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Interpreting the Arms Trade Treaty: International Human Rights Law and Gender-Based Violence in Article 7 Risk Assessments
Publisher(s)
Control Arms
Publication Date
02/04/2019
Type of Document
Best practice document
Focus of Document
Gender based violence (GBV), Human rights, Risk assessments
Description

The Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) aims to reduce human suffering; prevent the illicit trade in arms; contribute to international and regional peace, security, and stability; and promote transparency and cooperation among States Parties. It requires States Parties to conduct good-faith assessments of the likely end use of arms transfers and the effects of those transfers in destination countries and obligates States Parties to refuse authorization for certain arms transfers. Among others risks, States Parties must consider gender and risks of GBV when they assess: the risk of serious human rights violations (or other Article 7(1)(b) harms); the effects on peace and security; and the availability of prospective mitigating measures. All of these feed into the final determination of whether an overriding risk exists. This paper provides interpretive guidance on key terms that appear in Article 7, namely: “serious violation of international human rights law”; “serious acts of gender-based violence”; “commit or facilitate”; “peace and security”; “contribute to or undermine”; and “overriding risk.” It examines how gender and risks of GBV are relevant to each part of the Article 7 risk assessment, particularly with respect to serious violations of international human rights law. This paper complements Control Arms’ Practical Guide on How to Use the Arms Trade Treaty to Address Gender-Based Violence, which provides guidance on the legal and policy frameworks relevant to GBV and outlines a variety of indicators and other measures export authorities can use to identify and understand risks of GBV in different contexts.

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