There is very little transparency in the private security sector. Questions often remain unanswered because the contracts are withheld on the grounds of commercial confidentiality. This lack of information means it is hard if not impossible to speak truth to powerful private security multinationals. In an age where political leaders seem obsessed with austerity measures, it should come as no surprise that they will not hold these companies accountable. What is it that we, the people, can do? Should private companies derive a profit off war and conflicts?
The Private Security Network has been launched as an online platform devoted to journalistic investigations into the private security industry. Approximately 35 investigative journalists from 20 different countries are members of the Network. It aims to report and hold companies like G4S accountable for their human rights violations. The Network will monitor and investigate this industry and will share factual content on this website.
The Journalismfund.eu-supported European cross-border team of journalists - Ruth Hopkins (UK), Harry Karanikas (Greece), Seth Wessler (United States), Phil Miller (UK) - will scrutinise the private security industry - a sector that globally outsizes armies and police forces - per company. Their first transnational investigation is into G4S, a powerful multinational that claims to be the biggest security company in the world. The team will continue to produce content on this company for a year during their investigation process.
This transnational network of investigative journalists from various countries will produce strong investigative multimedia pieces on the global security provider. The aim is to uncover G4S’ patterns of dealing with liability and accountability for human rights violations in their immigration operation.
The Private Security Network will continue to exist as an online platform where stories on the company can be collated and cross‑referenced and where whistle‑blowers can leak information safely and securely. If the project is a success then the Private Security Network could also evolve into a permanent structure, focusing on the global private security market.
Find more information at www.privatesecurity.network
Photo: @ belga
The first stories with the support of Journalismfund.eu will be published soon.