: Springer International Publishing, AG
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Foreword This book, edited by Professor Helena Torroja, grew out of her ongoing commitment to the mandate of the Working Group on the use of mercenaries (OHCHR), with which she has actively collaborated since shortly after its creation by the Human Rights Commission in 2005 (Res. 2005/2). The Working Group has benefited from her expertise with various activities carried out in fulfillment of our mandate, according to which we are to monitor mercenaries in all their manifestations and study mercenary-related trends and activities in different parts of the world and their impact on human rights, particularly on the right of peoples to self-determination. The collaboration has primarily focused on the part of the mandate concerning the impact of the activities of private military and security companies (PMSCs) on these rights and the regulatory frameworks governing such companies around the world, including their gaps, shortcomings, and good practices. The present book was undertaken at the initiative of Professor Torroja in response to the growing concern of the international community over the threat posed by the criminal activities of mercenaries to peace and security in developing countries, particularly in conflict zones. It likewise aims to address concerns over the role played by PMSCs, which have diversified their activities from the provision of military assistance, consultancy, and security services to other areas in which they also affect the enjoyment of human rights and are rarely held accountable for human rights violations. The work of the experts invited to participate, all of whom have extensive experience in the study of these phenomena, reflects the urgent need to make effective progress on the strengthening of the international legal framework for both phenomena at a time when, as recognized by the Human Rights Council in its Resolution on the Working Group, “armed conflicts, terrorism, arms trafficking and covert operations by third Powers encourage, inter alia, the demand for mercenaries and for private military and security companies on the global market” (Res. 33/4 de 2016). Every chapter of the book draws on exhaustive research presenting diachronic analyses and considering the social and legal reality of mercenarism and the activities of PMSCs. The reality of how these companies operate in specific situations, the serious human rights violations in different states and operational contexts, and the analyses of the national and international legal context in which these nonstate actors operate repeatedly point to gaps and weaknesses and an urgent need to strengthen national and international regulatory frameworks. Indeed, together the chapters by Felip Daza, Rebecca DeWinter-Schmitt, Jose´ Luis Go´mez del Prado, Mario Laborie, Carlos Lo´pez, and Helena Torroja make up one of the most comprehensive publications on the phenomena of mercenarism and PMSCs, constituting an important contribution to our understanding of these phenomena and the means of improving the protection of human rights in different scenarios. Member of the United Nations Working Group on the Use of Mercenaries, United Nations Human Rights Council Geneva, Switzerland 30 June 2017 Patricia Arias Acknowledgments This book grew out of the research project Toward an International Regulation of the New Forms of Mercenarism: Support for the Regulatory Developments Proposed by the United Nations Working Group on the Use of Mercenaries (2014), conducted at CEI International Affairs (University of Barcelona) under the direction of Professor Helena Torroja and funded through a grant from the International Catalan Institute for Peace (ICIP). The project first gave rise to a report for the UN Working Group, which was subsequently publicly debated at the international seminar Human Rights and New Forms of Mercenarism: Violations, Limits and Opportunities of the International Legal System, held on April 21, 2017, which was coorganized by CEI-International Affairs and NOVACT and cosponsored by the City of Barcelona and Palau Macaya-Obra Social la Caixa. Additional support was provided for the project’s final publication from the City of Barcelona through a grant under the 2016 Barcelona Solidarity Program to CEI-International Affairs, NOVACT, and the Delas Center for Peace Studies for the project STOP CORPORATE WAR: Promoting Research, Social Mobilization and Advocacy in Catalonia and at the International Level to Prevent Modern Wars. Special thanks should also be given to Kari Friedenson and Thomas Bell for their translation of most of the chapter.