DCAF An open pit-mine. MG VaughAn / Creative Commons

The Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) are running a joint project entitled “Addressing Security and Human Rights Challenges in Complex Environments” with support from the Human Security Division of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. The project aims to help companies operating in complex environments to bring their approaches to security in line with human rights principles.

The DCAF and ICRC have developed an Internet platform (“Security and Human Rights Knowledge Hub”) and a toolkit for this purpose. The “Knowledge Hub” is a place for companies and other stakeholders to find documents containing relevant guidance, case studies, and tools relating to security and human rights matters in crisis regions. The toolkit offers examples of security concepts that have proven effective in practice, as well as problem-solving approaches and recommendations for specific challenges relating to security policy and human rights that companies in complex environments face.

The DCAF and ICRC also encourage companies to implement standards and practical problem-solving approaches at national level. For instance, the project is currently developing a basic course on human rights and conflict management for police officers in Kenya, who are hired to monitor oil and gas fields. The two organizations are also reinforcing country-specific implementation structures, such as in Peru, where they are setting up and supporting national working groups on the “Voluntary principles on security and human rights.” Finally, the project is supporting stakeholders from government, civil society, and the private sector in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as they discuss and devise national implementation priorities in close cooperation with the Swiss Embassy and an existing working group on the Voluntary principles.