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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 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 17, 18, 19 and 20 of resolution 33/4 of 2016, the Human Rights Council:

17. 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, taking into account the proposal for a new legal definition of the term “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 and also the evolving phenomenon of mercenaries and its related forms;

 18. Reiterates its requests to the Office of the High Commissioner to, as a matter of priority, publicize the adverse effects of the activities of mercenaries and private companies offering military assistance, consultancy and other military and security-related services on the international market on the right of peoples to self-determination and, when requested and where necessary, render advisory services to States that are affected by those activities;

19. 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, including instances of protection provided by Governments to individuals involved in mercenary activities, and to continue to update the database of individuals convicted of mercenary activities;

20. 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. 


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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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Publication

Mercenarism and Private Military and Security Companies

Highlights

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