Assessing transparency mechanisms to improve arms trade scrutiny

In close collaboration with Vredesactie, IPIS is working on the issue of transparency in the arms trade. The objective is to enable increased scrutiny by civil society, researchers and the general public, but also to allow for effective legal challenge of arms export decisions. Arms export licensing procedures are often shrouded in secrecy and the exchange of information is limited to the exporting companies and/or individuals and the competent licensing authority. Hence, this project will cross-examine best practices in different countries such as the use of arms export reports, public registers, parliamentary inquiries, or freedom of information acts.

A first introductory report highlights the need for a human rights perspective on arms export licensing and access to information. A follow-up publication will present a comparative country study and will shed light on different transparency mechanisms. Based on the research, Vredesactie and IPIS intend to start a dialogue with relevant actors.