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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 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. The Working Group is composed of five independent experts, of balanced geographical representation.

Since 2005, the Human Rights Council renewed the mandate of the Working Group several times, most recently in 2016 for a period of three years through resolution 33/4. Through this resolution, the Human Rights Council:  

  •  Requests the Working Group to continue the work already carried out 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;
  •  Requests the Working Group to continue to monitor mercenaries and mercenary-related activities in all their forms and manifestations, and private military and security companies, in different parts of the world;
  •  Also requests the Working Group to continue to study and identify sources and causes, emerging issues, manifestations and trends with regard to mercenaries and mercenary-related activities and their impact on human rights, particularly on the right of peoples to self-determination. 

In carrying out its mandate, the Working Group:

a) Transmits communications to Governments and other actors with regard to specific allegations of human rights violations involving mercenaries, mercenary-related actors, or private military and security companies;

b) Undertakes country visits to examine the impact of mercenaries, mercenary-related actors, or private military and security companies on the enjoyment of human rights in the respective country, and submits reports to the Human Rights Council on the findings of the visit, including concrete and constructive recommendations to the Government and other actors to address areas that may benefit from improvement;

c) Submits annual reports to the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly on the activities of the mandate and specific thematic issues related to mercenaries, mercenary-related activities, and private military and security and companies.


Radio interviews - Gabor RONA

Foreign fighters

Private military and security companies [English | Chinese]


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

 

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Archived news
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Publication

Mercenarism and Private Military and Security Companies

Highlights

Call for submissions to the thematic report on private military and security companies in the extractive industry

Report on the recruitment and use of children by non-State armed groups, including mercenaries and private military and security companies

HRC side event exhibit - Private actors in warfare: Stories from victims of private military and security companies

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

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

Mr. Saeed Mokbil
(Chairperson-Rapporteur, Yemen)
Ms. Jelena Aparac
(Croatia)
Ms. Lilian Bobea
(Dominican Republic)
Mr. Chris Kwaja
(Nigeria)
Ms. Sorcha MacLeod
(United Kingdom)

Previous mandate holders

Mr. Gabor Rona
(United States of America) 2011-2018
Ms. Patricia Arias
(Chile) 2011 – 2018
Mr. Anton Katz
(South Africa) 2011-2018
Ms. Elzbieta Karska
(Poland) 2011-2018
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