Call for submissions: gender and private military and security companies
The Working Group on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the rights of peoples to self-determination is mandated by the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC/33/4) to monitor mercenaries, mercenary related activities, and the activities of private military and security companies (PMSCs).
In one of its two thematic reports for 2019, the Working Group intends to focus on gender dimensions of the PMSC industry. The Working Group understands gender to refer to the socially constructed identities, attributes and roles of persons in relation to their sex and the social and cultural meanings attached to biological differences based on sex. These social constructs often result in hierarchical relationships between women, men and gender non-binary people and an unequal distribution of power and rights, favouring men and affecting all members of society. Based on this understanding, the Working Group will examine key gender-specific considerations for the PMSC industry at the company level and in its interactions with external stakeholders. It will consider the specific and differential impact of policies and practices by PMSCs on the enjoyment of human rights by women, men, and other persons identifying themselves outside those binary categories, and the availability of accountability and remedial mechanisms for alleged violations of those rights. Further, it will reflect on the extent to which related international and regional initiatives as well as national legislation regulating PMSCs contribute towards greater gender equality and non-discrimination. Throughout, the Working Group will seek to highlight good practices by all relevant stakeholders.
As such, the Working Group invites interested States, inter-governmental organisations, civil society organizations, experts, private companies and other stakeholders to contribute to the elaboration of its thematic report by responding to all or relevant parts of the guiding questions set out below. The questions are meant as an indication of possible areas of interest rather than to provide an exhaustive or a prescriptive list. The Working Group therefore welcomes any additional pertinent information on the specific subject matter that may help it in the preparation of its report.
Responses to the questionnaire may be submitted to the Working Group in English, French or Spanish at firstname.lastname@example.org. If not stated otherwise in your submission, the responses received will be published on the website of the Working Group. However, if requested, the Working Group may treat the submission confidentially.
The deadline for submissions is 28 February 2019.