Call for tighter control of arms exports - news from ekklesia on theology and politics from a christian perspective

Call for tighter control of arms exports - news from ekklesia on theology and politics from a christian perspective

By staff writers
30 Apr 2003

Call for tighter control of arms exports

-30/4/03

Two leading charities and the father of a child killed in the Dunblane tragedy have challenged the UK's arms control laws.

On the day that the UK's domestic gun amnesty ends, Oxfam and Amnesty International have accused the government of double standards because of its failure to tackle the lax laws on arms shipments.

Loopholes in the government's proposed export controls will allow British gunrunners to continue supplying weapons to the worst conflict zones, where they are used to repress and massacre they said.

The charities have been joined by Mick North, the father of a five-year-old victim of the Dunblane shootings, to lobby ministers to end a series of loopholes that enable UK arms traders to supply weapons to conflict zones.

A joint report issued by the two charities highlighted the fact that currently UK arms supplies can get round British laws by signing deals in foreign countries.

The issue, which has also been highlighted by Labour MP Barry Gardiner, was the subject of a government consultation which closes today.

Campaigners want to see arms sales subject to "extra-territorial" controls arguing ministers have been eager to put in place similar laws for crimes such as paedophilia, terrorism and corruption.

British arms brokers must be vetted and placed on an official register, Amnesty and Oxfam say.

Adrian Lovett, Oxfam's director of campaigns, and former deputy director of the Jubilee 2000 campaign said: "It's simply hypocritical to be working so hard to mop-up guns and get them off British streets, while refusing to clamp down on arms dealers flooding other country's streets with weapons.î

"We can't have one standard for protecting ourselves and another for foreign countries."

Call for tighter control of arms exports

-30/4/03

Two leading charities and the father of a child killed in the Dunblane tragedy have challenged the UK's arms control laws.

On the day that the UK's domestic gun amnesty ends, Oxfam and Amnesty International have accused the government of double standards because of its failure to tackle the lax laws on arms shipments.

Loopholes in the government's proposed export controls will allow British gunrunners to continue supplying weapons to the worst conflict zones, where they are used to repress and massacre they said.

The charities have been joined by Mick North, the father of a five-year-old victim of the Dunblane shootings, to lobby ministers to end a series of loopholes that enable UK arms traders to supply weapons to conflict zones.

A joint report issued by the two charities highlighted the fact that currently UK arms supplies can get round British laws by signing deals in foreign countries.

The issue, which has also been highlighted by Labour MP Barry Gardiner, was the subject of a government consultation which closes today.

Campaigners want to see arms sales subject to "extra-territorial" controls arguing ministers have been eager to put in place similar laws for crimes such as paedophilia, terrorism and corruption.

British arms brokers must be vetted and placed on an official register, Amnesty and Oxfam say.

Adrian Lovett, Oxfam's director of campaigns, and former deputy director of the Jubilee 2000 campaign said: "It's simply hypocritical to be working so hard to mop-up guns and get them off British streets, while refusing to clamp down on arms dealers flooding other country's streets with weapons.î

"We can't have one standard for protecting ourselves and another for foreign countries."

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