Skip navigation

Sié Chéou-Kang CenterPrivate Security Monitor

Helicopter transports people and supplies in Iraq.

Reports & Analysis

NGO Reports

Some non-governmental organizations have focused specifically on the global military and security industry. Human rights advocates in particular have monitored the industry by gathering news stories, reports, and company profiles, and by tracking judicial proceedings that involve private security companies and personnel. Humanitarian NGOs have had increasing contact with the PMSC industry given their work on the ground and have issued reports and guidelines on NGO use of private security service providers.

Selected NGO reports addressing both the conduct of and interaction with private security forces appear below, organized by issuing organization.

American Civil Liberties Union

The American Civil Liberties Union (commonly known as the ACLU) is a non-profit advocacy group in the United States. It works through litigation, publicity and lobbying to "preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee."


Victims of Complacency: The Ongoing Trafficking and Abuse of Third Country Nationals by U.S. Government Contractors

Author: ACLU
Publish Date:

 
Open PDF:
 

The ACLU investigated the abuses of labor personnel working for contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan. The report details the incidences of trafficking and abuse, outlines how the current system operates and allows trafficking to occur, and how the U.S. government is failing to stop the practice. The end of the report lists a series of recommendations upon how to eliminate trafficking from its contractors, including holding prime contractors responsible for the actions of sub-contractors and their practices.

Amnesty International

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize winning organization. It is currently the world's largest grassroots human rights organization, they investigate and expose abuses, educate and mobilize the public, and help transform societies to create a safer, more just world. Their direct work is relatively limited on Private Security and Military Companies.


Carnage and Despair: Iraq Five Years On

Author: Amnesty International
Publish Date:

 
Open PDF:
 

According to this report, despite the heavy presence of U.S. and Iraqi security forces, Iraq is one of the most dangerous countries in the world, with hundreds of Iraqi civilians killed every month. The report addresses the various groups that contribute to instability in Iraq, and reports on abuses committed by private security forces there. A supplement to the report makes recommendations to the U.S. and UK governments on how to improve the situation and ensure private forces are subject to adequate legal control.

 

Business and Human Rights Resource Centre

The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre is a non-profit organization with researchers throughout the world. It has become a leading independent resource on the subject of business and human rights, and the organization's website is updated hourly with news and reports about companies' human rights impacts worldwide – positive and negative.

The Centre hosts a portal on Business, Conflict and Peace, which focuses on corporate impacts on conflict and conflict zones. The portal publishes a Bulletin on Private Military and Security Services twice a year, the Bulletin highlights key developments in the field from the past six months.


PMSC Bulletin #1: Private military & security companies (PMSCs) and their impacts on human rights: Recent developments

Author: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
Publish Date:

 
Open PDF:
 

The PMSC bulletin is published by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre twice a year. It highlights key developments reported by a broad range of NGOs, governments, journalists and others including PMSCs themselves. It also includes reports of legal action against PMSCs for various abuses. 

PMSC Bulletin #7: Private military & security companies and their impact on human rights: Recent developments

Author: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
Publish Date:

 
Open PDF:
 

In the seventh installment of their newsletter on private military and security companies, the Business and Human Rights Centre covers developments in the sector from May 2014 - June 2015. It highlights key developments reported by a broad range of NGOs, governments, journalists and others including PMSCs themselves. With this issue, the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre has suspended bulletins pending renewed funding. 

PMSC Bulletin #4: Private military & security companies and their impact on human rights: Recent developments

Author: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
Publish Date:

 
Open PDF:
 

In the fourth installment of their newsletter on private military and security companies, the Business and Human Rights Centre covers developments in the sector from October 2012 to April 2013. It highlights key developments reported by a broad range of NGOs, governments, journalists and others including PMSCs themselves.

PMSC Bulletin #3: Private military & security companies and their impact on human rights: Recent developments

Author: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
Publish Date:

 
Open PDF:
 

In the third installment of their newsletter on private military and security companies, the Business and Human Rights Centre covers developments in the sector from March - October 2012. It highlights key developments reported by a broad range of NGOs, governments, journalists and others including PMSCs themselves.

PMSC Bulletin #5: Private military & security companies and their impact on human rights: Recent developments

Author: Business and Human Rights Resource Centre
Publish Date:

 
Open PDF:
 

In the fifth installment of their newsletter on private military and security companies, the Business and Human Rights Centre covers developments in the sector from April 2013 to October 2013. It highlights key developments reported by a broad range of NGOs, governments, journalists and others including PMSCs themselves.

PMSC Bulletin #6: Private military & security companies and their impact on human rights: Recent developments

Author: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
Publish Date:

 
Open PDF:
 

In the sixth installment of their newsletter on private military and security companies, the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre covers developments in the sector from October 2013 to April 2014. It highlights key developments reported by a broad range of NGOs, governments, journalists and others including PMSCs themselves.

