Human Rights Council adopts resolution on civilian firearms

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GENEVA, 22 July 2015 — The Human Rights Council has adopted a resolution on, “Human rights and the regulation of civilian acquisition, possession and use of firearms.”  In it, the Council: “Reiterates its deep concern at the fact that hundreds of thousands of human beings of all ages around the world, including women and children, have lost their lives or suffered injuries and psychological harm by the misuse of firearms by civilians, thus having their human rights, in particular their right to life and security of person, negatively affected.”  

The resolution acknowledges that, “an effective national regulation of civilian acquisition, possession and use of firearms may enhance the protection of the right to life and security of person and thus contribute positively to reducing the number of victims of the misuse of firearms.”  

To follow up on the resolution, the Human Rights Council “Requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to present to the Human Rights Council at its thirty-second session [around the middle of 2016] a report on the different ways in which civilian acquisition, possession and use of firearms have been effectively regulated, with a view to assessing the contribution of such regulation to the protection of human rights, in particular the right to life and security of person, and to identify best practices that may guide States to further develop relevant national regulation if they so deem it necessary.”  

This resolution by the Human Rights Council comes less than a month after the launch by the United Nations of ISACS 03.30 on National regulation of civilian access to small arms and light weapons.  The guidance contained in this document should prove useful to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in preparing its report to the 32nd session of the Human Rights Council on this issue.  


READ THE RESOLUTION — Human rights and the regulation of civilian acquisition, possession and use of firearms

DOWNLOAD ISACS 03.30 — National regulation of civilian access to small arms and light weapons