Private Military and Security Contractors as ‘Persons who Accompany the Armed Forces’

Giulio Bartolini

in War by Contract

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199604555
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191725180 | DOI:
Private Military and Security Contractors as ‘Persons who Accompany the Armed Forces’

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A possible legal issue related to the involvement of private military and security companies (PMSCs) in armed conflicts is the classification of persons who accompany the armed forces for personnel belonging to such firms by the states who contracts them. This chapter examines the legal issues related to this question, mainly focusing on the conduct of hostilities (particularly the qualification of PMSC personnel as civilians or combatants, direct participation in hostilities) and the status of these personnel if captured. Recent situations of armed conflict have raised questions of whether PMSC personnel are entitled to claim prisoner of war status under Article 4.A.4 of the Third Geneva Convention. In addressing this question, the chapter examines both the link between the individual and the armed forces or other entities as well as the type of activities undertaken by PMSC employees claiming such protection.

Keywords: armed conflict; legal issues; hostilities; civilians; combatants

Chapter.  8938 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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