Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

PMC Sexual Violence: It’s Still a Problem

David Isenberg at Huffington Post   January 30, 2012

Also see at David’s blog The PMSC Observer

In one of those rare, “perfect storm” of coincidences, three events converge to provide the topic for this column. First, the latest issue of the in-house magazine, the arriviste named “Journal of International Peace Operations,” published by ISOA, a PMSC trade group, is devoted to the topic of “Women & International Security.”

Since ISOA, like any good trade group, generally tries to dismiss any criticism of its member companies, as being the ravings of liberal hacks in pursuit of a “spicy merc” story, it is interesting to note that the very first article in the issue states:

Companies need to adopt institutional measures to prevent and address cases of misconduct. Appropriate gender training for PMSC personnel, alongside training in international humanitarian law and human rights law – as recommended by the Montreux Document on PMSCs -will help to create a more gender-aware institution, thus preventing human rights abuses and reputation loss. Having clear rules of behaviour and mechanisms to punish individuals responsible for human rights violations will benefit the host populations, individual companies and the industry as a whole.

Second, the recent release in the UK of last year’s movie, The Whistleblower, a fictionalized version of the involvement of DynCorp contractors in sex trafficking and slavery in Bosnia back in the nineties, serves to remind us that despite DynCorp’s rhetoric over the subsequent years not nearly enough has changed.

For those whose memories have faded, employees of DynCorp were accused of buying and keeping women and girls as young as 12 years old in sexual slavery in Bosnia. Perhaps even more shocking is that none of those involved have ever been held accountable within a court of law. The United States subsequently awarded DynCorp a new contract worth nearly $250 million to provide training to the developing Iraqi police force, even though the company’s immediate reaction to reports of the crimes was to fire the whistle-blowers.

As an article in the Jan. 29, Sunday Telegraph noted:

Most disappointing of all was what happened next: several men were sent home, but none was punished further. No future employer will know what these men were guilty of. I asked DynCorp if its guidelines had become more stringent since 2001 and was sent its code of ethics. It states that ‘engaging in or supporting any trafficking in persons […] is prohibited. Any person who violates this standard or fails to report violations of this standard shall be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.’ So nothing has changed.

By the way, from a strictly observational viewpoint, given other problems DynCorp has had over the years since that took place, from dancing boys in Afghanistan to the recent settling of an EEOC suit regarding sexual harassment of one of its workers in Iraq, DynCorp is the Energizer Bunny of sexual harassment; it just keeps giving and giving and giving; doubtlessly reporters around the world are grateful.

Please read the entire post here

January 30, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Balkans, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, Department of Defense, DynCorp, Human Trafficking, Iraq, Legal Jurisdictions, Politics, Private Military Contractors, Safety and Security Issues, Sexual Assault, Whistleblower | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Triple Canopy to Present International Code of Conduct at ASIS 2011

Mark DeWitt to Discuss the Security Industry’s New Benchmark for Quality

RESTON, Va., Sept. 14, 2011 — /PRNewswire/ — Triple Canopy, Inc., a global provider of security and mission support services, announced today that Mark DeWitt, vice president of government and regulatory affairs, will speak at this year’s ASIS International 57th Annual Seminar and Exhibits, scheduled for Sept. 19 to 22 at the Orlando County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.

DeWitt will present a session on what the International Code of Conduct (ICoC) for Private Security Contractors signifies for security directors worldwide, along with the related management system standard underdevelopment by ASIS. Established in November 2010, the ICoC aims to set global standards for the private security industry and establish independent mechanisms for effective governance and oversight.

“We need to educate our clients on the strengths and benefits of the ICoC and what it can do and will do to improve the quality of service that private security companies provide,” DeWitt said. “Security directors, managers and others with a stake in securing their organizations should look to the ICoC and the ASIS-developed management standard as a new benchmark for quality.”

In his presentation, DeWitt will discuss how the ICoC and the ASIS-developed management standard will translate into greater confidence in the industry as a whole. “The Code allows security providers to deliver their services in a more transparent manner, and as a result, will help instill trust and create a better understanding of the way in which security services are provided,” explained DeWitt.

A founder signatory of the Code, Triple Canopy has focused on ways to improve the quality of service the security industry provides since the company was founded in 2003. The company also participated in efforts to establish an international code of conduct following the signing of the Montreux Document in 2006. According to DeWitt, who currently sits on the ICoC Temporary Steering Committee, “The ICoC has become an essential tool in our ongoing efforts to create a better and more transparent set of industry standards.”

Please read the entire Press Release here

September 14, 2011 Posted by | Contractor Oversight, Private Security Contractor, Triple Canopy | , , , , | Leave a comment

ASIS Awarded Department of Defense Contract to Develop Standard to Improve Performance and Accountability of Private Security Service Providers

ALEXANDRIA, VA–(Marketwire – March 16, 2011)

– ASIS International has been awarded a contract with the U.S. Department of Defense to develop an ANSI standard that provides principles and requirements for a quality assurance management system for private sector security organizations to abide by and demonstrate accountability to internationally recognized norms of civil and human rights while providing quality assurance in the provision of their products and services.

The standard will enable private sector security service providers to demonstrate their operations and services are consistent with the principles 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” and the “International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers” (ICoC).

“Private security service providers are critical elements for supporting peace and stability efforts in regions where the capacity of societal institutions have been overwhelmed by disruptive events,” says Dr. Marc Siegel, chair of the PSC.1 technical committee and commissioner, ASIS Global Standards Initiative. “This global initiative will codify benchmarks for best practices consistent with the goals of assuring quality of services and respect for human and civil rights.”

The proposed standard, Management System for Quality of Private Security Company Operations – Requirements with Guidance (ASIS PSC.1), builds off the Montreux Document and ICoC to assure conformity to pertinent legal obligations and best practices related to operations of private military and security companies in conditions where the rule of law has been undermined by conflict or disaster. It provides auditable requirements based on the Plan-Do-Check-Act model for third-party certification.  Read the entire Press Release here

March 16, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contract Awards, Department of Defense, Private Security Contractor | , , , , , | Leave a comment