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A contract guidance tool for private military & security services

Author: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF), Published on: 13 September 2017

In situations of armed conflict...private military and security companies (PMSCs) [being private legal entities] do not have obligations under international humanitarian law (IHL), unless they are parties to an armed conflict. [S]tates [on the other hand] have the obligation, within their power, to ensure respect for IHL by PMSCs they contract (as well as by those operating on their territory and by PMSCs of their nationality)...

Despite...international legal frameworks and standards regulating the private military and security industry, many states lack adequate national legal frameworks to address such issues. However, on a practical level, including these human rights and IHL considerations as part of contracting procedures can assist in filling some of these regulatory gaps. State and non-state actors such as international organisations, NGOs and business actors are encouraged to use contract procedures as a platform to better ensure respect for human rights and IHL by private security providers...

This Contract Guidance Tool supports actors in incorporating international human rights law and IHL into contracting practices related to the procurement of private military and/or security services...

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