September 16, 2019
 In Articles

Disarmament and International Security Committee

Private Military Contractors


Rushil Talla

Forest Hills Eastern


Around the world, mercenaries hired by private military contractors have been accused of abuse, torture, and murder and have accentuated the need for regulations. The deaths of numerous civilians in various conflict zones and the use of torture in the form of electric shocks and assault on prisoners are alarming and a solution must be found. The United Nations Mercenary Convention is currently the most prominent international treaty addressing military contractors; however, it lacks the support of some of the largest militaries in the world. This is because many militaries receive support from the private sector and these funds and personal are crucial for operation.

Currently, work is being conducted to restrict the private sector’s military involvement and the use of mercenaries. Cambodia’s military, however, is funded by the private sector. Cambodia sees the United Nations Mercenary Convention as a threat since it bans the use of mercenaries and since our military is funded by the private sector, our army technically solely consists of mercenaries. By accepting this treaty, we would have to disband our current army and without the necessary funds, we would not be able to rise our own army, which is why we actively disagree with this treaty. We believe that ensuring mercenaries do not act outside of their bounds is acceptable but that the private sector, the private military contractors, are allowed to continue operation and are not shut down completely. Private military contractors can be beneficial by providing an additional source of resources for armies and therefore have a good reason to remain in operation.

Murder and torture are abhorrent and must be regulated, but it is not the private military contractors who should be punished. Restrictions should be placed on where mercenaries are allowed to operate. For example, mercenaries who have proven to pose a threat to civilians should be deployed in zones away from concentrated civilian territory. This will allow the companies to continue providing services while preventing harm to the civilians. Background checks could be used to see if these mercenaries are likely to cause harm to others besides those that they are supposed to fight. A resolution that seeks to regulate the actions of mercenaries however does not prevent the complete use of them would be looked favorably upon by Cambodia.

  • Rushil Talla

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