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Stop the Irresponsible Arms Trade
4 years ago
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http://www.amnesty.org/en/campaigns/control-arms

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Sign up to the People's Treaty!

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Today, there are no global standards controlling the international trade in conventional arms to help protect human rights. Most governments continue to permit the irresponsible trade in weapons, munitions and other military and policing equipment, inflicting misery and carnage on people in many countries.

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Every year hundreds of thousands of people are killed, injured, raped and forced to flee their homes as a result of armed violence. Amnesty International’s research shows that the majority of grave human rights abuses are committed using small arms, light weapons and other military and policing equipment.

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To protect human rights, governments must prevent easy access to arms, and strictly regulate their lawful uses. Armed forces and police are too often poorly trained and unaccountable when measured by international human rights standards. Opposition groups, vigilantes, criminal gangs and civilians can also easily access and misuse arms, sometimes on a massive scale. Surplus and unlawful arms need to be removed and destroyed. And new supplies must urgently be restricted.

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In order to help stop irresponsible arms transfers globally, Amnesty International has joined with Oxfam and the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) to set up the Control Arms campaign.

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The Control Arms campaign calls for a global Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) that would establish strict rules for the international transfer of arms, and hold irresponsible arms suppliers and dealers to account.

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A "golden rule" is desperately needed in an ATT that would require governments to stop an arms transfer when there is a substantial risk that the arms are likely to be used for serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law.

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Since 2003, the Control Arms campaign has gone from strength to strength. When it was launched, we had only a handful of government supporters. Control Arms petitions gathered the support of more than one million people worldwide. Popular mobilisation coupled with smart advocacy in over 100 countries has resulted in increasingly large historic votes at the UN General Assembly in favour of developing a "strong and robust" ATT.

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But what kind of Arms Trade Treaty will they agree? Formal deliberations and negotiations on the treaty text will start in July 2010 and lead to a UN conference in 2012. Will the treaty cover all types of arms transfers and contain a "golden rule”? Or will supportive governments surrender to the few sceptical powers which have opposed the treaty and who now seek to include major loopholes in the treaty?

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You can join the Control Arms campaign in demanding a strong and robust ATT that will have proper rules to really help save lives, protect livelihoods and prevent further grave abuses of human rights.

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To find out more, and add your voice and face to the campaign, visit our website at www.controlarms.org

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Further information and campaigning materials:
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Killer facts: The impact of the irresponsible arms trade on lives, rights and livelihoods (Document, 6 May 2010)
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Reform of security forces in Guinea must deliver justice for Bloody Monday massacre (Report, 23 February 2010)
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Global Arms Trade Treaty video on Amnesty International's YouTube Channel

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4 years ago

Control Arms is calling for a global, legally binding Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) to stop weapons being used to fuel conflict, poverty and human rights abuses. The campaign is run jointly by International Action Network on Small Arms, Amnesty International, and Oxfam International.