 

Center for Public Integrity

The Center for Public Integrity is a non-profit investigative news organization based in Washington, DC. Their mission is to enhance democracy by exposing abuses of power, corruption and other flaws of powerful public and private institutions. They focus on accountability and transparency, and use investigative journalism to conduct their mission. 

The Center has several multi-story features upon the U.S. military contracting industry, in particular for Iraq and Afghanistan. Their series Windfalls of War examines the billions of dollars awarded on a no-bid contract basis to companies, and the performance of those companies in meeting the contracts. The series Outsourcing the Pentagon reports on who the government uses for contracts, which companies get the most contract money, and how they manage to win so many. Several of the documents that CPI received through the Freedom of Information Act are listed on the PSM Industry Contracts page. 

CORE

CORE is a UK civil society coalition on corporate accountability with a mission of putting people and the planet at the core of business. CORE aims to reduce business-related human rights and environmental abuses by ensuring companies can be held to account for their impacts both at home and abroad, and to guarantee access to justice for people adversely affected by corporate activity.


The Bottom Line UK Corporate Abuse Overseas

Author: CORE
Publish Date:

 
Open PDF:
 
This report examines the international human rights impact of UK businesses through a series of case studies. These case studies discuss recent serious abuses allegedly linked to private security corporations such as G4S and mining corporations hiring private security personnel. The report also contains comments by the companies concerned.

 

CorpWatch

CorpWatch is a non-profit organization that investigates multinational corporations that profit from war, fraud, environmental, human rights and other abuses. The CorpWatch website  contains a section dedicated to war and disaster profiteering with news articles, private security company profiles, and analysis on the relationship between private industry, the U.S. Armed Forces and federal policy makers.


Subcontracting Substandard Services: Military Contracts in Iraq Still Controversial

Author: David Isenberg
Publish Date:

 
As has been highlighted frequently in the past decade, US use of contractors has increased dramatically with operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. With this trend, there has been much discussion of contractor performance, quality, and oversight including the use of subcontractors. In this article, David Isenberg, writing specially for CorpWatch, considers the implication of US military reliance on contractors and subcontractors, the implications poor performance, and the possibilities for change.

Outsourcing Intelligence in Iraq: A CorpWatch Report on L-3/Titan

Author: CorpWatch
Publish Date:

 
Open PDF:
 

This CorpWatch investigative report indicates that there are significant problems with contracts for human intelligence services, notably with the hiring and vetting of contract interrogators and translators by PMSCs, many of whom are unqualified or poorly qualified for this critical and complex linguistic work. This failure has the potential to seriously compromise national security and human rights—as several examples cited in this report indicate. The report is interspersed with recommendations from Amnesty International to improve government and company respect for and protection of human rights in the context of outsourcing government, military and military support functions, particularly in zones of armed conflict and weak governance.

The Fund for Peace

The Fund for Peace program on Sustainable Development and Security seeks to promote better oversight and accountability of private security contractors in contingency operations. By engaging with government, NGOs, the private sector, and local communities, the program seeks to better facilitate understanding of and adherence to the International Code of Conduct for Private Security among all stakeholders.


Private Security Providers and the VPs

Author: Fund for Peace
Publish Date:

 
This Power Point presentation, designed for private security providers, provides an introduction to the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPs). Including an overview of the fundamentals of the VPs, the presentation incorporates discussion of security operations and human rights challenges, assessing security and human rights-related issues, and responsibilities for implementing the VPs.

Voluntary Principles on Security & Human Rights: Annual Report 2014

Author: Fund for Peace
Publish Date:

 
Open PDF:
 
This report provides an overview of 2014 Fund for Peace activities and how these have continued to support the Voluntary Principles on Security & Human Rights which were designed to guide extractive companies in maintaining the safety and security of their operations within an operating framework that encourages respect for human rights.

Global Policy Forum

The Global Policy Forum is an independent policy watchdog that monitors the work of the United Nations and scrutinizes global policymaking. GPF works particularly on the UN Security Council, the food and hunger crisis, and the global economy. It seeks to promote accountability and citizen participation in decisions on peace and security, social justice and international law.


Dangerous Partnership: Private Military and Security Companies and the UN

Author: Lou Pingeot
Publish Date:

 
Open PDF:
 

This investigative report reveals that the UN has dramatically increased its use of these companies in recent years, hiring them for a wide array of “security services” and giving them considerable influence over its security policies. It also reveals that the UN has no process to vet these companies and that UN leadership has been closing its eyes to company misconduct for more than twenty years. GPF calls on the UN to reform this out-of-control system and to critically examine whether these companies really make the UN safer, or whether they might achieve the opposite effect.

