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Iraq: Security Guards

Volume 458: debated on Wednesday 14 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if she will estimate (a) how many private military and security companies are operating in Iraq and (b) how many individuals are employed by such companies in that country. (127018)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office does not keep a record of private military and security companies operating in Iraq. The Private Security Company Association of Iraq (PSCAI) (www.pscai.org) has fifty companies listed as members and estimates that the total private security company workforce is approximately 30,000 employees, broken down as follows:

Number

Citizens of United States/United Kingdom/Australia;

5,000

Third country nationals such as Fijians, South Americans, Georgians, Ghurkas etc

10,000

Iraqis

15,000

Figures are difficult to accurately assess as the labour force is very mobile and membership of PSCAI is not compulsory.