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Research Report

Private Military and Security Companies:: A Framework for Regulation

James Cockayne
Emily Speers Mears
Copyright Date: Mar. 1, 2009
Pages: 24

Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. None)
  2. (pp. None)
  3. (pp. i-ii)
  4. (pp. 1-2)
  5. (pp. 2)

    In the last decade, commercially organized security personnel have become an increasingly common sight around the world, from protecting shopping malls in the American Midwest to providing convoy security in the Middle East. They are the increasingly visible side of an industry that provides a wide range of services related to the provision, training, coordination, and direction of security personnel, and reform of their institutions.

    In many cases, small local subcontractors and large multinational companies are connected through subcontracting arrangements, joint ventures, personnel movements, and subsidiary structures. Together, they form a complex web of commercial providers of guarding and protection...

  6. (pp. 3-5)

    There are two main problems with existing state efforts to regulate the GSI. The first relates to the inadequate substantive and geographical reach of existing regulation. The second relates to the lack of effective enforcement of regulatory instruments which are in place, particularly in the area of human rights law and IHL. Given states’ fundamental legal duty to protect, states should take steps to overcome these shortcomings; but given the global nature of the industry, that is something states may find they cannot do acting alone—or even together, absent support from industry and civil society.

    At present, the most...

  7. (pp. 5-15)

    Any effective Standards Implementation and Enforcement Framework will need to be based on the state’s fundamental legal duty to protect human rights, the corporate responsibility to respect these rights, and the shared obligation to provide access to a remedy in the case of violations.⁸ While no single stakeholder group is in a position to provide credible, effective standards implementation and enforcement for the industry on its own, each stakeholder group—states, industry, the industry’s clients, and civil society groups—brings something to the table. Together or separately, they may need to develop different components of a larger global framework that,...

  8. (pp. 15-27)

    A global framework to assist states in regulating the global security industry could be put in place quickly, based on the standards that already exist. The blueprints above are intended as discussionstarters for how this might come about. All three main stakeholder groups—states, industry, and civil society—have an interest in considering whether it may be possible to develop a comprehensive GSI framework. As one PMSC noted in its comments on a draft of Beyond Market Forces:

    responsible industry players welcome … improved regulation of the industry, more closely defined legal status for companies and staff working in the...

  9. (pp. 18-18)