Quakers call for guns to be kept out of the hands of children

16 March 2022

The Friends World Committee has called on the UN for guns to be kept out of the hands of children.

Delivering the message on behalf of Quakers worldwide, QUNO Geneva Director, Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge took the floor at the 49th Session of the Human Rights Council saying:

“The use of firearms by children contributes to the widespread indirect impacts of violence on the enjoyment of human rights in society. We would add that arms proliferation in society contributes to the increased militarisation of society which legitimises and perpetuates the use of violence.”

She also emphasised that arms proliferation in society contributes to its increased militarisation, legitimising and perpetuating the use of violence.

This intervention was on the occasion of the presentation of an important and topical report  on the impact of the civilian acquisition, possession and use of firearms by children and youth.

QUNO particularly welcomed the report’s recognition that most firearms are legally manufactured – indeed, solely focusing on illicit or diverted weapons would be ignoring the impact of legal arms transfers or acquisitions.

In light of this report, QUNO also urged states to take more preventative measures and address the root causes of armed violence in communities, tailoring interventions to the particular needs of children and youth.

Quakers have also spoken at the UN in recent weeks on increasing vaccine equality and supporting refugees.

Read the full statement here.

Watch the full recording here.