Global rules needed to curb trade in arms components: report

LONDON, Oct 2, 2006 (AFP) – Weapons merchants are profiting from the lack of an international judicial framework to supply arms to individuals with few human rights scruples and to states under embargo, a new report said Monday. The globalization of the weapons industry has shed light on the shortcomings of existing legislation to control it, according to the report “Arms without Borders,” published jointly by Amnesty International, Oxfam International and the International Action Network on Small Arms, an umbrella organization of 600 NGOs.

“This report reveals a litany of deficiencies and of destroyed lives,” said Jeremy Hobbs, director of Oxfam International. “Weapons companies are globalizing, but the legislation is not, and the result is the arming of regimes guilty of abuse.”

The three organizations have formed a coalition arguing for an international treaty to regulate the weapons trade.

The report outlines how American, European and Canadian companies bypass laws regulating weapons trade by selling arms in detached pieces or by subcontracting their activities to local businesses.

“Europe and North America are rapidly becoming the Ikeas of the arms industry, supplying people guilty of human rights abuses so