IRRC No. 325

Arms transfers, humanitarian assistance and international humanitarian law

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The International Committee of the Red Cross has witnessed in its work for war victims throughout the world the increasingly devastating effects for civilian populations of the proliferation of weapons, particularly small arms. The difficulties of providing humanitarian assistance in an environment where arms have become widely available to many segments of society are well known to most humanitarian relief agencies today. However, until recently the relationships between the availability of weapons, the worsening situation of civilians during and after conflict and the challenges of providing humanitarian assistance have not been addressed directly.

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