularly as the new United Nations Working Group on the topic begins its work.
This report from the Kenan Center analyzes the oversight, monitoring, and accountability for private military contractors in Iraq. To do so, the report focuses on two incidents of Blackwater USA in Iraq and the subsequent actions taken by the U.S. government to prevent problems in the future.
Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy - National Defense University
The Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy is a part of the National Defense University based at Fort Lesley J McNair. The school is a senior service school designed to provide a graduate-level education on national security strategy, particularly in relation to the management and mobilization of national resources, to senior members of the armed forces, government, and private industry.
The Private Security Database (PSD) for Areas of Limited Statehood is a quantitative data-gathering project. The PSD project collects data on the use of private military and security companies by public actors and asks in general: who consumed private security in Areas of Limited Statehood (where, how long) and what kind of security was consumed? Visit the PSD website for charts, graphs and statistical analysis of data collected by researchers at the Freie Universitat Berlin.
This paper is part of the SFB Governance Working Paper Series, No. 25. The paper investigates the security practices of multinational companies and whether these comply with the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (link). The authors use the case of mining companies in the DRC to evaluate the impact of the Principles on local security practices and the effects these new practices. The authors argue that one needs to go beyond compliance studies to evaluate corporate governance, and so develop a conceptual framework that looks at companies local security practices, including non-compliant practices, and their effects on local security.
Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights
The Geneva Academy is a center of the University of Geneva; it is focused on instruction, research, expert meetings, and legal expertise in the branches of international law relating to situations of armed conflicts.
This comprehensive document examines the phenomenon of foreign fighters, their recruitment and mobilization, and the status of such fighters in international law. Further exploring this trend, the report discusses foreign fighters in the context of terrorism and international humanitarian law as well the UN and European counterterrorism frameworks.
This Briefing reviews the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Providers (ICoC or the Code), a multi-stakeholder initiative convened by the Swiss government that aims to clarify international standards for the private security industry, especially when it operates in complex environments, and improve security companies oversight and accountability. The Briefing concludes by reflecting briefly on key provisions in the Articles of Association and on the impact the ICoC initiative is likely to have as it becomes fully operational.
In this extensive primer on piracy, international law, regulatory frameworks and prosecution practices, the Geneva Academy outlines the laws and regulations governing piracy. The briefing discusses maritime private security and what, if any, rules govern the use of private armed guards, the use of force on the high seas, and the soft law standards attempting to govern those guards.
Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies - Geneva
The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, also known as the Graduate Institute Geneva, specializes in the study of the major global, international and transnational challenges facing the contemporary world. It also offers professional development programs and expertise to international actors from the public, private and non-profit sectors. The Institute produces research and publications on topics ranging from conflict and peacebuilding to human rights and non-state actors.
PMSCs have played an important role in war making and related security activities, and will most likely play an even larger role in the coming years. This Working Paper discusses the tensions between the PMSC industry, their client governments and supportive NGOs vis-àvis other governments and NGOs that want to limit the use of PMSCs in order to ensure continued application and respect of IHL and human rights. The tensions between these two groups will be discussed in the subsequent sections.
This working paper, from the Global Detention Project based out of the Graduate Institute Geneva's Programme for the Study of Global Migration until 2014, examines the trend of "private prisons" and concerns surrounding privately-run detention centers used to hold irregular immigrants and asylum seekers. Using case studies from Australia, Germany, Italy, South Africa, and Sweden, the authors discuss motives for and against privatization and factors that impact the performance of private detention centers.
Institute for National Strategic Studies
The Institute for National Strategic Studies is a research center in the National Defense University of the U.S. military. The mission of INSS is to conduct strategic studies for the Secretary of Defense, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Unified Combatant Commands to support the national strategic components of the academic programs at NDU and to provide outreach to other US governmental agencies and to the broader national security community.
Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies - FRAME Project
The FRAME Project at the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies is a large-scale, collaborative research project funded as part of the European Union's Seventh Framework Program. It is coordinated by the Leuven Centre and includes collaboration from 19 other research institutions. The project's goal is to examine the contribution of EU policies to human rights worldwide.
In this report, the author outlines the new landscape of the private security field. The role of private security contractors, under U.S. forces and under the rules of engagement is examined. The report also discusses the outdated methods which exist to deal with this expansion of contractor use, noting that the contemporary battlespace is far advanced past current regulations and laws.
This report examines the positives and negatives of U.S. military use of private security contractors, and recommends the United States keep contractors out of conflict zones and within the borders of bases. The author notes that contractors can have a strategic benefit in filling some U.S. military roles, but that in the field their impact is detrimental to the U.S. image abroad. Combined with the fact that contractors allow for easier engagement in war and are on uncertain human rights ground, the author concludes that contractors should be used in only specific roles for the U.S.
After a series of incidents in Iraq, the private security industry was subject to a significant increase in oversight this paper details the failure of oversight which allowed incidents like Nisour Square to occur. The paper concludes by noting that despite the recent legislation to better monitor contractors overseas, the industry largely remains self-policing.
NYU Center on International Cooperation
The Center on International Cooperation (CIC) at New York University works to enhance international responses to humanitarian crises and global security threats through applied research and direct engagement with multilateral institutions and the wider policy community. It has an international reputation for agenda-setting work on post-conflict peacebuilding, global peace operations, and UN reform.
The presence of International militaries, NGOs, and IOs has created an artificial economy in Afghanistan, centered around the formation of a massive PSC industry. As 2014 approaches with its accompanied withdrawals, this threatens to upset the political economy of Afghanistan and shake its political networks and elite settlements. The security industry employs tens of thousands of Afghans whose loyalties lie more with their local strongmen than the Afghan government. Dissolution of these forces threatens the safety and security of the state. However, the withdrawals, accompanied by the changes in elite settlements and a planned Presidential election provide opportunity for a restructuring of Afghan political economies and a shift away from the Karzai centered patronage networks.
This paper discusses how the absence of effective oversight of the private security sector in Afghanistan has undermined the credibility and safety of the Afghan government and the international stabilization effort.
Princeton University Program in Law and Public Affairs
The Program in Law and Public Affairs at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School has held meetings and issued reports discussing how security contractors working in zones of conflict should be trained, integrated with military forces, and held accountable.
Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy
The Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies is dedicated to building knowledge on the evolving nature of security and diplomacy to better address pressing global issues. Its internationally-renowned faculty is committed to integrating the future leaders we teach into research, maintaining active conversation with policy leaders, and making complex issues legible to a broad audience. The Sié Center's many research projects focus particularly on managing violence and maximizing resilience at the local, national, regional, and global levels.
Strategic Studies Institute of the US Army War College
The Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) is the US Army's institute for geostrategic and national security research and analysis. It performs these activities in support of the US Army War College and its curricula, the leaders of the Army and Department of Defense, and the wider strategic community.
Research in private military and security companies has matured over the last fifteen years. This essay reviews past research and identifies three areas needing further attention; progress in these areas is critical for guiding security and defense policies and establishing effective regulations.
This article examines the role of non-state actors, including private military and security companies, in special forces operations and international cooperation. The article identifies similarities and differences between such actors and the appropriateness of private security forces in such operations, as well as prospects for cooperation and interaction between state forces and private actors.
With the dramatic increase in the number of private military and security contractors employed by the United States and the diversity of roles they play and services they provide, this article examines how, if at all, such companies have become military professionals. Using the examples of Iraq and Afghanistan, the authors explore the attitudes of US military officers and security contractors to dissect how these groups view themselves and each other. The article continues with a discussion of military professionalism and how security contractors may also embody these ideals.
This report, from Professor Mockaitis of DePaul University, explores three essential questions that permeate the discussion of private military and security companies: 1) What tasks can be safely outsourced to private companies? 2) How should governments manage individual contractors in conflict zones? And 3) under what circumstances should PMSCs be held legally accountable for their actions? The author concludes that governments should be more stringent in the oversight and regulation of PMSCs.
University of the West Indies Institute of International Relations
The Institute of International Relations (IIR) is located on the St. Augustine Campus of The University of the West Indies in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Founded in October 1966 with funding from SWISSAID, IIR is a center for post-graduate study in international relations and diplomacy, for professional development and diplomatic training, and for critical policy analysis and debate.
Bonn International Center for Conversion
The Bonn International Center for Conversion is an independent, non-profit organization with a mission to conduct critical, problem-oriented, policy relevant research in response to the problems posed by organized violence. The BICC specializes in applied research, policy and technical advice, and data collection and analysis. The organization's research themes include civil-military boundaries, arms control, mobilization and demobilization, and the use of violence.
