Thursday, September 25, 2008

Catch the Bombs!


A “Golden Rule” on human rights is essential for an effective Arms Trade Treaty

As UN member states meet in October to consider moving towards negotiations on an Arms Trade Treaty, a new detailed report by Amnesty International urges world leaders to adopt a “Golden Rule” on human rights. This rule states simply: that governments must prevent arms transfers where there is a substantial risk that they are likely to be used for serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law.

The report "Blood at the Crossroads: Making the case for a Global Arms Trade Treaty," is the first detailed examination of the parameters and scope of such a treaty using nine detailed case studies of the catastrophic human rights consequences of unrestrained arms trading. From the ongoing conflict in Darfur, military crackdowns in Myanmar and Guinea to the proliferation of sectarian violence in Iraq, the report shows how and why the current variation and loopholes in national arms legislation allows massive violations of human rights to occur. The report demonstrates that without an effective human rights provision, a global Arms Trade Treaty could fail to protect those most vulnerable.

China, Russia and the USA, amongst many other nations, are highlighted in the report as trading arms to countries with well documented human rights violations. The report uses the detailed case studies of Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Guatemala, Guinea, Iraq, Myanmar, Somalia, Sudan & Chad and Uganda to demonstrate how and why a “Golden Rule” is essential to making an Arms Trade Treaty work.

Click the link petitioning the U.S. Foreign Affairs Minister to urge the UN to adopt the treaty and sign!

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