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call for input | Special Procedures

Call for inputs: Upcoming country visit of the Working Group on the use of mercenaries to Côte d’Ivoire

Issued by

Working Group on the use of mercenaries

Deadline

15 February 2024

Purpose: To inform the follow-up country visit to Côte d’Ivoire of the 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.

Background

At the invitation of the Government of Côte d’Ivoire, the Working Group on the use of mercenaries will conduct an official country visit to Côte d’Ivoire from 4 to 13 March 2024. Country visits are undertaken following an invitation from the Government, and are prepared and conducted in close collaboration with the State concerned, in a spirit of cooperation and dialogue.

Country visits also allow the Working Group to engage with civil society, experts, academics, national, regional, and international stakeholders present in the country and to provide expert advice based on the findings.

In accordance with Commission on Human Rights resolution 2005/2 and Human Rights Council resolution 33/4, the 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 is mandated to study and identify sources, causes, manifestations and trends with regard to mercenaries and mercenary-related activities, and their impact on human rights, particularly on the right to self-determination. The Working Group is also mandated to monitor the activities of private military and security companies (PMSC) and their effects on human rights.1

Objectives

Following up on its visit conducted from 7 to 10 October 2014, the objective of the country visit is for the Working Group to gather follow-up information on mercenary and mercenary-related activities in all their forms and manifestations, as well as on the activities of private military and security companies and their impact on human rights, particularly the right to self-determination. The Working Group will be interested in learning more about the concrete experience, good practices and challenges in these distinct areas. Areas of interest include, for example, relevant national regulatory frameworks and the domestic private military and security landscape. 

The Working Group will start and conclude its visit in Abidjan and also intends to travel to different regions within Côte d’Ivoire, including to places bordering neighbouring countries, as well as borders and places hosting asylum facilities where PMSC are deployed. During this visit, as part of understanding the context and gathering information from all relevant stakeholders, the Working Group intends to meet with state authorities, representatives of civil society, victims and their representatives, private military and security companies, and international and regional organizations, among others.

At the end of the mission on 13 March 2024, in line with established practice, the Working Group will debrief Government officials on its preliminary findings. The Working Group may also hold a press conference at the end of the visit in order to share these preliminary findings with the wider public. Additional information on the time and venue of the press conference will be shared in the coming weeks.

Following the country visit, the Working Group will present a report with the final findings, conclusions and recommendations to the State concerned to the Human Rights Council in September 2024.

Key questions and types of input sought

In preparation for the visit, the Working Group invites all interested individuals and organizations, including civil society organizations, experts, activists, and academics, to provide inputs for the preparation of the visit.

While all submissions are welcome and the questions below are not meant to be exhaustive, the Working Group would be grateful for comments that address topics such as:

  • The nature, scope and magnitude of mercenarism and mercenary-related activities of Ivorian nationals, including measures taken against the recruitment of mercenaries;
  • The existing domestic legal framework addressing mercenarism, and in particular, measures undertaken at the national level to consider the ratification of the International Convention Against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries (1989);
  • The use, regulation, and oversight of private military and security companies operating domestically and/or internationally on land or at sea, including the existing domestic legal framework;
  • The impact of the use of private military and security companies on human rights, including in places of deprivation of liberty, in immigration and border management, and in the maritime sector;
  • Investigation, prosecution and accountability for violations of international human rights and humanitarian law and related  crimes committed by mercenaries, mercenary related actors, and PMSC;
  • Existing measures in place to ensure access to justice and remedy for victims of mercenaries, mercenary related actors, and PMSC.
Next Steps
How and where to submit inputs/comments

Input may be sent by e-mail and must be received by 15 February 2024.

E-mail address
[email protected]

Word limit:
2500 words
Reports, academic studies and other types of background materials can be attached as an annex to the submission.

Languages:
French and English

File format: Word

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