This Toolkit has been developed by the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) as part of their joint project to develop guidance to support companies operating in complex environments manage their security in a way that is effective and respects human rights and, when relevant, international humanitarian law.

If you would like to be informed whenever a new version of the Toolkit is available, sign up on this Knowledge Hub to receive a quarterly newsletter highlighting new uploads on the Hub, upcoming events and updates to the Toolkit.

This Toolkit may be freely used and shared for educational and other non-commercial purposes, provided that the DCAF-ICRC Toolkit is acknowledged as the source. If you would like to electronically share the Toolkit, please provide a link to: As the Toolkit is a ‘Living Document’, this way we can ensure that the users have always access to the latest version.


Addressing Security and Human Rights Challenges in Complex Environments Toolkit - Second Edition (DCAF and ICRC, June 2015)

The Toolkit has the form of an overall guidance document with references to a selection of the most relevant existing resources and tools. Based on the priorities identified by the project team through consultations with key stakeholders, the project has initially focused on developing three chapters of the Toolkit: 1) Working with host governments, 2) Working with public security forces, and 3) Working with private security providers. A final chapter 4) Working with communities is currently being developed.

The Toolkit is structured around challenges related to the issues of working with host governments, public security forces and private security providers. These challenges have been identified through desk and field research, and a review process. Good practices and recommendations are provided on how to address these challenges building on what the VPs, the IGTs, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and security sector reform good practice specifically say on those issues. These good practices are not meant to be prescriptive. It is up to the user to evaluate whether they could be feasible, useful and appropriate to the local context in a specific situation on the ground.

Together with these good practices, practical tools such as checklists, templates and case studies are provided. These are geared mostly towards supporting project-level implementation. The Toolkit has internal links, allowing easy navigation from one section to another.

The Toolkit is a living document. It will be regularly updated with new good practices, tools and case studies. Through the Comment function found at the bottom of the page, feedback and suggestions from users are strongly encouraged in order to ensure that the recommendations and tools provided in this Toolkit are effective in addressing challenges on the ground.


Respondiendo a los Desafíos de Seguridad y Derechos Humanos en Entornos Complejos – Guía Práctica, Segunda Edición (DCAF y CICR, Abril 2016)

La Guía Práctica recoge recomendaciones y buenas prácticas sobre cómo afrontar desafíos reales en materia de seguridad y derechos humanos, complementadas por herramientas prácticas como listas de verificación y casos de estudio. Las recomendaciones y buenas prácticas se han desarrollado en colaboración con diversos actores y se fundamentan en recursos clave como son los Principios Voluntarios de Seguridad y Derechos Humanos, los Principios Rectores sobre las Empresas y los Derechos Humanos de las Naciones Unidas, y el conjunto de buenas prácticas para la reforma del sector de seguridad.

La segunda edición de la Guía Práctica contiene tres capítulos: 1) Trabajando con gobiernos de países anfitriones, 2) Trabajando con fuerzas de seguridad pública, y 3) Trabajando con proveedores de seguridad privada. El capítulo 4) Trabajando con comunidades está en proceso de desarrollo.

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Congratulations. Great document. Following could be useful additional tools: - Training package on the use of force and firearms - specifically compiling a UOF continuum that allows public security forces to use lesser, non-lethal and graduated force options. - Guidelines for the selection and use of personal protective equipment and personal security equipment that allow for public security forces to use force in proportion to threats/risks encountered. - Sample Firearm Management Control Documents: Policy framework, Template registers, etc. - Guidelines for the use of force when dealing with public protests, crowds, and/or evictions. - Template MOU. Keep up the good work! Best Wishes, Almero Retief
Almero Retief
Hi. I'm part of the communications team of the CME (Mining-energetic Comitee for Security And Human Rights) in Colombia. We found this document very interesting and useful. But, ¿does exist a version in spanish? Thanks to all for this wonderful work. Best Regards.
Cristian David Ballén Garzón
Dear Mr Garzón, Thank you for your comment. We are glad you have found our Toolkit interesting and useful. While there is currently no Spanish version of the Toolkit available, we are happy to inform you that we are currently in the process of translating the Toolkit. We plan to have a Spanish version of the Toolkit available on the Knowledge Hub this coming fall (2015). If you haven’t already done so, please consider signing up to our Newsletter, which will announce the publication of the Spanish version and keep you updated on other project developments. Thank you again for your feedback. Best Regards.
You're doing great efforts for the best of the world Wishing you all the best
Izeldin Rahamtalla Fadol Hassan
Dear Mr Izeldin Rahamtalla Fadol Hassan, Thank you for your positive feedback. We hope our efforts and tools can support you in your own work. Best Regards.
This is indeed a good resource for capacity building and sensitization of stakeholders. I look forward to wider acceptance of this tool-kit. I also suggest that wider consultation and feed back mechanism should be put in place for proper representation of information. This will indeed make it to be of international standard and acceptable by all. I am making a presentation on Human Rights in Extractive Sector with the objective of improving relationship between host communities and companies and also sensitize the communities to join hand in the fight against Oil theft and Pipe line vandalization. I will make available the the feed back from the group work to enrich this resource.
Chima Jeff Megwei (Nigeria)
Dear Mr Chima Jeff Mewei, Thank you very much for your positive and constructive comment. We are indeed highly interested in receiving feedback from your group work to improve our product and make it more relevant to your work on the ground. Please also do not hesitate to get in touch and share suggestions on possible feedback mechanisms that can further our understanding of local challenges, good practices and use of the Toolkit. Lastly, please note that we are currently developing a final chapter on 'Working with communities' that may be particularly relevant to your work (to be published in 2016). Best Regards.