This BICC Focus brief examines the how private security companies present a unique challenge to development in many countries. Though these challenges vary by country, the article concludes that there are opportunities for change that can address these challenges and promote cooperation between private security actors and development organizations. This publication presents case studies from Timor-Leste, Liberia and Peru, examining the role of private security actors in each country and the implications of their actions on larger development goals.
The Brookings Institution mission is to conduct high-quality, independent research and, based on that research, to provide innovative, practical recommendations that advance three broad goals: 1) strengthen American democracy; 2) foster the economic and social welfare, security and opportunity of all Americans; and 3) secure a more open, safe, prosperous and cooperative international system. In addition to the publications appearing below, the Brookings website contains a number of interesting and useful commentaries on private military and security services.
The Afghanistan Index is a statistical compilation of economic, public opinion and security data. The index provides updated and historical information on various data - including crime, infrastructure, casualties, unemployment, Afghan security forces and coalition troop strength. It is updated every two to three weeks. Note that Brookings also publishes an Iraq Index and Pakistan Index.
The Iraq Index is a statistical compilation of economic, public opinion, and security data. This resource provides updated information on various criteria, including crime, telephone and water service, troop fatalities, unemployment, Iraqi security forces, oil production, and coalition troop strength. Data on contractors is sometimes included. For a full list of private security fatalities, see iCasualty.
In recent years, concerns have increased over outsourcing within the sphere of national security. This article describes a number of possible actions to address these concerns and begin to reform the contracting of private military and security companies. The impact of such reforms would be better accountability, oversight and management as well as improved effectiveness and savings.
In this article, the author confronts how private military contractors are really used in Iraq, often more involved in front-line offensives than originally planned. Using what is described as an ad-hoc strategy of outsourcing combat, the US military is confronting uncertain risks with unknown long-term consequences. The author describes Iraq as a "testing ground" how far outsourcing will go in US military operations.
This article discusses the changes in US law that impact how private security contractors are handled after breaking the law. Previously, contractors would only be held to account in the US Court Martial system if Congress had officially declared war - something that has not happened in decades and appears unlikely to happen again given the current state of world events. However, Congress's amendment to the Uniform Code of Military Justice enables the prosecution of private contractors for crimes committed overseas.
Somalia, a country that has struggled with crippling civil war, clan infighting, and famine, has made significant progress in providing security. The tenuous lull in conflict is driven by a "draw" between al Shabab and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). In the past, AMISOM was supported by private security forces and the international community and made a number of noteworthy advances in fighting al Shebab. This article looks into the future of AMISOM and stability in Somalia, examining challenges to the political stability of the country and security situation including the competing militias, formal and informal security forces.
The crucial question that should asked at the onset of any potential outsourcing is simple: Should the task be done by a private company in the first place? As this article discusses, the Pentagon hires private contractors to help fill out the teams that will train and advise Iraq army units, including in their operations in the field. This is arguably the most important aspect of the operation in Iraq, and it is outsourced.
In recent years, the United States has attempted to promote its security interests without direct military involvement, which can be disastrous, politically challenging, and expensive. This article examines US support of militias and informal security forces in Mexico and Afghanistan and this strategy's security and political impacts in these countries. The author uses these case studies to describe lessons for more effective engagement with militias and what implications may exist for US foreign policy.
In this opinion piece, Peter Singer discusses the 2007 Defense Bill that placed contractors and others who accompany the military in the field under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, by defining UCMJ to cover civilians not just in times of declared war but also contingency operations.
In this article, Peter Singer argues that the use of private military contractors appears to have harmed, rather than helped the counterinsurgency efforts of the U.S. mission in Iraq. Even worse, it has created a dependency syndrome on the private marketplace that not merely creates critical vulnerabilities, but shows all the signs of the last downward spirals of an addiction. If we judge by what has happened in Iraq, when it comes to private military contractors and counterinsurgency, the U.S. has locked itself into a vicious cycle. It cant win with them, but cant go to war without them.
This article recounts the many cases where Blackwater has caused hardship to the U.S. counterinsurgency plans in Iraq. It also explains how the use of contractors in Iraq is unprecedented both in size and scope. Even though the war in Iraq would not be possible without private military contractors, there are too many downfalls to outsourcing vital tasks, and a process must begin to roll inherently governmental functions back into government hands.
Center for European Studies
The Center for European Studies is a Brussels based, EU funded think tank. Its goal is to unite the European public with the European Union by raising awareness of European issues. CES publishes policy briefs and research reports periodically. The organization is associated with the European People's Party and is a self described proponent of centre right ideas and thinking.
The global trend for contracting out the supply of military and security services is growing. Security is being transformed from a service for the public or common good into a privately provided service. The present paper argues that the implications of outsourcing security services to private agencies are not a priori positive or negative; proper regulation of private military and security services is important. The author recommends that states should determine their inherently governmental functions and keep these functions out of the market's reach.
Center for International Governance Innovation
The Center for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) is a think tank based in Canada. It focuses on four central themes: the global economy, global security, environment and energy, and global development. CIGI is an independent, non-partisan research facility, but does receive support from the government of Canada and the government of Ontario.
The result of a conference on the post-conflict situation in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Côte d'Ivoire, this document details key issues relating to peacebuilding and reconstruction. Specifically, conference participants examined the role played by the private sector in fostering a more democratic and transparent state. Among these considerations is the role of private security. Each of these countries must deal with large numbers of demobilized warring factions and the disarmament of more than 100,000 former combatants. Importantly the conference recommends careful supervision of the private security army contracted from the United States to train officers in the new Liberian Army.
As part of the CIGI Security Sector Reform series, this paper analyzes the current state of the private security industry in Haiti and the legal framework under which it operates, and makes recommendations for how a reformed legal and regulatory regime can guide the next phase of its development. The paper concludes that genuine consultation and partnership between the government, industry and civil society is required, if SSR programs in Haiti and elsewhere are to successfully marshal private resources towards the public good.
This publication from CIMSEC is a collection of articles on current issues in the field of private maritime security contractors. The topics included are: Private security companies in South and Southeast Asia; American mercenary contracts; and the future of private maritime security companies in a changing world.
The mission of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) is to develop strong, pragmatic and principled national security and defense policies. A key part of CNAS's mission is to inform and prepare the national security leaders of today and tomorrow.
This document contains the testimony of CNAS President John Nagl before the federal Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Dr. Nagl discusses the role and oversight of security contractors supporting U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and identifies gaps in regulation. His testimony recommends a core capabilities approach for services not deemed inherently governmental, as well as reforms to the hiring process for temporary federal workers.
This report looks at the history of US military contracting - from Vietnam to the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan, and examines the trajectory of services and oversight of these contracts. The authors also discuss the military, legal, and foreign policy implications of this trend.
This report calls for the need to reform the business of private contractors. The authors suggest that this reform requires new laws and regulations; an expansion of the governments contracting workforce; a coordination mechanism within the executive branch; greater scrutiny, more transparency and clearer standards for private contractors; a strategic view of the roles contractors play in American operations; and a change in culture within the government.
Congressional hearings on government contractors in conflict zone highlighted the fact that all branches of government understand that there is a need to reform how the U.S. contracts for military services. This factsheet provides policy recommendations to Congress on how to reform existing law and policy guiding the use of in conflict areas.
The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), is a bipartisan, nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC. The Center's scholars recommend policy options and initiatives to help sustain American prosperity and power. The center focuses upon the subject areas of defense and security, regional stability, and transnational challenges like energy and climate.
This commentary report describes the increasing threats facing maritime interests in the waters in and around the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden and North Indian Ocean. The authors focus on state responses and limitations, noting that over 30 countries have launched naval operations in the Gulf of Aden and Arabian Sea. Further, local and regional involvement has been more active than international, as such groups are willing and able to pursue pirates on land. Private security companies may also fill a need for capacity building services such as training of local law enforcement and may also provided ocean-based security services.
The creation of the Montreux Document represents a significant change in the regulation and oversight of private military and security companies. The author provides an overview of the Document and its implications for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Further, this report also details the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Providers and the potential impact of stricter regulation on private security forces into the future.
This report from CSIS summarizes the international foreign assistance spending of the United States from multiple angles. It examines the spending patterns by agency, by service provided, and by the type of contract awarded, and by the companies hired to do their work. The section on contractors hired points out that private security services remain a principal part of the portfolio, with the number of security companies in the top 20 contractors increasing from 3 firms in 2006 to five in 2011.
This report analyzes contracting for services, products, and R&D by the U.S. Department of Defense. The report seeks to look at the trends driving federal contract dollars and the industrial base supporting DoD missions. The report lists the top 20 contractors for the DoD from 1999 to 2009, and the trends in funding mechanisms over the last decade.
