The Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have developed a range of Tools as part of their joint project to develop guidance to support companies operating in complex environments manage their security in a way that is effective and respects human rights and, when relevant, international humanitarian law. Key among them is the DCAF-ICRC Toolkit, which offers good practices and recommendations to address real-life security and human rights challenges.

If you would like to be informed whenever new Tools or a new version of the Toolkit is available, sign up on this Knowledge Hub to receive a quarterly newsletter highlighting new uploads on the Hub, upcoming events and updates to the Toolkit.

The DCAF-ICRC Toolkit and Tools may be freely used and shared for educational and other non-commercial purposes, provided that the source document is acknowledged. If you would like to electronically share the Toolkit and Tools, please provide a link to:



《“在复杂环境中应对安全和人权挑战”工具包》由日内瓦武装力量民主控制中心 (DCAF) 和红十字国际委员会(ICRC)联合制作。为在复杂环境中面临安全和人权挑战的公司及参与方提供支持。本《工具包》的主要受众是在复杂环境中面临安全和人权挑战的各类公司。本《工具包》对从事各项工作的公司人员都很有用,特别是处理安全、政府关系、商业与人权、企业社会责任、社区关系、法律问题等事务的人员。尽管本《工具包》主要针对公司,但《工具包》中的许多建议是促进协作的,特别是促进公司、政府和民间社团组织之间的协作。各有关参与方都会发现本《工具包》可用以增加共识,识别与公司合作应对所面临实际挑战的实用方法。



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

The Toolkit has the form of an overall guidance document with references to a selection of the most relevant existing resources and tools. The Toolkit includes four chapters: 1) Working with host governments, 2) Working with public security forces, and 3) Working with private security providers, and 4) Working with communities. Chapter 4 was developed in collaboration with CDA Collaborative Learning Projects

The Toolkit is structured around challenges related to the issues of working with host governments, public security forces and private security providers. These challenges have been identified through desk and field research, and a review process. Good practices and recommendations are provided on how to address these challenges building on what the VPs, the IGTs, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and security sector reform good practice specifically say on those issues. These good practices are not meant to be prescriptive. It is up to the user to evaluate whether they could be feasible, useful and appropriate to the local context in a specific situation on the ground.

Together with these good practices, practical tools such as checklists, templates and case studies are provided. These are geared mostly towards supporting project-level implementation. The Toolkit has internal links, allowing easy navigation from one section to another.

The Toolkit is a living document. It will be regularly updated with new good practices, tools and case studies. Through the Comment function found at the bottom of the page, feedback and suggestions from users are strongly encouraged in order to ensure that the recommendations and tools provided in this Toolkit are effective in addressing challenges on the ground.

Respondiendo a los Desafíos de Seguridad y Derechos Humanos en Entornos Complejos – Guía Práctica, Tercera Edición (DCAF y CICR, Noviembre 2016)

La Guía Práctica recoge recomendaciones y buenas prácticas sobre cómo afrontar desafíos reales en materia de seguridad y derechos humanos, complementadas por herramientas prácticas como listas de verificación y casos de estudio. Las recomendaciones y buenas prácticas se han desarrollado en colaboración con diversos actores y se fundamentan en recursos clave como son los Principios Voluntarios de Seguridad y Derechos Humanos, los Principios Rectores sobre las Empresas y los Derechos Humanos de las Naciones Unidas, y el conjunto de buenas prácticas para la reforma del sector de seguridad.

La tercera edición de la Guía Práctica contiene cuatro capítulos: 1) Trabajando con gobiernos de países anfitriones, 2) Trabajando con fuerzas de seguridad pública, 3) Trabajando con proveedores de seguridad privada, y 4) Trabajando con comunidades (desarrollado en colaboración con CDA Collaborative Learning Projects).

