February 4th, 2012 • SP Member of Parliament Harry van Bommel is urging the Ministers of Defence and of Justice to introduce compulsory registration of private military firms and the screening of mercenaries. The Dutch government makes use of the services of such companies but registration and screening are as things stand not obligatory if the work for which they are hired is performed abroad. According to a recent television documentary the result is that persons with a history of criminality can easily find employment with private military corporations.
Currently registration is required only of private security firms operating within the Netherlands. Dutch security firms, as well as mercenaries, who operate outside the country come under the law of the state within whose jurisdiction they are active. Van Bommel sees this situation as undesirable, certainly where firms performing services for the Dutch authorities are concerned. “I’d rather not see military tasks undertaken by private corporations at all, but while they are then there should at least be a system of registration and screening. It is utterly stupid to allow convicted criminals to be hired by the government for security tasks,” he says.
In addition to compulsory registration and screening Van Bommel wants at the same time to see all incidents involving firearms or the use of violence to be registered in the deployment of all employees of private military corporations registered in the Netherlands, and clarity regarding liability in relation to offenses or crimes committed by these firms or mercenaries during the performance of contracted tasks.