Iain Overton

Executive Director

Email: ioverton@aoav.org.uk


Iain Overton is the Executive Director of Action on Armed Violence. In this role he heads up a charity that investigates the impact of explosive weapons and small arms on civilians around the world.  It is a job that has required him to travel to a number of areas heavily impacted by armed violence, including Ukraine, El Salvador and the Syrian/Jordanian border.

He has been witness to the devastating impact of armed violence on numerous occasions and has reported on conflict or extremes of violence in Pakistan, Philippines, Kosovo, Nagorno Karabakh, Colombia, Honduras, Iraq, Solomon Islands, Mexico, the West Bank, Somalia and Liberia, among others. His human rights reporting has been awarded a Peabody Award, two Amnesty Awards and a BAFTA Scotland, among others.

He has spoken at the United Nations, the Oxford Union, Harvard, Cambridge, LSE and Chatham House. He advises as a member of an expert working group on explosive weapons for the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining, regularly provides evidence at the UK’s All Party Parliamentary Group on Explosive Weapons, and is an expert member of the Forum on the Arms Trade.

He has also written for the Guardian, the LA Times, the IB Timesthe Independent and the Huffington Post. He is a guest lecturer in investigative journalism and holds an MPhil and BA from Cambridge University.

His first book, Gun Baby Gun was about the global trade in guns.  He is currently working on his second book, The Price of Paradise (Quercus) – a look at how suicide bombers have helped shaped the modern world.

Gun Baby Gun
His book Gun Baby Gun was published by Canongate in the UK in April 2015.  It has also been sold into the US (HarperCollins), Canada (McLelland & Stewart – Penguin), France (Belfond), Norway (Font), Netherlands  (Uitgeverij Q) and Taiwan/Hong Kong/Macau (China Times).

The reviews for the book include:
‘Brilliant…’ – Jon Snow, Channel 4 News;
‘A gripping book that’s as disturbing as it is enlightening’ – GQ;
‘Relentlessly engrossing’ – The Spectator;
‘Shocking… Overton has supped full of horrors and is not reticent about sharing them.’ – Newsweek;
‘Adventurous…thoughtful… contains moments of great poignancy…’ – Financial Times;
‘A shocking book about the terrible realities of war and weapons’ – Scotland’s Sunday Mail;
Overton ‘has a journalist’s eye for blending anecdote and statistics… its scope is admirable.’- The Skinny;
‘A thoroughly good book… hard not to be compelled’ – Book munch;
Maybe one of the most thought-provoking books you’ll read this year’ – The National.

The book has also been published in the US – as Way of the Gun.
It was described as ‘engrossing’ by Publisher’s Weekly;




Gun Baby Gun: a bloody journey into the world of the gun.
Publisher: Canongate Books; Main edition (16 April 2015)