Third Plenary Meeting of Montreux Document Forum: New mapping & contract tool offer guidance re human rights & security services

With the creation of the Montreux Document Forum (MDF) in 2014, participants established a platform for tackling their challenges in implementing the Montreux Document. On 27 and 28 April 2017, States, international organisations, and civil society representatives gathered in Geneva to participate in the Third Plenary Meeting of the MDF. The meeting sought to promote dialogue on perspectives, opportunities, and challenges relating to the regulation of the private military and security industry and the implementation of the rules and good practices of the Montreux Document on pertinent international legal obligations for states related to operations of private military and security companies during armed conflict.

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Article
13 September 2017

A contract guidance tool for private military & security services

Author: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF)

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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Article
13 September 2017

Chairs' summary of the 3rd plenary meeting of Montreux Document Forum

Author: Montreux Document Forum

The present summary proposed by the Co-Chairs provides a brief account of the meeting, as well as general orientations and indications for the way forward. It is the sole responsibility of the Co-Chairs and does not purport to reflect a consensual view of participants.

The third plenary meeting of the MDF was divided into three sessions. The first session was open to all States, international organizations and invited representatives from civil society. The second session was open to all States and international organizations as well as representatives from civil society... Finally, the third session was only open to Montreux Document participants... 

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Article
13 September 2017

Mapping study on Montreux Document outreach and implementation

Author: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF)

[T]his Mapping Study...seeks to support the articulation of a new vision for the effective regulation of private military and security companies (PMSCs) in the coming years. As a departure point for discussion, the study seeks to inform Montreux Document participants on how the Montreux Document Forum (MDF) institutionally could further support implementation of effective regulatory and oversight frameworks on PMSCs... 

[The report makes three recommendations:]

1. [T]he [MDF] could support knowledge building and further research around the issues of PMSCs contracted in refugee and asylum centres and criminal detention centres, the use of PMSCs by humanitarian actors, the roles of PMSCs in counterterrorism initiatives... 

2. [It] could focus future efforts in engaging and energizing current MD participants from underrepresented regions [with the goal of communicating the message of the MD more widely and broadly]...

3. Following the development of the Legislative Guidance Tool and the Contract Guidance Tool, practical resources now exist to support states in tackling law and policy challenges. These tools should be widely disseminated to address the current challenges faced by states... [S]upport for the implementation of these guidance tools...could consider the development of new guidance tools to further assist states and international organisations in implementing the MD...

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