Conference of Novact, Delàs Centre and Shock Monitor: “Confronting the privatization of war and security”

  22 November, 2018
 Where: Universitat de Barcelona, Edifici Históric, Aula Capella, Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 585
 Organizes: Novact, el Centre Delàs d'Estudis per la Pau, el Shock Monitor i la Fundació Solidaritat Universitat de Barcelona
 Type of event:

The International Conference Confronting the Privatization of War and Security, held in Barcelona on November 22nd-23rd 2018, aims to raise awareness to the increased participation of Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCs) in conflict and homeland security settings.

Currently, citizens around the globe are facing an increasingly complex international scenario where business interests and politicking are convoluting modern warfare, enabling the entry of privately held corporations with increased firepower and highly specialized training into conflict. Based on the proliferation and fragmentation of non-state armed actors, these corporations involved in war and conflict settings have capitalized on (in)security as a new way of business.

Considering its potential externalities, it is urgent to promote joint research, to raise public awareness and to advance effective advocacy work on the implications that the privatization of war and security can have on the democratic control of security policies and overall respect and protection of human rights worldwide.


To analyze, identify and discuss challenges, limitations, influence and impact of growing role of PMSCs in armed conflicts, occupation and homeland security contexts, while identifying key alternatives and strategies to ensure human security, justice and prevention of corporate-related human rights abuses

To build new narrative on public security based on the exercise of fundamental rights and freedoms through the collaboration of scholars and academia, civil society organizations, human rights defenders and people affected by violence in conflict zones

To develop and create an international and multidisciplinary hub to limit the privatization of war and security with the aim of advancing research agendas, raise awareness, integration of advocacy work through the participation of civil society organizations, working groups, platforms, specialized researchers and human rights defenders and their consolidated networks

Venue: Universitat de Barcelona, Edifici Históric, Aula Capella, Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 585

Date and time: Open sessions: November 22nd2018, from 9:00h to 18:30h; Working Sessions (Closed-Door Meeting, Upon Request): November 23rdfrom 9:00h to 15:00h

Intended Audience: We address these sessions to international civil society organizations and their respective networks, working groups and task forces focused on business and human rights; national and international members of academia; think tanks and practitioners dealing on issues in security, peace and conflict; as well as students and the general public interested in the process of privatization of war and security, armed conflicts, occupation and homeland security contexts.

Organizes: Novact, el Centre Delàs d’Estudis per la Pau, el Shock Monitor i la Fundació Solidaritat Universitat de Barcelona

With the support of: Ajuntament de Barcelona, Universitat de Barcelona, Suds, l’ODHE, ACAPs i BCRH Network

Contact and confirmation:

Open sessions (Day 1): Please confirm you participation to and +34935513292.

Download the complete agenda here.


November 22nd 2018

Day 1 – OPEN SESSIONS: Analyzing perspectives, consequences and strategies to ensure human security

9.00 – Registration

9.30 – 10:00 Inauguration and Welcome

  • Representative of Barcelona Council (TBC)
  • Representative of the University of Barcelona (TBC)
  • Felipe Daza Sierra, Co-director of NOVACT
  • Mark Suhail Samander, Corporate Policy and Research Analyst at Al-Haq Palestine

10:00 – 11.30 Session I: The Phenomenon of Privatization of War and Security – State of the Art, Challenges and Limitations.

Moderator: Kristian Herbolzheimer, Director of the International Catalan Institute for Peace (ICIP)

  • The Concept of “Modern Wars” and the Participation of Military and Security Actors.  Christina Schori Liang, Senior Programme Advisor at Geneva Center Security Policy (GCSP)
  • Legal and Political Implications of Outsourcing Military and Security Services.  Helena Torroja, Professor of Public International law at University of Barcelona and Center of International Studies
  • The Need for an International Normative Framework of Regulation.  Estela Casajuana, Independent Researcher at Profundo

11.30 – 12.00 Coffee Break

12.00 – 14.00 Session II: Presence and Impact of Private Military and Security Actors in Conflict and Occupation Zones in the Mediterranean region.

Moderator: Ms. Leticia Barrios, Shock Monitor Coordinator and member of NOVACT

  • The Impact of PMSCs in Rule of Law and Stabilization Process in Iraq.  Krmanj Othman, Senior Legal Advisor, Independent Commission for Human Rights, Iraqi Kurdistan
  • Use of PMSCs by Israel in the Occupation of East Jerusalem.  Mark Suhail Samander, Corporate Policy and Research Analyst at Al-Haq, Palestine
  • Warlords and PMSCs in Libya.  Javier Martin-Arroyo, Journalist at Agencia EFE
  • The Complicity of PMSCs in the Plundering of Natural Resources in Western Sahara.  Lahcen Dalil, Director and researcher at Association for the Monitoring of Resources and the Protection of Environment in Western Sahara (AMRPEWS)

14.00 – 15.00 Lunch

15.00 – 16.30 Session III: The Increasing Role of Private Military and Security Companies in Homeland Security Contexts.

Moderator: TBC

  • Transformation and human rights’ violations by PMSCs in Homeland Security.  Ainhoa Ruiz, Researcher at Centre Delas Estudis per la Pau
  • The impact of the security-industrial complex on the internal security policy of European Union.  Chris Jones, Researcher at Statewatch
  • Privatization of border controls in Europe.  Dariush Sokolov, Corporate Watch and member of the European Network of Corporate Observatories (ENCO)
  • Illegal Expropriation of Houses by Security Contractors in Catalonia. Representative of La Directa

16.30 – 16.45 Pause

16.45 – 18.15 Session IV: Strategies and Alternatives to Confront the Privatization of War and Security and Ensure Human Security

Moderator: Mr. Jordi Palou, Vice President of NOVACT

  • Observing PMSCs in Conflict Zones, “Shock Monitor”.  John Andrew Carter Jr and Mr. Carlos Díaz Bodoque, Researchers at Shock Monitor and members of NOVACT
  • Effective Advocacy Work: The case of G4S in the United Kingdom.  Ryvka Barnard, Senior campaign officer at War on Want
  • Public Procurement of se services as a tool for protecting human rights. Representative of Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) – TBC-
  • European Networks to monitor and advocate for the control of transnational companies.  Lina María González, Coordinator of the Observatory of Human Rights and Business in the Mediterranean Region – (ODHE) and member of NOVACT

18.15 – 18.30 Conclusions

Mr. Felipe Daza Sierra, Co-director of NOVACT


November 23rd 2018

Day 2 –  CLOSED SESSIONS: Lay the foundations for the creation of an international hub to confront the privatization of war and security