Small arms and light weapons
Nowadays, more than 875 million small arms and light weapons (SALW) are scattered all over the world. In Africa alone, there are about 100 million arms, with all the consequences that it entails: 90% of the war victims – the majority being women and children- are killed by small arms. These weapons are still overabundant, which has adverse and destabilising effects on development. Their availability leads indeed to an ever-growing violent criminality often mixed up with drug trafficking.
The challenge for the international community is to stem the flow of SALW and to destroy the illegally held stockpiles. Several initiatives against the proliferation of small arms already exist, for instance within the framework of the United Nations, the European Union and several African regions. For 30 years, GRIP has developed internationally recognised expertise in the field. In Belgium, within the framework of European institutions, for the United Nations or in sub-Saharan Africa, GRIP is actively involved in the processes aiming to improve international, regional and national initiatives. Its goal is to hinder the small arms’ availability and to improve the transfer controls (code of conduct, conventions and legislations).
GRIP is especially involved in the initiatives related to tracing and marking, ammunition control, transparency in international transfers, SALW proliferation in sub-Saharan Africa, possession of weapons by civilians but also related to the combat against weapons trafficking and arms brokering control.