Roundtable on role of the private sector in times of conflict organized in London by ImpACT

London- The role of the private sector, such as contractors, during wars and other conflicts will be the focus of a roundtable discussion in London on 16 October, organized by ImpACT International for Human Rights Policies. Special emphasis will be placed on the role of private companies in Iraq, Yemen and Syria.

Lara Hamidi, a researcher for ImpACT, will present a paper reviewing the findings of a study on the “Impact of the Private Sector in Times of Conflict and Crisis: Yemen and Syria.”

In addition, Mary Martin, director of the UN Business and Human Security Initiative and senior research fellow at LSE IDEAS, will present a paper on the role of the private sector in peacebuilding.

Nicolai Due-Gundersen, a political commentator at Kingston University in the UK and author of “The Privatization of Warfare” will conclude with a discussion of how the general public perceives the use of private military companies by state governments. Highlighted in the latter debate will be the 2003 Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal and the 2007 Nisour Square massacre by the company formerly known as Blackwater.

Due-Gunderson will update his previous research with commentary on how developments in Syria have impacted the growth of the use of private military contractors and the emerging Cold War between the United States and Russia in the Middle East.

In September, ImpACT conducted a study looking at both the negative and positive consequences of private-sector involvement in both Syria and Iraq in times of armed conflict.

The roundtable will be held at the Amba Hotel Marble Arch in London from 18:30-20:00.

ImpACT International for Human Rights Policies is a London-based think tank concerned with policies at the intersection of government and businesses.