Relever les Défis liés à la Sécurité et aux Droits de l’Homme dans des Environnements Complexes – Le Guide de Bonnes Pratiques, Troisième Édition (DCAF et CICR, Décembre 2016)

Le Guide propose des bonnes pratiques et des recommandations en guise de réponses aux défis liés à la sécurité et aux droits humains et tels que vécus sur le terrain par les entreprises. Il propose également des outils pratiques tels que des check-lists et des études de cas. Les bonnes pratiques et les recommandations ont été développées en coopération avec une large palette d’acteurs et s’appuient sur des ressources-clefs telles que les Principes Volontaires sur la Sécurité et les Droits de l’Homme, les Principes directeurs des Nations Unies relatifs aux entreprises et aux droits de l’Homme et l’ensemble des bonnes pratiques dans le domaine de la réforme du secteur de la sécurité.

La troisième édition du Guide de Bonnes Pratiques comporte quatre chapitres : 1) Travailler avec les gouvernements des États d’accueil, 2) Travailler avec les forces de sécurité publique, 3) Travailler avec les prestataires privés de services de sécurité, et 4) Travailler avec les communautés (développé en partenariat avec l’organisation CDA Collaborative Learning Projects).

Host Country Security Assessment Guide (DCAF, ICRC and IPIECA, 2017)

The Security Assessment Guide is aimed to assist companies in evaluating the national and regional security contexts and identifying the different challenges that are likely to affect extractive operations. It provides the user with a comprehensive list of guiding questions that allow for a holistic overview of the security situation as well as a detailed analysis of all relevant actors.

Host Government Engagement Strategy Tool (DCAF, ICRC and IPIECA, 2017)

This tool aims to support company representatives prepare for the first consultations with national security actors and establish a strategy for the engagement and communication with security sector representatives. Companies can draw on individual sections of the tool to fill gaps in their preparations for consultations or use the tool in its entirety to establish an engagement and communication strategy.

Recommendations for Hiring Private Security Providers (DCAF, ICRC, Socios Peru, and PeaceNexus, 2016)

This tool provides corporate clients of private security providers (PSPs) with recommendations, good practices, checklists and performance indicators to help ensure the process of selecting, hiring and working with a PSP effectively integrates all relevant human rights considerations. The tool is divided into five sections: I. Solicitation, notice and bidding process; II. Evaluation of potential contractors; III. Award and development of the contract; IV. Monitoring, enforcement, and accountability; and V. Termination of the contract. 

Recomendaciones para la contratación de proveedores de seguridad privada (DCAF, CICR, Socios Peru, y PeaceNexus, 2016)

Ten Steps to Promote the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights: The Peruvian Working Group Model (DCAF, ICRC, Socios Peru, and PeaceNexus, 2016)

Drawing on lessons from the experience of the Peruvian VPs Working Group, this tool provides ten practical tips for the establishment of VPs Working Groups in different contexts. The individual steps include general recommendations illustrated with concrete examples from Peru.

Diez pasos para promover los Principios Voluntarios de Seguridad y Derechos Humanos: El Modelo Peruano del Grupo de Trabajo (DCAF, CICR, Socios Peru, y PeaceNexus, 2016)

