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The Swedish arms trade and risk assessments: does a feminist foreign policy make a difference?

This publication is a case study associated with our report Preventing gender-based violence through arms control: tools and guidelines to implement the Arms Trade Treaty and UN Programme of Action.


swedish-arms-trade-coverThat report looks at how the ATT and UNPoA can be implemented with a view to preventing gender-based violence. This affiliated case study provides a brief overview of the Swedish arms industry and trade focusing on national law and policy, including in relation to preventing gender-based violence. Sweden is a major arms exporter, but prides itself on its “feminist foreign policy.” In its action plan to implement this policy, the government highlights as a priority for 2016 “strengthening the human rights of women and girls in humanitarian settings and combating gender-based and sexual violence in conflict and post-conflict situations.” Thus this paper reflects on Sweden’s arms trade in light of this foreign policy goal and the ATT’s legally-binding provision on preventing gender-based violence.

Written by Rebecca Gerome • Edited by Ray Acheson • Published in June 2016 by Reaching Critical Will, a programme of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom

Thanks to the United Nations Trust Facility Supporting Cooperation on Arms Regulation (UNSCAR), we are delighted to offer the online version of this report for free, but please consider making a donation to Reaching Critical Will to help us continue producing the research, materials, and information services that we provide.