The proliferation of small arms remains a daunting challenge for the African continent; its persistence empowers rebel movements and national governments to foment conflict and commit mass human rights violations. Recognizing the supply and demand pressures for small arms, non-governmental organizations have resolved to act. Three years ago, Amnesty International, Oxfam and the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) united to launch the Control Arms Campaign. Last month, the Control Arms Campaign presented UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan the “Million Faces Petition,” a visual petition by one million people from over 160 countries calling for tough global controls on the arms trade and an Arms Trade Treaty.
When presenting the petition, Jeremy Hobbs, Executive Director of Oxfam International, said: “Small arms, more than any other types of weapons, are causing daily havoc in countries on every continent. Up to 1000 people a day die from gunshot wounds; thousands more are injured. And for every person shot, there is a family left to fend for itself; a family left without a child; or a family that must now look after a relative with a serious disability.”
To learn more and add your face to the petition, visit