Conflict trade: regulating illicit flows to and from war

This expert analysis note describes an emerging approach to regulating illicit flows of goods to and from conflict zones. The approach, based on norms of national and international law defining business due diligence, is well suited for dilemmas posed by war economies. Due diligence offers the possibility of excluding goods from global flows if they are produced through human rights abuse or used for conflict financing, while at the same time it can limit harm to livelihoods and avoid the wholesale criminalisation of informal economies. To that end, further inter-governmental policy coordination is needed to define conflict financing under international law and to elaborate an effective regulatory strategy.