The rise of the International Arms Trade
The arms trade is the international buying and selling for profit of weapons and other commodities designed for military use. Levels of arms transfers have risen rapidly over the past five or so years, with the value of arms transfers in 2010 exceeding $55 billion, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
According to the United Nations, there are 639 million small arms in the world and they cause 500,000 deaths a year, greatly exceeding the toll of the atomic bombs that devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Governments bear primary responsibility for ensuring that transferred arms are not used to exacerbate conflicts or contribute to violations of human rights and humanitarian laws. However, there are no internationally agreed standards to ensure that governments comply, and the use of private intermediaries means that the arms trade is extremely difficult to monitor and control.
More ways to take action
You can help prevent children like Maala being born with chronic illnesses by helping pregnant women stay healthy and nourished in the first place.
Take the Act for Peace Ration Challenge and eat the same rations as a Syrian refugee during Refugee Week (June 2017). Raise money to support refugees who have lost everything, and challenge perspectives – including your own.
Right now, thousands of innocent people are fleeing Syria every day to protect their families from bloodshed, violence and death. We need your support to provide emergency relief packs to the families fleeing in Syria.