Topic: Private Military Contractors
Delegate: Nora Gauss
School: Fishers High School
Private military contractors have long been debated around the globe, with those in support stating they work towards keeping the peace and those who stand in opposition claiming they are far more violent. In 2017, 23.6% of respondents in Bulgaria confirm cases of crimes, violence, and/or vandalism. This percentage is the highest in the EU. Knowing that there is an issue with violence, the Bulgarian government couldn’t rely on their own military, a militia of only 27,000 standing troops (as of 2014). This is far too large of an issue for the nation to deal with on its own. By employing, private military contractors (also known as PMCs), the country gets a boost in safety of the people. But, in turn, also have to deal with the abusive affairs.
After multiple reports of inefficient policies regarding illicit ordeals, Bulgaria passed legislation that allowed mayors to contract private security companies. This would help the nation to remain safe, as some of the most violent areas were being more heavily guarded. By contacting private security corporations, schools, parks, reservoirs, and other municipal buildings would remain guarded and secure. In the past, we have worked to curb any possibility of abuse from PMCs, with mixed results. In 1994, Ordinance No. 14 for the Issuance of Permits for Guarding of Sites and Private Individuals by Physical and Legal Persons was passed. This ensured that those who had been involved in criminal activity could not control the military contract. Not only that, but in 1997, all private companies had to discontinue violent practices like racketeering and extortion. Though these efforts persisted throughout the 1990s, we see today that there are risks. Though Bulgaria has made great strides in ensuring that PMCs are safe, we cannot guarantee that there is no risk of criminal activity.
This is why Bulgaria supports the us of private military contractors, to an extent. Due to action taken in the past, the private military contractors that we employ have less abuse and are able to focus on their original intent: to keep the people safe. This would be beneficial to the people, if PMCs were not known to be abusive. However, since we acknowledge there are risks with signing private military contractors, we support restrictions on these military companies. We have used them in the past and are going to continue to use them in the future. If new illegal practices arise in Bulgaria, we will work to find an alternative. One idea is to hold these companies responsible for breaking any domestic laws. Currently, Bulgaria only prosecutes individuals, not corporations. We propose a piece of legislature that is able to change this, so that we can hold PMCs accountable, if there is misconduct that requires a national response.
Cain, Phil. “Eastern Europe’s Private Armies” Public Radio International, 21 August 2010,
Dickinson, Laura A. “Accountability of Private Security Contractors under International and Domestic law” American Society of International Law, 26 December 2007,
Leviev-Sawyer, Clive. “Controversy as Bulgaria empowers mayors to contract private security firms to guard entire towns” Independent Balkans News Agency, 19 January 2018,
“Survey: Bulgaria is the Most Dangerous Country in the EU: The Highest Number of Crime, Violence and Vandalism” Sofia News Agency, 27 November 2018,
- Nora Gauss