A new web portal which allows peacekeepers and aid workers to check their contracting firms’ background has been launched by a Swedish think-tank.
The website, www.ethicalcargo.org, from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), aims to “prevent arms and drug traffickers from accessing significant humanitarian aid and peacekeeping funds”.
SIPRI had previously reported that “more than 90 percent of the air cargo carriers identified in arms trafficking-related reports had also been used for humanitarian aid and peace-keeping operations between 2004 and 2009”. A statement from the think-tank claimed that in some cases, cargo companies had been delivering both weapons and aid to the same areas.
SIPRI claims the new website, funded by the government aid agency SIDA, was “dedicated to transforming the way air cargo and maritime companies behave in conflict zones and fragile states”. The portal is also backed by the Swedish foreign ministry and features a comprehensive database, best practice negotiation advice and model codes of conduct.
The Local reports that the online tool also offers an alert system for dangerous transport companies that suffer frequent accidents.
SIPRI said the new web portal was not a system for banning companies, but rather one which should be used to transform company behaviour and promote awareness.