Die-in stunt outside Amnesty International Shoreditch HQ demands effective United Nations arms trade treaty

PUBLISHED: 14:21 04 March 2013 | UPDATED: 14:21 04 March 2013

The protest against the Arms Trade. Photo credit Marie-Anne Ventoura

The protest against the Arms Trade. Photo credit Marie-Anne Ventoura


Amnesty International activists calls for British government to lead calls to toughen up global arms trade regulation at the United Nations talks in New York this month.

Nearly 100 activists staged a “die-in” to illustrate the deadly impact of the poorly regulated global arms trade.

The stunt outside Amnesty International’s headquarters in New Inn Yard in Shoreditch on Saturday came just over a fortnight before crucial arms treaty talks at the United Nations are set to begin on March 18 in New York.

Students travelled from 30 universities around the UK to join local activists, and at the sound of a klaxon they all dramatically dropped to the pavement to illustrate that one person dies every minute as a result of armed violence.

They want the British government to lead calls to tighten up the arms trade through creating an effective treaty.

An Amnesty International spokesman said: “Controls on the global arms trade are so lax that even bananas are better regulated than guns.

“It’s outrageous that despite the horrific impact which the global arms trade can have upon people, there is no overall global piece of legislation controlling their trade.

“We want to see a treaty which applies to all weapons and munitions – including bullets and bombs, which obligates governments to know where their weapons end up through proper monitoring and checks.

“We want a treaty which really can stop weapons getting into the hands of human rights abusers.”

The new treaty will for the first time regulate the global arms trade with legally-binding controls, and will be decided upon by 193 UN member states.

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