After a request by the Business and Human Rights Centre for comment, the following companies issued a response:

  1. Dyncorp's response
  2. G4S's response

Contracting Insecurity: Private Military and Security Companies and the Future of the United Nations

Author: Lou Pingeot
Publish Date:

 
Open PDF:
 

As a follow up to the 2012 report, this report looks at recent developments at the United Nations, including the new UN Department of Safety and Security guidelines on the use of armed private security, reports of the Secretary-General and debates at the General Assembly. It provides a critical analysis of the guidelines and their gaps and is generally critical of the UN's approach to PMSCs since 2012, which risks normalizing the use of these companies without reflecting on how they may impact the mission and image of the UN.

G4S, Delta Protection and Askar Security Services responded in April 2014 to allegations in Global Policy Forum's report.

Human Rights First

Human Rights First has issued several reports outlining the issues surrounding crimes, accountability and oversight over U.S. contractors fielded abroad. The organization has also put forth recommendations to establish accountability and oversight for private security and other contractors in conflict zones.


Private Security Contractors at War: Ending the Culture of Impunity

Author: Human Rights First
Publish Date:

 
Open PDF:
 

This report examines the dramatic and expanded use by the United States of private security contractors in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, and the failure of the U.S. government to control their actions or hold them criminally responsible for acts of excessive violence and abuse.

Update – State of Affairs: Four Years After Nisoor Square

Author: Human Rights First
Publish Date:

 
Open PDF:
 

As reported by Human Rights First in 2010 , positive reforms in U.S. law and policy were made in the years after the Nisoor Square incident, but many oversight and accountability gaps remained.  As outlined in this 2011 report, there are still considerable concerns relating to the oversight and accountability of U.S. private security and other contractors, including: clarifying and expanding U.S. criminal jurisdiction over civilian contractors; increasing investigatory and prosecutorial resources for contractor crimes; increasing oversight and control over contractors in the field; ensuring contractors are not drawn into hostilities; and ensuring victims of contractor abuse are not denied their right to a remedy.

Fact Sheet: Examples of Violent Crimes and Abuses by U.S. Contractors

Author: Human Rights First
Publish Date:

 
Open PDF:
 

While a vast majority of U.S. private contractors do their jobs conscientiously and courageously, there have been a series of violent incidents committed by U.S. contractors that have harmed civilian lives, contractors themselves, and U.S. national security interests. This fact sheet recalls some of the abuses allegedly committed by U.S. contractors operating overseas, and whether (and how) they were held accountable for those abuses.

State of Affairs: Three Years After Nisoor Square

Author: Human Rights First
Publish Date:

 
Open PDF:
 

This report provides a snapshot of the legal and regulatory gaps in contractor oversight and accountability, notwithstanding the progress made since Nisoor Square. It also offers specific recommendations to strengthen U.S. criminal accountability, control and oversight of contractor functions, remedies for victims of contractor abuse and international standards covering private security providers.

Human Rights Watch

Human Rights Watch is one of the world's leading independent organizations dedicated to defending and protecting human rights. Human Rights Watch has on-the-ground researchers monitoring human rights conditions in some 80 countries around the world, and publishes its findings in more than 100 reports and hundreds of news releases each year. 


“They Pushed Down the Houses”: Forced Evictions and Insecure Land Tenure for Luanda’s Urban Poor

Author: Human Rights Watch
Publish Date:

 
Open PDF:
 

This report documents how in Luanda, Angola, the government has forcibly and violently evicted thousands of people living in informal housing areas with little or no notice, in violation of Angola's own laws and its international human rights obligations. Often, government officials are accompanied by private security forces that assist in committing these abuses.

World Report 2012: Papua New Guinea

Author: Human Rights Watch
Publish Date:

 
Open PDF:
 

This report on the human rights situation in Papua New Guinea during the course of 2011 and highlights how private security personnel employed at the Porgera gold mine have been implicated in alleged gang rapes and other violent crimes. Following publication in February of Gold’s Costly Dividend , Human Rights Watch’s report on this issue, the mine operator and police uncovered additional cases of alleged abuse.

World Report 2012: Zimbabwe

Author: Human Rights Watch
Publish Date:

 
Open PDF:
 
This report on the human rights situation in Zimbabwe during the course of 2011 and discusses how Zimbabwe police and private security guards employed by mining companies in the Marange diamond fields were implicated in abuses against local unlicensed miners. More information on this abuse can also be found in a Human Rights Watch release from August 2011.

