On 22nd May, 2017, ASSN collaborated with the Geneva Center for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) to hold a workshop on supporting the role of civil society in promoting oversight and accountability of the private security sector. The workshop was held at the African Royal Beach Hotel in Accra, Ghana and included participants from East, West and Southern Africa as well as Europe and America.
The Private Security Governance Observatory Project was developed by DCAF to empower civil society in order to engage effectively at national and international levels while at the same time promoting norms, good practices and standards for private security governance. After a successful regional pilot of the project in Francophone Africa, the expansion of the project and network was identified as a priority, in order to widen its reach and impact. Hence, the workshop in Accra to commence an Anglophone wing of the project. This project offers an innovative approach in terms of support to and capacity building of CSOs, among others through the promotion of a network fostering exchange, information sharing and reflections on the governance of private security.
The one-day Workshop had the following objectives:
- Present the Private Security Governance Observatory Project;
- Raise awareness of existing international initiatives and standards on private security governance and their relevance for the local and regional context;
- Bring together a group of relevant organisations in the region working in the fields of security sector governance, human rights or related issues with an interest in the topic of private security oversight and accountability and establish a network of these organisations;
- Discuss the potential role CSOs can play in improving oversight and accountability of the private security industry;
- Identify specific needs and challenges of the region with regard to the private security industry; and
- Establish potential future steps that will promote efficient oversight and accountability of the private security sector.