In most complex environments where peacebuilding efforts are carried out, private security has been deemed an essential service amidst the COVID-19 crisis. Mandated to protect essential facilities or to enforce containment measures, it has effectively become the gatekeeper of local communities in many fragile contexts. While this shines a light on the increasing role played by the industry in conflict and complex environments, it also poses new challenges in terms of access to beneficiaries and the advancement of peacebuilding efforts.
This panel discussion clarifies the obligations of private security providers in light of the shifting priorities dictated by the fight against COVID-19, considers the essential role of civil society in promoting transparency, oversight and accountability of the industry, and addresses elements often overlooked in peacebuilding discussions such as the use of new technologies and private security providers’ duty of care towards their clients. The aim of the discussion is to identify key recommendations for the responsible use of private security services to be shared not only with private security providers and their clients, but also with all the other actors involved in peacebuilding efforts such as donors and governmental, non-governmental and international organisations.
Lisa Reilly – Executive Director, Global Interagency Security Forum (GISF)
Andrew Farquhar – Managing Director, GardaWorld UK
Beatrice Godefroy – Europe Director, Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC)
Jamie Williamson – Executive Director, International Code of Conduct Association (ICoCA)