Civil Military Fusion Center
The mission of the Civil-Military Fusion Center (CFC) is to facilitate the sharing of open-source unclassified information between civilian and military actors working on complex crises in order to enhance their sense of shared awareness. CFC achieves this mission through its website, weekly news reviews, monthly thematic reports, strategic engagements, and exercise support for free to subscribers. It was created in 2008 as an experiment by NATO Allied Command Transformation in Norfolk, Virginia, the CFC has since transitioned to a core capability within Allied Command Operations (ACO) in Europe.
This report discusses changing maritime practices in the Gulf of Aden as a result of increasing acts of piracy in the region. Re-routing of shipping lanes through the Cape of Good Hope is a common countermeasure, as well as group transit arrangements and state military intervention or escort programs. The document also addresses the increase in the use of private maritime security companies in lieu of these options. Such companies provide a variety of services, from risk consulting to crisis response and hijacking negotiations. However, their uses presents a challenge for regulation and oversight.
This report provides a detailed overview of the increasing threat of Somali piracy in the Gulf of Aden and the use of private armed guards on vessels making the trip through these waters. The document examines private armed security standards, such as International Code of Conduct and the Security Association for the Maritime Industry's Accreditation Programme, as well as international naval responses and country stances on the use of private armed guards on ships.
This report outlines the Afghan governments plan to supplant the private security companies (PSCs) with the new Afghan Public Protection Force (APPF). The APPF, unlike PSCs, is a governmental force accountable to the Afghan state. As observed with other new programs that are developing, there appears to be some contradictory information concerning the APPF.
This document is intended to provide a brief examination of the security situation related to the expected impact of Presidential Decree No. 62 and the disbandment of Private Security Companies (PSCs) in Afghanistan. Despite the fact that the Decree was withdrawn, an international debate was sparked by the expected consequences for development projects.
Clingendael: Netherlands Institute for International Relations
Clingendael is an independent academic research center focused on Europe security issues in the context of Asia and the Middle East. The Institute provides training and research to civil servants, diplomats, NGOs and the private sector.
The Clingendael Institute's conference on international trends on the use of private armed security companies for the protection against maritime piracy addressed many issues regarding the regulation of private security companies. The above links provide the Conference Report while below are presentations from attendees representing international and industry initiatives focused on maritime security and private security regulation.
In this report, the Netherlands Institute examines the current Dutch prohibition on the use of private armed guards aboard its flagged shipping. instead, the Netherlands provides government 'vessel protection detachments' to maritime shipping vessels. The authors analyze the costs and benefits of this system and recommend that the government reform the VPD practice or allow the use of private security.
Danish Institute for Human Rights
The Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR) is an independent research institution for human rights, financed primarily by the Danish state. It conducts research and analysis on a wide range of issues from children's rigths to terrorism.
This working paper from the Danish Institute for Human Rights examines the rights and obligations of the state regarding business activities and their impact on human rights. Using the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the report details state duties in general and specific terms and references private military and security companies as enterprises of particular concern.
This guide provides in depth discussion of the relationship between companies and human rights in South Africa, both in potential and actual terms. The authors discuss the use of security forces by the state as well as private companies and includes a list of relevant South African laws, such as the Private Security Regulation Act, that pertain directly to the use of PMSCs.
Danish Institute for International Studies
The Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) is an independent research institution for international studies, financed primarily by the Danish state. It conducts research and analysis on a wide range of issues within the areas of globalization, security and development.
This working paper examines some of the existing research into Private Military and Security Companies and identifies some paths for further research, which will accommodate the empirical evolution of this phenomenon. Private force has evolved from individual acts of mercenarism into a corporate variety, which is highly professional and legitimized by states. However, PMSCs no longer produce exclusively armed provisions, they also increasingly supply knowledge products to governments and commercial entities. In order to accommodate this shift academic research must further refine existing concepts of private force and engage in further empirical investigation and recognize that the changes taking place exceed those contained in the concept of the state monopoly on the legitimate use of violence. Rather, the power to author and influence perceptions through the marketing of risk and intelligence are the defining characteristics of a new generation of PMSCs.
This policy brief with recommendations explores how to make optimal use of private security contractors without jeopardizing overall military and strategy objectives. It is based on lessons learned from Iraq.
This policy brief with recommendations takes a critical look at the UN Working Group draft convention on the regulation of private military and security companies.
Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
DCAF is an international foundation established in 2000 on the initiative of the Swiss Confederation, as the 'Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces'. DCAF contributes to enhancing security sector governance through security sector reform. One of DCAF's main areas of expertise is the privatization of security, and notably DCAF has been involved in the development of the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers and the Montreux Document. In addition, with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) DCAF has established the Knowledge Hub to combine policy frameworks, guidance documents and tools to support companies addressing challenges with respect to security and human rights.
DCAF documents related to regulatory legislation for specific countries can be found listed by region and country on the National Regulations page.
Developed by the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), this toolkit provides guidance for companies operating in challenging security environments and promote effective and holistic consideration of human rights and humanitarian law. Specifically, the toolkit includes information on working with both public and private security services. As the toolkit is a living document and subject to change, the most recent editions can be found here.
This guide from DCAF discusses security sector reform from the perspective of women and recognizing that women, girls, boys and men have different experiences with security forces and different security needs. While this guide addresses all aspects of the security sector, private military and security companies are included and noted as lacking in regulation and accountability. The guide also examines approaches and methods for security sector reform at local and national levels.
This report contains information on a regional conference held in Manila, Philippines in July of 2014. The conference examined "the Montreux Document on pertinent international legal obligations and good practices for states related to operations of private military and security companies during armed conflict and its relevance for the Southeast Asian region." This document includes country perspectives and challenges, a discussion of emerging issues such as extractive industry and maritime security, and an examination of ASEAN citizens working for international PMSCs.
This study produced by DCAF identifies ways in which the Montreux Document can promote the regulation of private military and security companies at the national level. The report provides information on endorsing states' successes in PMSC regulation and challenges that remain in national regulation.
This report from DCAF in partnership with the Private Security Research Collaboration Southeast Europe (PSRC) examines the history and current state of the private security sector in four Southeast European countries: Albania, Bulgaria, Kosovo and Serbia. In particular, the authors examine when and how the first private security companies developed and whether and how PSCs, their clients, and other factors such as relevant legislation determined the services private security offers today, and which companies were established/have survived in the market.
On the 12th and 13th of October 2011 a workshop was held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, to discuss the Montreux Document on Pertinent International Legal Obligations and Good Practices for States related to Operations of Private Military and Security Companies during Armed Conflict and its relevance for the North East and Central Asia region. The workshop was convened by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, the Office of the President of Mongolia and the Mongolian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, in co‐operation with the International Committee of the Red Cross and in collaboration with DCAF and the Institute for Strategic Studies. The event included the participation of 50 representatives of governments, international organisations and experts from nine countries in North East and Central Asia. These proceedings were prepared by the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces at the request of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.
This study aims to illustrate patterns of behavioral rules derived from corporate obligations, and to deduce from these a draft Code of Conduct (CoC) for Private Military and Security Companies. In addition to drawing up a CoC together with implementation and monitoring mechanisms, this study aims to list the requirements of the relevant industry on the one hand, as well as of the stakeholders in politics and civil society on the other. It will then compare the divergence between the two in order to assess the potential success of an initiative for the recognition of a CoC for Private Military and Security Companies. Finally, this study draws up specific options of action and recommendations related to the process of adopting a CoC. This document is part of the DCAF Occasional Paper series.
This paper will take a look at future trends in the international private security sector, beginning with an overview of some of the emerging private threats impacting the security sector today. This will be followed by a brief analysis of some of the challenges and opportunities posed by these actors to the security sector today and beyond. Finally, the paper will finish with some recommendations for responses to these challenges. This document is part of the DCAF Horizon 2015 Working Paper series.
This tool addresses the gender aspects and challenges of the privatization of security on a global scale. The authors argue that in order to ensure the effectiveness and long-term success of security sector reform involving private security companies and private military companies, it is indispensable to integrate gender aspects into all operations. This tool is part of the DCAF Gender and Security Sector Reform Toolkit series.
Although subject to little discussion, the UN has increasingly paid private military and security companies (PMSCs) for a range of services in the areas of humanitarian affairs, peace-building and development. However, this practice has rarely translated into coherent policies or guidelines that could guide the UN in setting standards or ensuring responsible contracting procedures. This paper explores UN demand for PMSCs and identifies the need for a more proactive, sensitive and deliberate political approach in order to avoid potential pitfalls associated with involving PMSCs in the delivery of UN tasks. This document is part of the DCAF SSR Paper series.
