For Immediate Release: January 20, 2012
Washington, DC – The Temporary Steering Committee (TSC) of the International Code of Conduct (ICoC) for Private Security Providers, of which Human Rights First is a part, this week issued a draft charter to govern implementation of the code. The code commits member companies to adopt policies and procedures and to undergo performance assessment.
Human Rights First was instrumental in drafting the charter that establishes an oversight framework to monitor private security contractors’ use of force, their vetting and training of personnel, and incident reporting. The governance mechanism will be composed of representatives from government, civil society, and industry.
“With this draft charter, The ICoC moves one step closer to implementing an oversight mechanism that will improve the industry’s human rights performance,” noted Human Rights First’s Meg Roggensack. “We are hopeful that governments will make company participation an important factor in evaluating eligibility for contracts.”
This charter draft is the product of a year-long effort by the TSC and reflects guidance from three working groups established by the TSC to advise on governance, accountability, and complaint issues. Human Rights First encourages all interested stakeholders to comment on the draft by March 16 in order to provide suggestions to improve its overall efficacy.
Human Rights First has released a number of reports documenting serious private security contractor abuses including excessive use of force and cruel treatment of detainees. These are documented in State of Affairs: Three Years After Nisoor Square, which outlines a number of steps the U.S. government should take to increase contractor accountability abroad. Its work to assist in crafting the governance charter for the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Providers reflects the organization’s ongoing commitment to ensuring that private companies uphold human rights.
“Human Rights First looks forward to working with government and industry to ensure that the code and this governance mechanism contribute to improving human rights conditions in the field,” concluded Roggensack.