Risk mitigation: hiring private security providers which are certified by the International Code of Conduct Association (ICoCA) or another industry standard

The International Code of Conduct Association (ICoCA) is a multi-stakeholder initiative formed in 2013 to ensure that providers of private security services respect human rights and humanitarian law. It serves as the governance and oversight mechanism of the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers. Members are certified to the Code on the basis of ICoCA-recognised industry standards (see below bullet points). Additionally, ICoCA regularly publishes tools and guidance for its members to support their development of human rights-compliant policies and practices.  

Members are monitored through remote tracking by ICoCA, mandatory reporting and, in some cases, by visits. Civil society members of ICoCA may also notify the association about irregularities in their countries of origin. Additionally, complaints can be submitted to ICoCA alleging breaches of the Code by their members. The Code also requires private security providers to have a company grievance mechanism, and ICoCA monitors the implementation of this requirement via company self-assessments and field visits.

Contracting private security providers that are ICoCA members does not absolve the company of its due diligence responsibilities towards their private security providers, but at least assures a certain level of awareness and scrutiny in regard to private security providers’ human rights commitments.  

Certification is recognized by industry standards such as: