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Private military and security regulation


Since the early 1990s, the world has seen a shift in the way that security is provided by state actors. Many traditional public security functions have been contracted out to private military and security companies (PMSCs) within domestic and international markets. Trends indicate that the use of PMSCs is increasing with States private sector and other organisations, (including humanitarian organisations) contracting private military and security services.

PMSCs today also operate in a variety of contexts. Furthermore, some PMSCs have attracted increasing international attention due to allegations of misconduct or human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law (IHL) by the company or its personnel. In all these circumstances, there is potential for misconduct and significant adverse human rights impacts by PMSCs. Further, at a national level, many States lack adequate national legal frameworks to address such issues.

There is an urgent need for improvements to national regulatory frameworks to ensure PMSCs promote an internal human rights culture and, ultimately, respect human rights principles.

This course offers a blueprint to create policies and laws which are in line with internationally recognised good practices. It draws heavily on the guidance of the Montreux Document and on other leading international frameworks and sets out challenges faced by States to adequately regulate PMSC activities at the national level.

As the security landscape continues to change on a global scale, the requirements for effective regulation have also shifted.

The course is available in