Just Don't Call It a Militia: Impunity, Militias, and the "Afghan Local Police"

Author: Human Rights Watch
Publish Date:

 
Open PDF:
 

This report documents serious abuses, such as killings, rape, arbitrary detention, abductions, forcible land grabs, and illegal raids by irregular armed groups in Afghanistan. The Afghan government has failed to hold these forces to account, fostering future abuses and generating support for the Taliban and other opposition forces, Human Rights Watch found. The report discusses how private security companies have provided a vehicle for many former warlords and some entrepreneurial newcomers to establish a lucrative hold on armed men and territory.

Gold’s Costly Dividend: Human Rights Impacts of Papua New Guinea’s Porgera Gold Mine

Author: Human Rights Watch
Publish Date:

 
Open PDF:
 

The Porgera gold mine—the subject of this report—is owned and solely operated by Barrick gold, a Canadian corporation that is the world’s largest gold mining company. The report describes a pattern of violent abuses, including horrifying acts of gang rape, carried out by members of the mine’s private security force in 2009 and 2010. The report also describes how more recently, Barrick has taken some meaningful steps—and promised others—to address some of the mine’s most serious human rights problems.

Without Rules: A Failed Approach to Corporate Accountability

Author: Chris Albin-Lackey
Publish Date:

 
Open PDF:
 

In this report from Human Rights Watch, the author draws from previous reports by HRW to criticize the current voluntary measures of corporate accountability. Having reached the limits of these measures, the report attacks such measures as the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights. The report calls upon government's to take greater responsibility on the enforcement of corporate actions. 

On the Margins of Profit: Rights at Risk in the Global Economy

Author: Human Rights Watch
Publish Date:

 
Open PDF:
 

This report details the different ways in which business practices affect human rights. It presents examples drawn from more than 10 years of Human Rights Watch research that describe a wide variety of business-related abuses, some committed by private security forces, and the obstacles to the justice sought by victims of these abuses.

“There Are No Investigations Here” Impunity for Killings and Other Abuses in Bajo Aguán, Honduras

Author: Human Rights Watch
Publish Date:

 
Open PDF:
 

In this report, Human Rights Watch examines ongoing violence in the Bajo Aguan region of northern Honduras. According to the group, 92 people have been killed there since 2009 in land disputes. Most of the victims have been members of peasant activist organizations. Members of private security firms have been implicated in many of the killings and other violent incidents. 

International Alert

International Alert is an independent organization that works to lay the foundations for lasting peace and security in communities affected by violent conflict. The effective provision of security and justice is one of its main areas of focus. Working with Saferworld and the UNDP/Stability Pact South Eastern Europe Small Arms Clearinghouse (SEESAC) International Alert completed a survey of the implications of the privatization of security in South Eastern Europe. It has also published reports on the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights.  


Regulating Private Military Companies: The Need for a Multidimensional Approach

Author: Damian Lilly
Publish Date:

 

The Green Paper on private military services from the British government provided a comprehensive overview of the PMC debate and options for regulation. This paper  provides comments on the proposals made in the Green Paper and proposes a multidimensional regulatory system that is in part a combination of the six options for regulation that are outlined in the Green Paper, as well as additional measures for control. 

 

The Politicisation of Humanitarian Action and Staff Security: The Use of Private Security Companies by Humanitarian Agencies

Author: Damian Lilly
Publish Date:

 
Open PDF:
 

This paper is a report from a workshop held at Tufts University in 2001. The workshop aimed to understand the implications of private security in general, while also addressing the problems associated with the broadening use of private security services by humanitarian organizations. As such, the report documents the difficulty humanitarians have balancing security and access to populations with the potential impact of private security. 

Voluntary Principles on Security & Human Rights National-Level Implementation Guidance Note

Publish Date:

 
Open PDF:
 

The purpose of this document is to give guidance to those interested in initiating or supporting a national‐level process to implement the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights . While the Voluntary Principles initiative has grown over the past ten years, there has been too little focus on national‐level implementation within the countries that have challenges related to security and human rights. At the same time, there has been little guidance, with the exception of a case study on Colombia , given to those in the countries on how they can encourage VPs adoption by host governments and extractive companies operating in the country. 

Regulating Private Military Companies: Options for the UK government

Author: Chaloka Beyani and Damian Lilly
Publish Date:

 
Open PDF:
 

This report puts forth an argument as to why the UK Government should take steps to control the activities of mercenaries and private military companies operating out of the UK and proposes options for prospective legislation.

Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights: Performance Indicators

Publish Date:

 
Open PDF:
 

A team at International Alert developed these indicators for companies to assist them in measuring and evaluating compliance with the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights .  Indicators 1–3 deal with Human Rights Risk and Impact Assessment. Indicators 4-7 look to ensure the adequate legal, contractual and training measures for private security forces are in place.  Indicators 8-9 deal with monitoring and oversight. Indicator 10 evaluates equipment transfers to security forces while Indicator 11 documents human rights incidents on company property and actions taken in response. 

