Missing in Action: UK arms export controls during war and armed conflict

The Report finds that despite over twenty years of controls that include commitments not to aggravate conflict, adversely affect regional stability or contribute to violations of human rights or international humanitarian law, the outbreak of war or conflict has little or no restraining effect on UK arms exports, even where violations of human rights and humanitarian law are documented. The UK has participated in wars, transferred weapons to its allies and partners involved in those wars, and supplied weapons to states involved in wars, and continued to do so well after violations become known. Such exports are typical of UK export policy, not the exception to it. Exports to countries involved in war are among the UK’s largest and longest-standing arms customers. This report is part of the research program “Defense Industries, Foreign Policy and Armed Conflict” funded in part by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and is carried out in partnership with the OpenSecrets.

For a concise overview, access an Executive Summary of the report.

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