Wednesday, 15 August 2018

New publication \ Practical lessons in civilian disarmament and anti-trafficking

Civilian disarmament is commonly defined as the removal of firearms from the population, largely through voluntary compliance. Yet, cross-border efforts to combat the illicit trafficking in small arms and light weapons (SALW) are crucial to controlling firearms. BICC Knowledge Note 3\2018 by Sami Faltas identifies what practitioners have found to work well or not in both areas.

Sudanese-Chadian Joint Border Force. Photo BICC\N. Acharya

BICC Knowledge Note 3\2018 “Controlling Small Arms: Practical lessons in civilian disarmament and anti-trafficking” is an outcome of a practitioners’ workshop held at the German Federal Foreign Office in Berlin on 26/27 February 2018. Among its 29 participants were 19 practitioners from West and southern Africa, United Nations organizations, European Union institutions and EU member states as well as 10 leading researchers and consultants.

The publication aims to identify practical lessons learned in civilian disarmament and cooperation across borders to stop trafficking in firearms. For this, it gives examples from Latin America, Cambodia, Albania, West and southern Africa, Chad and Sudan presented during the workshop. The Knowledge Note also wraps up the workshop’s debates about incentives and actors as well as how under certain circumstances disarmament can lead to war. Last but not least, it reflects on the difference between gun control and arms control.

In its conclusions, the paper shows that lessons learned will only make a real difference if they are widely shared, taught and applied.