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Armed Violence Reduction

Rocket-propelled grenades en route to the demolition site

MAG's global operations directly reduce the devastating effects of armed violence.

What is armed violence?

Armed violence is the use or threatened use of weapons to inflict injury, death or psychosocial harm.

Why is armed violence a problem?

More than 740,000 people die each year as a result of armed violence. The majority of these deaths – 490,000 – occur in countries that are not affected by armed conflicts. Armed violence affects all societies, all countries and people of all walks of lives.1

It is both a cause and a consequence of poverty and underdevelopment; it is no coincidence that the world’s poorest countries are affected by current or recent conflicts.

How is MAG helping?

MAG works with national governments to deal with the ‘instruments’ of armed violence, helping governments to meet their international commitments under the United Nations Programme of Action, The Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development, and the Nairobi Protocol through:

• the identification of stockpiles and armouries;

stockpile assessment and safe storage (including Physical Security and Stockpile Management);

the destruction of surplus or obsolete weapons and ammunition;

marking and tracing weapons;

training and capacity building.

MAG has also helped develop preventative measures and international standards in Armed Violence Reduction practice, through our contribution to the UN Coordinating Action on Small Arms project, publications such as the Small Arms Survey, and by providing technical support to the Regional Centre for Small Arms.

1 The Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development

Photo, top: RPG-7 rocket-propelled grenades are loaded onto a MAG vehicle to be transported to a demolition site in the Democratic Republic of Congo. [Gwenn Dubourthoumieu/MAG]

Case studies:

BURUNDI: Living amongst ammunition

BURUNDI: Securing arms stockpiles

D.R. CONGO: UN funding combats threat of unplanned explosions and weapons leakage

D.R. CONGO: Partnership with the British Ministry of Defence to secure weapons

D.R. CONGO: Destroying surplus arms, reducing danger

SOUTH SUDAN: 55,000 items of UXO and small arms ammunition cleared

SOUTH SUDAN: Large SPLA stockpile destroyed, including 22 MANPADS

UNPoA conference marks a critical moment for disarmament issues

VIDEO: Reducing armed violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Reducing armed violence

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AVR resources

Breaking Cycles of Violence: Key Issues in Armed Violence Reduction (OECD) [PDF]

Getting Ordnance in Order [PDF]
MAG Director of Operations Rob White highlights the dangers of the unsecured weapons stockpiles puting thousands of lives at risk in the developing world. [Defence Management Journal, issue 53, May 2011]

Global Burden of Armed Violence report [PDF]
A comprehensive assessment by the Geneva Declaration Secretariat of the scope of human tragedy resulting from violence around the world.

United Nations Programme of Action e-library
Information and excerpts from UN official documents on the issue of small arms and other related thematic areas.

• The UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects
[external site]

The Nairobi Protocol for the Prevention, Control, and Reduction of Small Arms and Light Weapons in the Great Lakes Region and the Horn of Africa [PDF]

United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) [external site]

About MAG

MAG (Mines Advisory Group) saves and improves lives by reducing the devastating effects armed violence and remnants of conflict have on people around the world.
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Co-laureate of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize  |  Registered as a charitable company in the UK  |  Company no: 4016409  Charity no: 1083008  |  ISO 9001:2008 accredited  |  International Mine Action Standards compliant  |  Signatory of the ICRC Code of Conduct  |  Member of the Fundraising Standards Board scheme  |  Registered office: Suite 3A, South Central, 11 Peter Street, Manchester, M2 5QR, United Kingdom