Nearly 100 citizens in the Philippines gathered on 30 March at Quiapo Church in Manila to call for the Philippine government to conclude a bulletproof Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). The group of students, businessmen, doctors, and other professionals carried to symbolic toy guns as they demanded governments worldwide to endorse a strong ATT that would put a stop to irresponsible transfers of arms that fuel human rights abuses.
“War crimes, unlawful killings, torture and other serious human rights abuses have been committed around the world using a wide range of weapons, munitions and military and security equipment. These are often provided to perpetrators in almost unlimited supply, encouraging and prolonging unlawful violence, ” said Dr. Jasmin Nario-Galace, PhilANSA spokesperson.
“Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed, injured, raped and forced to flee from their homes as a result. Global society has no treaty to ensure the strict control of the international trade in conventional arms, while governments license irresponsible arms flows to fuel human atrocities and abuse.”
The Philippine Action Network on Small Arms (PhilANSA), is a member of the Control Arms coalition and one of the strongest civil society proponents in the region.
“Our message is simple – if there is a substantial risk that arms exported to another country will contribute to serious human rights abuses, those arms supplies must be stopped.”