n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - The victimisation and victims of soldiers for hire : editorial

Volume 21, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



Victimology, the scientific study of victimisation, has tended to concentrate on persons affected by conflict, crime and violence on domestic level (inter-personal and state-institutional victimisation). The study of victimology on international level focuses on persons affected by war crimes, crimes against humanity, and by natural disasters. This field of study of victimology at international level is a burgeoning field and has much growth potential. Transgressions and transgressors increasingly occur and operate beyond national jurisdictions due to porous borders created by the popularly understood phenomena of globalisation. Operations of transnational corporations, for example, have been shown to impact directly upon human rights and in some cases amount to human rights abuse across any one border. The durability of international conventions such as The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1945), The United Nations Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims and Crime and Abuse of Power (1985), and The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966), has been varied in application and in providing the legal and normative framework in which victims can claim protection. Similarly, the effectiveness of institutions like the International Criminal Court (ICC), the International Court of Justice (ICJ), and the European Court of Human Rights (1959) have only been as effectual as the membership and political will of member states in its enforcement. An emerging field of inquiry which considers the impact on human rights by big business is demonstrated in the operations and agency of Private Military and Security Companies (PMSC's) in conflict zones.

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