The privatization of security and peacebuilding: a framework for action

Author: Damian Lilly
Publish Date:

 
Open PDF:
 

This report provides a comprehensive overview of the private military and security industry in the year 2000. It describes the typology of different security actors, who uses then, what the critical issues are, and the implications of current responses. The report concludes with a set of recommendations for action to be taken to improve governance of PSCs and PMSCs from both the user and the regulatory perspective.

Humanitarian Action and Private Security Companies: Opening the Debate

Author: Tony Vaux et al.
Publish Date:

 
Open PDF:
 

This report attempts to begin a debate over the use of private security companies by humanitarian assistance organizations. The authors create a five part report on the current state of PSC use by aid agencies, including a survey of both U.S. and EU firms experiences using private security to provide protection in their international operations. 

International Coalition to Control PMSC

The International Coalition to Control PMSC is a global civil society campaign seeking to regulate the private military and security company sector. The initiative is formed by two organizations, the Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative and the International Institute for Nonviolent Action. The Coalition has issued one report, intended as a resource for the UN Working Group on the Use of Mercenaries.


Defense, Security and Occupation as a Business: Military, armaments and trade relations between Spain and Israel

Author: Alejandro Pozo, Camino Simarro and Oriol Sabaté
Publish Date:

 
Open PDF:
 
This report analyzes the security and defense trade relations between Spain and Israel, including trends in the use of private military and security services among other contracts. In particular, the authors note that an increase in privately operated prisons in Spain as well as a close connection in security related training and education programs and research institutions.

The Privatization of Warfare, Violence, and Private Military and Security Companies: A factual and legal approach to human rights abuses by PMSC in Iraq

Author: Jordi Palou-Loverdos, Leticia Armendariz
Publish Date:

 
Open PDF:
 

In this article, the authors set out the foundations of the PMSC industry before going into an in-depth analysis of the PMSC industry in Iraq. The authors discuss the historical use of PMSCs in Iraq, as well as their use in the present day. The article describes in detail the legal questions surrounding their use and the international and domestic laws which regulate PMSCs. The wording and the intent of the laws currently in place are examined, and the article concludes with a discussion of how these laws actually operate in practice.

International Institute for Nonviolent Action (NOVACT)

The International Institute for Nonviolent Action (NOVACT), based out of Barcelona, promotes international peace building actions in conflict situations. The NGO maintains a global network of experts and activists in the Middle East, Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia, the Institute supports nonviolent movements, working for change and social transformation, and develops nonviolent interventions to protect vulnerable communities in conflict situations.


International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)

Founded in the 1920s, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), is a non-partisan NGO committed to defending and civil, political, cultural, social, and economic rights as set out in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. FIDH is a federation of 164 member organizations that seek to fulfill the strategic goals of the group as set out by the decision making bodies of the organization. The group also sponsors and supports reports on human rights violations around the world. 


The Philippines Human Rights Defenders at the Forefront Despite an Ongoing Culture of Violence and Impunity

Author: FIDH
Publish Date:

 
Open PDF:
 
This report documents a fact-finding mission by the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the World Organisation Against Torture and the International Federation for Human Rights, to the Philippines. The report includes a discussion of the current situation private armies, security companies and militias, including paramilitary organizations, and highlights concerns over their actions, state sponsorship and the availability of firearms. It is noted in particular that many of these groups operate in areas of mining and other land acquisition activities and potential human rights abuses as a result of this work. The authors also examine the impact of existing laws, regulations and political positions on the operation of these private security groups.

Human Rights Violations in Bajo Aguán

Author: FIDH
Publish Date:

 
Open PDF:
 

This report, compiled by FIDH after a 2011 visit to the Bajo Aguán region of Honduras, chronicles a series of serious human rights violations carried out by national and private security forces following the 2009 coup. The violence was largely conducted by elements of private security elements in response to the agrarian conflict with the local peasants. In addition to sexual violence and other violations, 25 people, including a journalist and his partner were murdered. This report chronicles violations and the role of private security corporations and provides recommendations. 

International NGO Safety and Security Association

The International NGO Safety & Security Association (INSSA) is a non-profit global membership association of individuals and organizations committed to improving the quality and effectiveness of safety and security for humanitarian relief and development assistance workers operating in complex and dangerous environments around the world. Membership is free and to access INSAA resources and publications, membership is required. 

One Earth Future

One Earth Future is a foundation dedicated to developing effective systems of governance to help achieve sustainable peace. The organization includes several research programs including Oceans Beyond Piracy. 


