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UN human rights experts encouraged by US Government efforts to increase oversight and accountability over private security contractors but concerned by gaps in access to effective remedy for victims of human rights violations

Author: UN Working Group on the use of mercenaries , Published on: 3 August 2009

The UN Working Group on the use of mercenaries concluded its official two-weeks visit to the [USA] on 3 August 2009...It...met with senior officials from the US Government...representatives of civil society organizations and academics, the US trade association of Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCs)...The US Government's willingness to invite the UN Working Group and to engage in a constructive dialogue on the oversight and accountability of PMSCs sends an important message. The Working Group...remind[ed] the State department of pending allegation letters, including for follow up information on the Nisour square incident in Baghdad [involving Blackwater/Xe]...The Working Group also collected worrying information on the possible use of a [PMSC] in rendition flights...The Working Group...welcomes recent adoption by the US authorities of legislations and regulations aimed at strengthening further the oversight and accountability of PMSCs...When contracting and sub-contracting, the US Government should ensure victims' right to an effective remedy and ensure that victims have access to justice...

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Related companies: Blackwater Xe (formerly Blackwater)