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Profile: Natalie Wilkins
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User Name: Natalie Wilkins
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Joined: Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Last Visit: Wednesday, December 02, 2015 8:03:28 AM
Number of Posts: 406
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Last 10 Posts
Topic: Small Arms Survey Research Note - Firearms and Violence in Honduras
Posted: Friday, April 11, 2014 9:59:30 AM
Honduras has seen more than 42,000 people violently killed over the past nine years, out of a population of 8.3 million. In 80 per cent of cases the weapon used was a firearm.

While the homicide rate has levelled off between 2011 and 2012, it still remains extremely high compared to the rest of the world.

A new Small Arms Survey Research Note, Firearms and Violence in Honduras, discusses the specific characteristics of armed violence in Honduras and explores some of the key areas for research needed in order to respond to the problem.

The drug trade plays a crucial role in the prevalence of violence and firearms. Drugs finance the purchase of weapons, which in turn promote wars between gangs and groups for control of territory and smuggling. Firearms homicides are highly concentrated in urban centres and strategic points, reflecting violent dynamics related to the presence of gangs and trafficking routes.

The study estimates that in addition to the 280,000 registered firearms in the country, there are at least 420,000 illegal weapons in circulation, and possibly as many as one million.

The Research Note presents early findings of a Small Arms Survey’s project ‘Security and Violence in Honduras,’ which aims to support local efforts to produce new evidence on armed violence and security, providing a solid base to influence policy and the public debate for armed violence reduction and prevention in the country.
Topic: EU's Malmstroem pushes for tougher, unified European gun laws
Posted: Sunday, November 03, 2013 5:24:45 AM
Deutsche Welle
20 October 2013

Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem has said the EU can "no longer watch on without acting" as 1,000 Europeans are killed in gun violence each year. She is proposing unified, stricter rules for the whole bloc.

Cecilia Malmstroem wrote a guest column for the Monday edition of the Frankfurter Rundschau daily, saying the EU must act to limit the number of deaths from gun violence.
The EU's home affairs commissioner wrote that one problem with the open-border bloc was "the danger that criminals try to get hold of their guns in the countries with the most lax laws" on gun ownership.

Malmstroem therefore proposed that the European Commission should examine "whether it's possible for all of Europe to legally decide which weapons should be permitted for civilian usage, and who should be granted permission to acquire a firearm."

The European Commission has pledged a report on firearms and internal security, with the German daily Die Welt reporting on Monday that it had obtained a copy. Malmstroem was due to present the findings to EU interior ministers in Luxembourg on Monday.

The report estimates there to be around 80 million legally-purchased and licensed firearms in the European Union - and a further 500,000 that are lost, stolen, or otherwise unaccounted for. Many of these are thought to be circulating on the black market.

The annual Small Arms Survey report in 2007 sought to estimate gun ownership per capita around the world. According to these results, Germany had 30.3 registered firearms for every 100 inhabitants – putting it above average in European Union terms, but behind countries like Finland (45.3), Cyprus (36.4) and Sweden (31.6). The US topped the global list by a considerable margin, averaging just under one gun per person, according to the research institute based in Switzerland.

Rule changes reportedly under European Commission consideration include revising which guns are eligible for home ownership, tighter regulations for the sale and ownership of antique weapons and air rifles or air pistols, and a possible ban on selling weapons or ammunition on the Internet.
Topic: Clinical research study: Gun Ownership and Firearm-related Deaths
Posted: Monday, September 23, 2013 5:57:42 PM
The American Journal of Medicine[/url]
Volume 126, Issue 10, October 2013, Pages 873–876

[u]Abstract


Background
A variety of claims about possible associations between gun ownership rates, mental illness burden, and the risk of firearm-related deaths have been put forward. However, systematic data on this issue among various countries remain scant. Our objective was to assess whether the popular notion “guns make a nation safer” has any merits.

Methods
Data on gun ownership were obtained from the Small Arms Survey, and for firearm-related deaths from a European detailed mortality database (World Health Organization), the National Center for Health Statistics, and others. Crime rate was used as an indicator of safety of the nation and was obtained from the United Nations Surveys of Crime Trends. Age-standardized disability-adjusted life-year rates due to major depressive disorder per 100,000 inhabitants with data obtained from the World Health Organization database were used as a putative indicator for mental illness burden in a given country.

