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UN WORKING GROUP ON THE USE OF MERCENARIES TO VISIT THE UNITED KINGDOM



26 May 2008


GENEVA--The 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 will conduct a fact-finding visit to the United Kingdom from 26 to 30 May 2008, at the invitation of the Government.

The Working Group will use this opportunity to take stock of the activities of private companies registered in the United Kingdom, offering military assistance, consultancy and security services on the international market and its effects on the enjoyment of human rights. The Working Group will also examine current issues and trends regarding national regulation of activities of these companies. During the visit, the Working Group will consult with representatives of the Government, non-governmental organizations and academia, as well as representatives of private military security industry.

The delegation will be headed by the Chairperson-Rapporteur, Mr. Alexander Nikitin, and include Working Group member Mr. José Luis Gomez del Prado. It will report the mission’s findings to the Human Rights Council and the UN General Assembly.
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The Working Group was established by the Commission on Human Rights in 2005 and is composed of five independent experts serving in their personal capacities. For more information on the resolution establishing the mandate of the Working Group and its activities, please consult the website of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights at: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/mercenaries/index.htm