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Working Group on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination

Introduction

The current Members of the Working Group from left to right: Mr. Gabor Rona (from Hungary/USA), Elzbieta Karska (Chairperson Rapporteur, from Poland), Patricia Arias (from Chile), Anton Katz (from South Africa) and Saeed Mokbil (from Yemen) © OHCHRThe 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 pursuant to Commission on Human Rights resolution 2005/2. It succeeded the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the use of mercenaries, which had been in existence since 1987 and was serviced by Mr. Enrique Bernales Ballesteros (Peru) from 1987 to 2004 and Ms. Shaista Shameem (Fiji).  In March 2008, the Human Rights Council extended the mandate of the Working Group for a period of three years.

In September 2014, the Human Rights Council extended the mandate of the Working Group for a period of three years.

In paragraphs 18, 20 and 21 of resolution 30/6, the Human Rights Council:

18. Requests the Working Group to continue the work already done by previous mandate holders on the strengthening of the international legal framework for the prevention and sanction of the recruitment, use, financing and training of mercenaries, taking into account the proposal for a new legal definition of a mercenary drafted by the Special Rapporteur on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination in his report submitted to the Commission on Human Rights at its sixtieth session,3 as well as the evolving phenomenon of mercenaries and its related forms;

20. Requests the Working Group to continue to monitor mercenaries and mercenary-related activities in all their forms and manifestations, as well as private military and security companies, in different parts of the world, including instances of protection provided by Governments to individuals involved in mercenary activities…;

21. Also requests the Working Group to continue to study and identify sources and causes, emerging issues, manifestations and trends regarding mercenaries or mercenary-related activities and their impact on human rights, particularly on the right of peoples to self-determination. 

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Radio interview of Gabor Rona


Video - Working Group on the use of mercenaries - Panel Event: Foreign Fighters

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Highlights

Panel Event 21 July 2016: “Privatization of war: Impact on human rights”

Panel Event 14 April 2016: Foreign fighters and new forms of mercenarism

Panel Event December 2015: Regulation of private military and security companies

Working Group on the use of mercenaries - Panel Event 2013: Use of private military and security companies

Study on the use of private military and security companies by the United Nations

Collection of national legislation on private military and security companies

Mandate holders

Ms. Patricias Arias
(Chile) Chairperson-Rapporteur
Ms. Elżbieta Karska (Poland)
Mr. Anton Katz
(South Africa)
Mr. Gabor Rona
(United States of America)
Mr. Saeed Mokhbil
(Yemen)
Ms. Karska

Previous mandate holders

Ms. Faiza Patel
(Pakistan) 2011-2014
Ms. Najat Al-Hajjaji
(Libyan Arab Jamahiriya) 2005 - 2011
Ms. Amada Benavides de Pérez
(Colombia) 2005 - 2011
Mr. José Luis Gómez del Prado
(Spain) 2005-2011
Mr. Alexander Nikitin
(Russian Federation) 2005 - 2011
Ms. Shaista Shameem
(Fiji) 2005 - 2010