ICSSI is supporting a new campaign, for the regulation and control of private military contractors, who are responsible for terrible human rights violations in Iraq and elsewhere. This week, members of the ICSSI are taking a lead in bringing a declaration in support of an international convention on the Regulation, Surveillance and Monitoring of private military and security companies (PMSC) to the Human Rights Council in Geneva. The declaration follows from the path-breaking research of the International Institute of Nonviolent Action (NOVACT), “The Privatization of Warfare, Violence and Private Military & Security Companies” (see http://www.iraqicivilsociety.org/archives/419).
Spanish and Iraqi researchers who carried out this work are present in Geneva together with the NGOs of the Italian Network for Disarmament, including Un Ponte Per. They are attending from August 13th to August 17th the second session of the intergovernmental Working Group of the UN Human Rights Council, which intends to reach an agreement for the global regulation of these agencies. The approval of a binding convention is prevented by the opposition of the US and UK governments, but NGOs from around the world are advocating for the importance to increase the transparency of the PMSC’s sector, to increase the responsibility of States hiring PMSCs and to regulate their activities.
Independent studies reveal that the private security industry in Europe and the United States of America, the majors exporters of PMSCs’ services in the world, grow on an average of 10% per year. In addition to that, a notable increase can be observed in the use of mercenaries in armed conflicts. Given this information, the Human Rights Council decided in 2011 to establish an open-ended intergovernmental working group with the aim of studying the possibility of developing an international instrument to regulate, monitor and supervise the activities of PMSC. The first reunion took place in May 2011 with limited tangible results. The second meeting is now seen as a possible turning point to end the impunity of contractors.
Read and endorse the declaration that ICSSI delegates are making in Geneva these days, here: http://controlpmsc.org/declaration-on-private-military-and-security-companies/
To follow the happenings of the event:
Hashtag in Twitter #controlpmsc
The Blog of the International Coalition to Control PMSCs where you can find additional information on the campaign, and where the agreements reached and impressions of the participants will be published after the conference: http://www.controlpmsc.org
Page of the Working Group of the United Nations: