Montreux Document

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The Montreux Document is an agreement between signature countries obligations regarding private military and security companies in war zones. It was ratified in Montreux, Switzerland, in September 2008. [1] The document lists some 70 recommendations for good state practices such as verifying companies track record, examining procedures used to vet staff, correct prosecution when breaches of law occur, and insure compliance and personnel training with international humanitarian and human rights law. [1]

A private military company (PMC) is a private company providing armed combat or security services for financial gain. PMCs refer to their staff as "security contractors" or "private military contractors". Private military companies refer to their business generally as the "private military industry" or "The Circuit".

Montreux Place in Vaud, Switzerland

Montreux is a municipality in the district of Riviera-Pays-d'Enhaut in the canton of Vaud in Switzerland.

Switzerland federal republic in Central Europe

Switzerland, officially the Swiss Confederation, is a sovereign state situated in the confluence of western, central, and southern Europe. It is a federal republic composed of 26 cantons, with federal authorities seated in Bern. Switzerland is a landlocked country bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. It is geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura, spanning a total area of 41,285 km2 (15,940 sq mi). While the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of approximately 8.5 million is concentrated mostly on the plateau, where the largest cities are located, among them the two global cities and economic centres of Zürich and Geneva.

Contents

Its full name is '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 of 17 September 2008'. It provides contracting states, home states, and territorial states, with a restatement of their international legal obligations and a series of ‘good practices’ to use in interacting with the industry.

Several provisions also provide legal obligations incumbent on private security companies themselves. Importantly, the focus of the document is primarily on times of armed conflict – but the principles are expressly relevant to non-armed conflict situations as well. It is a non-binding, non-legal document in that it neither creates nor alters legal obligations, but merely articulates existing requirements pertinent to private security operations. [2]

Elements of the Montreux Document have been incorporated into the management system standards jointly authored and published by ANSI/ASIS, such as PSC.1-2012 and PSC.4-2013.

ANSI/ASIS PSC.1-2012 is a management standard for quality of private security company operations.

ANSI/ASIS PSC.4-2013 is guidance for Quality Assurance and Security Management for Private Security Companies Operating at Sea.

Original Ratifying states

Afghanistan A landlocked south-central Asian country

Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in South-Central Asia. Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan in the south and east; Iran in the west; Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan in the north; and in the far northeast, China. Its territory covers 652,000 square kilometers (252,000 sq mi) and much of it is covered by the Hindu Kush mountain range. Kabul serves as the capital and its largest city.

Angola country in Africa

Angola, officially the Republic of Angola, is a west-coast country of south-central Africa. It is the seventh-largest country in Africa, bordered by Namibia to the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Zambia to the east, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Angola has an exclave province, the province of Cabinda that borders the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The capital and largest city of Angola is Luanda.

Australia Country in Oceania

Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 25 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.


As of December 2018, 54 states are participants in the Montreux Document. [3]

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War crime Serious violation of the laws of war

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In general, a civilian is "a person who is not a member of the military or of a police or firefighting force". The definition distinguishes from persons whose duties involves risking their lives to protect the public at large from hazardous situations such as terrorism, riots, conflagrations, or wars. "Criminals" are also excluded from the category.

Law of war International laws concerning wars

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Protocol I

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Geneva Conventions Treaties establishing humanitarian laws of war

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United Nations Security Council Resolution 1460 United Nations Security Council resolution

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United Nations Security Council Resolution 1653 United Nations Security Council resolution

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References

International Committee of the Red Cross humanitarian institution

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is a humanitarian institution based in Geneva, Switzerland, and a three-time Nobel Prize Laureate. State parties (signatories) to the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols of 1977 and 2005 have given the ICRC a mandate to protect victims of international and internal armed conflicts. Such victims include war wounded, prisoners, refugees, civilians, and other non-combatants.