Private Security Companies

January 31, 2010

In October 2007 the Board of the Parliamentary Forum on Small Arms and Light Weapons adopted a Policy Statement on Small Arms and Light Weapons and the Privatization of the Security Sector. The Forum acknowledged the negative impact that the private security sector can have, if unregulated, on security governance, fundamental human rights and the rule of law. Therefore the Forum is now ready to engage with parliaments and parliamentarians across all regions to jointly address these challenges, and to ensure that we place the control and use of weapons by Private Security Companies firmly within the Small Arms and Light Weapons agenda. The Forum recognises that the privatisation of security can often make a valuable contribution by increasing the state’s and public institution’s effectiveness in the realm of security. Yet it is the lack of legitimacy and accountability that has resulted in cause for concern, hence the requirement for effective oversight mechanisms. This handbook does not elaborate on the positive contributions that Private Security Companies make to public security; it focuses on the risks involved of having a weak or inadequate legal framework for these expanding activities The privatization of the security sector is a very important issue related to democracy, which is why we – the politicians – have a duty to become involved with it. We, as the representantives of the people, are one of the most relevant actors in this area and must act as guarantors of law and effective human rights.

Daisy Tourné
Member of Parliament of Uruguay and
President of the Parliamentary Forum on SALW 2006 - 2007


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