One type of cluster bomb, produced by the U.S.-based company Textron, has been used by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition in Yemen since March 2015, the report states, citing research by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.
Some of the countries listed in the report have adopted legislation (pdf) that bans certain forms of investment in cluster bombs, including Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Samoa, Spain, and Switzerland. Others have “made an interpretive statement that investments in cluster munitions are or can be seen as prohibited by the Convention on Cluster Munitions.”
But more needs to be done, PAX said, noting that its recommendations “all come down to one simple message: disinvest from producers of cluster munitions now!”
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For financial firms, that means ending any connection to cluster bomb manufacturers on every level—commercial banking, investment banking, and asset management, the report states.
It continues: “Financial institutions should develop policies that exclude all financial links with companies involved in cluster munitions production. Because all investment facilitates this production, no exceptions should be made for third-party financial services, for funds that follow an index, or for civilian project financing for a company also involved in cluster munitions.”
Co-author Suzanne Oosterwijk said, “It is an outrage that so many financial institutions have no qualms about investing in companies that make banned cluster munitions,” though she noted that some companies have made proactive steps to end those links.
“We commend these financial institutions for halting their investments and encourage others to follow suit,” she said.
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