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UN Working Group on the use of mercenaries highlights gendered human rights impacts of private military and security companies

Author: UN Human Rights Council (Geneva) , Published on: 9 September 2019

"Use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination", 29 July 2019

 In the present report, the Working Group shines a gender-sensitive light on private military and security companies, to unpack associated gendered human rights risks and impacts and identify key gender considerations for those affected, particularly employees of such companies and communities in places where they operate. The Working Group examines the gendered impacts of the privatization of security, and highlights allegations of gender-based human rights abuses by personnel of private military and security companies, before turning to gender equality and gender-based discrimination inside such companies. It further outlines the obligations, responsibilities and roles of States, private military and security companies, and other relevant stakeholders such as corporate clients, civil society and multi-stakeholder initiatives.

The Working Group concludes that male domination of the industry, past major abuses of gender-based discrimination and sexual and gender-based violence, and the absence of human rights-compliant legal and regulatory frameworks should compel States, private military and security companies, clients and other stakeholders to push forward a gender-transformative agenda within the industry.

The Working Group sets out recommendations addressed to States, private military and security companies, clients of those companies and others to stimulate thinking, debate and practice around the private military and security industry in order to address critical gender-related human rights issues.

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