Database On Arms Exporters Fueling Wars
ExitArms.org is a project of two non-governmental organizations, Urgewald and Facing Finance. It aims first and foremost at creating the basis for German and international financial institutions to systematically divest from companies that supply weapons and weapon systems to warring states. At the same time, ExitArms.org can also serve as an instrument for civil society organizations to easily obtain information for respective campaigning. Studies by peace researchers show that arms supplies often contribute to fueling conflicts and reinforcing human rights violations committed in them. Through loans, underwriting, insurance and investments, the finance industry plays a key role for the international arms industry. But financial institutions that want to move war-fueling companies out of their portfolios, often face a very practical hurdle: lack of information. This is where ExitArms.org comes in. It is the first, publicly available database allowing a systematic divestment from companies that supply warring states with arms.
Using the SIPRI Arms Export Database as a starting point, Urgewald and Facing Finance research arms deliveries to warring states on company-level. The current status of the database, looking at the years 2015 to 2020, covers around 500 firms from 45 countries that were involved in arms exports to 33 states with high intensity violent conflicts (limited war or war according to the Heidelberg Conflict Barometer), for which there was no UN Security Council mandate. Involvement is defines as either direct involvement, through subsidiaries or via joint ventures. It includes the manufacturing, repair, modernization, refurbishment, design, sale and supply of weapons, as well as the supply of dual-use products and the licensing of arms production. ExitArms.org thus offers an information base for investment strategies and credit policies with binding exclusion criteria for arms exporters to warring states.
“With the amount of aircraft they’ve got and the operational demands, if we weren’t there in 7 to 14 days there wouldn’t be a jet in the sky.”
"A State Party shall not authorize any transfer of conventional arms […], if it has knowledge at the time of authorization that the arms or items would be used in the commission of genocide, crimes against humanity, grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 1949, attacks directed against civilian objects..."
Arms Trade Treaty Article 6.3.