This volume considers the phenomenon of security privatization from the perspective of both the top-down decision to outsource military- and security- related tasks to private firms, and the bottom-up activities of armed non-state actors such as rebel opposition groups, insurgents, militias and warlord factions that challenge the states authority. The themes and actors addressed in the various chapters provide a broad canvas reaching from village watch groups to companies listed on the worlds financial markets. This document is part of DCAFs' Edited Volumes.
This document is part of the DCAF Backgrounder series, which provides practitioners with concise introductions to a variety of issues in the field of security sector governance and reform. It discusses private military companies (PMCs), businesses that offer specialized services related to war and conflict, including combat operations, strategic planning, intelligence collection, operational and logistical support, training, procurement and maintenance. This document is part of the DCAF Backgrounder series.
The private sector supplies a broad spectrum of military and security services to governments facing a lack of territorial control and law enforcement capacities. Yet a quantifiable picture of the extent to which these private security services are being used by failing or weak governments and the implications this use might have for the security environment has not been properly painted. This paper aims to fill this gap by presenting statistical findings on the use of private military and security companies (PMSCs) in failing states. The paper also reviews the literature on the strategic role of PMSCs in contexts of conflict and state failure, and deduces empirically testable propositions and expectations based on the perspective of advocates and critics. This document is part of DCAF Occasional Paper series.
This paper attempts to provide some transparency and analysis of the private military industry, and does so by exploring: (1) what this industry is and where it comes from, (2) its role in Iraq, (3) the broader implications that Iraq has brought to the forefront of global politics and national policies, and (4) concluding thoughts on policy responses that need to be developed. This document is part of the DCAF Policy Paper series.
This paper is a broad overview of the issues and challenges evoked by private military and security companies, presenting the various typologies that are suggested by the range of services, activities and characteristics of the emerging private military and security industry. The advantages and disadvantages of using such firms are discussed in various contexts, as are the challenges connected with the regulation and governance of this sector. This document is part of the DCAF Occasional Paper series.
The management and control of private security companies (PSC) on contract to humanitarian clients, particularly nongovernmental organizations, are governed by one such relationship that is the focus of this paper. In Section One, the rationale for NGO/PSC interaction is explained. Section Two makes plain that despite the grounds for NGO/PSC interaction, the resulting relationship is a complex one that is at times far from ideal from the NGO perspective. Finally, Section Three offers policy options. This document is part of the DCAF Policy Paper series.
This report, issued by Anne-Marie Buzatu of The Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF), considers the current state of PMSC regulation. While most attention is devoted to the more difficult problem of PMSCs exporting security services activities across territorial borders, the problem of domestic private security provision within Europe is also considered. After identifying key challenges and good practices in current PMSC regulation, essential elements are presented for the effective regulation of PMSCs. The report closes with recommendations for effective PMSC export regulation on the international level. This document is part of the DCAF Occasional Paper series.
Operating under a mandate from and with the support of the Council of Europe (CoE), the authors researched the rapidly expanding field of private security in CoE member States. The primary rationale behind this study was that although private security services make a useful contribution in ensuring security, the broad scope of their activities, combined with the lack of common minimal standards across the sector, the sometimes unprofessional conduct of private security staff, and inadequate oversight and public control over these services, posed potential risks to the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. This document is part of the DCAF Policy Paper series.
Institute for Human Rights and Business
The Institute for Human Rights and Business (IPCS), describes itself as a "think and do tank" dedicated to understanding and promoting the relationship between human rights and business operations around the globe. IHRB is primarily focused on strengthening policy and practice, as well as research regard violations of human rights by companies.
Designed to raise awareness of human rights violations in Kenya's emerging oil and gas sector, this briefing paper advocated for the ethical use of state and non-state (private) security forces. Noting that extractive companies often have very little control over the security situations in which they work, such as ethnic conflict, the presence of non-state armed actors, and poorly trained state security, the paper argues that company ignorance of priority issues may create or exacerbate existing conflict. This document provides information on the context and environment of Kenya's extractive sector, key human rights risks, relevant international human rights frameworks, as well as key lessons and recommendations for government, businesses and civil society.
Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies
The Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS), founded in 1996, is a premier South Asian think tank which conducts independent research on and provides an in-depth analysis of conventional and non-conventional issues related to national and South Asian security including nuclear issues, disarmament, non-proliferation, weapons of mass destruction, the war on terrorism, counter terrorism and armed conflict and peace processes in the region. Its research promotes greater understanding of India's foreign policy, especially India-China relations, India's relations with South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries, and South East Asia.
Author Riddhi Shah reports on the increasing use of "floating armouries" by private maritime security companies as a way to evade Indian regulations of arms and armored personnel aboard commercial vessels. A response to piracy in the Indian Ocean, Shah discusses the challenge PMSCs in general and the floating armoury phenomenon in particular pose for Indian law. He proposes several solutions to bring the practice within a regulatory regime while maintaining shippers' ability to defend themselves.
Institute for Security Studies, South Africa
The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) is a pan-African applied policy research institute headquartered in Pretoria, South Africa with offices in Cape Town, South Africa, Nairobi, Kenya, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Dakar, Senegal. Among other security topics, the Institute seeks to critically investigate the role of the private security sector in African conflicts, peacekeeping missions and humanitarian assistance operations in order to inform the development and application of appropriate norms and standards, including the revision of the 1977 OAU Convention for the Elimination of Mercenarism in Africa.
Under the auspices of the ISS Project on Regulation of the Private Security Sector in Africa, this monograph addresses the debate around the subject of the private security industry in the form of private security companies and private military companies operating in Africa. This monograph does not in any way reject the role of the private security sector, but advocates its effective regulation and control for the sake of peace, security and stability in Africa. The monograph presents domestic level perspectives on the private security sector phenomenon in two African countries, namely South Africa and Swaziland.
ISS researchers Johan Burger and Gareth Newham discuss the the debate over private security companies in South Africa prompted by recent passage of a bill (Private Security Industry Regulation Amendment Bill) to limit foreign ownership of such companies. The authors conclude that, while private security companies do need to be properly regulated, such companies do not pose a threat to South Africa's national security simply because they are foreign-owned.
This paper attempts to unpack the meaning of the private security sector; consider Africas multifaceted challenges; highlight the debates around the forces behind the growth of the private security sector; look into the relationship between the private security sector and human rights; consider the relationship between the private security sector and mercenaries; give an understanding of the need for the private security sector; engage on the way forward towards effective regulatory mechanisms; and draw conclusions about the private security sector as cause for great concern.
The aim of this paper is to contribute to the scholarly debate regarding the use of PMSCs in conflict and post-conflict situations and to comment on the UN Drat International Convention on the Regulation, Oversight and Monitoring of Military and Security Companies.
The Security Sector Governance Programme of the Institute of Security Studies (ISS), supported by the International Development Research Centre, conceptualized, organized and hosted a two-day conference on "The Involvement of the Private Security Sector in Peacekeeping Missions." This report summarizes the events of that conference.
This research project was inspired by the need for Africa to engage in the debate around the manifestation of the private security sector on the continent, and to support its effective regulation through the establishment of a consistent and logical regulatory framework for national, sub-regional and regional legislation and protocols. Its principal focus is the revision of the 1977 OAU/AU Convention for the Elimination of Mercenarism in Africa and the development of pro forma regulatory frameworks for the private security sector at national and regional level.
The contributions to this monograph cover a wide range of issues relating to mercenarism and its new modalities in the form of private military and security companies. The chapters are based on papers presented by experts from various fields and disciplines during a conference hosted by the ISS on the regulation of the private security sector in Africa, which was held from 5 to 6 March 2008 at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
On 22 June 2009, the Institute for Security Studies hosted a seminar on the Role of the Private Security Sector in African Conflicts. The main speaker was Doug Brooks, President of the International Stability Operations Association. This report summarizes his and the audiences remarks.
The aim of this policy paper is to summarize the a research project on private security undertaken by the ISS and to provide recommendations to the African Union Commission regarding the privatization of security in Africa.
The various opportunities and obstacles associated with the use of PMSCs are highlighted in the first part of this paper, and the question of their feasibility in peace and security initiatives on the continent is addressed. The second part of the paper looks at definitional issues, particularly the association of PMSCs with mercenaries, which arguably hinders progress in the efforts to regulate the privatization of security. The third section analyses the different attempts that have been made to hold PMSCs to account while the fourth section addresses the use of PMSCs in Africa. The fifth section then identifies various aspects of African peacekeeping that could benefit from the utilization of PMSCs, in particular Security Sector Reform.
