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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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