world map outlineAfrica outlineAsia outlineEurope outlineNorth America outlineOceania outlineSouth America outline

Torture-Free Trade

Controlling the trade in equipment used for human rights violations is a vital part of stopping the harms they are used to commit.  

Some types of equipment can be used by law enforcement in a human rights-compliant way, but instead are often used to violate those rights. The trade in this kind of equipment involves a large number of companies, in many countries around the world. Other kinds of equipment are so harmful that any use violates human rights. The trade in this kind of equipment is smaller, involving fewer companies, but is still found in all world regions.

The trade in inherently dangerous and abusive equipment should be stopped entirely, and other kinds of law enforcement equipment should be subject to strict trade controls.

There are few human-rights based controls on the trade in equipment used in human rights violations. Some states have national-level controls, and there are ongoing regional-level processes (both binding and non-binding), but there are currently no international human rights-based controls.

We work to strengthen existing controls, and where there are none, promote their development.