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: In the last 20 years since the Cold War has ended the organization of armed forces around the world changed considerably. One of such changes includes privatization of part of the functions, which were earlier recognized as purely military ones. Currently the status of private military and security companies is the black hole in the international law. The article concerns the issue of the status of the PMSC staff in the armed conflict and their correlation with those of mercenary. When evaluating this issue we can draw a conclusion that these two types are not identical. The author comes to a conclusion that while the PMSC staff may gain the combatant status, in most cases they fail to meet the requirements of the Geneva Conventions for this status. Therefore, the primary status of the PMSC staff during an armed conflict is that of civilian persons.


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Abstract: In the last 20 years since the Cold War has ended the organization of armed forces around the world changed considerably. One of such changes includes privatization of part of the functions, which were earlier recognized as purely military ones. Currently the status of private military and security companies is the black hole in the international law. The article concerns the issue of the status of the PMSC staff in the armed conflict and their correlation with those of mercenary. When evaluating this issue we can draw a conclusion that these two types are not identical. The author comes to a conclusion that while the PMSC staff may gain the combatant status, in most cases they fail to meet the requirements of the Geneva Conventions for this status. Therefore, the primary status of the PMSC staff during an armed conflict is that of civilian persons.


Keywords:

private military companies, international law, international humanitarian law, law of the armed conflicts, combatants, non-combatants, mercenary, prisoners of war, PMSC, the Geneva Conventions.


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