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Elements for contracting and regulating private security and military companies

30-09-2006 Article, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 863, by Michael Cottier

Key issues raised by the use and operation of private military and security companies, particularly in conflict areas, are their accountability and how to control them. National regulation, however, is still rare. In view of this still largely unregulated phenomenon, this contribution considers elements of contracting and regulatory options.

   

Michael Cottier
is Deputy Head of the Section for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Directorate of International Law, Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs. 

 
Abstract 
Key issues raised by the use and operation of private military and security companies, particularly in conflict areas, are their accountability and how to control them. National regulation, however, is still rare. States have a role to play first as contractors. Considered selection, contracting and oversight procedures and standards may help promote respect for human rights and international humanitarian law by companies and their staff. Secondly, territorial and exporting states may consider adopting regulations to increase control and promote accountability. In view of this still largely unregulated phenomenon, this contribution considers elements of contracting and regulatory options.  

   
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