Private security firms plan code of conduct

Wednesday - 10/20/2010, 3:36pm EDT

In the face of controversial setbacks, private security firms are signing an international code of conduct, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Companies that signed on promised to "to respect human rights, properly screen security personnel and work to reduce civilian harm when working in conflict zones," according to the article.

Over the past decade, demand has increased for private security firms in in places like Afghanistan and Iraq. Recently a Senate investigation found evidence that private security firms in Afghanistan hired locals with ties to the Taliban.

The code of conduct is a self-policing document, not legally binding. However, signing on to such a code may be a requirement in the future to be hired by the Defense Department. The House-passed version of the fiscal year 2011 defense authorization bill would require DoD to use "third-party certification" when hiring private contractors, according to the article.

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