Addressing Security and Human Rights Challenges in Complex Environments Toolkit - Third Edition (DCAF and ICRC, June 2016)


Private Security Governance National Action Plans (NAPS) on Business and Human Rights (DIHR, Danish Institute for Human Rights & DCAF, Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance, 2019)


Legislative Guidance Tool for States to Regulate Private Military and Security Companies (DCAF, 2016)


国家立法监管私营军事和安保公司 指导工具 (DCAF, 2016)


International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers (ICoC)


ICoC Association (ICoCA)


Academy Briefing No. 4 - The International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers (ICoC)


The Montreux Document on Pertinent International Legal Obligations and Good Practices for States Related to Operations on Private Military and Security Companies During Armed Conflict (2008)


Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPs)


A Contract Guidance Tool for Private Military and Security Services (FDFA and DCAF, 2017)


Use of Security Forces: Assessing and Managing Risks and Impacts Guidance for the Private Sector in Emerging Markets (IFC, 2017)


Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights Implementation Guidance Tools (IGTs, 2011)


The Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights: An Implementation Toolkit for Major Project Sites (World Bank Group Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency and Anvil Mining, 2008)


ISOA Code of Conduct (Version 13.1)


Private Security Monitor


Management System for Quality of Private Security Company Operations - Requirements with Guidance (PSC.1 Standard)


Engaging Private Security Providers: A Guideline for Non-Governmental Organisations (EISF, 2011)


Private Military and Security Companies and Gender – (Tool 10) (DCAF, OSCE/ODIHR, UN-INSTRAW, 2008)


Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights Implementation Guideline - An extended summary (BP, 2008)


The Sarajevo Client Guidelines for the Procurement of Private Security Companies (SEESAC, 2006)


The Sarajevo Code of Conduct for Private Security Companies (SEESAC, 2006)


Private Security Providers

Current international efforts to regulate the private security industry may offer important synergies with the VPs. Collectively, 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 and the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers (ICoC) set out a set of government and industry-developed principles and standards to guide relations with private security companies based on international human rights and humanitarian law. Principles and good practices contained in both documents are directly relevant to company compliance with the VPs in their use of private security. This section also includes a selection of other relevant resources related to the private security industry.

The Toolkit is a guidance document which addresses real-life security and human rights challenges indentified through engagement with many stakeholders. For each listed “Challenge”, the Toolkit outlines and summarises good practices and recommendations and provides practical tools such as checklists, templates and case studies. See section 3 on “Working with Private Security Providers”.


Private Security Governance National Action Plans (NAPS) on Business and Human Rights (DIHR, Danish Institute for Human Rights & DCAF, Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance, 2019)

This Private Security Supplement provides in-depth information on the private security sector for those involved in the process of developing a National Action Plan (NAP) on business and human rights. It serves as a thematic supplement and should be read in conjunction with the “National Action Plans on Business and Human Rights Toolkit: 2017 Edition” (hereafter: the Toolkit) of the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR) and Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR).
It is a tool for States and other human rights stakeholders, such as national human rights institutions (NHRIs) and civil society organisations (CSOs) as well as private security providers (PSPs) themselves,1 to evaluate the human rights risks and impacts of ongoing and potential private security operations and services.

This Guidance Tool is aimed at parliamentarians and law and policymakers who undertake to develop new or to update existing laws for national regulation of the private military and security industry. This tool can also be helpful as a reference guide for companies who are looking to inform their procurement practices based on existing international obligations and using internationally recognised good practice. The living examples of national good practices presented throughout the Tool can also be helpful in raising awareness for civil society carrying out monitoring and oversight of companies’ activities, to help better understand benchmarks for ethical PMSC operations in the field. 


国家立法监管私营军事和安保公司 指导工具 (DCAF, 2016)


The International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers (ICoC) clarifies international standards for the private security industry operating in complex environments. The Code was developed through a transparent and inclusive multi-stakeholder process, and it sets out human rights and humanitarian law based principles for the responsible provision of private security services.

The International Code of Conduct for Private Security Providers’ Association (ICoCA) is a multi-stakeholder initiative established in Geneva as a non-profit Association. The purpose of the ICoCA is to promote, govern and oversee implementation of the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers (ICoC) and to promote the responsible provision of security services and respect for human rights and national and international law in accordance with the Code.

This academy briefing reviews the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Providers (ICoC) to inform government officials, officials working for international organisations, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and legal practitioners, about the Code’s legal implications. The Briefing provides an overview of the origin and context of the ICoC initiative as well as an analysis of all its sections.

The Montreux Document outlines and reaffirms the existing obligations of states under international law, in particular international humanitarian law and human rights law, relating to the activities of private military and security companies in situations of armed conflict and other situations of violence. It also lists good practices designed to help states take national measures to implement these obligations.

The VPs were established in 2000 in response to security and human rights challenges around extractive operations. The VPs are a multi-stakeholder initiative in which governments, extractive companies and NGOs work together to guide extractive companies in “maintaining the safety and security of their operations within an operating framework that encourages respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms”. See section on ‘Interactions Between Companies and Private Security’.

