Profile of Article 36

Charli Carpenter has written an interesting profile of the humanitarian disarmament organization Article 36 on the blog Duck of Minerva. She argues that “Article 36’s establishment fills an important structural gap in the human security network: the absence of a hub NGO in the area of humanitarian arms control.” Carpenter believes Article 36 can help knit together the disapate communities working on controling the humanitarian impacts of landmines, cluster munitions, small arms, nuclear weapons, toxic weapons, explosive weapons and armed robots, as well as advocacy efforts on issues like casuality data collection.

Article36 has constructed itself as a multi-issue NGO operating at the nexus between weapons and humanitarian affairs. As such, the organization symbolically and practically ties together these disparate networks around specific weapons through a master frame: humanitarian harm caused by certain weapons. It also yokes smaller networks conceptually both by establishing connections to multiple weapons campaigns, and through cross-cutting work on procedural issues not limited to specific weapons, such as casualty recording and regulating the arms trade. Finally, Article36 staff are positioned to link the more isolated sub-networks to the wider human security movement through their interpersonal ties to major human security hubs such as Human Rights Watch‘s Arms Division, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the UN Office for the Coordinationof Humanitarian Affairs and the UN Institute for Disarmament Research. 

Read the whole article here.

The heads of Article 36, recently outlined their agenda for ‘restarting disarmament’ in an article for Open Democracy. They argue that “Civil society coalitions, with public engagement and support” have the power to “urge states to create that space and not to fall back on the established disarmament machinery as a fig leaf for their own lack of courage and commitment.”

I too am a fan of what Article 36 is doing — focusing on the broad problem of technologies of killing rather than focussing solely on particular weapons systems —  and recently worked with them on preparing this statement on banning autonomous armed robots.

~ by Matthew Bolton on 7 June 2012.

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