Evacuation from Irpin, Ukraine, March 5, 2022

ICoCA is gravely concerned by the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.

As part of the aid effort, many organisations involved in providing humanitarian assistance will in all likelihood be relying on the support of private security providers (PSPs) as part of their operations.

Where Humanitarian organisations fail to conduct required human rights due diligence on their PSPs, they increase the risks for themselves and civilians they assist.

At a minimum, to mitigate these risks, humanitarian organisations in Ukraine and bordering countries looking to contract security providers should ensure that:

  1. Any decision they take to contract private security providers is compatible with humanitarian principles and acceptance.
  2. Human Rights due diligence is systematically included in new and existing procurement processes for selecting private security providers, including in request for proposals and tender documents.
  3. The private security providers have a proven track record of respect for internationally recognised standards, such as the International Code of Conduct, and have integrated these into their policies, procedures and operations.
  4. Their contracting policies and guidance and Human Rights Due Diligence requirements are established, disseminated and applied systematically across the organisation.

Donors of humanitarian organisations looking using private security providers in Ukraine and bordering countries should make sure that:

  1.  A duty of care is recognised in the contracting of responsible private security by the humanitarian organisations they support.
  2. The humanitarian organisations they support select private security providers on the basis of internationally recognised standards such as ICoCA Certification, Affiliation and Membership.
  3. The humanitarian organisations they support systematically include in their budgets costs sufficient to meet the requirements of contracting responsible private security providers.

For further information on best practices for the humanitarian sector when contracting private security providers, please read the following ICoCA/GISF report and policy brief and contact

Any suspicion or allegations of wrongdoing by private security providers contracted by humanitarian agencies and not seen to be operating in accordance with international standards, international humanitarian law or international human rights can also be communicated, in confidence to ICoCA or by following this link.

Watch Jamie Williamson, Executive Director of ICoCA discussing the roles and risks of contracting Private Security Providers in conflict settings such as Ukraine, below.