More than £3bn of British-made weaponry was licensed for export last year to 21 of the Foreign Office’s 30 “human rights priority countries” – those identified by the government as being where “the worst, or greatest number of, human rights violations take place”, or “where we judge that the UK can make a real difference”. Listed countries that last year bought British arms and military equipment include:
■ Saudi Arabia, which has been accused of perpetrating war crimes in Yemen.
■ Bahrain, which used troops to quell protests following the Arab spring.
■ Burundi, which is being investigated by the UN for human rights violations.
David Mepham, “Putting Development to Rights,” Human Rights Watch
… For the most part, development policy and programs have ignored the critical interdependence of economic and social rights with civil and political rights, and so have failed to challenge systemic patterns of discrimination and disadvantage that keep people in poverty. As a result, many poor people have been excluded, or have failed to benefit, from development programs. More disturbingly still, people have been harmed by abusive policies carried out in the name of development: forced from their land to make way for large commercial investors, compelled to toil long days for low pay in dangerous and exploitative conditions, or exposed to life-threatening pollution from poorly regulated industries.