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17 Sep 2008

Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs

Montreux Document on Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCs)

Today, 17 States [Afghanistan, Angola, Australia, Austria, Canada, China, France, Germany, Iraq, Poland, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, Ukraine, and the USA] and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) finalised the Montreux Document, a text containing rules and good practices relating to private military and security companies [PMSCs] operating in armed conflict...The document was elaborated by a group of States having a particular interest in the issue of PMSCs or in international humanitarian law, in close cooperation with civil society and representatives of the PMSC industry. The purpose of the Montreux Document is to promote respect for international humanitarian law (Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocols) and human rights law by States and PMSCs. The document contains two parts. Part I recalls pertinent international legal obligations relating to PMSCs. Part II contains a set of over 70 good practices...Although not legally binding, it is an important document...