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Sié Chéou-Kang CenterPrivate Security Monitor

Faiza Patel, Chairperson of the five-member UN Working Group on the use of mercenaries briefs correspondents on the Group’s visits to Equatorial Guinea, Iraq and South Africa.

Global Efforts

UN Working Group on the Use of Mercenaries

The Working Group on the Use of Mercenaries was established in July 2005 pursuant to Commission on Human Rights Resolution 2005/2. The Working Group monitors and researches mercenaries and mercenary-related activities in all their manifestations, including companies that provide military and security services. It also develops guidelines; conducts country visits; receives individual complaints; publishes annual reports, studies, and articles; and presents proposals to encourage the further protection of human rights. Among the many contributions of the Working Group are two reports that include recommendations to the UN for the drafting of a Convention regulating PMSCs.

The main elements of the proposed Convention reaffirm the state monopoly on the legitimate use of force; identify state functions that cannot be outsourced to PMSCs; and apply international human rights standards to regulate PMSC use of force and firearms. The work on the draft Convention is now overseen by the open-ended intergovernmental working group. Five independent, pro bono experts serve on the Working Group. For a list of current members, visit the Working Group's website.

The United Nations Working Group on the use of mercenaries convened an expert panel event on Thursday, 21 July 2016 at the United Nations in New York to exchange views on the privatization of war and its impacts on human rights (Read the Concept Note and the Report) and reflect on the UN Guidelines for the use of armed private security companies, promulgated by the UN Department of Safety and Security in 2012. View the press conference of the event below:





Reports and Statements by the Working Group


Country Visits


National Legislation Studies on PMSCs