AOAV has developed a three-pronged approach to advancing the policy agenda of the rights of victims of armed violence:
Extending rights-based victim assistance
In our efforts to get the rights of victims and survivors of armed violence more recognised worldwide, AOAV advocates to ensure that victims’ rights are included in the wording of international weapons treaties, especially the Mine Ban Treaty, the Convention on Cluster Munitions, the Arms Trade Treaty, and in casualty recording.
Casualty recording is an essential aspect to ensuring the rights of victims of armed violence. AOAV works with partners and calls on states and other actors to recognise all casualties of armed violence by ensuring that casualties are promptly recorded, correctly identified, and publicly acknowledged.
AOAV believes that accurate recording, identification and acknowledgement of casualties are crucial for understanding the needs of victims and their surviving families and communities.
Pushing the agenda
As we push the agenda forward, AOAV calls on states, NGOs and international organisations working with victims and survivors of armed violence, to ensure they approach their efforts in a rights-based way and are working with the ultimate goal of ensuring equality of opportunity in society. They should make available information on how they target persons with disabilities, women, children, and other vulnerable groups in their work, and how they ensure that the measures they take are inclusive and rights-based.
AOAV calls for the coordination of work between international treaties to ensure that the work for victims and survivors of landmines, explosive remnants of war, cluster munitions, and armed violence is not duplicated and efforts are most efficient and effective in advancing the rights of all victims of armed violence.
To this end, AOAV is working to engage relevant organisations, academics, practitioners and champion governments in a working group to advance the rights of victims of armed violence as an international policy agenda. In November 2013, AOAV is organising a symposium in collaboration with Harvard Law School’s Human Rights Clinic, which will be used as a way to bring all relevant actors together and discuss the potential for joint advocacy work on this issue.
As part of our work, AOAV helps to get survivors of armed violence to be part of the conversation when international treaties are developed, as well as responding to their needs when it comes to the planning of armed violence programme.
As recognised in international treaties, such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Convention on Cluster Munitions, that involvement of those who have lived through armed violence is essential to understand successfully the needs and to ensure the rights of persons with disabilities, physical or mental, caused by such violence.