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Private Security Governance

We support international, regional and national initiatives that strengthen private security governance, seeking to build bridges between them to ensure coherence and maximise impact. 

DCAF is Secretariat of the Montreux Document Forum and a strategic partner of the International Code of Conduct Association (ICOCA). We provide regional and national advisory support to regulators, national human rights institutions, civil society organizations (CSOs), media, private security companies and clients.

First regional meeting of the Montreux Document Forum for Latin America and the Caribbean. Photo: DCAF
Our collaboration with DCAF and Switzerland on the Montreux Document has been an important achievement in ensuring that international law is applicable to private military and security companies. It is thanks to DCAF's proactive approach that the number of participating states to the Montreux Document continues to grow.
Peter Maurer, ICRC President, 2020



PrivSec_tab-banner2-2.jpg The Montreux Document recalls pertinent international legal obligations and encourages good practices for states related to operations of private military and security companies (PMSCs). It is currently supported by 58 states and three international organisations.

The Montreux Document Forum (MDF) seeks to support national implementation of the Montreux Document and to encourage additional states and international organisations to actively support it. The Forum further aims to strengthen dialogue related to the regulation of PMSCs. As Secretariat of the MDF, DCAF conducts research, awareness-raising, knowledge building, and provides advisory services to support implementation of the Montreux Document.

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The International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers (ICoC), adopted in 2010, articulates human rights responsibilities of private security companies, and sets out principles, standards and requirements for the responsible provision of private security services, particularly when operating in complex environments.

The International Code of Conduct Association (ICoCA) is a multi-stakeholder initiative established in 2013 as a Swiss non-profit association, in which states, private security companies and civil society organisations jointly oversee the implementation of the ICoC. 
DCAF supports implementation of the ICoC and works in partnership with ICoCA.

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DCAF has over a decade of experience supporting regional and national processes to improve regulation, oversight and accountability of the private security industry.
DCAF also engages in research partnerships with academia and civil society organisations, developing practical tools to ensure effective, human rights compliant legal and policy frameworks for private security.

In Europe and Latin America and the Caribbean, DCAF supports regional organizations and networks of human rights institutions committed to strengthening private security governance. In Africa, DCAF is a strategic partner to the Private Security Governance Observatory, a network of CSOs that promotes good governance of the private sector.

  • Democratic Republic of Congo - DCAF supports the development, adoption and implementation of a roadmap to strengthen private security regulation, in cooperation with public institutions, regulatory authority representatives in Kinshasa and 8 provinces, and civil society. 
  • Nigeria - DCAF fosters country-wide public policy discussions on challenges in private security regulation, which has notably led to the development of a new draft law by public institutions and a new human rights training programme for private security companies.
  • Madagascar - DCAF supports the regulation of private security in Madagascar through knowledge gathering, provision of legal advice, and sensitizing the industry and stakeholders on regulatory efforts.
  • Middle East and North Africa - DCAF supports stakeholders in Palestine and Tunisia in strengthening the legal framework governing private security in order to respond to national security challenges. 
  • Latin America and the Caribbean - DCAF works with the Organisation of American States (OAS), the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and the two regional networks of human rights and ombuds institutions to raise awareness on the private security industry and key regulatory, oversight, and accountability challenges. DCAF also provides support on private security regulation to regulators notably in Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Peru.
  • Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE) - DCAF supports the OSCE in raising awareness on the regulation of PMSCs among participating States and within OSCE institutions, and supports national implementation of good practices in the region. 



















Key Resources  



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