From 21st to 25th July, Coalition ControlPMSC participates at the third session of the Open-ended intergovernmental working group (OEIWG)  to consider the possibility of elaborating an international regulatory framework on the regulation, monitoring and oversight of the activities of Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCs).

The first and the second session of the OEIWG, in May 2011 and August 2012 respectively,  dealt with significant issues of interest and concern concerning the regulation, monitoring and oversights of the activities of PMSCs. Among the conclusions (that you can read here) arising from the discussions and highlighted by experts were that PMSC do not operate in a legal vacuum, further regulations are however still in need, and that existing initiatives to improve legal clarity and oversight over activities of PMSC are not exclusive but complementary each others. Against this background, the Human Rights Council decided to extend the mandate of the OEIWG.

The OEIWG started on 1st October 2010 and it was a decision from the Human Rights Council resolution 15/26 by which it decided “to establish an open-ended intergovernmental working group with the mandate to consider the possibility of elaborating an international regulatory framework, including, inter alia, the option of elaborating a legally binding instrument on the regulation, monitoring and oversight of the activities of PMSCs, including their accountability, taking into consideration the principles, main elements and draft text as proposed by the Working Group on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination.

From the Coalition ControlPMSC a work document was written to share during the OEIWG session pointing out some considerations on these issues in the light of the research and projects carried out by members of the Coalition Control PMSC on this topic:

  • Distinction between the activities of private security companies and private military companies, and other relevant activities

The Coalition Control PMSC invites to consider that, in terms of the adoption of an international regulatory framework, a more peaceful and pragmatic approach should be taken so as to consider the inclusion of a comprehensive definition of the term “private military and security company” which cover all of de facto activities provided by these companies, including the examination of a numerous apertus list of activities that involve the use of private human resources and are designed to provide services  that have military or security application .

  • Review of all measures, including existing national legislation for registering, licensing and contracting PMSCs

The Coalition for the Control PMSC considers that existing national legislations for registering, licensing and contracting PMSCs lack uniformity and are deficient in addressing the risk of PMSC involvement in human rights abuses. It recalls that States have a duty to protect all human rights from abuses by business enterprises within their territory and/or jurisdiction including through appropriate regulation

  • Accountability and the provision of appropriate remedies for the victims

An important aspect that should be consider in advance to examining the accountability of PMSC and contractors and the provision of appropriate remedies for victims is the need to have reliable and systematized information available about PMSC and contractors’ abuses and misconduct. Without information about the direct impact of PMSC’s activities on human rights it will be hardly to deal with the adequate mechanisms of accountability, to facility access to effective remedies for victims, and generally, to foster State policy coherence of contracting and authorization and promote a responsible PMSC industry.