Some weapons make no distinction between civilians and military personnel, and continue to produce victims decades after the end of the conflict. PAX is campaigning for a ban on or better regulation of these weapons, an end to investments in banned or contentious weapons, and an end to an arms trade which increases the risk of human rights violations.
PAX works toward a form of disarmament called `humanitarian disarmament`: the focus is on the human suffering caused by these weapons. PAX is guided in this by International Humanitarian Law (IHL).
PAX is striving for humanitarian disarmament by working on better regulation and/or the prohibition of certain weapons, in particular weapons which by their nature, or through incorrect, use cannot differentiate between civilians and military personnel. This includes nuclear weapons, as well as cluster munitions, anti-personnel mines, depleted uranium or the use of explosive weapons in densely populated areas. PAX is also targeting new weapons technology, such as the rising use of armed drones or the fully autonomous weapons currently under development, the so-called `killer robots'.
From development to trade
PAX targets the entire chain of conflict: from the development of new weapons, the investments by financial institutions in the production of such weapons, through the arms trade and the use of these weapons in conflicts.
PAX does this through research, public campaigns and national and international lobbying. We demonstrate the effect of using particular weapons on civilians with the aid of research. We then use the research as the basis for lobbying campaigns, in order to persuade policymakers to improve the protection of civilians and to regulate or ban certain weapons. PAX also campaigns for strict interpretation and implementation of existing treaties such as the Arms Trade Treaty and the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
Since we believe in the power of international networks, we carry out a large proportion of our work within international coalitions. You can find further information on the pages of the individual weapons programmes.
As we strongly believe in the strength of international cooperation, most of our work is done through coalitions or networks. PAX is founder or board member of many of these, such as:
|Control Arms Coalition||International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons|
|Cluster Munition Coalition||International Coalition to Ban Landmines|
|Campaign to Stop Killer Robots||International Network on Explosive Weapons|
|Fair Finance Guide||Toxic Remnants of War Project|
Harvard Law School’s Armed Conflict and Civilian Protection Initiative (ACCPI) and PAX released a jointly published brochure which examines the humanitarian disarmament cross-cutting approach and introduces key arms-related issues to which it has been applied. A new tool for diplomats and campaigners, the brochure also provides a definition of humanitarian disarmament, a timeline, list of key players, and selected resources.