International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers (ICoC) - a process aimed at companies

Click here for a list of the 708 signatory companies to the ICoC and links to information on their positive & negative human rights impacts.

The International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers (ICoC) is a set of standards for security companies to respect human rights and humanitarian law.  It is a multi-stakeholder initiative developed as a complement to the Montreux Document.  The initiative was launched by private sector stakeholders in 2009 with the assistance of the Government of Switzerland and in consultation with the Governments of the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as other stakeholders and relevant experts.

On 9 November 2010 the ICoC was signed by 58 companies; other companies signed after that raising the total to 708 companies (as of 1 Oct 2013).  Several key clients, including the UK and US governments, have announced that they will require contractors to abide by the Code. 

On 10 November 2010, the signatory companies along with states and civil society launched a process to develop external oversight mechanisms.  For this purpose a Steering Committee was set up with equal representation of the three stakeholder groups: companies, government and civil society (for members & decision making powers click here).  The role of the Steering Committee was to develop and document the initial arrangements for the independent governance and oversight mechanism, and is conducting consultations throughout 2011 and 2012 to achieve this goal (public consultation on the draft charter for the oversight mechanism closed on 31 March 2012; comments received are available here). 

The Code also includes provisions specific to the conduct of personnel, management and governance of private security companies.  These include rules on the use of force, detention, prohibition of torture and inhuman and degrading treatment, prohibition of sexual exploitation, abuse and gender-based violence, human trafficking, forced labour, child labour, discrimination, selection and vetting of personnel and subcontractors, incorporating the Code’s provisions in company policies, training of personnel, health and safety, and grievance mechanisms, among other topics.

For further information on the Montreux Document click here.

A selection of key reports on the Code is accessible below.

In October 2012, the civil society members of the Steering Committee issued a call for further civil society involvement in the creation of an oversight mechanism (available here). Other provisions on the implementation of the ICoC and the elaboration of the oversight mechanism are outlined in the ICoC itself. On 22 February 2013, at the drafting conference of the Charter for the Oversight Mechanism in Montreux, the Articles of Association of the charter for the oversight mechanism were adopted. The ICoC Association started operations on 20 October 2013.  The purpose of the ICoCA is to govern and oversee the implementation of the ICoC, and to promote the responsible provision of private security services.  Its main functions are to provide and support certification, monitoring and complaints resolution. As of April 2014, 157 private security companies, 6 governments (Australia, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, USA) and 13 civil society organisations are members of the ICoCA.

Documents

Official website for the International Code of Conduct

International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers

Español: Código de Conducta Internacional para Proveedores de Servicios de Seguridad Privada

Français: Code de Conduite International des Entreprises de Sécurité Privées

Deutsch: Internationaler Verhaltenskodex für Private Sicherheitdienstleister
 

ICoC Signatory Companies page compiled by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
Oversight mechanism

Official website of the Intl. Code of Conduct Association (ICoCA)

Norway joins Intl. Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers Association as a govt. member; 147 security companies are industry members
ICoCA, 1 Jan 2014

135 private security companies become founding members of Intl. Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers oversight mechanism, ICoCA, 20 Sept 2013

Oversight mechanism of intl. code of conduct for private security service providers begins operations
International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers Association (ICoCA), 19 Sep 2013
French version 

Civil society participation in the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers’ Association (ICoCA)
Temporary Steering Committee, Intl. Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers, 25 Jul 2013
French version

Draft financing model for independent governance & oversight mechanism of Intl. Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers

Temporary Steering Committee, Intl. Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers, 27 Jun 2013

Full text of Intl. Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers's charter on oversight mechanism

Reports and commentaries

 

 

 

 

 

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