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Sié Chéou-Kang CenterPrivate Security Monitor

Three Armor Group contractors inspect mine clearance activities coordinated by the United Nations Mine Action Office in consultation with the Government of Southern Sudan, other national and international actors.

Global Efforts

United Nations

Global Initiatives

Within the United Nations, initiatives to investigate and regulate the global private military and security industry have developed through four separate UN organs:

Within the Human Rights Council, a number of mechanisms have been established to monitor, examine, advise and publicly report on human rights issues and situations. Chief among these is the UN Working Group on the Use of Mercenaries. Other UN reports, documents and resolutions are pertinent to the global regulation of private military and security companies and appear in the section Other UN Initiatives.

Internal Controls 

The UN is also a consumer of private military and security services. Since the 1990s, UN agencies have employed companies to protect personnel operating in complex environments and to provide advice, training, and logistical support to UN operations. Companies also provide military and security services for the UN through member state contingencies. The use of private security services by the UN is not coordinated by a central UN body, but rather UN agencies and country-level managers employ security forces on an ad hoc basis. In 2011, the UN Department of Safety and Security (DSS) initiated the development of internal policies and procedures for security contracting that would apply to the entire UN system. Those policies and a sample contract for security services were published in November 2012 and appear below.

UN Guidelines on the Use of Private Security Companies


For an informative article on the UN's use of PMSCs written before the latest guidelines were released, read UN Use of Private Military and Security Companies Practices and Policies, written by Åse Gilje Østensen and published by the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) in 2011.

A brief overview of the UN policy concerning the use of private security contractors is also available in a report by the UN Working Group on the Use of Mercenaries, issued to the General Assembly on 25 August 2010.