The issue of small arms is a very complex one, relating to armed conflict, child soldiers, development, humanitarian aid, crime and public health. There are also significant regional and gender differences with an impact on people. Within the UN system, it is addressed by UNICEF in relation to children and young people (child soldiers and child protection), UNDP, as an impediment to development in countries in conflict and post-conflict, and by WHO as a public health issue, related to violence as a public health issue.
There is relatively little research and data on the impact of small arms on children. Some education and awareness projects have been implemented, but at this stage there is insufficient research data to justify such an approach, especially if it is based on a ‘risk’ model.
This section of SEESAC’s website has been developed as part of the EC-funded ‘Small Arms Risk Education Project in South Eastern Europe 2006’. The aim is to provide documents or links to key publications on children and small arms, and background papers on the key issues: “Risk-taking, Small Arms and Children”, “Small Arms and Children: a Public Health Problem”, “Small Arms and Education: Validity of ‘Gun Safety and ‘Risk Education Programs”, “Small Arms and Education in South East Europe”.
There are a number of important documents directly addressing the issue of children, young people and small arms.
Impact: Children, Young People and Small Arms
Issues: Education, Children and Small Arms
Relevant Education Programs
A number of education and research programs on small arms and children have been conducted with insufficient attention given to issues of children’s rights, participation and ethical issues. These resources address these issues, and organizations planning to work with children are advised to consult them.