MEDIA RELEASE Monday 12th May 2010
Campaigners in over 100 countries call for a “Bullet-Proof” Arms Trade Treaty
Australian Health Promotion Charity, The LEAD Group, today joined civil society organisations in over 100 countries urging governments to work together to create a “bullet-proof” Arms Trade Treaty.
The appeal is part of a Global Week of Action Against Gun Violence, taking place between 10-16 May. Campaigners are calling for better regulation of the global arms trade to stop weapons being used to fuel conflict, crime and poverty, or to commit grave human rights abuses. With states due to begin negotiations in July for the world’s first treaty on conventional arms, now is the time to demand states take decisive action to curb gun violence.
Elizabeth O’Brien, President of The LEAD Group said, “Every minute, one person dies as a result of armed violence. Thousands more each day are injured, brutally repressed, traumatised or forced to flee their homes. Now is the time to show governments what kind of treaty people really need.”
* At least 250,000 people have been killed each year, and hundreds of thousands more injured, many of them at-risk of life-long lead poisoning from lodged bullets, in 128 armed conflicts since 1989.
* Even in countries not experiencing war, there are an estimated 300,000 armed killings each year, from criminal violence to violence against women and killings by state security forces.
* About 60% 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 were internally displaced due to armed conflict. Families are torn apart and millions of men, women and children live in fear.
* In 2008, the top six source countries of refugees were locations of armed conflict.
“Governments must stamp out the irresponsible arms trade” said Ms O’Brien “There are international agreements to regulate the global trade of hundreds of products, from bananas to dinosaur bones - but not guns and bullets.”
The Control Arms campaign, launched in 2003, has finally persuaded governments to start negotiations for a global Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). A UN Conference will be held in 2012 and the first meeting will take place in July 2010. Campaigners are pushing for the Treaty to:
Contact Elizabeth O’Brien (+61 2 97160014), President, The LEAD Group Inc, Australia. ###
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