Outsourcing responsibility: Human rights policies in the defence sector

There is now a clear global consensus that companies have a responsibility to respect all human rights wherever they operate. Yet every year corporate actors supply large volumes of military equipment to some of the most violent and unstable parts of the world. This equipment is often used unlawfully in contexts of armed conflicts and political unrest marred by serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. The sector urgently needs to develop robust human rights due diligence polices and processes, separate from those undertaken as part of government licensing assessments, that truly address the very serious human rights risks the industry routinely runs.

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