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Leave a comment

Congratulations. Great document. Following could be useful additional tools: - Training package on the use of force and firearms - specifically compiling a UOF continuum that allows public security forces to use lesser, non-lethal and graduated force options. - Guidelines for the selection and use of personal protective equipment and personal security equipment that allow for public security forces to use force in proportion to threats/risks encountered. - Sample Firearm Management Control Documents: Policy framework, Template registers, etc. - Guidelines for the use of force when dealing with public protests, crowds, and/or evictions. - Template MOU. Keep up the good work! Best Wishes, Almero Retief
Almero Retief
Hi. I'm part of the communications team of the CME (Mining-energetic Comitee for Security And Human Rights) in Colombia. We found this document very interesting and useful. But, ¿does exist a version in spanish? Thanks to all for this wonderful work. Best Regards.
Cristian David Ballén Garzón
Dear Mr Garzón, Thank you for your comment. We are glad you have found our Toolkit interesting and useful. While there is currently no Spanish version of the Toolkit available, we are happy to inform you that we are currently in the process of translating the Toolkit. We plan to have a Spanish version of the Toolkit available on the Knowledge Hub this coming fall (2015). If you haven’t already done so, please consider signing up to our Newsletter, which will announce the publication of the Spanish version and keep you updated on other project developments. Thank you again for your feedback. Best Regards.
You're doing great efforts for the best of the world Wishing you all the best
Izeldin Rahamtalla Fadol Hassan
Dear Mr Izeldin Rahamtalla Fadol Hassan, Thank you for your positive feedback. We hope our efforts and tools can support you in your own work. Best Regards.
This is indeed a good resource for capacity building and sensitization of stakeholders. I look forward to wider acceptance of this tool-kit. I also suggest that wider consultation and feed back mechanism should be put in place for proper representation of information. This will indeed make it to be of international standard and acceptable by all. I am making a presentation on Human Rights in Extractive Sector with the objective of improving relationship between host communities and companies and also sensitize the communities to join hand in the fight against Oil theft and Pipe line vandalization. I will make available the the feed back from the group work to enrich this resource.
Chima Jeff Megwei (Nigeria)
Dear Mr Chima Jeff Mewei, Thank you very much for your positive and constructive comment. We are indeed highly interested in receiving feedback from your group work to improve our product and make it more relevant to your work on the ground. Please also do not hesitate to get in touch and share suggestions on possible feedback mechanisms that can further our understanding of local challenges, good practices and use of the Toolkit. Lastly, please note that we are currently developing a final chapter on 'Working with communities' that may be particularly relevant to your work (to be published in 2016). Best Regards.
I'm interested in this topic. This what am learning in my country Liberia at the Kofi Annan school of conflict transformation. I don't have much research materials.
sue y. LAYLEH
Dear Ms Layleh, Thank your for your comment. We are glad you find our area of work interesting and we hope our Knowledge Hub and Toolkit have assisted you in your search for relevant material. Please let us know if there is any specific topic/area of interest that you would like us to expand upon and we will try our best to add relevant documents. Best Regards.
Es un documento muy útil y necesario de leer y aplicarlo a cada realidad. El documento en español no incluye el capitulo 4 del documento en ingles Working with communities, es posible tener la traducción gracias
Meliton Carvajal
Muchas gracias por su comentario. Estamos en proceso de traducir el capítulo 4 al español y estará disponible en esta misma página en septiembre de 2016. En la página de inicio tiene la posibilidad de suscribirse a nuestro boletín trimestral a través del cual se le informará de la publicación de la nueva edición de la Guía en español.
This is an invaluable document for our trainings
Superintendent Polycarp NGUFOR FORKUM
Dear Mr. Ngufor Forkum, Thank you for your comment. We are glad that you find our Toolkit useful for your training sessions and are always interested in receiving feedback on how the Toolkit could be improved for implementation purposes. Please do not hesitate to contact us at to share particular suggestions or make inquiries. Best Regards.
Muy buen documento. Enhorabuena al DCAF y al ICRC, especialmente al equipo de trabajo. resulta más práctico, completo y aplicable que la IGT de la VPSHR. Además esta está respaldado por dos instituciones de prestigio y reconocimiento internacional (DCAF - ICRC).
Antonio Martínez de los Reyes
Apreciado Sr. de los Reyes, muchas gracias por su comentario. Esperamos que la Guía Práctica sea de utilidad en su trabajo y, por favor, no dude en ponerse en contacto con nosotros si tiene cualquier sugerencia respecto a nuevos temas que podrían incorporarse en la Guía, u otras ideas sobre cómo seguir mejorándola. Un cordial saludo.
more interacting materials should be provided the informations were very useful though.
Mustafa Azeez
Dear Mr. Azeez Thank you for your comment and feedback. We are glad that you have found useful information on our Knowledge Hub and are always interested in suggestions on how the DCAF-ICRC tools could be improved for implementation purposes. Please do not hesitate to contact us at to highlight any particular demands or suggestions. Best Regards.