Results
Among the 27 developed countries, there was a significant positive correlation between guns per capita per country and the rate of firearm-related deaths (r = 0.80; P <.0001). In addition, there was a positive correlation (r = 0.52; P = .005) between mental illness burden in a country and firearm-related deaths. However, there was no significant correlation (P = .10) between guns per capita per country and crime rate (r = .33), or between mental illness and crime rate (r = 0.32; P = .11). In a linear regression model with firearm-related deaths as the dependent variable with gun ownership and mental illness as independent covariates, gun ownership was a significant predictor (P <.0001) of firearm-related deaths, whereas mental illness was of borderline significance (P = .05) only.

Conclusion
The number of guns per capita per country was a strong and independent predictor of firearm-related death in a given country, whereas the predictive power of the mental illness burden was of borderline significance in a multivariable model. Regardless of exact cause and effect, however, the current study debunks the widely quoted hypothesis that guns make a nation safer.
Topic: European Commission proposes ratification of UN Firearms Protocol
Posted: Monday, September 16, 2013 4:17:09 AM
UK Minister of State for Policing and Criminal Justice announces UK is opting into the proposal to conclude the Firearms Protocol on behalf of the EU


12 September 2013

The Minister of State for Policing and Criminal Justice (Damian Green): The UK has opted into the draft Council Decision to approve, on behalf of the EU, the UN Firearms Protocol against the illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms, their parts and components and ammunition. The Protocol supplements the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organised Crime.

The Protocol creates a legal regime for the transnational movement of firearms and contains practical measures designed to assist law enforcement by enhancing international cooperation and promoting greater transparency in the legal transfer of firearms. The Commission was mandated by the EU to negotiate six of the Articles in relation to: record keeping; marking of firearms; deactivation of firearms; general requirements for export, import and transit licensing or authorisation systems; effective security of imports and exports; and brokering activities.

The Commission signed the Protocol on behalf of the Community in 2001 with the intention of concluding it once the Articles they negotiated had been enshrined in European law. This has been primarily achieved through amendments to the existing Weapons Directive 91/477 on the acquisition and possession of weapons and the adoption of Regulation 258/2012 to combat illicit arms trafficking through improved tracing and control of exports of civilian arms from the EU. These changes have already been transposed into UK legislation.

The government considers that it is in the UK’s interest to opt into the proposal to conclude the Protocol on behalf of the EU. The aims of the Protocol are broadly welcome and are consistent with current EU policies on measures to counter transnational crimes, to strengthen the fight against the illicit trafficking of firearms and to reduce the spread and proliferation of small arms around the world.

Further background from the Commons Select Committee is available here
Topic: Small Arms Survey: Small Arms Control Measures & National Reporting in Africa
Posted: Tuesday, September 10, 2013 3:18:54 PM
Effective control of small arms is largely dependent upon each state’s capacity and willingness to design and implement appropriate legislation, regulatory procedures, and policies. Various international and regional frameworks—some of which are legally binding—set agendas, call for or require concrete actions, and encourage best practices in this area. In many of these contexts, states have committed themselves to issuing reports on progress made in implementation. Such reports also help to guide the matching of needs with resources.

'Efficacy of Small Arms Control Measures and National Reporting: Learning from Africa', a new Research Note by the Small Arms Survey and the Group for Research and Information on Peace and Security (GRIP), emphasizes the importance of reporting while acknowledging its limits.

The Note draws on a 2013 study by the Survey and GRIP to review African states’ activities—54 African Union (AU) members and Morocco—with respect to six broad arms control measures. This study aimed to support programming initiatives under a multi-year AU and European Union (EU) project entitled ‘The Fight against the Illicit Accumulation and Trafficking of Firearms in Africa’. The Regional Centre on Small Arms in the Great Lakes Region, the Horn of Africa and Bordering States (RECSA) has been facilitating the implementation of this EU-funded project since 2010.

Researchers examined national reports submitted by 50 African states under the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (PoA). They also conducted in-depth assessments of eleven states’ capacity to implement small arms control measures.

