Charity slams conduct code for private military and security companies

19 September 2013 - 3:12pm
Press release

The charity War on Want today branded as “a licence for abuse” a new voluntary code of conduct for private military and security companies launched this afternoon in Geneva.

It warned that the code will be used by companies to legitimise the industry and by governments to sidestep proper controls

The attack came as the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers Association held a launch conference in Geneva.

 War on Want campaigns and policy director Ruth Tanner said: “Private military companies have a track record in profiting from war and conflict

“This international code of conduct leaves these firms to police themselves, lacks teeth and fails to tackle the dangerous privatisation of war.

“The code is a limited voluntary mechanism, does nothing to change the culture of impunity that PMSCs enjoy, and represents a licence for abuse.

“War on Want has consistently warned that both national standards in the UK and the code will be used by companies to legitimise the industry and by government to sidestep proper controls.

“It is high time for UK ministers to end the privatisation of war and put in place decisive curbs on this deadly industry.

“National regulation, alongside legally binding international mechanisms, is long overdue.

“War on Want supports the initiative at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva to create an international, legally binding framework on PMSCs and calls on the British government to introduce binding controls on PMSCs as a matter of urgency.”

NOTES TO EDITORS

 The website for the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Providers is: http://www.icoc-psp.org/Home_Page.html

War on Want’s new video, Stop the privatisation of war, is at www.waronwant.org

CONTACT: War on Want media officer Paul Collins (+44) (0)20 7324 5054 or (+44) (0)7983 550728

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