Private military and security contractors as "persons who accompany the armed forces"
War by contract : human rights, humanitarian law, and private contractors
Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2011
A possible legal issue related to the involvement of private military and security companies (PMSCs) in armed conflicts is the classification of persons who accompany the armed forces for personnel belonging to such firms by the states who contracts them. This chapter examines the legal issues related to this question, mainly focusing on the conduct of hostilities (particularly the qualification of PMSC personnel as civilians or combatants, direct participation in hostilities) and the status of these personnel if captured. Recent situations of armed conflict have raised questions of whether PMSC personnel are entitled to claim prisoner of war status under Article 4.A.4 of the Third Geneva Convention. In addressing this question, the chapter examines both the link between the individual and the armed forces or other entities as well as the type of activities undertaken by PMSC employees claiming such protection.