I wrote this report together with Caroline Green of Oxfam GB in June 2012. The year saw the culmination of over a decade of global activism for an Arms Trade Treaty that regulated the transfer of arms.
We recommended that:
A criterion in the Arms Trade Treaty should require States not to allow an international transfer of conventional arms where there is a substantial risk that the arms under consideration will be used to perpetrate or facilitate acts of gender-based violence, including rape and other forms of sexual violence.
After years of negotiation, the Arms Trade Treaty was passed on 2nd April 2013 by the General Assembly by a 154 – 3 vote with 23 abstentions. The countries abstaining were Iran, North Korea and Syria. The text requires that, prior to authorisation of transfers of arms, States assess whether they could be used to commit or facilitate a serious violation of international humanitarian or human rights law. In addition, States shall consider taking feasible measures to avoid the arms being used to commit or facilitate gender based violence or violence against children.