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Combating Impunity In Focus

Human Rights Defenders

“Private military contractors and the individuals they employ cannot act with impunity. Contractors must act within the bounds of law and must be held accountable for their participation in the atrocities at Abu Ghraib and the other facilities in Iraq. We believe their actions and the acts of torture of their employees clearly violated the Geneva Conventions, the Army Field Manual, and the laws of the United States.”
- Katherine Gallagher, Senior Staff Attorney, Center for Constitutional Rights

International, non-governmental organizations and victims of human rights abuses in Iraq and Afghanistan have sought to promote PMC accountability through a variety of litigation and advocacy measures.

Center for Constitutional Rights: The Struggle for Accountability in U.S. Courts

The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), a non-profit legal organization committed to defending the U.S. Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, has filed suits in U.S. federal courts on behalf of the victims of private military contractor abuses and their families. In a series of complaints filed by CCR against Titan Corporation, CACI International, and L-3 Services, victims accuse contractors of involvement in torture at prisons in Iraq. CCR has also represented Iraqi victims in cases against Blackwater (now known as Xe) in two civil lawsuits—Abtan v. Prince and Albazzaz v. Prince—alleging war crimes for the killing and wounding of civilians at Nisoor Square and Al Watahba Square in Baghdad, Iraq. Visit CCR to learn more: http://ccrjustice.org/stand-down

Other International Non-Governmental Organizations: Reporting on Abuses and Campaigning for Accountability

International NGOs have reported on abuses by private military companies and have conducted advocacy campaigns for transparency and accountability.

Amnesty International has investigated and documented allegations of abuse by L3/Titan Corporation in Iraq. It has also contributed to the development of an industry code of conduct for private military companies by the International Peace Operations Association, providing analysis and recommendations for improvement.

Human Rights First’s campaign to end private military contractor impunity targets policymakers in the United States. It also gathers useful resources on private military contractors, including lists of relevant foreign law, congressional and legislative materials, scholarly articles, news reports, and other related websites and materials.

War on Want, a British nongovernmental organization, campaigns to stop the privatization of war. War on Want reports on private military companies, engages in protests, and conducts public debates on private military and security companies.

Blackwater Watch blogs regular updates about Blackwater.

No Private Armies is an activist and citizen based organization that organizes engagement with Congress and raises awareness of PMC activities through media.


  • <span>© 2010 Touko Sipilainen </span>

Protestors from War on Want demonstrate outside a meeting of the British Association of Private Security Companies.

Action Alerts

  • Urge your U.S. congressmen to co-sponsor the “Stop Outsourcing Security” bill introduced in the U.S. House and Senate.
  • Plan a gathering and screen films to raise awareness about private military contractors in the “War on Terror”.
  • Send a letter to your U.K. ministers of parliament urging them to support the regulation of private military contractors.
  • Distribute fact sheets about human rights abuses by private military contractors.