There have been 128 armed conflicts since 1989 which have resulted in at least 250,000 deaths each year.
There are an estimated 300,000 armed killings outside of conflict each year.
About 60 per cent of human rights violations documented by Amnesty International have involved the use of small arms and light weapons.
At the end of 2008, 26 million people worldwide were internally displaced as a result of armed conflict.
Child soldiers have been actively involved in armed conflict in government forces or non-state armed groups in 19 countries since 2004.
In 2010 – a single year – the total value of actual international transfers (deliveries) of conventional arms worldwide, as recorded in national statistics, was approximately US $59.2 billion. This value does not include deliveries by a number of significant arms-exporting countries, such as the United Kingdom, Ireland, Belgium, Canada, Poland, Greece, and Serbia, due to the lack of data made available on their actual arms deliveries in 2009 and 2010.
Treaties regulate the global trade of many products – everything from bananas to softwood lumber to dinosaur bones – but not tanks, guns and bullets.
Amnesty International has been campaigning since the 1990s for a global treaty shaped around a very simple idea: if there is a substantial risk that arms exported to another country will contribute to serious human rights abuses, those arms supplies must be stopped. Now an international Arms Trade Treaty is finally within reach and negotiations are set for July 2012 at the United Nations.
The Arms Trade Treaty needs these three components to be effective:
1. The Treaty must include a strong human rights framework.
2. The Treaty must apply to all types and components of conventional arms.
3. Implementation of the Treaty must be robust and enforceable.
The local Amnesty International group invites Gabriolans to call on the Canadian government to play a positive role in the upcoming UN negotiations and support an effective Arms Trade Treaty. Write to Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird calling on the Government of Canada to do all it can to promote and support an adequately funded, comprehensive, and robust Arms Trade Treaty.
For more information about the Arms Trade Treaty or Amnesty International please call 250-247-8335.
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