Public Security Forces

In many operational contexts (in particular for the extractives sector), security around companies’ facilities is provided by a mix of public and private security forces. Many security and human rights related challenges faced by companies concern both. However, public and private security do not offer the same capabilities and the applicable rules are different. Companies therefore have to find different ways of working with each while applying the same company rules. To respond to this need for further guidance on company’s engagement with public security forces, the DCAF-ICRC project has compiled and developed a series of good practices to help companies address some of the challenges they face when working with public security forces. These are found under the chapter on “Public security forces” of the Toolkit. Other useful resources related to companies’ engagement with public security forces are available below.

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 2 on “Working with Public Security Forces”.

The VPs Initiative has adopted model clauses for use in security agreements between public security forces and extractive companies. The model clauses are aimed to help companies create a security framework that ensures respect for human rights related to public security forces. They are designed to be used together or individually.  

This brochure highlights the principles and rules of human rights and humanitarian law applicable to the law enforcement function and their practical implications for law enforcement work. The document provides an overview of the relevant rules and standards of international law and how they can be incorporated into professional law enforcement procedures. A more detailed analysis is available in the ICRC manual entitled “To serve and protect: Human rights and humanitarian law for police and security forces".

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 Code consists of eight articles providing national law enforcement officials with guidance on how to perform their tasks and duties in accordance with international human rights principles. It is generally referred to as a 'soft-law' instrument as its provisions do not constitute legally binding obligations. However, the Code is based upon basic human rights principles which are established in treaty law.

The Basic Principles is a legally non-binding guideline which aims to “assist Member States in their task of ensuring and promoting the proper role of law enforcement officials” and to provide more detail concerning Article 3 of the UN Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials (1979), which covers the use of force by law enforcement officials.

The four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols of 1977 and 2005 set out fundamental humanitarian rules that must be observed in times of armed conflict.

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 Public Security’.

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 3 on ‘Public 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 3 on ‘Relations with Public Security’.

This scenario-based training tool provides an interactive guide on general human rights and business dilemmas, as well as specific suggestions for responsible business. This tool helps determine initial steps, identify potential stakeholders and analyse actions to take. Additionally, it provides an analysis of how this dilemma could have been avoided in the first place. The tool also includes a real-world scenario exercise on “how to react to a demand for logistical support by public security forces in a conflict situation”.

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 Element 3 ‘Supporting training and awareness’ for guidance and case studies on how companies can engage with public security providers to fulfil human rights standards.

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Good tools and documents.
Abdullahi Soyan
Dear Mr Abdullahi Soyan, Thank you for your positive feedback. Please do not hesitate to suggest other tools or resources that you believe should be included. Best Regards.