This monograph contributes to the debate on the use of private military and security companies (PMSCs). Its specific focus is on the proliferation of these private actors in peacekeeping operations on the African continent. PMSCs, as distinct from their mercenary predecessors, are a relatively new phenomenon, and the monograph seeks to open up discussion by offering the perspectives of five authors from varying disciplines.
This paper addresses the rise of the private security industry in South Africa and their expansion into other countries on the African continent. The regulation of such companies in South Africa and other countries is also discussed.
International Institute of Humanitarian Law
The International Institute of Humanitarian Law (IIHL) is an independent, non-profit humanitarian organization founded in 1970. It is located in Sanremo, Italy. The Institute holds training for civil servants, workshops, conferences and produces research for publication on international human rights and humanitarian law.
This paper addresses the legal challenges of holding Private Military Contractors (PMCs) accountable for their violations of International Law. As the cases invoke novel questions of law, it remains to be seen if the legislative, executive branches, or international bodies, will intervene and help guide the courts.
This is a restatement of existing legal obligations of States related to operations of PMSCs. In particular, it examines the Montreux Document and its role in aiding the governance of private security. It aims to raise awareness of humanitarian concerns at play when PMSCs operate in an armed conflict and seeks to provide guidance of different legal and practical points raised by PMSCs activities.
South Africa became one of the first countries in the world to adopt legislation to prohibit mercenarism and to control the activities of companies providing military-related services. South Africa considers it only as a starting point for the elaboration of a binding international instrument for the control and regulation of the actions of PMSCs, in order to hold them accountable for violations of International Humanitarian Law and human rights law. This paper also illustrates the current legal framework and the legislative steps taken in South Africa to ensure compliance by PMSCs with standards of conduct derived from IHL and human rights law.
The Samremo Handbook, drafted under the auspices of the IIHL by a team of military professionals from the UK, Canada, Australia, and US, is designed as a tool to guide readers through the generally accepted concept of rules of engagement (ROE). The handbooks is used by the US Department of Defense in developing its own ROE and in training students to understand the differences between armed forces and private security companies, include the differences between ROE for the armed forces in combat and rules for the use of force for civilian self-defense.
This article summarizes the finding of the IIHL panel on PMSC compliance with International Law. The panel focuses on training methods in particular, providing a series of recommendations for the future implementation of training for PMSCs.
This paper argues for the benefits of utilizing Private Military Companies in maritime security. While there is a lack of current national regulation governing private maritime security, work is in progress to create an international standard. The expected date of completion is November 2012.
Aegis writes about its own position within the Private Military Companies industry and how they are compliant with the legal activities. They are a part of the ICoC Temporary steering committee and strive for a workable oversight mechanism that is relevant, realistic, scalable and achievable; and which is also recognised as the applicable benchmark by all stakeholders and all users of Aegis' services.
The criminal phenomenon of piracy has resurfaced as a major threat to international trade and maritime security and to the freedom of the seas, particularly considering that the relevant acts occur not only on high seas but increasingly on territorial waters. An international conference on this issue was organized by the Institute for International Affairs (IAI), in cooperation with the International Institute of Humanitarian Law (IIHL), and held in Rome at the Center for Higher Defence studies on 28 November 2013. Eminent speakers delivered wide-ranging and thought-provoking presentations on several important questions, including the geo-political implications of piracy and role of navies, the armed personnel on board commercial ships, maritime piracy and international relations, the prosecution of pirates, the policy of ship-owners, the relation between smart defence and maritime security, the legal and humanitarian problems on insuring piracy risk, the costs of piracy, the role of NATO in the fight against piracy.
The article assess the extent to which UN Convention on the Law of the Sea is able to regulate private shipping and private security services operating on board commercial shipping vessels. It concludes by suggesting that a forum should be chosen to draft a Montreux-like document.
ASIS International is developing a series of standards to support accountability for the Montreux. The standards provide auditable criteria for PSCs to demonstrate that their operations are consistent with human rights standards, legal obligations, and industry practices. ASIS is particularly applicable in areas where governance and the rule of law have been undermined by conflict or disaster.
This essay focuses on the identification and concrete application of procedural/enforcement rules that can ensure an effective system of accountability for private security companies. The author describes the current legal system for PSCs at the international and state levels.
The UN recently developed a policy to encourage its use of armed private security companies under human rights law. The policy also specifies that the UN should only engage in private security companies when all other options are unavailable. Further, they should be used only in these two circumstances: to protect UN personnel, premises and to provide mobile protection for UN personnel and property.
The ICRC examines PMSCs' behaviour under the auspices of International Humanitarian Law, outlining how using force and directly participating in hostilities fit within IHL. ICRC interest in PMSCs revolves around the training of PMSCs and the training that PMSCs provide to other armed security actors.
The Federal Council charged the Federal Office of Justice with the elaboration of a Federal Law on the provision of private security services abroad. From January to March 2012 a preliminary draft was sent to the constitutionally required public consultation. The Montreux document adopted in 2008 is an essential reference point for the elaboration of the Swiss draft law. The draft law states that private security service providers have to declare all their services designed for clients abroad to the federal authority in advance.
Private Security Companies may operate inside the Republic of Venezuela but are subject not only to the Constitution but to any other legal policy related to the National Armed Forces. However article 321 of the Constitution expressly informs that defense is responsibility of all Venezuelan of public and private law, and introduces some ambiguity into the realm of private security regulation.
This paper focuses on the confusion surrounding the status of PMSCs under humanitarian law. Though most PMSCs are not involved in direct combat, questions of "mercenarism", whether they are subject to legitimate attack as combatants, and their status of protection if captured.
International Peace Institute
The International Peace Institute (IPI) is an independent, international not-for-profit think tank dedicated to promoting the prevention and settlement of conflicts between and within states by strengthening international peace and security institutions. To achieve its purpose, IPI employs a mix of policy research, convening, publishing and outreach. IPI was known as the International Peace Academy until early 2008.
In this interview, Jon Huggins, the director of Oceans Beyond Piracy, discusses the trends and trajectory of piracy worldwide. Mr. Huggines notes that while off-shore security forces have decreased the number of hostage incidents off the coast of Somalia, this solution is untenable in the long term for national security forces. Mr. Huggins calls for a greater consideration of other stakeholders such as insurance companies and private military and security firms.
This brief analysis from IPI offers key insights into an agreement between states, civil society, and key PMSCs as a critical step towards setting up a multistakeholder monitoring and complaints mechanism. This enforcement mechanism may work in tandem with the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Providers and require that PMSCs must submit to independent human rights monitoring and complaints processes.
This policy brief examines options for improving international regulation of private military and security companies (PMSCs). In late 2008, seventeen states, including the U.S., UK, China, Iraq, and Afghanistan, endorsed the Montreux Document, providing guidance to states in regulating PMSCs. But there is a need to do more to provide increased guidance to industry and to ensure standards are enforced; a roadmap for effective international regulation is needed. Domestic regulation is not enough, because the industry is increasingly global.
In this IPI paper, Cockayne and Mears examine the shortcomings of existing state, industry, intergovernmental, and civil society mechanisms for global security industry regulation, and put forward five possible regulatory frameworks for the global security industry. The report is based on a six-month study of approaches to regulation in other global industries, and extensive consultation with security industry stakeholders.
On July 29, 2009, the International Peace Institute convened a meeting of civil society, academic, and industry representatives to meet with the United Nations Working Group on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the rights of peoples to self-determination. This report details the outcome of that meeting.
This book, published by IPI, articulates clear guidelines for the potential regulation of the global security industry in the near future and represents an accessible history of transnational regulatory frameworks going back to the 19th Century. IPI undertook a large, highly-consultative research project in 2008-2009 to examine models of state and market-based regulation in thirty global industries in order to assess their relevance for the global security industry. The results of this study are contained in the book.
The International Peace Institute convened a meeting of civil society, academic, and industry representatives to meet with the United Nations Working Group on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the rights of peoples to self determination. This brief meeting note summarizes the key themes that emerged at the meeting.
International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO)
Founded in 1959, the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) is an independent research institution. PRIO also conducts graduate training and is engaged in the promotion of peace through conflict resolution, dialogue and reconciliation, public information and policymaking activities.
Europeans assume that governments are taking a restrictive approach to private security services, and that any regulatory problems are attributable to the United States and the United Kingdom. This 'Letting Others Lead' approach is co-responsible for the absence of regulation for commercial military services by European governments.
