Action Circular: Week of Action Against Gun Violence

Sunday, May 9, 2010 - 20:00 to Saturday, May 15, 2010 - 20:00
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Amnesty International
  1. Summary
  2. What Is The Concern
  3. Aims and Objectives
  4. Key Demands
  5. Key Messages
  6. List of Materials For This Action
  7. Recommended work and activities with partners
  8. Media Work and “Killer Facts”

This circular provides information to plan and undertake lobbying, campaign and media activity during and after the Week of Action. It includes aims and objectives, key demands and messages to help to achieve an effective Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). Plans are underway in 110 countries, between IANSA and Amnesty International, to support the Global Week of Action (WoA).

* 26 million people worldwide were internally displaced as a result of armed conflict at the end of 2008
* All of the top six countries of origin of refugees in 2008 are locations of armed conflict.
* 36 armed conflicts in 26 countries result in at least 250,000 deaths each year
* In addition, there are an estimated 300,000 armed killings outside of conflict each year
* Around 60% of human rights violations documented by Amnesty International are perpetrated or facilitated with small arms and light weapons
* the easy availability and irresponsible transfer of arms is a major contributing factor

(a) Aim: Through lobbying and media work:
- Raise the profile amongst civil society of the need for an ATT with strong provisions on international human rights and humanitarian law and covering all types of transfers.
- Lobby home governments and other governments, particularly skeptics and opponents.

(b) Main Objectives:
(i) Persuading home governments to support a strong and robust ATT that is comprehensive in scope and that includes ‘golden rules' to prevent arms being used for serious human rights violations and other harmful acts contrary to international standards; and to bring these key concerns to the attention of other governments.

(ii) Calling on the Embassies of the UN Security Council Permanent Five member states – China, France, Russia, the UK and the USA –to agree a strong and robust ATT that will prevent conventional arms transfers from being sent to those who may use such arms for serious violations of international human rights law and IHL.

(iii) Involving other NGOs, MPs and influential persons to help publicize and support these concerns, including by signing up to “The People's Treaty”.

Specifically, you and your NGO partners could discuss and aim to:

Encourage your home government and its partner States to express support for the ATT to include the “Golden Rules” to prevent arms transfers where (a) there is substantial risk of the arms being used to facilitate or commit serious violations of international human rights law and IHL or (b) where the arms transfers are likely to be used to fuel persistent patterns of armed and gender-based violence or would undermine poverty reduction objectives such as those set out in the MDGs.

Encourage your home government and its partner States to express support for the ATT to be comprehensive in scope, to cover all types of conventional arms and all forms of international arms transfers and transactions.

Counteract the influence of opposing and skeptical States that are trying to prevent progress towards an effective ATT by (a) excluding Golden Rules to ensure full respect for human rights, IHL and other relevant international standards, limiting the ATT mandate only to the UN Charter (i.e. excluding a reference to other existing legal obligations); and (b) limiting the scope only to the 7+1 UN categories.

Creating awareness among the public of what is needed to help protect them from the irresponsible arms trade.

An effective Arms Trade Treaty is one that prevents arms transfers from

Fuelling grave human rights abuses
Fuelling persistent patterns of armed and gender-based violence
Seriously undermining poverty reduction objectives

An effective Arms Trade Treaty is one requiring governments to prevent international transfers of arms or ammunition where there is a substantial risk that they are likely to be used for serious violations of international human rights law or IHL. Without this, a treaty would be virtually worthless.

a– WoA Press Release ATT (to be adapted to local situations) - attached
b- "The People's Treaty" - attached
c- "Killer Facts" document (some statistics to illustrate the extent of the problem) - attached
d– Web Action. Click on and include a link to that in your website.
e- Twitter social networking - Follow the Week of Action at ‘theIANSA' on
f- Template Lobby Letters for home governments attached

IANSA members are encouraged to contact AI and other partners to take part in activities around the Global Week of Action at least with a minimum level of action as requested below. We suggest three simple actions to promote an effective Arms Trade Treaty. Our demands for a "bullet-proof" Arms Trade Treaty are contained in the enclosed document. [People's Treaty Card Eng Final.pdf]

Write to and if possible meet your home government to make sure they stand up for a principled ATT in the first UN Preparatory Committee sessions in July 2010;
Write to the embassies in your countries of the 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council regarding the main elements we want in the ATT;
Stage a media and/or publicity event with the ATT Photo Exhibition and Public Briefing with “Killer Facts” to engage national and local NGOs in the campaign asking them to sign up to the People's Treaty.

