UN Working Group on use of mercenaries

UN Working Group on the use of mercenaries

The United Nations “Working Group on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the rights of peoples to self-determination” was established in July 2005 (UN Commission on Human Rights resolution 2005/2).  The Working Group succeeded the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on the use of mercenaries which had been in existence since 1987.  The UN Human Rights Council extended the mandate of the Working Group in March 2008 for a period of three years (UN Human Rights Council Resolution 7/21).

The Working Group monitors and researches mercenaries and mercenary-related activities in all their forms and manifestations, including the actions of private military and security companies (PMSCs).  The Working Group also develops guidelines; conducts country visits; receives individual complaints; publishes annual reports, studies, and articles; and presents proposals to encourage the further protection of human rights.  The Working Group is expected to report back to the UN Human Rights Council in September 2010 on the proposed elements of a possible new international convention to regulate the activities of PMSCs and to encourage respect for human rights by those companies.

The Working Group is composed of five experts, each representing a world region,all appointed in July 2005 by the UN Human Rights Council.

Documents and press releases issued by the Working Group relating to PMSCs include:

[PDF] Regulating and Monitoring Private Military and Security Companies, José L. Gómez del Prado, UN Working Group on the use of mercenaries, 28 Jun 2010

- UN and Africa to discuss mercenaries and private military and security companies, Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, 25 Feb 2010

- [PDF] Core elements of proposed new convention to regulate PMSCs, UN Working Group on the use of mercenaries, 4 Jan 2010

For further details, see:

Official UN site for the UN Working Group on the use of mercenaries

Unofficial website of the UN Working Group on the use of mercenaries [Since publication, this website is no longer online. Limited snapshots are available via the Internet Archive here]

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