Non-State Actors in Maritime Security

Author: One Earth Future
Publish Date:

 
Open PDF:
 
This policy brief explores the rise and influence of non-state actors in maritime security operations worldwide. The document presents three key findings: 1) Security institutions should consider developing formal or informal information- sharing systems with maritime actors in the geographic or functional areas where they operate. 2) Stakeholders in a specific maritime problem, whether state or nonstate, should consider the full spectrum of potential roles for nonstate actors. 3) The process of developing engagement between state and nonstate actors around security challenges can take time.

Open Briefing

Open Briefing bills itself as "the world's first civil society intelligence agency." It produces intelligence and security briefings on a range of security, foreign policy, and defense issues.


Special forces, mercenaries, cyber warfare, drones and intelligence: Remote-control warfare briefing #7

Author: Scott Hickie, Steve Hathorn and Raphaël Zaffran
Publish Date:

 
This seventh brief from Open Briefing details several recent developments in private military and security, including the precedent setting conviction of Blackwater employees for the high profile killings of Iraqi civilians in 2007. The report also includes discussion of illegal mercenary activities in Russia, an Iranian policy to recruit Afghan refugees to fight in Syria, and Russian legislation to legalize private military and security companies in the country.

Blowback: The failure of remote-control warfare

Author: Chris Abbott
Publish Date:

 
This report explores the implications of privatized remote warfare operations, such as drone strikes, unmanned vehicles and autonomous weapons systems. The author highlight recent trends in privatization and warns of potential negative impacts of the 'plausible deniability' that this process enables.

Drones, special forces and mercenaries: Remote-control warfare briefing #05

Author: Scott Hickie, Chris Abbott and Raphaël Zaffran
Publish Date:

 
This briefing reports on remote warfare and mercenary activities, including the use of private military and security companies and highlights specific incidents and trends in the use of such forces. Specifically, the article notes the increasing numbers of foreign fighters from Balkan nations participating in the Ukraine conflict. Other areas considered include: Papua New Guinea, Ukraine-Russia, South Africa, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Scoping exercise: Private military and security companies

Author: Open Briefing
Publish Date:

 
Open PDF:
 

Open Briefing has put together a comprehensive list of NGOs engaged with the issues surrounding Private Military and Security Companies (PMSC), as well as lists of relevant books, reports, journal articles, and other publications.

Maritime Insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea

Author: Open Briefing
Publish Date:

 
Open PDF:
 

This report analyzes the current state of maritime insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea, including a range of criminal activities, such as piracy, smuggling and illegal fishing. It also projects that maritime insecurity in the region in likely to increase throughout 2014, and Benin, Togo and Guinea-Bissau, in particular, are likely to witness an increase in criminal activities across their territorial waters. 

Platform London

Platform London is an activist organization that combines art, research, and education into their projects. Their focus is on the social, economic, and environmental impacts of the global oil industry.


A Secret Subsidy: Oil companies, the Navy & the response to piracy

Author: Emma Hughes and Mika Minio-Paluello
Publish Date:

 
Open PDF:
 
Rising concerns surrounding armed attacks on merchant vessels off the coast of Africa has initiated a variety of counter-piracy methods, from naval escorts to private maritime security services. This report examines how British oil companies have promoted this fight against piracy and make use of both state and private services. The document promotes a closer examination of lobbying trends and advocates for alternatives methods to combat violence at sea.

Armed Extraction: The UK Military in Nigeria

Author: Sarah Shoraka
Publish Date:

 
Open PDF:
 
This report discusses Nigeria as a major centre for British private military and security companies working in extractive sectors such as a oil and mining. These companies have faced harsh criticism for their operations due to reports of excessive use of force and human rights abuses. Also included in the document is an analysis of the roles of corporations hiring PMSCs and UK military aid.

Project on Government Oversight

Founded in 1981, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that champions good government reforms. POGO's investigations into corruption, misconduct, and conflicts of interest achieve a more effective, accountable, open, and ethical federal government. 


POGO Advocates for Additional Protections When Considering Work Performed by Government or Contractor Employees

Author: Scott H. Amey
Publish Date:

 
This document, an open letter to the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, elaborates on the use of contractors by the US government for inherently governmental functions. The author advocates for better oversight of and accountability for contractors preforming these critical functions. POGO asks that definitions and policies be clarified and retain an emphasis returning internal agency capabilities to the hands of government employees. 

Podcast: Fun with Inherently Governmental Functions

Author: POGO
Publish Date:

 
In this podcast, POGO Executive Director Danielle Brian describes her recent testimony before the Commission on Wartime Contracting, in which she addressed whether private security contractors in combat zones are performing services that should be reserved strictly for government personnel. 

