Three members of the ICoCA Secretariat, Jamie Williamson, Executive Director of ICoCA, Giuseppe Scirocco, Monitoring Officer and Gina Menghini, Project Officer, travelled to Erbil in Iraq in September, 2019 to meet with ICoCA members as well as raise the profile of the Association with various stakeholder groups. This was the first in a series of field missions taking place in 2019 and 2020, thanks to the generous support of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The ICoCA team met with local private security companies to assess implementation of Code requirements. Particular focus is being made on the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA) during this round of field missions, following on from the ICoCA’s publication of Guidelines on PSEA, a project also made possible thanks to the generous support of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Member companies visited showed strong commitments to respecting human rights and to raising private security standards in the region. All of them rely on and invest in good community relations as part of their operations.

Attending a member company training in Erbil

Thanks to our civil society organisation Members, Iraqi Al-Amal Association and Tammuz Organisation for Social Development, a civil society workshop was organised. This two-day workshop was held with 16 participants representing different governorates of Iraq and included a meeting between private security company members and civil society organisations. This was the first time civil society organisations had been in the same room as private security companies and proved a great opportunity for these two stakeholder groups to learn from each other and find common ground.

Participants at the workshop were keen to compile more information about the private security industry in Iraq, to build an Iraqi civil society organisations network and raise awareness about the Code and ICoCA. Energised by the proceedings, there is clearly appetite to organise more exchanges between private security companies and civil society organistions. We’d like to thank all those who took the time to take part, and look forward to continuing the conversations and ensuring the responsible provision of private security in Iraq.

Workshop with civil society organisations and private security company members