16.09.2016

Weekly News Update

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/06/us/air-force-drones-terrorism-isis.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region®ion=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=3 © John Moore/Getty Images

India (03.09.2016): State labor department is reportedly not implementing provisions of the Maharashtra Private Security Guard Act (1981) that would benefit all registered private security guards. This lack of implementation would mainly be a consequence of corruption, allowing private security companies to obtain licenses with a bribe, bypassing legal requirements and not registering their guards. The authorities remain powerless to enforce legal requirement on unregistered companies and guards. Several security guards have pledged violent actions, if the state labor department fails to implement the provisions of the Act benefiting them.

 

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India (04.09.2016): Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya has announced a plan to categorise security guards as “skilled” and supervisors as “highly skilled”. This new categorization will entitle security personnel to receive higher wages as well as encourage agencies to recruit, train and employ quality workforce. In a simplification exercise, the current 44 central labor laws will be merged into four codes, respectively addressing wages, industrial relations, social security and working conditions & health and safety. The Home ministry also called for increased self-regulation of the private security sector, and announced the circulation of a model bid document, to discourage under-cutting and encourage hiring of licensed firms to ensure accountability.

 

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US (05.09.2016): The extensive use of drones by the American military against terrorist groups has resulted in a shortage of military personnel to operate the aircraft, leading the Pentagon to rely more on private contractors for reconnaissance missions. Contractors serving as drone pilots are based in the region and legally prohibited from firing weapons. Over the past month, four drones operated by contractors where added to the approximately 60 drones flown on a daily basis by military personnel. Experts expressed concern regarding the adequate oversight and accountability for contractors operating drones.

 

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Mexico (07.09.2016): Insiders and security experts warn that the industry is rife with corruption and that its rapid growth risks exacerbating security inequality by encouraging authorities to neglect public security. As a result of security guards typically having very low wages, many supplement their income by stealing shipments of merchandise that they are supposed to be protecting. While other security guards make extra cash as cartel lookouts, other cases have been reported where criminal gangs have created their own security firms to disguise or partially legitimize their operations. These private security firms would also sometimes be used to launder money, as authorities rarely verify how they spend their money or how many employees they really have. Acquiring a license for security guards to carry guns, for example, is a simple way of subverting Mexico's ban on firearms, allowing cartels to legally purchase arms

 

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Liberia (14.092016): In an interview published by an internationally known law firm, Allen & Overy’s Law Journal on Human Rights and foreign Investments, Christiana Tah, the former Justice Minister of the Republic of Liberia addressed the key role of government to ensure compliance with the terms of contracts. She expressed concerns about the independence of agencies within the justice system, stating that “the national Police and the Ministry of Justice must remain untainted and uncompromised when overseeing investors’ use of private security forces”. In 2014, she resigned her functions, citing, among other, her lack of independence to investigate allegations of fraud against the National Security Agency.

 

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South Africa (14.09.2016): Mr Francois Beukman, Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Police, has called for cooperation between the private security industry, the South African Police Services (SAPS) and other government law enforcement agencies to strengthen community safety. In particular, he addressed the need for an increased parliamentary role in the oversight of the private security sector.

 

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