Gender-based violence and the Arms Trade Treaty

This briefing paper aims to provide some background on the terminology around GBV and to highlight questions that will be relevant for risk assessments under article 6 and 7 of the Arms Trade Treaty.


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The ATT is the first ever legally-binding regime that recognises the link between gender-based violence (GBV) and the international arms trade. Under the ATT it is illegal to transfer weapons if there is a risk that the weapons will be used to facilitate GBV (article 7(4)). In practice, this means that those conducting risk assessment processes for the export and import of weapons will have to take into account legislative and normative factors around GBV in the recipient countries. The inclusion of the GBV criterion also serves as a reminder that in accordance with UN gender mainstreaming practice, the impact on all people of all policies and programmes needs to be taken into account and power structures that might be amplified by the presence of arms need to be further examined.

The Spanish version of this publication can be found here.

Published by Reaching Critical Will in August 2015. Second Edition (March 2019).

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