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Security firms worry

The Fiji Times Online:

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Concerns have been raised by stakeholders on certain aspects of the private security companies in the region which need to be looked at.

The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, in collaboration with the UNDP held a one-day workshop on "A Regional Approach to Strengthen Private Security Governance" with the aim to connect different stakeholders and to facilitate conversations between government, industry, community stakeholders and donors.

The PIFS said private security companies were a growth industry and a significant source of employment in the Pacific yet the industry was largely unregulated and unmapped across the region.

Some of the issues raised at the workshop included gender-based violence, human rights and governance, and lack of oversight.

Andie Fong Toy, acting secretary general for the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat stated: "The private security industry can play an important role in reducing crime, enhancing community safety and contributing to sustainable economic growth.

"But as the demands for the privatisation of security increases, the absence of a comprehensive regional regulatory framework to manage this industry may have the potential to weaken regional security governance."

According to the PIFS the workshop provides a beneficial platform to work together as a region and identify the way forward for a strengthened private security governance and also be an avenue for countries and the industry to link up with global standards within the international private security industry.

"We look forward to facilitating more of these exchanges on these issues of concern to Pacific Island countries. Most importantly, the engagement with practitioners, the private sector, academics, governments and policy makers is key to moving this forward."

Read story: The Fiji Times Online

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