By Marek Marczynski, Head of Military, Security and Police at Amnesty International. Follow Marek on Twitter @MarekMarczynski.
Every year, roughly half a million people are killed by firearms, many of which have been transferred irresponsibly.
The poorly controlled flow of arms also fuels conflicts in which millions more die because of mass displacement and loss of access to basic health care clean water and food.
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, for example, it is estimated that more than five million people have died since 1998 as an indirect result of armed conflict.
In order to address this global challenge, Amnesty International – alongside other civil society groups and victims of armed violence – advocated for an international treaty to regulate the global transfer of arms.
We argued that arms should not be sent to places where they are likely to be used to commit serious human rights violations.
Those massive campaigning efforts resulted in the adoption of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which came into force on 24 December 2014.