Step 1: Convene a planning meeting with partners:
Contact the AI Section or structure in your country and other NGOs to coordinate any joint activity around the Global Week of Action and beyond what specific themes and demands. Organise some letter-writing to your home government and the P5 embassies in your country. Plan to use the ATT Photo Exhibition and “The People's Treaty” to create some publicity and media coverage during the Week and up to the July Prep-Com.

Step 2: Agree your key demands and messages:
Read the materials you will be sent. Outline what could be the desired impact – e.g. that governments should receive the clear message that without a robust rule on human rights, and comprehensive scope to cover of all types of arms transfer and transactions, the ATT project will fail. See point 4 above.

Step 3: Organise home government lobbying:
Amend the as necessary the template ‘Model letter' (enclosed) and send it with the AI briefing to the relevant Government officials in your country.
Set up a meeting with your own relevant government officials and brief them on the risk of excluding the Golden Rules especially on human rights, and allowing the ATT to contain loopholes in the scope such as for ammunition, explosives, and certain types of military equipment and arms transactions such as dealing, brokering, transport and finance.
Ensure that your government insists that the golden rules and aspects of scope outlined above are kept in the Treaty and encourage your government to make a clear statement at the UN Prep Com meeting in July in support of a strong and effective ATT that includes these key elements (where appropriate, encourage your government to build on its previous statements on the ATT).

Involve other NGOs, MPs, organisations and influential persons in the letter-writing and where relevant in meetings with the government to ensure that a wide range of concern is expressed on the key issues – share with them our concerns on “designer loopholes” and “Golden Rules” as above.

Step 4: Public Campaigning and Digital Networking:
Stage a small event that could be of interest to the media, using the ATT Photo Exhibition and “The People's Treaty”. Try to be creative and inventive. The following are some suggestions and materials that can help you in your activities. To ensure this action reaches a wide audience, you may want to also make your letter to your home government and to the P5 public, and to use (and adapt) the global news release provided to do so.

a) “The People's Treaty”

This is a “popular” and “reader-friendly” version of our main set of demands for an effective ATT. It can be used as a tool for “sign ups” of support from NGOs and other civil society groups to bring the voices of civil society to the attention of your government. The People's Treaty Card is attached to this email.

Encourage the following to sign up:

Civil society groups and NGOs, both local and national
Trade Unions and professional organisations
Influential individuals – Nobel Laureates, media or sports stars.
Parliamentarians and other policymakers.
Existing AI and Control Arms Campaign networks and supporters.

Organise a public signing event with NGOs, civil society groups, MPs, celebrities and others who sign up to the “People's Treaty” and call on your home government to stand up for a principled ATT.

Once you have enough sign ups, send the “People's Treaty” along with a cover letter to ministers and officials in your government – use this to gain media coverage.

Web viral tool and Facebook application – members of the public could go on line and sign up in the web – these can then be collated and sent to the relevant governments.

A Global Signing side event could be organized just before the UN ATT Preparatory Committee meeting in July, with the aim of delivering the “People's Treaty” to the diplomats and government officials directly at the UN.

Link in

b) Videos
“Stop the bullets. Kill the gun.”
IANSA has prepared this video.

8. Media Work and “Killer Facts”:
See the attached press release in English (translations to follow shortly) for you to adapt and the “Killer Facts” for publication around the start of the Global Week of Action.

Document PDF: