Report on the review of States’ efforts to regulate PMSCs and conclusions related to phase I of the national legislation survey

20 August 2013
Working Group on the use of mercenaries
To the 68th session of the General Assembly


Twice a year, the Working Group on the use of mercenaries issues calls for inputs to inform thematic studies to be presented at the Human Rights Council in its September session and at the General Assembly in October.


This report provides a brief update on the recent trends related to mercenaries and private military and security companies (PMSCs). The report notes that the activities of private military and security companies have continued to evolve, with contractors involved worldwide in an expanding range of activities. Such activities include the continued expansion of the PMSC industry in countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq, maritime security, and the use of PMSCs by the United Nations. The report also reviews efforts made by States to regulate PMSCs and introduces its conclusions related to the first phase of the national legislation survey.

The report also highlights the various gaps that remain regarding the transparency and accountability of private military and security companies. In this context, the Working Group reiterates its position on the need for an international regulatory framework to monitor PMSCs activities.

Collection of national legislation on private military and security companies

Through the survey, the Working Group collected national laws and regulations on the following:

  • private security companies or services,
  • private military companies or services,
  • private maritime security companies or services,
  • private intelligence gathering companies or services,
  • companies providing training to public security forces,
  • defining and/or limiting which Government functions can be outsourced to private companies,
  • registration, licensing, vetting, or training requirements for PMSC companies and/or personnel,
  • criminal measures relevant to PMSCs or their personnel, including laws relating to the jurisdiction of national courts over offenses committed abroad by companies or individuals from your country, and
  • Mercenaries.

Click on this link to access all inputs received from States regarding the national legislation survey on PMSCs.

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