Database On Arms Exporters Fueling Wars
What is ExitArms.org?
ExitArms.org is a project of the non-governmental organization Facing Finance. It aims first and foremost at offering financial institutions a differentiated view of defense companies and arms exports. At the same time, ExitArms.org can also serve as an instrument for civil society organizations to easily obtain information for arms 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 international arms manufacturers. 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 systematic divestment, engagement, and credit policies with binding exclusion criteria for arms exporters to warring states.
Facing Finance has researched arms deliveries to warring states on company-level. The current status of the database, looking at the years 2016 to 2021, covers around 600 companies from 50 countries that were involved in arms exports to 40 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 defined 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.
“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.