Shattered Lives: The case for tough international arms control

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Arms are out of control. Arms kill more than half a million men, women, and children on average every year. Many thousands more are maimed, or tortured, or forced to flee their homes. The uncontrolled proliferation of arms fuels human rights violations, escalates conflicts, and intensifies poverty. The time for world leaders to act is now. to confront this crisis, Oxfam, Amnesty International, and the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) have together launched an international campaign calling for effective arms controls to make people genuinely safer from the threat of armed violence. This volume provides a hard-hitting analysis of how abuse of small arms across the world is fuelling poverty and suffering.
  the case for tough international arms control Shattered Lives  2   Acknowledgements This report was written by Debbie Hillier ofOxfam GB and Brian Wood ofAmnesty International,and the publicationwas produced by Roxane Philson.Oxfam and Amnesty International wish to sincerely thank the many people – staff,partners,and other experts – who have helped in the production ofthis report. Definitions used in this report Unless otherwise stated,the word ‘arms’in this report covers ALL CONVENTIONAL WEAPONS ,and therefore includesboth the following categories: ‘ Small arms and light weapons ’ (abbreviated to ‘small arms’in this report).Small arms are designedfor personal use;light weapons are designed for use by several people serving as a crew.Small arms includerevolvers and self-loading pistols;rifles and carbines;sub-machine guns;assault rifles;and light machineguns.Light weapons include heavy machine guns;grenade launchers;portable anti-aircraft and anti-tank guns;recoilless rifles;portable launchers ofanti-tank missiles,rocket systems,and anti-aircraft missile systems;mortars ofcalibres ofless than 100mm;ammunition,shells,and missiles for all the above;grenades;landmines;and explosives. 1 ‘ Heavy weapons ’ covers all conventional military equipment not listed above;for example,tanks,armoured vehicles,military helicopters,fighter aircraft,artillery guns,rocket launchers,and mortars withcalibres greater than 100mm. Arms TRANSFERS in this report covers all forms ofarms movements,including aid and free gifts,in additionto commercial sales,brokered sales,and licensed production. 2 Arm BROKERING in this report includes those activities designed to facilitate or arrange or conclude an armsdeal.It is also used to refer to those supplying transportation and financial services to complete an arms deal.First published by Amnesty International and OxfamInternational in 2003.© Amnesty International and Oxfam International 2003.All rights reserved.This publication is copyright,butmay be reproduced by any method without fee for advocacy,campaigning and teaching purposes,but notfor resale.The copyright holders request that all suchuse be registered with them for impact assessmentpurposes.For copying in any other circumstances,or for re-use in other publications,or for translation or adaptation,prior written permission must be obtainedfrom either ofthe publishers,and a fee may be payable.Copies ofthis report are available to download at or contact:Amnesty International UK,99-119 Rosebery Avenue,London EC1R GB,274 Banbury Road,Oxford OX2 GB is registered as a charity (no.202918) and is a member ofOxfam International.Printed by Information Press,Eynsham.Oxfam ISBN 0 85598 522 4AI Index:ACT 30/001/2003Amnesty International UK Stock Code:PB317Original language:EnglishA catalogue record for this publication is available fromthe British Library. Shattered Lives is published jointly by:Amnesty InternationalInternational Secretariat Peter Benenson House1 Easton Street London WC1X 0DWUnited Kingdomwww.amnesty.orgOxfam International Oxfam International SecretariatSuite 20,266 Banbury Road Oxford OX2 7DLUnited Kingdom  3 Summary41 Arms – security for whom?8 A limited role for arms8Too many arms9Arms in the wrong hands18The particular role ofsmall arms19 2 The human cost ofarms abuse24 The right to life24Violations ofcivil and political rights27Violations ofsocial and economic rights31Development derailed34 3 Why act now?40 The ‘war on terror’41The civilian toll keeps rising44Guns in society:spiralling out ofcontrol46 4 The arms bazaar54 A unique industry54Who is buying and selling arms? 58Weaknesses in national arms controls60 5 Solutions at all levels70 Some steps in the right direction70Stop the flow and drain the pool72An international initiative:the Arms Trade Treaty75Regional initiatives:essential building blocks78National initiatives:the duty ofthe state to protect its citizens79Local initiatives:building safer communities82 6 The time for action is now86 International action86Regional action87National action87Local action88 Appendix 1: The legal basis for work on the regulation ofarmaments 89Notes92 Contents  4 Arms fuel poverty and suffering Every day, millions of men, women, and children are living in fear of armedviolence. Every minute, one of them is killed. From the gangs of Rio de Janeiro andLos Angeles, to the civil wars of Liberia and Indonesia, arms are out of control. The uncontrolled proliferation and misuse of arms by government forces and armedgroups takes a massive human toll in lost lives, lost livelihoods, and lostopportunities to escape poverty. An average of US$22bn a year is spent on arms bycountries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America – a sum that wouldotherwise enable those same countries to be on track to meet the MillenniumDevelopment Goals 4 of achieving universal primary education (estimated at $10bn a year) as well as targets for reducing infant and maternal mortality (estimated at$12bn a year). 5 Every day in our work around the world, Oxfam and Amnesty International witnessthe abuse of arms which fuels conflict, poverty, and violations of human rights. Arms are out ofcontrol The impact of the widespread proliferation and misuse of arms is now critical. The ‘war on terror’ should have focused political will to prevent arms falling into thewrong hands. Instead, since the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagonon 11 September 2001, some suppliers have relaxed their controls in order to armnew-found allies against ‘terrorism’, irrespective of their disregard for internationalhuman rights and humanitarian law. Despite the damage that they cause, there isstill no binding, comprehensive, international law to control the export of conventional arms.At the same time, we are seeing a long-term change, as guns are becoming anintegral part of life – and therefore an increasingly common instrument of death – in more communities and cities around the world. From the pastoralists of northernUganda to the gangs of Rio de Janeiro, the carrying and use of increasingly lethalweaponry is becoming the norm. The time to act is now Every government in the world has a responsibility to control arms – both theirpossession within its borders, to protect its own citizens, and their export across itsborders, to ensure respect for international human rights and humanitarian law in Summary ‘It is like we are mopping the floor with the taps on. It takes five minutes to shower bullets, but it takes three hoursand immense resources torepair each person.’  Dr Olive Kobusingye,trauma surgeon in Uganda 3
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