Small arms: use & misuse

States have an inherent right to self-defence. They may use armed force in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations and International Humanitarian Law.

Weapons are force multipliers, assisting armed forces and police to generate order and security. But the same weapons may instead bring havoc on a massive scale, when

  • government forces start misusing the arsenals at their disposal;
  • arms from legal stocks are diverted into illicit use;
  • already existing illicit arms arrive in crisis areas.