This tool provides concise and practical guidance on structuring contracts and contracting procedures for private military and/or security services, drawing on international norms and standards. It highlights the key role of effective contracting processes which integrate respect for IHRL and IHL, based on lessons and good practices from existing contracting procedures. The tool is primarily aimed at states, IOs, humanitarian organisations, and NGOs in their processes of contracting PMSCs, but will also be instructive for private clients.

This Handbook provides practical, project-level guidance for private sector companies operating in emerging markets to better understand and implement the security-related provisions outlined in the IFC Performance Standard 4. Specific guidance is provided throughout the document to differentiate expectations for companies with lower risks from those with more complex and challenging security-related risks and impacts. The Handbook is divided into the following five sections: (1) Risk Assessment; (2) Managing Private Security; (3) Managing the Relationship with Public Security; (4) Preparing a Security Management Plan; and (5) Assessing Allegations or Incidents Related to Security Personnel.

The IGTs provide a “set of tools designed to help companies, their employees, and contractors implement the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights.” The tools are organized in four thematic modules – Stakeholder Engagement, Risk Assessment, Public Security Providers, and Private Security Providers – which can be used either independently to address specific challenges or together to support overall implementation of the VPs in the field. See Module 4 on ‘Private Security Providers’.

This toolkit aims to provide guidance on how to develop a comprehensive VPs implementation program that companies can tailor to their specific location and needs. See section 4 on ‘Relations with Private Security’.

The International Stability Operations Association (ISOA) is a trade association of the stability operations industry, which includes private military and security companies. The ISOA’s aim is to promote high operational and ethical standards of private sector operations in conflict and post-conflict environments. Therefore the “ISOA Code of Conduct seeks to establish consistent ethical standards for members of International Stability Operations Association operating in complex environments so that they may contribute their valuable services for the benefit of international peace and human security.”

The Private Security Monitor is a research project created at the University of Denver in order to support governance in the security sector by serving as an annotated guide to laws, data, reports and analysis related to the private provision of military and security services. Existing regulation can be sought by country, extensive background documents are available and a variety of international regulations and industry initiatives are outlined.

The private security industry has seen the development of several Industry management system standards, most prominently the ANSI/ASIS PSC.1-4 standards, of which PSC.1 is in the process of being adapted to be adopted as an ISO standard. Private security providers certified under PSC. 1 have indicated their commitments to human rights, legal obligations and good practices related to operations in complex environments.

This guidance document “aims to assist NGOs in reaching an informed decision about when, how and under what conditions to seek private security providers (PSP) services.” While principally addressed at NGOs, this document can still be of use to extractive companies at both headquarter and field level, as it outlines guiding principles and frameworks for the selection and contracting of PSPs.

This tool is part of the Gender & Security Sector Reform Toolkit (DCAF, OSCE/ODIHR, UN-INSTRAW, 2008). The tool addresses gender aspects relevant to security sector reform (SSR) processes involving Private Security Companies (PSCs) and Private Military Companies (PMCs). Through its focus on gender issues in international and national regulation of PSCs and PMCs, the tool highlights general issues concerning the privatisation of security such as the possible exacerbation of existing social tensions and the reinforcement of oppressive practices and structures. The document analyses PSCs/PMCs both as providers and subjects of SSR and illustrates how gender initiatives can be practically implemented in SSR operations involving PSCs and PMCs.

This BP guidance document identifies tools, case studies and frameworks to facilitate a more effective and consistent implementation of the Voluntary Principles (VPs). The Guideline is subdivided into 7 interrelated ‘Elements’ which need to be considered for a successful implementation of the VPs on the ground. See Elements 3 and 4 for guidance on training and contracting private security providers.

The Sarajevo Client Guidelines are, together with the Sarajevo Code of Conduct, the product of the Sarajevo Process, which was aimed to enhance the conduct and regulation of the private security industry across South Eastern Europe. The Client Guidelines outline a three-stage voluntary procedure for application by clients when contracting providers of private security services, regardless of origin or location. The Guidelines cover important factors such as standards of internal governance, quality of service, levels of training and adherence to national legislation.

The Sarajevo Code of Conduct is, together with the Sarajevo Client Guidelines, the product of the Sarajevo Process, which was aimed to enhance the conduct and regulation of the private security industry across South Eastern Europe. The Code of Conduct “contains a set of basic principles of professional behavior and service delivery for application by all employers and employees in the private security sector.” The developed basic principles cover a wide range of private security areas, regardless of location, including, for instance, recruitment of workers, vocational training, and relations with public security. The principles are based on international standards such as the VPs and the UN Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials.

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Hi, Really nice post. very informative post. thanks for share with us. bravosecurity.com.pk Regard Bravosecurity | Security Guards providing Company
Dear Alex, Thank you for your positive feedback. We hope the Knowledge Hub and Toolkit remain useful to your company's work in Pakistan. Please also do not hesitate to highlight missing documents or tools that you would consider an asset to the Knowledge Hub. Best Regards
Grateful if I can have these documents in hard copy.
Dear Joe, thank you for your comment. We are pleased that you find our materials and guidance tools useful. We are unfortunately not able to send you a hard copy of our materials since they are principally in soft version online. Please do not hesitate to contact us at PPPs@dcaf.ch to highlight any particular demands or suggestions. Best Regards.