Australia taking lead role in international efforts to raise standards and accountability for private security contractors

Media release

15 August 2013

Australia will become a foundation member of the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers Association (the ICoC Association), an international body which will establish the first worldwide system of accreditation for private security contractors.

Private security contractors play an increasingly prominent role in security operations worldwide. Yet a lack of formal oversight and accountability has made it difficult to verify that their actions conform to international humanitarian and human rights law.

The ICoC Association will provide independent and effective verification of industry compliance with the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers (ICoC), raising standards and accountability for private security contractors worldwide. Signed by over 700 private security firms, ICoC articulates standards for the responsible provision of private security services in accordance with international humanitarian and human rights law.

Australia is making a financial contribution of $250,000, disbursed over five years, to the ICoC Association to support measures including certification, monitoring and complaint procedures, and to contribute to initial organisational establishment costs. Australia will also encourage additional states to join the ICoC Association to ensure the broadest possible coverage of this innovative and practical compliance mechanism.

The launch conference of the ICoC Association will take place in Montreux, Switzerland, 19-20 September 2013.