The study highlights the limitations of self-reporting, showing that while national reports typically capture general implementation activity, states rarely provide details on specific challenges to implementation. Although the study focuses on the experiences of countries in Africa, its findings are relevant for the international community as a whole.
Topic: Call for Proposals: UN Trust Facility Supporting Cooperation on Arms Regulation (UNSCAR)
Posted: Tuesday, August 27, 2013 5:27:20 AM
UNSCAR is a multi-donor flexible funding mechanism created to:
- support the preparation for ratification and implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty, including through South-South cooperation;
- ensure the complementarities of implementation activities of the United Nations Programme of Action on small arms and light weapons (PoA);
- improve effectiveness of assistance through better coordination, monitoring and matching of resources;
- promote increased sustainability through more predictable sources of funding.

UNSCAR will be open to receive applications for funding from 1 September to 31 October 2013.

Call for proposals
- Concept note (required for the initial submission)
- Budget summary (required for the initial submission)
- Logistical framework (required for the second submission)
- Risk matrix (required for the second submission)

Questions and answers

Who is eligible for funding?

UN CASA partners, international organizations, NGOs, research institutes, including universities. Governments wishing to apply for funds through the Facility should work with eligible organizations to design and submit project proposals.

Which assistance proposals are eligible for funding?

In principle, proposals for funding should:

- support the implementation of the ATT and/or support projects focused on implementation of the United Nations Programme of Action to combat the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons, as approved in the UNSCAR annual workplan;
- align activities with the goals of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) and the UN country team, where relevant;
- have a minimum implementation period of one year and a maximum of two years, with the possibility of a one-year extension.

How will assistance proposals be monitored and evaluated?

The United Nations requires all recipients of funds from the Facility to prepare and submit interim and final narrative and financial reports. Projects to be funded by the Facility must have a monitoring and evaluation component included in the proposal.
Topic: OAS and Suriname Sign Cooperation Agreement against Illicit Firearms Trafficking
Posted: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 4:33:56 AM
PRESS RELEASE

OAS Organizes Workshop on Firearms Marking in Suriname
August 5, 2013

The Organization of American States (OAS) will offer a training workshop in Suriname this Tuesday, August 6, and Wednesday, August 7, on the use of firearms marking equipment donated by the Organization in May.

The two-day course will take place at the conference room of the police headquarters in Paramaribo, and will be directed to eight members of the police force directly involved in marking weapons. The participants will be trained in the use of the firearms marking machine, including setup and calibration, data configuration, storage and technical procedures related to marking, and recordkeeping.

The project “Promoting Firearms Marking in Latin America and the Caribbean” aims to strengthen the national capacity of 31 countries in the region with regards to firearms marking and recordkeeping. To date, the OAS has provided 25 countries with at least one dot-peen marking machine, the related training in its use, and one laptop computer to facilitate recordkeeping. As a result, over 250,000 firearms have been marked in the region and over 200 national experts have been trained. The program is funded by the Government of the United States and has been implemented by the OAS Department of Public Security since September 2009.

With this initiative the OAS continues to support member states in preventing and combating illicit arms trafficking, within the framework of the Inter-American Convention against the Illicit Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Related Materials (CIFTA).
Topic: New Research Note - Non-Lethal Firearm Violence
Posted: Monday, August 05, 2013 8:00:42 AM
When a person is shot with a firearm, the result is not always fatal. Many victims of firearm violence survive, but suffer severe consequences, and their treatment and recovery place a heavy burden on these survivors, their families, communities, and on society.

Globally, firearm violence causes more non-lethal injuries than deaths. Yet our knowledge about non-lethal firearm injuries is limited and is hampered by a lack of data. A better understanding of the incidence and patterns of non-lethal firearm violence would help clarify the overall burden of armed violence on society, and assist in developing effective responses.

'Non-Lethal Firearm Violence' is a new Research Note from the Small Arms Survey and the Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development. It examines the impact of firearm assaults as well as that of self-inflicted and unintentional firearm injuries.

The Research Note explains how the type of firearm and ammunition influences the ‘survivability’ of firearm injuries; it reviews existing data sources; it presents available data on the incidence of non-fatal injuries; and it examines the direct and indirect costs of firearm injuries.
Topic: SLANSA/AOAV baseline survey on armed violence in Sierra Leone
Posted: Friday, July 12, 2013 2:42:31 AM
Sierra Leone: Freetown experiences the highest rate of arm violence- Survey Report (awoko.org)

A baseline survey conducted on armed violence in Sierra Leone report that the urban areas, especially Freetown, experience the highest rates of armed violence.

