Contract Guidance Tool

States, international organisations, humanitarian organisations and non-governmental organisations increasingly hire PMSCs to support their security, in particular in situations of armed conflict or post-conflict environments.

Nevertheless, the selection of a potential PMSC contractor is often primarily based on the ‘lowest price’ criteria. This practice can be harmful to a client’s reputation and risks leading to lower standards in the industry in general. Once a PMSC is hired, the performance and profile of the company and its personnel may also be associated with the client’s image.

The role of clients is fundamental, as commercial incentives and restrictions in the contract can help compel private military and security providers to adhere to relevant human rights and IHL obligations. Contracts can also be a powerful legal tool to reinforce high standards. Yet, there is scarce shared information and experience to support developing contracts that ensure respect with these principles and rules. Reputational risks can also be mitigated with a contracting process which includes effective screening and vetting procedures.

The Contract Guidance Tool draws on leading international norms and standards to reflect the principles of responsible procurement and contracting practices, and provides clear and practical guidelines for national contracting officers or procurement specialists. By translating knowledge and research into a practical and easy-to-use format, the Contract Guidance Tool provides implementation support for those individuals drafting, implementing, and monitoring contracts with PMSCs.

Download the tool here

Mapping  Study on Montreux Document Outreach and Implementation

This study seeks to inform Montreux Document participants on the strengths as well as the key remaining challenges in outreach and implementation and is designed to capture legislative practice by national authorities in their efforts to implement the rules and good practices of the Montreux Document. Additionally, this study seeks to identify themes and geographical regions that could benefit from further research, implementation, capacity building, outreach, and knowledge sharing. As such, the study intends to promote discussion in the MDF as well as offer momentum and direction for the work of the MDF related to implementation and promotion of the Montreux Document. Download the Mapping Study here.


The need for a more effective and full implementation of the legal obligations and good practices contained in the Montreux Document at the domestic level was highlighted during the Montreux+5 Conference. The main challenges identified during the Conference, included:

Determination of services

To ensure respect for IHL and international human rights law it is essential that states enact laws that clearly determine which services may or may not be performed by PMSCs. Laws should delineate among risk management, training and advisory functions and those activities that may lead PMSCs to become involved in direct participation in hostilities.

Extraterritorial applicability of legislation

The multinational nature of PMSCs contributes to challenges for national legislation. States whose domestic law prohibits their nationals from working for PMSCs abroad have pointed out difficulties in ensuring that other states and companies respect their laws. Further cooperation and discussion is needed in this regard.

Licensing and authorisation systems

Ensuring that existing licensing and authorisation systems are able to effectively perform their tasks is also a way for states to ensure respect for the Montreux Document. Sufficient resources are essential for these agencies to perform their work, which may involve screening of past conduct, compliance with relevant regulations, licensing with regard to weapons and assessing adequate training. It is expected that the MDF will play a role in supporting MD participants with the effective implementation of the legal obligations and good practices.