EU: 40 organisations call on Parliament & Member States to fully cover the arms sector in the EU Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive
"Joint NGO statement: The directive must fully cover the arms sector", 13 Mar 2023
Four EU member states are among the world’s top ten arms exporters: France (3rd), Germany (5th), Italy (6th) and Spain (9th). Together in the period 2017-2021, they were responsible for over 21% of global arms exports. As pointed out by the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights and civil society organisations, there are no known examples of arms companies that conduct proper human rights due diligence (HRDD) with respect to arms production, transfers, and services despite the potential extremely severe impacts of this industry.
The draft Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence directive (the “CSDDD” or the “Directive”) can contribute to filling important gaps when it comes to the accountability of European arms companies, which have for too long evaded scrutiny and accountability and hidden behind States’ arms authorisation processes...
We, the undersigned organisations, hence call on Members of the European Parliament and Member States to ensure that:
- The entire value chain of the arms sector (upstream as well as downstream activities, products and business relations) be included in the due diligence obligations set out by the Directive, regardless of whether these activities, products or business relations are subject to national export controls in EU Member States.
- Arms and dual-use sectors be included in the scope of the Directive as high-impact sectors.
- Companies that operate or have business relations in conflict-affected and high-risk areas be subject to a heightened due diligence obligation.
- The list of human rights covered in the scope of the Directive comprises all human rights, including international humanitarian law.