ExitArms.org is a project of two non-governmental organizations, Urgewald and Facing Finance. Its primary aim is to create the basis for German and international financial institutions to systematically divest from companies that supply weapons and weapons systems to warring states. At the same time, ExitArms.org can also serve as a tool for civil society organizations to easily obtain information for relevant campaigns. Studies by peace researchers show that arms supplies often help fuel conflicts and reinforce the human rights abuses committed within them. Through loans, insurance and investments, the financial industry plays a key role in the international arms industry. However, financial institutions seeking to remove belligerent companies from their portfolios often face a very practical hurdle: lack of information. This is where ExitArms.org comes in. It is the first publicly available database that enables systematic exit from companies that supply arms to warring states.
Based on the SIPRI Arms Export Database, urgewald and Facing Finance research arms supplies to warring states at the company level. The current state of the database for the years 2015 to 2020 includes around 500 companies from 45 countries that were involved in arms exports to 33 states with high-intensity violent conflicts (limited war or war according to the Heidelberg Conflict Barometer) for which there was no UN Security Council mandate. Involvement is defined as either direct participation, through subsidiaries, or through joint ventures. It includes the manufacture, repair, modernization, refurbishment, construction, sale, and supply of weapons, as well as the supply of dual-use products and the licensing of weapons production. ExitArms.org thus provides an information base for investment strategies and credit policies with binding exclusion criteria for arms exporters to warring states.