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Impact of the use of private military and security services in immigration and border management on the protection of the rights of all migrants (A/HRC/45/9) [EN/AR/RU/ZH]

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World
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UN HRC
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Human Rights Council
Forty-fifth session
14 September–2 October 2020
Agenda item 3
Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development

Report of the Working Group on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination

Summary

The present report covers the activities of the Working Group on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination since its previous report to the Council (A/HRC/42/42). It also highlights the impact on the protection of the human rights of all migrants of the increased use of private military and security services in immigration and border management.
In the report, the Working Group outlines the overall context in which these services are provided and the relevant normative framework. It examines four main categories of services: provision of research and technical expertise; border security technologies and monitoring services; immigration detention, returns and removals; and the implementation of “externalization” policies. It shines a light on the impact of these services on the human rights of all migrants. It then looks at the lack of transparency, oversight and accountability of companies operating in this sector, and the impact on effective remedies for victims of violations and abuses by these companies.
It concludes that, at times, companies are directly responsible for human rights abuses of migrants, notably in situations of deprivation of liberty; while in other instances, they are complicit in widespread human rights violations and abuse caused by other actors, such as immigration and border authorities.
The Working Group ends its report with recommendations addressed primarily to States and private military and security companies, aimed at triggering a fundamental evaluation of the role that companies play in reinforcing security over humanitarian approaches to immigration and border management, as well as the specific security services they provide in this sector.

I. Introduction

  1. The present report is submitted pursuant to Commission on Human Rights resolution 2005/2, in which the Commission established the mandate of the Working Group on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination, and Human Rights Council resolution 42/9, in which the Council renewed that mandate. The report covers the activities of the Working Group since its previous report to the Council (A/HRC/42/42). It also analyses the impact on the protection of the human rights of all migrants, including refugees and asylum seekers, of the increased use of private military and security services in immigration and border management.
  2. During the reporting period, the Working Group was composed of Chris Kwaja (Chair), Jelena Aparac, Lilian Bobea, Sorcha MacLeod and Saeed Mokbil