By Lou Pingeot
The United Nations is increasingly hiring Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCs) for a wide array of security services. The UN’s leadership says these services are needed to protect the organization’s staff and worldwide operations from growing threats and unprecedented dangers. But many reports from governments, NGOs and the media have shown how PMSCs have committed serious human rights abuses, killed or injured innocent civilians, engaged in financial malfeasance and committed many other breaches of the law. Given the track record of these companies, serious questions
arise as to whether PMSCs are appropriate UN partners for the complex task of creating a secure, just and lawful world. Opacity around the UN’s use of PMSCs has so far prevented a healthy debate.