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Shock Monitor: documenting and studying "private war" and its impact on human rights
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"Shock Monitor is created to document and study the evolution of Private War and its worldwide impact on human rights. Through the documentation, systematisation and analysis of incidents involving PMSCs [private military and security companies] and private contractors, it studies not only the development of the industry but also the incidents and related legal cases, perpetrator accountability and remedy for the victims.

The project, coordinated by NOVACT, is based on the cooperation of international and local researchers as well as Human Rights Organizations and experts gathering information on violations committed by PMSCs in their communities. It aims to form a network of International Research Institutes, Civil Society Organizations, experts and local researchers that, interested in the phenomenon of the privatisation of war and security, want to obtain and share information about this issue."

See: Shock Monitor: Observing Private War Impact on Human Rights (link)

Why is the project examining "private war"?

"In the last two decades, states have relied on private contractors to support military operations in conflict situations. Without the necessary democratic scrutiny and public debate, Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCs) have provided services that traditionally were performed by national armies and public authorities –such as interrogation of detainees, protection of military assets, training of local armed forces, collection of intelligence and the performance of defensive and even offensive military activities-.

Employment of PMSCs on conflict, post-conflict and non-conflict situations has expanded massively. Internationally, belligerent states have employed, in some recent conflicts, more private military and security contractors than members of their regular armed forces. At a domestic level, in some countries, private security personnel is already much larger than the state police.

With the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq, the privatisation phenomenon acquired unprecedented proportions turning the provision of security-related services into the most prosperous post-war business and consolidating the PMSC industry as a key player for future international intervention."

See: On private war and PMSCs (link)

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