UN Secretary-General urges immediate adoption of political declaration amid concerns over explosive weapons in populated areas

The UN Secretary-General’s annual report on civilian protection in conflict zones highlights the grave impact of explosive weapons on civilians, especially in populated areas, praises the adoption of a political declaration aimed at strengthening civilian protection, and urges states to swiftly endorse and implement it to prevent further harm.

Promises not delivered: the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict

As William Hague and Angelina Jolie officially opened the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict last week, they delivered a number of key messages. William Hague told watching media, the public, and civil society members, that impunity must end, and that there must be no ‘safe havens’ for perpetrators. We were told that […]

Control, intimidation and humiliation: rape and sexual violence in Syria

“The war may still be raging, but at some point it will end. At that point, the survivors will have to start picking up the traumatized pieces of their lives.” Lauren Wolfe, Women Under Siege Violence in Syria regularly makes international headlines. But for all the attention which is (rightly) paid to the pitched battles, […]

News from the ground: November update on AOAV’s field programmes

Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) conducts field-based programming in support of its mission to reduce the incidence and impact of armed violence globally. Utilizing experience and knowledge gained from its research, policy-work, and fieldwork, AOAV conducts evidence-based programming in five countries in West, Central, and North Africa – Burundi, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Western […]

Countries in crisis: a new approach to rebuilding the future

Around the world, 1.5 billion people live in a place affected by conflict or violence, waiting, often for decades, for something more than a temporary respite from death and destruction. A definite end to conflict, however, is difficult to achieve. While negotiated endings, such as ceasefires and peace settlements, are rightly celebrated, the history of recent conflicts, […]

In focus: Gustavo Vera, President of La Alameda, Argentina

Gustavo Vera is the President of the La Alameda, a non-governmental organisation based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. AOAV: Could you tell us about what La Alameda is and what work you do? Gustavo Vera: La Alameda is an anti-mafia organisation that fights human trafficking, slave labour, child exploitation, pimping and drug trafficking. We define mafia […]

AOAV: Saving lives and supporting livelihoods in Western Sahara

Western Sahara is littered with explosive remnants of war. It is potentially one of the world’s most heavily contaminated areas. Despite this, there is little international awareness of the scale and ongoing impact of the problem in this desert country. Deadly unexploded ordnance (UXO) and landmines continue to take lives, to take limbs, to pose […]

Promoting victims’ rights in Burundi: Audrey’s Story

Audrey Mugisha is a 23 year-old student who grew up in Cibitoke, an unstable province in north-western Burundi. At 8 years old, caught in the middle of a brutal civil war, Audrey was seriously injured by grenade shrapnel during an unprovoked attack on her house. Her injuries resulted in her left arm being amputated. Her mother […]

Supporting survivors in Burundi: Gloriose’s Story

While being carried on her mother’s back at the age of three, Gloriose and her mother were shot during the Burundian civil war. Gloriose’s left leg had to be amputated due to her wound becoming infected. Now 20 years old, Gloriose wants to become a nurse so that she can improve the way people with disabilities […]

Assistance to victims of explosive weapon use in populated areas

The international norm of the obligations on States to assist victims is well established.(1) AOAV believes that its application should include universal assistance to all victims of armed violence. This is especially important for those who are harmed by the use of explosive weapons in populated areas, because of the massive human cost and long-lasting […]

In focus: AOAV’s Burundi programme director on the challenges of her work

Julie Claveau joined AOAV in June 2013 and specialises in peace-building in Burundi. She previously worked with Mines Advisory Group (MAG) in Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo implementing armed violence reduction and humanitarian mine action projects. In a nutshell, what’s your job? I’ll be supervising and growing the programme in Burundi. Currently, we have two branches […]

Jesús Martínez

Jesús Martínez Landmine survivor Jesús Martínez is a landmine survivor from El Salvador who lost both his legs at the age of 17 while walking to work. Since then he has created a foundation, Red de Sobrevivientes y Personas con Discapacidad, that supports victims of armed violence and people with disabilities in reintegrating through skills […]