Private companies are shaping the political policy of Europe towards Afghanistan as much as government military forces. Anna Leander argues that European actors need to understand this interplay of private companies, civilian, military and local actors to grasp the politics of international engagements like Afghanistan.
Anna Leander argues that Europe (outside the U.K.) largely ignores the commercialization of military services. As a result, governments have yet to create a mechanism for governing the private security process. The author states that the relative lack of information means that no entity has taken responsibility for security commercialization in Europe.
This report discusses the use of private military and security contractors by the U.S. government. It argues that as the United States relies more heavily upon military contractors it reinforces the tendency to approach global crises in a unilateral, as opposed to multilateral manner.
While the use of private contractors for military functions is not new, the scale of current hiring practices of private military and security companies is unprecedented. In 2010, it was estimated that the US Department of Defense had employed 1.2 million contractors and PMSCs have become a critical element of militaries worldwide. This article explores the positive impacts of this trend, including increased flexibility and diversified skill sets within military operations, and highlights their value in post-conflict situations.
One argument for relying on contractors in military operations is that they are more cost-effective than regular armed forces. Yet, as Anna Leander demonstrates, a number of cost effective private security companies hardly endeared themselves to those they served in Afghanistan.
This article discusses concerns over the cost effectiveness and strategic value of PMSCs, and notes that these worries all make the deployment of PMSCs a risky proposition. More worryingly, argues David Isenberg, is that they may permit governments to circumnavigate democratic debates over the necessity of sending armed forces into battle. The brief PDF outlines the broad issues, but the ISN web page for the feature article also links to video, radio and print news, and provides links to relevant academic articles on the subject.
The extensive deployment of Private Military and Security Contractors (PMSCs) in Iraq has not been without its fair share of controversy. In this multimedia feature, ISN looks at the problems associated with using PMSCs there and elsewhere. The brief PDF article outlines the broad issues of PMSCs in Iraq, but the website for the feature goes into far more detail. The website also links to appropriate video, radio, and print news, and provides links to relevant academic articles on private security in Iraq.
This report explores the rise of private security companies in recent decades and what role the Australians, particularly the Australian government has played in this trend. The author notes that the Australian government has procured more than $180 million worth of services from private security companies, particularly for the protection of Australian diplomatic official overseas.
This analysis examines the rise of private security companies protecting commercial maritime traffic in the Indian Ocean and the new problems for legal and consular affairs. The author notes that the challenge for governments will be to control the policy agenda and define the limits of what the role of PSCs is on the high seas.
Overseas Development Institute
The Overseas Development Institute (ODI) is a leading independent think tank on international development and humanitarian issues located in the United Kingdom. The Humanitarian Policy Group at the ODI is dedicated to improving humanitarian policy and practice in response to conflict, instability, and disasters.
A 2008 global survey of aid organizations conducted for this research revealed that the contracting of certain security functions to external professionals has become increasingly common among humanitarian operations worldwide. This trend has followed both the rise in aid worker violence and the proliferation of international private security companies around the operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet despite alarming predictions, the use of armed protection by security contractors remains the exception and is confined to a small number of contexts.
While humanitarians and military actors have long shared operational environments, increasing support for military involvement in assistance and protection strategies is challenging the capacities and security approaches of the humanitarian system in new ways. These changes pose important questions for both humanitarian and military communities, including how to manage the impact of, and hold to account, the private security industry in crisis response, and how to manage the security of aid operations generally. This report reviews these trends, and makes recommendations to the humanitarian and defense sectors to progress issues of mutual concern to both communities.
The Open Society Foundations are a network of programs, initiatives, think tanks and offices around the world founded by George Soros. The objectives of each OSF branch are slightly different, but they are bound by the common mission of OSF to build vibrant, tolerant societies whose governments are open and accountable to the population. The report featured here is by OSF - South Africa.
The central question that this paper seeks to answer is whether PSCs in South Africa are a source of illicit firearms and ammunition, and contribute to levels of firearm death and injury. Against this backdrop, the paper then investigates the current state of South African legislation and regulations on firearms and ammunition controls for PSCs, and the extent to which these relate to and comply with international standards.
Peace Research Institute, Frankfurt
The largest peace research center in Germany, PRIF-HSFK is directed towards identifying the causes of violent international and internal conflicts. PRIF examines issues of private security through its various research departments, which focus on areas such as corporate responsibility, state governance and responsibility, and international law.
Pew Research Center
The Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact-tank that provides information on the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. The Center conducts public opinion polling, demographic studies, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. The Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism has addressed how the use of private contractors by the U.S. is reported by media outlets.
This study explores how well the American news media are covering the story of the private security contractors in Iraq. PEJ searched the coverage in 441 mainstream media outlets400 newspapers, 10 national network and cable TV outlets, 24 magazines, different feeds from two wire services, four web sites and one radio outletfrom the beginning of the war on March 20, 2003 through April 1, 2007.
PRIV-WAR is a collaborative research project coordinated by the European University Institute through the Academy of European Law in cooperation with LUISS "Guido Carli" (Rome) and the other project partners: Justus Liebig Universität Giessen; Riga Graduate School of Law; Université Panthéon-Assas (Paris II), Centre Thucydide; University of Sheffield and Utrecht University. The project has assessed the impact of the increasing use of private military companies and security companies in situations of armed conflict. It has examined the regulatory framework at national, European and international levels, with a view to ensuring improved compliance with international humanitarian law and human rights. The project was supported within the 7th Framework Research Programme by the European Commission DG Research and has been influential in shaping European Union policy on PMSCs, in particular its recommendations released in March 2011.
Swedish legislation does not provide any specific rules aiming at regulating private military and security companies offering their services abroad. Despite this, existing national legislation in different fields may be relevant for such business, e.g. laws on controlling the possession and the carrying and use of weapons; arms export; state control over the use of force; criminal law et cetera. That type of legislation will inevitably have an impact on security companies established under Swedish jurisdiction and on individuals, being Swedish citizens or not, residing or domiciled in Sweden. This report outlines the national legal framework which may possibly be relevant in this respect.
This report on French domestic law in relation to private military and security services was drafted as part of the Priv-War project. The report provides an overview of existing laws and regulations that have been or could be applied to private military and security companies in France.
In Latvia, there are no laws specifically regulating the conduct of private military companies and private security companies abroad. The report focuses on the issue of the regulation applicable to the potential Latvian PMCs and PSCs providing their services abroad. It deals with the regulation of security and investigatory services, regulation of armed force, including arms export and import, corporate law, labor law, criminal responsibility and commercial law that may be potentially applicable to PMCs/PSCs.
The report examines the regulation of private military and private security services (PMCs/PSCs) in Estonia. No laws specifically prescribe provision of services by Estonian PMCs/PSCs operating abroad. Therefore, the report focuses on issues that would be relevant if Estonian private military and private security contractors operated abroad. The report also discusses state policy on outsourcing the armed forces, corporate law, labor law, criminal responsibility, commercial law and civil liability with a view to their potential applicability to PMCs/PSCs operating abroad.
This report seeks to describe the existing state of legislation, regulation and policy in Finland relevant to PMSCs operating outside of Finland. Finland lacks specific legislation on private military and security companies, and consequently this report examines the regulation of domestic security services and various legal fields that might be applicable to the industry. It was prepared as part of the Priv-War Project.
This report identifies and describes the regulation that directly or indirectly governs the supply of private military and security services in Brazil. While there are no specific rules regulating the activity of private military companies (PMCs) in Brazil, the Parliament and Public Administration have enacted a relatively robust set of laws and regulations concerning private security companies (PSCs). The focus of the report is on the latter rules, as they are likely to be applied by analogy to PMCs (should the need arise before courts) and to serve as inspiration to any legislation drafted in the future. The second part of the report addresses the current state of, and the prospects for, regulation of PMCs in Brazil.
At the time this Priv-War report was written, in Italy there was no specific regulation on private military contractors and no private military company had yet been incorporated under Italian Law or in the Italian territory. Instead, regulations of such companies and their affiliates were provided by other Italian regulations.
The objective of this report on Colombian legislation is to analyze how states in whose territory PMSCs operateterritorial Statestry to confront the phenomenon. The first part of this report seeks to analyze the different facets of the Colombian norms and their actual capacity to control the activities of the PMSCs in the national context. The second part focuses specifically on the use of PMSCs in the framework of the military cooperation between the U.S. and Colombia.
The aim of this report is to provide an account of existing Israeli legislation applicable to private military and security services. The bulk of the report concerns the civilianization and privatization of security and military functions previously performed by state authorities, within Israel and in areas under its control. In addition the report addresses the regulation of the export of security and military services by private entities.
