Private Military and Security Companies

TitlePrivate Military and Security Companies
Publication TypeBook
Subtitle / Series TitleA Framework for Regulation
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsCockayne, J, Mears, ES
Number of Pages24 pp.
PublisherInternational Peace Institute (IPI) (formerly International Peace Academy)
Accession Number1317

In late 2008, seventeen states, including the US, UK, China, Iraq, and Afghanistan, endorsed the Montreux Document on Pertinent International Legal Obligations and Good Practices for States Related to Operations of Private Military and Security Companies During Armed Conflict. This provides important guidance to states in regulating Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCs). But there is a need to do more, to provide increased guidance to industry and ensure standards are enforced.The arrival of a new administration in the United States offers a unique opportunity for rethinking the global regulation and accountability of private military and security companies. There are positive signs that the Obama administration will step up efforts to improve regulation, both domestically and internationally. And there are signs that other states, such as Switzerland, the UK, and Canada, are willing to do more. Yet domestic regulation is not enough, because the industry is increasingly global. Even many of the PMSCs employed by the US government are incorporated offshore, and recruit third-country nationals that they then deploy overseas without their ever having entered US jurisdiction.What is needed is a roadmap toward effective international regulation. There are now adequate standards in place to develop a global framework to guide implementation and enforcement. What is lacking is an understanding of the options available for implementing and enforcing these standards. This policy report examines these options, and identifies five blueprints for the development of a global framework. During 2008, the International Peace Institute (IPI) reviewed thirty standards implementation and enforcement frameworks in a range of global industries, including the financial, extractive, textile and apparel, chemical, toy, toxic-waste disposal, sporting, and veterinary sectors, to identify how such a framework might be constructed for the global security industry (GSI). The result was a nearly 200-page study, Beyond Market Forces: Regulating the Global Security Industry. This policy report summarizes the resulting key policy options.

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