Assessing Human Rights Risk within U.S. and UN Private Security Contracts
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Recent trends in privatization have affected the way governments wage war and direct security services. The past two decades have witnessed the rise of Private Security Companies (PSCs) and an increasing reliance on private security contractors by governments. The pace at which the private security industry has grown outstrips normative debates about the ethical presence of PSCs and use of private security by governments, instead demanding more accountable and responsible contracts and government regulation to protect against misconduct and human rights violations. This thesis explores the recent explosion of private security in U.S. and UN operations. The U.S. and UN both report significant increases in their use of private security contractors in the last ten years. Additionally, examinations of various private security contracts reveal inadequate accountability measures both in the U.S. and at the UN, particularly through an over-reliance on reporting mechanisms and contractor self-supervision. Similarly, policy documents and guidelines relating to private security contracting show weak oversight and poor management of private security contracts by both the U.S. and UN, from monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to insufficient government capacity to lacking disciplinary procedures. However, the two governance institutions diverge in their approaches to contracting private security services and risk assessment policies. U.S. agencies have internalized private security contracting as a core competency, essential to various operations, yet this study found the UN to be more cautious in its approach to contracting private security. The UN mandates comprehensive approval, risk analysis, and mitigation procedures and promotes a culture of responsibility, which are all absent from U.S. contracting policies and practices.
CitationGarrett, Celia (2018). Assessing Human Rights Risk within U.S. and UN Private Security Contracts. Honors thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/17922.
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Rights for Collection: Undergraduate Honors Theses and Student papers