This report provides a comprehensive discussion of the use of private military contractors (firms, companies, etc.) and their personnel (individuals) by the United States since 9/11 and the applicable legal regimes, with particular attention paid to the use of such firms in Afghanistan and Iraq.
This report addresses German domestic law with respect to private military and security services. This report provides a general overview of the domestic military and security sector and its regulatory framework in Germany. The report mainly focuses on the legal situation of German companies offering security services and operating (on a contractual basis) in conflict areas abroad.
In the Russian Federation, there are no laws specifically regulating the conduct of private military and security companies. This report therefore addresses the legal status of domestic security and investigatory services, regulation of armed force, including arms export and import, corporate law, labour law, criminal responsibility and commercial law that may be potentially applicable to PMCs/PSCs operating abroad.
The aim of this report is to provide an account of existing UK national laws and regulations applicable to the private military and security services. It was created as part of the Priv-War project. The first section contains an account of PMSC activity, the UK industry, its efforts at self-regulation and the general approach to regulation. The second section details the political debate concerning regulation of the industry with a focus on the proposals of the 2002 UK Green Paper and subsequent parliamentary debate. The third section focuses on relevant legislation and related legislation including the UK Foreign Enlistment Act 1870 and the new Armed Forces Act 2006.
This report on the regulation of private security companies in Portugal was drawn up as part of the Priv-War project. Portuguese Law does not provide for specific regulation for private military companies. Therefore, the report mainly outlines the national regulation of private security activity by PSCs, which is primarily regulated by the Decree-Law governing Private Security Activity. Other applicable national legislation is also discussed in the report.
This report examines the regulation of provision for private security and private military services in Lithuania. There exists regulation for private security companies, but not private military companies. The report looks at these laws and examines the issues that would be relevant for the establishment and operation of Lithuanian PSCs/PMCs abroadissues of possession of arms, import and export of arms, goods of strategic significance and dual use goods, corporate law, labor law, criminal responsibility, commercial law and civil liability.
This report seeks to describe the existing state of Canadian legislation, regulation and policy relevant to PMSCs operating outside of Canada. It focuses both on Canadian PMSCs and Canadian nationals working for PMSCs (Canada as the home state) and PMSCs hired by the government of Canada (Canada as the contracting state).
This paper explores whether and in which cases private military and security company employees can be considered mercenaries under international law. First, it considers the various definitions of the term mercenary that have been laid down in international treaties, and explores whether they reflect customary international law. Second, this paper reviews the various conditions listed in the afore-mentioned definitions and tries to ascertain whether and to what degree private military and security company personnel meet them. It argues that none of the definitions of the term mercenary have achieved the status of customary international law and that only a very limited number of employees fall within these definitions.
This report on the Belgian legislation is part of the work package on the existing regulatory context for private military and private security services at the national and European level, carried out in the frame of the "PRIV-WAR‟ project on the regulation of the privatization of war.
This latest report in the PRIV-WAR series project assesses the type of work performed by private contractors. The focus lies on the real capabilities of the private sector and the challenges it poses. It also seeks the reasons for the recent growth of the private sector both in war and in peace-support operations. The report makes the point that the increased role of private companies in global security is necessary in many sectors, and with the high quality certification, security clearance, and transparent tendering, they should also be more reliable.
This Report provides a comprehensive discussion of the use of private military contractors (firms, companies, etc.) and their personnel (individuals) by the United States since 9/11 and the applicable legal regimes, with particular attention paid to the use of such firms in Afghanistan and Iraq. Section One seeks to describe the incorporation of contractors into the larger coalition military presence. Sections Two, Three, and Four unveil the full universe of legal mechanisms that regulate, govern, and hold accountable the private contractor firms and their personnel. The Report ends with an Appendix, which is a detailed annotation of a majority of the civil law cases.
The aim of this report therefore, is to give an account of South African laws and regulations applicable to private military and security services. Part I of this report briefly presents the general legal framework applicable to South African PMSCs. Part II focuses on the specific regulatory regimes to which the military and security services are subjected, and highlights the problems related to their enforcement. Part III deals with the implication of labor law in the procurement of security services whereas the last part addresses issues of criminal responsibility.
The main focus of this report is to analyze the legal framework of the activities and operations of Private Military and Security Companies (PMC/PSC) in the Spanish context and identify legal avenues to the eventual application of international humanitarian law and international human rights law. In Spain, there are no laws specifically dealing with the operations of these companies abroad, but nothing prevents PSCs from delivering their services to the Spanish Army operating in a third country or to other contractors.
This report discusses Czech national law applicable to private military and security services. At the time of the report, there was no special legislation in the Czech Republic either generally for regular security companies or for the specific area of PSCs/PMCs. However, the first PSCs/PMCs company with strong links to the Czech Republic started operating abroad in January 2009. As a result, Czech Republic legislators and politicians began to reflect on the existing regulatory framework.
This report addresses existing European Union legislation with respect to private military and security services. At the time of the report, there were no specific laws or regulations with respect to the private military and security industry in the EU, something the author found unsatisfactory. An addendum to this report was issued 5 May 2010.
Priv-War is a collaborative research project that assesses the impact of the increasing use of private military companies and security companies in situations of armed conflict and the regulatory framework at national, European and international levels. As part of its work, Priv-War released this document discussing the adoption of both legally binding and non-legally binding instruments, and the harmonization of national measures regulating private military and security services within the internal market with the export of such services to third countries.
This report, part of the Priv-War Project, addresses Dutch domestic law concerning private military and security services. According to the report, in the Netherlands, like in many European countries, there are as yet no laws specifically directed at the regulation of PMC/PSC services abroad. Furthermore, as far as can be concluded from open sources, there is (almost) no private military and security industry in the Netherlands.
This report considers the Australian approach to regulating private military and security companies. Despite the increasing tendency of Western Governments to respond to the increasing prevalence of PMSCs by reviewing regulatory frameworks applicable to the activities of such entities, Australian Government policy has been in something of a holding pattern‟ pending the outcome of the Montreux Process. Now that the Montreux Document has been adopted, the Australian Government will need to consider its policy position and eventually to undertake legislative reform.
This PRIV-WAR report looks to assess the current state of policies and legislations and future options regarding the use of private military and security services. It does this through exploring two questions. First, what legislation and regulative frameworks for the regulation of private military and security companies (PMCs/PSCs) providing services in combat zones exist in the European Union today? Second, what options are there for improving these regulations in order to ensure the responsibility and accountability of these companies and their compliance with international humanitarian and human rights law?
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decision-making through research and analysis. RAND focuses on the issues such as health, education, national security, international affairs, law and business, the environment, and more. In addition to the publications appearing below, the RAND website contains a number of interesting and useful commentaries on private military and security services.
Can the Army improve the way it measures the risks of using civilian contractors in combat? This report proposes a method for comparing the residual risks of using military and contract sources to perform specific support activities on the battlefield. The approach offers an orderly way to translate relative inherent capabilities of military and contract sources, terms of applicable status-of-forces agreements, and threats at any particular place and time on the battlefield into a comparison of the residual risks associated with military outcomes, the safety of contract personnel, resource costs, and other policy factors of greatest importance outside a particular contingency setting.
RAND conducted an online survey of a sample of contractors who had deployed on contract to a theater of conflict at least once between early 2011 and early 2013. The survey collected demographic and employment information, along with details about respondents' deployment experience, mental health, physical health, and access to and use of health care. The goal was to describe the contractors' health and well-being and to explore differences across the sample by such factors as country of citizenship, job specialty, and length and frequency of contract deployment. The report recommends that private firms prioritize making mental health and stress-management resources more readily available to contractors.
This paper provides background on points of overlap between the Civilian Expeditionary Workforce (CEW) and contractors. It is intended to help CEW leaders and personnel understand the challenges of interacting with private security contractors and how they might play a role in helping the military coordinate with them.
This study uses a systematic, empirically based survey of opinions of U.S. military and State Department personnel on the ground in Iraq to shed light PSCs. While the military personnel did report some incidents of unnecessarily threatening, arrogant, or belligerent contractor behavior, the survey results indicate that neither the U.S. military nor State Department personnel appear to perceive PSCs to be running wild in Iraq. Moreover, respondents tended to consider PSCs a force multiplier rather than an additional strain on military troops, but both military and State Department respondents held mixed views regarding the contribution of armed contractors to U.S. foreign policy objectives.
The South Eastern and Eastern Europe Clearinghouse for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SEESAC) operates under the guidance of the Regional Steering Group for Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) and the UN Resident Coordinator in Belgrade. Its main objective is to support the Stability Pact Regional Implementation Plan by building national and regional capacity to control and reduce the proliferation and misuse of small arms and light weapons, and contribute to enhanced stability, security and development in Southeastern Europe.
