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]

Get RSS feed of these results

Related stories and components

Article
1 October 2011

[PDF] Companies in Conflict Situations: Advancing the Research Agenda

Author: Institut Català Internacional per la Pau

[T]he [conference’s] first panel…look[ed] at how business actors contribute to conflict through their participation in particular markets. What are the incentives for acting this way and how can states and the international community help to resolve...

Read more

Article
1 October 2011

[PDF] List of Special Procedures mandate holders appointed at the 18th session of the Human Rights Council

Working Group on Mercenaries (WEOG member): Mr. Gabor RONA (United States of America/Hungary)......

Read more

Article
14 September 2011

Outsourcing to private security contractors threatens rights, UN panel warns

Author: UN News Centre

United Nations [Working Group on the use of mercenaries]...called for greater regulation of mercenaries and private military and security companies by both host and contributor countries to ensure respect for human rights and accountability for any...

Read more

Article
2 September 2011

[PDF] Report of the Consultative Group to the President of the Human Rights Council relating to the Special Procedure mandate holders to be appointed at the 18th session of the Human Rights Council

Author: UN Human Rights Council, Office of the President

Working group on human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises....

Read more

Article
12 July 2011
+ Español - Hide

Author: Notimex [México]

Los contratistas militares estadounidenses que realizan operaciones contra el tráfico de drogas han crecido en América Latina, al margen de la ley y sin ningún mecanismo de rendición de cuentas...[S]egún Amada Benavides de Pérez, miembro del Grupo de...

Read more

Article
8 July 2011

Legally binding controls needed for private security contractors, say UN experts

Author: UN News Centre

A group of independent United Nations experts...called for the adoption of binding international regulations to control the activities of private security companies...[The Chairman of the UN Working Group on Mercenaries] Mr. Gómez said there is a...

Read more

Article
7 July 2011

Global private security industry booms

Author: Thalif Deen, Inter Press Service

A booming private security industry...deploys...20 million armed personnel worldwide: twice the number of police officers, according to the annual 2011 Small Arms Survey...[T]he study says regulation and accountability mechanisms have not kept up with...

Read more

Article
16 June 2011

Iraq must regulate private security firms-UN experts

Author: Reuters

Iraq should tightly regulate private security firms to prevent abuses by their employees when they stay on in the country after a scheduled U.S. military withdrawal, a U.N. working group said...the U.S. State Department plans to use more than 5,000...

Read more

Article
1 March 2011
+ Español - Hide

Author: José L. Gómez del Prado y Helena Torroja Mateu

La proliferación de empresas militares y de seguridad privadas (EMSP)...es un fenómeno contemporáneo alarmante...Estas empresas se han convertido en el brazo armado de algunos Estados, de beligerantes y otros entes no estatales que actúan con total...

Read more

Article
1 March 2011

[PDF] Privatising security and war

Author: José L Gómez del Prado, UN Working Group on the use of mercenaries

State security functions…are being outsourced to private military and security companies in countries where conflict is displacing many people...[P]rivate military and security companies (PMSC)...are having an increasingly negative impact by causing...

Read more