Over the past two decades, humanitarian disarmament has become a highly effective and firmly established means of dealing with the adverse impacts of arms. This people-centered approach to disarmament focuses on preventing and remediating human suffering and environmental harm, rather than advancing national security. It is spearheaded by civil society campaigns, operating in partnership with states and international organizations. Humanitarian disarmament’s accomplishments already include four international treaties and two Nobel Peace Prizes. Efforts to create additional norms are underway.
This website aims to increase public awareness of humanitarian disarmament while serving as a hub of information for practitioners in the field. It provides an overarching definition of humanitarian disarmament that encompasses its substance and process. The website also introduces readers to key issues and the campaigns that work to address them. It offers a list of other resources and a calendar of events. Finally, its “Disarmament Dialogue” blog highlights key developments as they unfold.
The website originated in the conference “Humanitarian Disarmament: The Way Ahead,” organized by Harvard Law School’s Armed Conflict and Civilian Protection Initiative in 2018. This event gave global leaders in humanitarian disarmament an opportunity to reflect on the state of the field and strategize about its future. The participants agreed on the value of highlighting their common methods and aims, and this website is a product of their discussions.
Credits (clockwise from left): Bonnie Docherty, 2012; USAF, 1945; Bonnie Docherty, 2006