BAE Systems Linked to Trades With Countries Accused of Human Rights Violations: Report

By Trisha Andrada

Apr 19, 2024 01:00 PM EDT

BAE Systems, the biggest military contractor in the United Kingdom, has engaged in trade with nations that are alleged to have committed human rights violations, new research claims.

BAE's Customers Include 13 Nations on UK Human Rights Abuse Watchlist

An investigation by the UK-based non-profit Action on Armed Violence (AoAV) revealed that, over the last decade, the military behemoth established business relationships with 81 nations and reported ties with 12 more, accounting for about 48% of all countries globally.

Among the list are a total of 29 nations that have caused civilian casualties or injuries as a result of their military operations and 13 nations that are on the UK's radar for human rights abuses. Nine more nations have seen at least one military coup d'état in the last decade.

BAE is tight-lipped about its customer list, but the company did tell CNBC that it helps lawful governments safeguard their citizens and defend their country and that it never compromises on ethics.

During the ten years leading up to 2022, BAE Systems' revenues reached £194 billion ($242 billion), while the company raked in £17 billion ($21 billion) in operating profits, as stated in the study.

Meanwhile, the corporation said that orders totaling £37.7 billion ($46.6 billion) in 2023 were more than expected. Its stock price increased by almost 27% in the last year.

BAE Systems
BAE Systems' signs are pictured at the company's factory near Rochester, south east England on November 10, 2023.
(Photo : HENRY NICHOLLS/AFP via Getty Images)

Also Read: Ukraine Boosts Funding for Domestic Weaponry Amid Escalating Tensions With Russia

Military Companies Profiting From the Lucrative Arms Trade

At a time when global instability is on the rise, the research claims that some military businesses are benefiting from the very profitable weapons trade.

Due to the continuous hostilities between Russia and Ukraine, as well as Israel and Gaza, the global defense sector has seen significant growth over the last several years. This development has been attributed to weapons corporations expanding their production, and governments raising their funding for the military.

Also Read: Singapore Invests $15 Billion in Cutting-Edge F-35A Jets

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