Private Security

DCAF leads the Learning Lab’s research on the incorporation of human rights considerations into government procurement of private security services. Nelleke van Amstel leads DCAF’s work on this topic. Her biography, as well as reports and resources related to government procurement of private security, can be found below.

Reports and Resources

Overview Report on Human Rights and Procurement of Private Security

DCAF released a report entitled “Putting Private Security Regulation into Practice: Sharing Good Practices on Procurement and Contracting 2015-2016” in Spring 2016. This report is an overview of the procurement practices four international organizations (OSCE, EU, and NATO) and three States (Switzerland, United States, and Australia). It provides background information and highlights good practices in relation to human rights at each stage of the procurement process.

The report is available here.

Guidance Tool for Contracting Private Military and Security Services

DCAF has released a guidance tool entitled “A Contract Guidance Tool for Private Military and Security Services: Promoting Accountability and Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law” (Contract Guidance Tool).

The Contract Guidance Tool draws on leading international norms and standards to reflect the principles of responsible procurement and contracting practices, and provides clear and practical guidelines for national contracting officers or procurement specialists. By translating knowledge and research into a practical and easy-to-use format, the Contract Guidance Tool provides implementation support for those individuals drafting, implementing, and monitoring contracts with PMSCs.

 The Contract Guidance Tool is composed of two distinct sections:

  1. Part 1 covers the bidding and selection process, and is complemented by a checklist that users can consult when undertaking a bidding and selection process of potential PSMC contractors.
  2. Part 2 offers guidance on the drafting of the contract itself. It includes an explanatory note and a model contract that reflects internationally recognized good practices, which can be adapted by the client as appropriate to context and needs.

The guidance tool is available here.

Private Security Hub Leader Bio

Project Coordinator, Operations IV Division, DCAF DCAF Logo

Nelleke van Amstel is a Project Coordinator in DCAF’s Operations IV Division on the topic of private security governance and regulation. She is responsible for enhancing the implementation of good practices, based on human rights and humanitarian law, into national laws, regulations, and company policies through close collaboration with local stakeholders in, for example in the Western Balkans, Latin America and the Caribbean, and West Africa.

Prior to joining DCAF, Nelleke worked as a legal advisor on International Humanitarian Law for the Netherlands Red Cross, at ICRC’s Unit for Relations with Arms Carriers, and as a research assistant for Geneva Call on the topic of legal obligations for armed non-state actors. Nelleke holds an LLM from the Geneva Academy on International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, Switzerland, and an LL.M in International and European law from Groningen University, the Netherlands.