Podcast: Private Security Contracting in Afghanistan

Author: POGO
Publish Date:

 
POGO staffers discuss a recent report issued by the State Department Office of the Inspector General, which evaluated the performance of the private security contractor responsible for guarding the U. S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. The report confirmed many of the findings of POGO's 2009 investigation into "Lord of the Flies" environment that had taken hold of the embassy's private security guard force.

Podcast: War Zone Watchdogs Part 2: No Cigar for SIGAR?

Author: POGO
Publish Date:

 
Open PDF:
 

POGO called for the removal of two government oversight agencies—the Department of State's Inspector General (IG) and the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR). In podcast part 1 of 2, POGO staffers discuss a hearing in which Members of Congress questioned the effectiveness of the SIGAR.

Podcast: War Zone Watchdogs Part 1: A Letter Regarding the State Department Inspector General

Author: POGO
Publish Date:

 
Open PDF:
 

POGO called for the removal of officials of two U.S. government oversight agencies—the Department of State's Inspector General (IG) and the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction. In podcast part 1 of 2, POGO staffers discuss the organization’s recent letter to the President raising questions about the independence of the State Department's IG.

Podcast: Private Security Contracting in Afghanistan

Author: POGO
Publish Date:

 
Open PDF:
 

On this podcast, POGO staffers discuss a report issued by the U.S. State Department Office of the Inspector General, which evaluated the performance of the private security contractor responsible for guarding the U. S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. The report confirmed many of the findings of POGO's 2009 investigation into lawless environment that had taken hold of the embassy's private security guard force.

Podcast: Fun with Inherently Governmental Functions

Author: POGO
Publish Date:

 
Open PDF:
 

In this podcast, POGO Executive Director Danielle Brian describes her testimony before the U.S. Commission on Wartime Contracting, in which she addressed whether private security contractors in combat zones are performing services that should be reserved strictly for government personnel.

POGO Letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton regarding U.S. Embassy in Kabul

Author: POGO
Publish Date:

 
Open PDF:
 

POGO sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton outlining the enormous deficiencies in contract oversight at the State Department relating to the contractor in charge of security at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. POGO, with the help of whistleblowers from the State Department, found that the embassy was guarded by a sleep-deprived guard force that struggled to communicate among themselves because of language barriers. In spite of these shortcomings — many of which the Department was aware of — the contractor, ArmorGroup continued to see its contract renewed.

Bad Business: Billions of Taxpayer Dollars Wasted on Hiring Contractors

Author: POGO
Publish Date:

 
Open PDF:
 

POGO’s report compares total annual compensation for federal and private sector employees with federal contractor billing rates in order to determine whether the current costs of federal service contracting serves the public interest. POGO’s study shows that the federal government approves service contract billing rates that, on average, pay contractors 1.83 times more than the government pays federal employees in total compensation, and more than 2 times the full compensation paid in the private sector for comparable services.

The Najlaa Episode Revisited

Author: David Isenberg and Nick Schwellenbach
Publish Date:

 

In a follow up story upon the trafficking in persons by U.S. subcontractors in Iraq, the Project on Government Oversight discusses new documents. The principle source of investigation is the contractor Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR) and its subcontractor Najlaa – a company which provides labor services for U.S. government bases. Despite evidence of human trafficking in 2008, the report notes that little has been done to prevent Najlaa's practices, and that they are still being awarded contracts as of 2012. The report outlines the multiple infractions of Najlaa and questions whether the U.S. government is acting upon its 'zero tolerance' policy for human trafficking.

Project Ploughshares

Founded in 1976, Project Ploughshares is a non-governmental organization that works with churches, governments and civil society, in Canada and abroad, to advance policies and actions to prevent war and armed violence and build peace.

A project, a collaboration between Project Ploughshares and the Institute of International Relations of The University of West Indies, contributes to the still limited published information on Private Security Companies (PSCs) in the Caribbean by creating case studies on the private security industry.


Policy Brief: Private Security Companies in the Caribbean: Modernizing Regulatory Regimes to Enhance Human Security and Economic Prosperity

Author: Project Ploughshares and the Institute of International Relations of the University of the West Indies
Publish Date:

 
Open PDF:
 

Based on field research for case studies on St. Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, and Jamaica, private security companies (PSCs) in the Caribbean provides unique data on PSCs in these countries. It then offers recommendations for a concerted effort by government regulators, in partnership with the private security industry, to create modern, transparent, and democratically accountable regulatory regimes for PSCs that will enhance security for all citizens and support the socioeconomic development of the Caribbean.

