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Mind the gaps: closing the loopholes in the Arms Trade Treaty

At least 1,500 men, women and children die every day due to armed violence and conflict. And about 80% of them are civilians. But the global arms trade remains unregulated, allowing governments to authorise the transfer and trade of guns, tanks and fighter jets to other states or armed groups, even if they're committing human rights abuses with them.

Having no international trade regulations for some of the most dangerous business deals in the world is madness. Trade in bananas, dinosaur bones and postage stamps all have more international regulation. Isn't it time the arms trade joins them?

Last July, the UN held negotiations - the culmination of 20 years' work - to agree the first ever international Arms Trade Treaty. But the talks fell apart on the last day and the delegates left empty-handed.

This year, we've another chance to finally get a treaty to regulate this deadly trade.

At the UN General Assembly in October 157 governments supported a resolution, tabled by the UK government with 6 co-authors, that proposed to finalise the Treaty this March. These negotiations will pick up from where last July's ended, with a draft treaty that is a good start, but contains loopholes and gaps that we need to plug to make sure that it's the Arms Trade Treaty - the one that stops weapons being bought or sold where there's a significant risk they'd be used to commit human rights abuses.

We need the UK government to work hard, and push hard to close those loopholes in the draft treaty, and to make sure it's not watered down in this new round of negotiations.

How you can help make history in March

If you've landed on this blog, you may have come from tweet by your MP, when they gave their support to a strong Arms Trade Treaty - good on them. Please send them a message or a tweet saying thanks, saying that you too support a strong treaty that stands firm on human rights.

You can also ask your friends and family to contact their MP, to make sure we've got the widest possible support in parliament. MPs of all parties need to push for a strong treaty, so that the government knows this is one issue they cannot back down on. Share our action on Twitter and Facebook below.

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If you've arrived here and your own MP hasn't yet shown their support, please email them right now.

When negotiations start in March, we might need you to take action quickly to keep the UK, and others, on track. To keep up-to-date with the campaign, follow us on Twitter or Facebook, and get ready to make history.

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About Amnesty UK Blogs
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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