The survey was conducted by the Sierra Leone Action Network on Small Arms (SLANSA) and Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) across the country for the period of six months. It was aimed at improving citizens’ understanding on the impact of armed violence, and formulating measures to reduce its impacts on communities.

Presenting the findings, the Director of Sierra Leone Action Network on Small Arms, Florella Hazeley stated that 240,000 Sierra Leoneans experience violence each year and nearly 105,000 experience violence with a weapon.

The report recommends among others that information campaigns and media training be conducted on conflict resolution for vulnerable people who have the potential to engage in violence. Also, security providers should be trained to respond to Sexual and Gender Based Violence in a robust way and the 2012 Arms and Ammunition Act be implemented in order to reinforce the control of firearms.

In his address, the Chief of Staff, Richard Conteh commended SLANSA and AOAV for undertaking the survey. He acknowledged that the government is aware of the current trend of armed violence in the country. Conteh stated that the government places premium on efforts that are made by any institution that respects human rights in the country including SLANSA and AOAV who have brought to light evidence of continued armed violence and proffered recommendations to minimize its occurrence in Sierra Leone.

The Commissioner for Sierra Leone Nation Commission on Small Arms, Moidibo Leslie Lymon also commended the survey and strictly advised civilians to refrain from carrying arms as it has the potential to disrupt public peace.

By Keifa M. Jaward
Topic: CARICOM Countries Take Steps to Share Ballistic Information
Posted: Thursday, July 11, 2013 7:58:26 AM
By IMPACS Secretariat
10 July 2013

Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago - CARICOM Member States have taken the next step in enabling the newly-created Regional Integrated Ballistic Information Network (RIBIN) Board to begin its work by electing representatives to serve on the RIBIN Board pursuant to a decision of the 5th Meeting of the Council of Ministers Responsible for National Security and Law Enforcement (CONSLE). The Director of the Forensic Science Laboratory Jamaica, Dr. Judith Mowatt, was nominated to serve as the Chair. The Vice-Chair is the Director of the Forensic Science Centre of Trinidad and Tobago, Ms. Arlette Lewis. The Chair and Vice Chair are appointed for a two year term.

Other Board Members selected at the inaugural meeting are the Commissioner of Police designated to represent the Standing Committee for Commissioners of Police, President of the Association of Caribbean Commissioners of Police (ACCP), Head of the Integrated Ballistic Information System (IBIS) Unit in Barbados; Executive Director of CARICOM IMPACS; Legal Advisor of CARICOM IMPACS; Regional Crime and Security Strategy (RCSS) Co-coordinator; and IT Manager of the Joint Regional Communications Centre (JRCC).

The rising level of firearm incidents, combined with an ongoing reliance on manual traditional methods of firearms identification, has contributed significantly to a backlog of criminal cases across the Region. With the common agreement and signing of the RIBIN Charter and Participation Agreement, CARICOM countries will for the first time begin sharing ballistic information across multiple jurisdictions. Through RIBIN, the Region will be better equipped to prevent and solve gun crimes.

In carrying out its functions, the new Board will oversee the overall governing structure for RIBIN. The RIBIN mechanism will provide CARICOM states with the capacity to track guns and ammunition used in crimes. This will increase Member States’ capacity to link firearms used by specific gangs and also allow them the capability to trace the connections in the organized trade in illicit guns and ammunition.

The Board will assist in the formulation of training and certification programmes in the area of ballistic examinations throughout the Region to improve human resource capacity; strengthen presentation of evidence in court and also present recommendations to the CONSLE on issues relating to ballistic information and firearms.

The meeting also reviewed the RIBIN Charter and Participation Agreement which will be presented for approval at the Ministerial level. The RIBIN Charter is intended to provide standard operating procedures (SOPs) in the processing of ballistic data and generating intelligence to assist CARICOM States to solve gun-related crimes within national jurisdictions and across borders.

CARICOM IMPACS will serve as the Secretariat of the Board.

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