The transfer of arms has long been on the agenda of States. While they continue to be the object of defence, security and economic affection, the consequences spiralling from poorly regulated arms transfers can be devastating. In fact, the lack of a stringently applied legal framework can not only lead to the illicit trafficking of arms, but can have more serious humanitarian and developmental consequences. Nothing can signify what is meant by ‘devastating’ quite like the conflict situation in Yemen. At the heart of Yemeni reports has been the involvement of countries like the UK and the USA in inadvertently causing a percentage of the bloodshed through its supply of weapons to Saudi Arabia. This article assesses the issue of arms trade regulation and international law. It pays specific attention to the importance of integrating human rights and humanitarian laws within arms exporting processes and analyses the development of international law on arms transfers within the context of the Yemen conflict.
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