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The Status of Private Military and Security Companies under the International Humanitarian Law

Student: Svetlana Khokhlova

Supervisor:

Faculty: Faculty of Law

Educational Programme: Jurisprudence (Bachelor)

Year of Graduation: 2020

Despite the thorough regulation of the status of people in armed conflicts by Geneva Conventions, the status of private military and security companies and their personnel remains undefined. PMSCs’ employees are mistakenly considered to be mercenaries though there is a substantial difference between these groups of people. In this paper we address the rights, obligations and responsibility of PMSCs’ employees analyzing international treaties and domestic legislation of different states. Moreover, the obligations and responsibility of different states in a context of PMSCs are presented. The study documents the hypothetical possibility of referring to PMSCs’ personnel as combatants, civilians authorized to accompany armed forces, civilians and mercenaries. The results of this paper emphasize the necessity of developing a treaty or amendments for Geneva Conventions that will consolidate all the aspects of the status of PMSCs and their personnel when they are hired to act in an armed conflict.

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