The connection between small arms/light weapons and aggravated violence against women and girls was powerfully acknowledged in last week’s agreed conclusions of the UN Commission of the Status of Women (CSW); this week, however, that connection is about to be weakened in the proposed Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which begins negotiations on the text this week. The draft text of the ATT has provided a loophole for some member states to consider acts of sexual and gender-violence as not legitimate grounds for prohibiting a weapons transfer. Given Australia’s role as chair of upcoming ATT conference, there are ways the Australian government could help reverse this.

Key Conclusions

  • Article 4 in the draft text of the proposed Arms Trade Treaty has significantly watered down language around sexual- and gender-based violence as a condition for preventing arms trades.
  • Though only 75 member states have declared support for the inclusion of gender in the ATT, there is strong political and legal precedent for its inclusion.
  • As chair of the ATT, the Australian government is well-positioned to advocate in favor of SGBV’s inclusion in Article 4.

Read the whole article by Dr Sara Davis and Melina Lito on Global Observatory: