The Global Arms Trade

After exploring ideas related to transparency in supply chains for my first three blog entries, I decided I wanted to move on to a different area of human rights issues, more importantly, a human rights topic that I do not know much about myself. I decided to browse through some Ted Talks to see if anything peaked my interest.




I stumbled upon this talk by Samantha Nutt, a doctor who also founded the humanitarian organisation ‘War Child.’ In this talk Dr Nutt spoke about how the global arms trade works and what effect this trading has on developing countries.

In the talk, Dr Nutt begins by explaining about the damaging effects of war she witnessed when she was volunteering in Somalia. Over 300,000 people have lost their lives in this country due to war related famine and disease. The mission was, in part, to figure out how we can respond to this humanitarian crisis. Dr Nutt then went on to explain how the western world is actually profiting from wars in developing countries by being the biggest exporter of firearms. Although, due to the cynical and pessimistic side of me, I wasn’t exactly surprised to find out this information, it was something I wasn’t aware of. I find it outrageous that this is something that isn’t talked about more often.

She went on to explain how not only is the west profiting from these firearms trades, but these firearms are actually ending up in the hands of militant groups such as ISIS and Al Qaeda, because accessibility to firearms is so easy.

As we have been discussing in class, creating global standards of human rights is difficult unless every country was to agree to the same sets of rights and standards, which lets be honest, is far easier said than done. I think it is insane however that the U.K and other western states actually have a hand in the death and destruction of so many civilians. We should take some responsibility and block the trade of firearms to war ridden developing countries.

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