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Privatization of war

Privatization of war / International humanitarian law

In recent years, parties to armed conflicts have increasingly recruited private military and security companies to undertake tasks traditionally carried out by the armed forces. The involvement of these companies in or close to military operations has raised questions about the way IHL should be applied.



  • Involvement of Private Contractors in Armed Conflict: Implications under International Humanitarian Law

    This paper analyses the status, under international humanitarian law of personnel of private companies carrying out activities in a country at war. It also considers what are the implications for States that contract such companies if their personnel commit violations of international law. Alexander Faite is a legal advisor at the ICRC.

    25-01-2008 | Defence studies | Alexandre Faite

  • Business goes to war: private military/security companies and international humanitarian law

    This article examines the key legal issues raised by PMCs/PSCs operating in situations of armed conflict, including the status of the staff of these companies and their responsibilities under international humanitarian law; the responsibilities of the states that hire them; and those of the states in whose territory PMCs/PSCs are incorporated or operate.

    30-09-2006 | International Review of the Red Cross | Emanuela-Chiara Gillard

Publications More publications

Red Cross Red Crescent Magazine

  • Red Cross Red Crescent Magazine
    The grey zone

    The practice of paying for military or security services is as old as war itself. Today, rapid growth and change in the for-profit military and security industry poses major challenges for those concerned about enforcement of human rights and humanitarian law.