Conference to Examine International Standards for Private Military and Security Industry

Event, “Montreux Plus Five,” Hosted by Center for Human Rights & Humanitarian Law


Washington, D.C., March 1, 2013 – American University Washington College of Law will host an upcoming conference to assess the current status of the development and implementation of international standards for the private military and security industry.

The day-long conference, “Montreux Plus Five,” is organized by the Center for Human Rights & Humanitarian Law’s Initiative for Human Rights in Business.  The event will be held March 6, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. at American University Washington College of Law, room 603. A live webcast will be available. 

This year marks the fifth anniversary of the finalization of the Montreux Document on Pertinent International Legal Obligations and Good Practices for States related to Operations of Private Military and Security Companies during Armed Conflict. The Montreux Document is the result of an initiative launched in 2006 by the Swiss government and the International Committee of the Red Cross, was signed by 17 states in September 2008, and is currently supported by 43 states and the European Union. The Document details international law as it applies to the activities of private military and security companies in the context of armed conflict, and contains a set of good practices designed to assist states in implementing their obligations under international law through various national measures.

“The Montreux Document, penned at a time of growing concern about the privatization of war, counters the misperception that private military and security companies operate globally in a legal vacuum,” said Dr. Rebecca DeWinter-Schmitt, co-director, Initiative for Human Rights in Business, Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, American University Washington College of Law.“Both states and companies must respect human rights and international law during times of armed conflict. While challenges remain in ensuring regulatory oversight and legal accountability, the Montreux Document aids states in understanding existing legal obligations, and provides guidance on regulatory best practices. Five years on, this conference will offer an opportunity to examine the uptake of Montreux’s principles by the industry and its clients.”

The “Montreux Plus Five” conference will feature speakers from government, business, and civil society who have been working toward improving regulation, oversight, and accountability for the private military and security industry, to examine the implementation of the best practices outlined in the Montreux Document, as well as other relevant international initiatives. Panelists will include representatives from the governments of the U.S., Switzerland, Canada, and South Africa, security provider Triple Canopy, and representatives from the Center for Constitutional Law, Human Rights First, One Earth Foundation, and United Nations.  View the agenda and full list of speakers.

More information or register for the event. 

Media inquiries can be directed to Megan Smith, public relations coordinator, American University Washington College of Law, 202-274-4276.


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