Mercenaries in Contemporary Armed Conflicts: The Rise of Proxy Wars Event Logo

Mercenaries in Contemporary Armed Conflicts: The Rise of Proxy Wars

by Public and Community Events


Mon, Nov 1, 2021

6 PM – 8 PM (GMT+2)

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Online Event


In this webinar, MacLeod -a member of the UN Working Group on the use of mercenaries- will examine the emergence, use, and role of modern mercenaries in 21st-century armed conflicts and their impacts on human rights and international humanitarian law. It will consider, in particular, the use of mercenaries by countries not a party to a conflict in so-called ‘proxy wars’ and some of the geopolitical and humanitarian consequences. She will address:

  • The complexity and difficulties of legal definitions and regulation of mercenaries;
  • Recent examples of mercenary activities, e.g., Russia’s use of mercenaries in Libya and the Central African Republic; Turkey’s recruitment of mercenaries for Nagorno-Karabakh and Libya
  • Issues around accountability for human rights abuses and war crimes.


Sorcha MacLeod's profile photo

Sorcha MacLeod

Fellow and Associate Professor

Sorcha MacLeod is a Marie Skłodowska Curie Fellow and Associate Professor at the University of Copenhagen and an Adjunct Lecturer at the Hertie School of Governance, Berlin. She is an independent human rights expert to the United Nations Working Group on Mercenaries. She is also an invited expert to the UN Intergovernmental Working Group on private military and security companies.

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Jason Beckett

Assistant Professor, Law Department

The American University in Cairo

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