Private Security Companies in the Caribbean: Case studies of St. Lucia,Trinidad and Tobago, and Jamaica

Author: Matthew Bishop, Kenneth Epps, Sheridon Hill, Annita Montoute and John Siebert
Publish Date:

 
Open PDF:
 

This project, a collaboration between Project Ploughshares and the Institute of International Relations of The University of West Indies, contributes to the still limited published information on Private Security Companies (PSCs) in the Caribbean by creating case studies on the private security industry in St. Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, and Jamaica. The research was designed to describe and analyze PSCs in each country, as well as current national laws and regulations related to the industry. The case study data provide a clearer picture of the roles and functions of PSCs, which can be used by government regulators and the industry itself to raise standards of performance, encourage appropriate policy development, and generally improve the security situation for citizens. The case studies also provide a better understanding of how PSCs fit into the CARICOM security architecture.

Rights and Accountability in Development

Rights and Accountability in Development (RAID) promotes respect for human rights and responsible conduct by companies abroad. RAID works to ensure that companies that perpetrate human rights abuses, cause environmental harm or engage in corruption or financial impropriety are held to account. Working closely with affected communities, RAID seeks redress through complaints mechanisms and legal actions throughout the world, as well as advising governments, companies and international institutions on good practice.

RAID has focused attention on the use made by the Congolese military of Anvil Mining Limited's logistic and security personnel in a counter-offensive to crush insurgents in the town of Kilwa in October 2004, and publishes its investigative findings on its website.  In March of 2015, RAID issued an executive summary titled Principles without Justice: The corporate takeover of human rights that includes conclusions and recommendations for incorporating human rights into business operations around the globe. 

 

Saferworld

Saferworld is an independent, nongovernmental organization that works with governments and civil society internationally to research, promote and implement new strategies to increase human security and prevent armed violence.


Private Military Companies and the Proliferation of Small Arms: Regulating the Actors

Author: Sami Makki et al.
Publish Date:

 
Open PDF:
 

The focus of this briefing is on how the activities of mercenaries and private military and security companies can contribute to small arms proliferation and misuse, and what steps could be taken to address this at the UN Small Arms Conference. The role played by private military and security companies relates not only to provisions contained in the contracts they sign with their clients to provide large amounts of weaponry, but also how the military and security services and training that they provide contributes to the demand for weapons in the regions where they operate. In this way private military and security companies contribute to the negative impact small arms proliferation can have on conflict transformation, human rights and humanitarian law, as well as post-conflict stability and development.

Addressing the Role of Private Security Companies Within Security Sector Reform Programmes

Author: Anna Richards, Henry Smith
Publish Date:

 
Open PDF:
 

This guidance note aims to equip practitioners with the information and basic research questions necessary to assess whether the private provision of security in a country is problematic and consider how best to incorporate it into existing or planned security sector reform or good governance programs. The note draws heavily on experience derived from Saferworld’s work and therefore has a strong focus on private security companies, and the way in which they, as a critical component of the wider security sector, must be integrated into SSR programs and policies. However, many of the issues it raises apply equally to other elements of the private security sector including private military companies and more informal non-state security providers.

War on Want

War on Want is an organization that fights poverty in developing countries in partnership with people affected by globalization. It campaigns for human rights and against the root causes of global poverty, inequality and injustice. War on Want has a campaign for tougher legal regulation of Private Military & Security Companies and has produced reports and letter-writing campaigns to advance this cause.


Mercenaries Unleashed: The brave new world of private military and security companies

Author: War on Want
Publish Date:

 
Open PDF:
 
This report describes the role of private military and security companies, particularly those based out of the United Kingdom, in conflict zones worldwide. The authors elaborate on key problems posed by the trend of increasing use of private security services in lieu of those from the state. The report describes the lack of regulation of private security companies and the close ties between military and intelligence agencies and private companies as key problems in regards to respect for human rights. The report also asserts that the International Code of Conduct is an inherently ineffective association for the regulation of PMSCs and calls for a ban on all PMSCs from working in conflict zones.

Corporate Mercenaries: The Threat of Private Military and Security Companies

Author: War on Want
Publish Date:

 
Open PDF:
 

This report forms part of War on Want s campaign to confront those companies which profit from war. It examines the rapid expansion of private military and security companies, particularly as a result of the occupation of Iraq. It also provides information on the activities of these companies, and urges all readers to call on the UK government to introduce legislation as a matter of urgency in order to bring PMSCs under democratic control.

Up Front: Private Armies

Author: War on Want
Publish Date:

 
Open PDF:
 

In this short report, War on Want contributes to the campaign for UK legislation to ban the use of mercenaries in war and to regulate their activities closely in all other arenas. War on Want discusses how mercenary forces have been given an ever greater role in the conflict in Iraq, making large sums of money for the corporations that supply them. And, despite hundreds of cases of human rights abuse by mercenary forces, private armies have been immune from prosecution.