This report surveys the development, conduct and regulation of the private security industry in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Moldova, Serbia and Montenegro, and Romania. It examines the background to the privatization of security, contemporary security threats, services provided by private security companies (PSCs) and the regulation and oversight of PSCs. It also contains recommendations that apply to each country and entity of the region.
Located in Sweden, SIPRI is an international institute dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament.
This paper discusses the background to the growth of the military services industry and presents an overview of the different types of military service, the size of the market and the companies involved. The continuing expansion of the private military services industry raises many issues. The view that outsourcing is economically efficient can be challenged on a number of grounds, not least when these services are provided in operationally deployed contexts. The involvement of private companies in assisting military operations in armed conflict situations such as Iraq also raises serious concerns about the democratic accountability of armed forces, the status of civilian contractors in military roles, and the political influence of companies that have a vested interest in the continuation of the conflict.
The private provision of security and military services challenges conventional assumptions about the roles of the nation state as the main protagonist in military affairs and as the guarantor of physical security for its citizens. In the absence of effective legal or regulatory structures, such activities raise issues of legality, legitimacy and accountability in the sphere of security policy. This study assesses the impact of 'the privatization of security' in various security contexts and examines some of the ways in which the international community might respond to this development.
Small Arms Survey
The Small Arms Survey is an independent research center in Geneva. It serves as the principal international source of public information on all aspects of small arms and armed violence and as a resource for governments, policy-makers, researchers, and activists.
In this chapter of the Small Arms Survey 2012, the author takes a close look at the stand-off between Somali pirates and PSCs. It focuses on the associated small arms control challenges and the rules of behaviour among parties. The chapter also seeks to identify whether the growing use of armed guards on ships increases security or leads to an escalation at sea.
The international debate surrounding the engagement of private security providers is becoming increasingly important in Timor-Leste, where the number of PSCs operating in Timor-Leste has increased since independence and the government is considering legislation authorizing non-state security personnel to carry and use firearms in the course of their duties. This paper aims to provide an overview of the PSCs operating in Timor-Leste; analyze efforts to regulate the private security industry at the national and international levels, with a special focus on the access to and use of arms by private security personnel; and explore some of the negative impacts of the use of armed private security in other countries.
This chapter that appears in the publication Small Arms Survey 2011: States of Insecurity focuses on some of the problems surrounding MNC use of private security and associated misuse of force or arms. Using the lens of extractive MNCs, it examines conditions under which MNCs use private security, and those under which PSCs might misuse force or firearms while in the employ of MNCs. It also reviews mechanisms that exist, both legal and otherwise, for holding MNCs accountable regarding their use of PSCs. To order the Small Arms Survey 2011, contact Cambridge University Press.
This chapter that appears in the publication Small Arms Survey 2011: States of Insecurity attempts to shed light on a poorly documented aspect of the global private security industry: its use of arms. While much attention has been devoted to debating the legitimacy of PSCs undertaking what may be considered state functions, less effort has gone into documenting the types of small arms used by PSCs and potential gaps in their control. The chapter examines the scale of the private security industry at the global level, calculates the extent to which it is armed, and asks whether PSC equipment contributes to or threatens security.
This research note explores the reliance of private security companies (PSCs) on floating armories (ships carrying weaponry and supplies) in order to sustain anti-piracy operations in the Indian Ocean. More specifically, the note's authors consider 1) the regulatory, economic and practical implications of using floating armories; 2) the risks of allowing such ships to operate in international waters; and 3) why PSCs will most likely not use them in the Gulf of Guinea.
In its 2011 report, "States of Insecurity", Small Arms Survey dedicated Chapter 4 to private security, titling the chapter Booming Business: Private Security and Small Arms. In this Annex to Chapter 4, the extensive data provided in the report is given with the citations for each source of data.
Swisspeace carries out research on violent conflicts and their peaceful transformation. The Foundation aims to build up Swiss and international organizations' civilian peacebuilding capacities by providing trainings, space for networking and exchange of experiences.
While much attention is paid to the legal status of PSCs or their potential impacts on the role of the state, little consideration is given towards the direct influence of PSC activities on local populations. How do local populations perceive PSCs, and what is their impact on everyday lives? This paper seeks to provide tentative insights into the local effects of PSCs by way of two case studies.
U.S. Institute of Peace
The United States Institute of Peace (USIP) is an independent, nonpartisan, national institution established and funded by the US Congress. Its mission is to help prevent and resolve violent international conflicts, promote post-conflict stability and democratic transformations and increase peace-building capacity, tools and intellectual capital worldwide. USIP does this by empowering others with knowledge, skills and resources, as well as by its direct involvement in peacebuilding efforts around the globe.
As Afghanistan transitions to its own security forces, the authors of this report point to the challenges facing the national police and the police training programs. The U.S. has used its own personnel and more than 3400 contractors to help train the ANP. The heavy reliance on contractors to provide training is a concern for the UN, which doubts the ability of the Afghan government to responsibly administer the training contracts after the U.S. departs. The report concludes with recommendations for maintaining the efficacy of the police programs, including training and contract management.
This Working Paper examines the security environment in Afghanistan, assesses the programs put in place to address these threats, identifies existing gaps, and offers possible solutions. The report was vetted by top experts on Afghanistan in an extensive review process.
Is the U.S. governments dependence on the private sector a cause for concern, or is there simply the need for a better understanding of the private sectors role in Security Sector Reform? This question was addressed by a panel of distinguished experts at a meeting sponsored by the USIP Security Sector Reform Working Group. Robert Perito, director of the SSR Working Group and a senior program officer at USIP, moderated the panel. This document is a summary of views expressed during the meeting.
This report chronicles U.S. efforts to train and equip an indigenous constabulary force to control insurgent and militia violence in Iraq. The U.S. does not have constabulary forces. In earlier conflicts, the United States called upon the United Nations or European allies to provide a gendarmerie. In Iraq, the UN police forces that were a feature of peace operations in the Balkans were not available, leaving the U.S. with only one optionto develop an Iraqi constabulary force under fire.
The Afghanistan National Police is Afghanistans front line of defense against insurgency and organized crime. Yet despite nearly $10 billion in international police assistance, the Afghan police are riddled with corruption and incompetence and are far from the professional law enforcement organization needed to ensure stability and development. This report details the past failures and current challenges facing the international police assistance program in Afghanistan. It draws conclusions about the prospects for current programs and offers recommendations for corrective action. The report urges that the international communitys approach to police assistance expand to embrace a comprehensive program for security sector reform and the rule of law.
This report serves as a primer toward understanding security sector reform (SSR) in societies emerging from conflicta rapidly expanding field of urgent importance. The report provides background on SSR today. It is based on statements by panelists at a public forum held at the United States Institute of Peace on May 22, 2008, and on interviews conducted by the author with government agencies, commercial contract firms, international organizations, and host governments that participate in the SSR programs.
Wilton Park is an executive agency of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office. It facilitates conferences and dialogue upon security, political and economic issues. Some Wilton Park conferences have related to issues in private security services, relevant documents are listed below.
The German Foreign Ministry co-sponsored this Wilton Park conference to discuss the role of the private sector in peace-building. What is the business perspective on working on conflict vs. working in conflict? What is the role of home states, host states, international organizations, NGOs, risk consultants and private security providers in creating an investment-friendly environment in (post) conflict zones? How valuable are voluntary codes, guidelines and collective initiatives in enabling conflict-sensitive business practices? What lessons can we learn from post-conflict countries and private sector engagement?
The roundtable on counterpiracy looked at legal issues relating to acts by states and private security providers, with particular reference to the situation off the coast of Somalia. With regard to private security companies the key challenges relate to ensuring greater clarity with regard to the use of force and procedures for detention (should that situation arise), as well as developing a coordinated response among states which addresses the movement of guns through territorial waters and the safe keeping of guns and ammunition in port. There is general agreement, however, that the solution to piracy off the coast of Somalia is to be found on land within Somalia.
There is broad consensus to draft an international Code of Conduct for Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCs) based on international humanitarian and human rights law, to include oversight and accountability mechanisms, as reflected in a statement agreed by representatives of PMSCs and their associations. There is acceptance that the PMSC industry must take the lead in this process. However industry cannot act alone and needs strong and substantial support from other stakeholders, with civil society helping to ensure the process remains committed to the highest standards. This conference addressed how to broaden participation of PMSCs and others in an international Code of Conduct without weakening the standards it contains.