Youth Violence, Organized Crime, and Arms Trafficking: Why Peru Needs the Arms Trade Treaty

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BY ANA MARIA WATSON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF ISDH-PERU

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Peru has deposited its ratification instrument for the Arms Trade Treaty at the offices of the United Nations in New York, a final act that will make the country a full member of this Treaty.

 

This pleases us greatly, because the ISDH (Institute of Security and Human Rights) drove this process and this campaign was one of the main focus areas of our work over the past two years.

 

What does it mean for Peru that the Arms Trade Treaty will now enter into force within the country?
In recent years, criminal armed violence has steadily increased, incorporating increasingly younger sectors. Many teenagers are easily recruited by criminal gangs due to the lack of education of young people themselves, a lack of education for their parents, and of course by poverty and lack of decent expectations for a future that is increasingly uncertain. Armed organized crime has been strengthened in several Latin American countries through the establishment of large cartels engaged in drug trafficking, trafficking in weapons, extortion, contract killings, kidnapping and other illegal activities that generate insecurity among the population – all reasons why people were clamoring ever more intensely for a solution to this problem.

 

From the point of view of the general population, there is an urgent need to develop a culture of peace and respect for the rights of every single citizen. This Treaty, while not a panacea to solve all of Peru’s problems, will undoubtedly help control the armed violence and regulate the access to arms that are currently passing too easily to criminal groups.

 

We should not forget that the trafficking of arms and ammunition fuels conflicts, poverty and the violation of human rights. Over time, we hope we can help Peru in its implementation efforts.
Thanks to Control Arms for its invaluable support and for mobilizing international public opinion – its efforts have helped our country, Peru, to join the global community of countries signing the Arms Trade Treaty.