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Sié Chéou-Kang CenterPrivate Security Monitor

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

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Montreux Document on pertinent international legal obligations and good practices for States related to operations of private military and security companies during armed conflict

The Montreux Document describes international humanitarian law and human rights law as it applies to the activities of private military and security companies during armed conflict. It also contains a compilation of good practices designed to assist states in implementing their obligations under international law through national measures. The Montreux Document was the result of a joint initiative between Switzerland and the International Committee of the Red Cross and included representatives from governments, industry, and civil society.

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Montreux Document Forum

In December of 2014 a plenary of Montreux Document participants, the Working Group on the ICoCA, and the Working Group on PMSCs in Maritime Security (not yet operational) launched the Montreux Document Forum (MDF) in coordination with the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces. The Forum provides a venue for formal consultation among Montreux Document participants and supports states in the implementation of the Document's principles, and also shares best practices and lessons learned regarding the regulation of PMSCs. The MDF is currently chaired by Switzerland and the ICRC. In preparatory meetings, participants established two voluntary working groups open to participants: the Working Group on the ICoCA, chaired by Sweden, and the Working Group on the use of PMSCs in Maritime Security.

Preparatory Work for the Montreux Document & Montreux+5

Progress and Opportunities: Challenges and Recommendations for Montreux Document Participants, Second Edition

Author: Benjamin S. Buckland and Anna Marie Burdzy (DCAF)
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Partners: DCAF

 
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In this report, a follow-up to the first edition released in 2013, the authors present an assessment of progress and identify the ways in which states are seeking to ensure more effective regulation of PMSCs. The study also highlights important gaps where states face challenges in implementing the rules and good practices of the Montreux Document.  The report presents four proposed steps to improve the Montreux Document's position as a tool for effective regulation of PMSCs: targeted outreach, tool development, training and capacity building, and increased dialogue.

Proceedings of the Regional Workshop for Latin America on the Montreux Document

Author: DCAF
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Partners: DCAF

 
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On the 12th and 13th of May 2011 a workshop was held in Santiago, Chile, to discuss the Montreux Document and its relevance for the Latin American region. The workshop was convened by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in co‐operation with the International Committee of the Red Cross and in collaboration with DCAF and the Global Consortium on Security Transformation. The event included the participation of 80 representatives of governments, international organisations and civil society from 16 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Proceedings of the Regional Workshop for North East and Central Asia on the Montreux Document

Author: DCAF
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Partners: DCAF

 
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On the 12th and 13th of October 2011 a workshop was held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, to discuss the Montreux Document 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.

Montreux Document +5 Conference and Questionnaire

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In anticipation of the 5 year anniversary of the signing of the Montreux Document, a conference is held in December 2013 to assess the prior five years and anticipate the future of Montreux. The Swiss Government and ICRC, in order to fully understand how the Montreux Document has been implemented over the previous years, issued this questionnaire to each signatory country asking for them to outline their efforts. 

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

Author: International Committee of the Red Cross
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This document is the product of an initiative launched cooperatively by the Government of Switzerland and the International Committee of the Red Cross. It was developed with the participation of governmental experts from Afghanistan, Angola, Australia, Austria, Canada, China, France, Germany, Iraq, Poland, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Ukraine, and the United States of America in meetings convened in January and November 2006, November 2007, and April and September 2008. Representatives of civil society and of the private military and security industry were consulted.

Montreux Document: Summary of the Second Meeting of Government Experts

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The November 2006 meeting built on the discussions and results of the January 2006 Montreux Document workshop. The meeting brought together government experts from states with experience relevant to the private military and security industry operating in conflict situations. The experts came from states on whose territories such companies operate, states that contract such companies, and states of nationality of the companies or whose nationals are employed by these companies. In addition to government participants, a small number of representatives from the private security industry, as well as independent academic, NGO, and other experts attended parts of the meeting.

Montreux Document: Summary of the First Meeting of Government Experts

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The workshop was intended to be an informal occasion for governmental experts to engage in a dialogue among themselves and with representatives of the industry, to share experiences and to discuss possible ways of promoting respect for international law with regard to the operation of private security companies in conflict situations. Governmental experts from Austria, Canada, France, Germany, South Africa, Switzerland, Ukraine, the United  Kingdom and the U.S. participated. Also taking part were representatives of the ICRC and industry representatives. 

Montreux Document: Summary of the Third Meeting of Government Experts

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The objective of this third intergovernmental meeting about the Montreux Document was to conduct an in-depth discussion of the draft texts on pertinent legal obligations of states with regards to private military and security companies. The meeting also covered good practices in the industry, with a view to determining where general agreement on these texts existed and where they needed to be adapted. 

Montreux Five Years On: An Analysis of State Efforts to Implement Montreux Document Legal Obligations and Good Practices

Author: Rebecca DeWinter-Schmitt (ed.)
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Released in advance of the Montreux+5 Conference, the report assesses a number of participating states' efforts to meet their commitments under the Montreux Document. 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.

Progress and Opportunities, Five Years On: Challenges and Recommendations for Montreux Document Endorsing States

Author: Benjamin S. Buckland & Anna Marie Burdzy (DCAF)
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In this report, authors assess progress and identify the ways in which states are seeking to ensure effective regulation of the private military security companies (PMSC). Also, the report highlights important gaps where the Montreux Document's good practices could be better implemented. Authors proposes four concrete ways that the Montreux Document can serve as a force multiplier for effective implementation of PMSC regulation at the national level, including targeted outreach, tool development, training and capacity building, and institutionalization of a regular dialogue among participants.

Montreux+5 Conference: Chairs' Conclusions

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Switzerland organized held a "Montreux+5" conference on private military and security companies between December 11 and 13, 2013 in Geneva to identify ways to support both the implementation and wider endorsement of the obligations and best practices contained in the Montreux Document. The Chairs' Conclusions of the Conference calls for further action in the following areas: 1) promoting further support for the Montreux Document; 2) requiring implementation of the Montreux Document; 3) clarifying different layers of regulation; and 4) institutionalizing the dialogue among Montreux Document participants.