Journal of International Peace Operations
Volume 7, Number 6 – May-June 2012
A Bi-Monthly Review of ISOA’s Activities: March-April 2012
Spring is always a busy time, but add the early onset of warm weather, and things certainly heated up. The U.S. Presidential election picked up steam as the Republican primary finally shook out the leading candidate, and Congress presented several bills pertinent to ISOA members. The first iteration of efforts to implement some of the Commission on Wartime Contracting recommendations was released, followed shortly thereafter by twin bills in the House and Senate on labor trafficking. Talks about the drawdown in Afghanistan kept up their usual volume, while Iraq took some of the spotlight as it continued to take control over governmental functions on a large scale. The issuance of visas is still a problem, and companies and NGOs from all over the world continue to see slow progress. Conflict erupted in hotspots in Syria, Mali and Sudan. Amid discussions of sequestration in the U.S. Department of Defense budget starting in 2013, international calls for intervention to quell these conflicts fell on mostly deaf ears, except for continued attention from the United Nations.
SPOTLIGHT Standards, Ethics & Compliance
ISOA was founded 11 years ago in April 2001 with the ISOA Code of Conduct, a document created by, now ISOA President, Doug Brooks in coordination with NGOs, human rights advocates and local people in Africa in order to ensure high standards for companies working there. Today, our Code of Conduct defines ISOA’s efforts to foster a global partnership of private sector and nongovernmental organizations committed to providing the highest level of service in their critical support in fragile environments worldwide. To this end, ISOA tracks, responds to and participates in various standards processes and important issues regarding our code. March and April were particularly active for ISOA’s compliance efforts.
There has been a significant amount of movement on human trafficking issues in Washington over the past two months. President Obama’s Interagency Task Force To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons met in mid-March to report on progress at all USG agencies to address the issue. Twin bills were also announced from the House and Senate addressing trafficking. The Office of the Inspector General for the Department of State testified on human trafficking and abusive labor practices involving Third-country nationals hired to perform services under contracts or subcontracts to the federal government on overseas contracts. ISOA and the ABA had begun in February to plan a labor trafficking conference for 1 May—and the climate in DC was certainly ripe.
International Code of Conduct for Private Security Providers: Draft Charter
The long-awaited release of the ICOC-PSP Draft Charter was met with careful coverage by ISOA. Our Private Security Companies Committee met to review the new document, and welcomed Mark DeWitt from Triple Canopy for a webinar. ISOA subsequently coordinated industry comments on the Draft Charter. We await next steps in the coming months.
Fundamentals of Ethics & Compliance Seminar
ISOA Member Steptoe & Johnson hosted a members-only seminar in their Washington office on ethics and compliance in March. The comprehensive event was a must-attend for compliance officers and was a great opportunity to share experiences and best practices
Interested in sponsoring a unique event, advertising in an ISOA publication or both? Contact Jason Kennedy at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.