UNITED NATIONS, July 26 (UPI) -- More oversight and monitoring at the national and international level are needed for private military contractors, a U.N. group said.
A U.N. working group on the use of mercenaries and private military and security companies is briefing U.N. delegates on the international mechanisms needed to regulate such activity during a weeklong conference at U.N. headquarters this week.
Private security and military contractors are under fire for their role in combat zones.
Erik Prince, the founder U.S. private security company Xe, told an audience in Holland, Mich., in May that security forces working for his company in Afghanistan called in NATO support during operations in 2009.
Critics say contractors like Xe are operating outside of international law.
Prince during his Holland speech responded to accusations that his contractors were potentially violating the Geneva Conventions by acting as unlawful combatants in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. He said militants there were "barbarians," adding, "They don't know where Geneva is, let alone that there was a convention there."
Members of the working group, the U.N. news center reports, are expected to call for tighter regulations at the national and international level to monitor the work of mercenaries and private security contractors.