Microdisarmament: The Consequences for Public Safety and Human Rights
45 Pages Posted: 15 Jun 2005
Today, many international gun prohibition advocates have recognized that, even though world-wide gun prohibition is not achievable in the near future, gun prohibition can be advanced in individual nations. Single-country (or single-region) gun prohibition is called micro-disarmament. Success stories of micro-disarmament are a very important part of international gun prohibition advocacy. This articles examines six case studies of microdisarmament. In three of those cases - Albania, Bougainville, and Cambodia - microdisarmament has seriously harmed human rights. Limited disarmament in rural Guatemala was followed by a crime wave, but it is not clear that the former caused the latter. In San Miguelito, Panamana, there was a successful program to convince youthful gangsters to surrender their guns, in exchange for participation in a government jobs program. In Mali, northern tribes rebelled against the corrupt central government which starved and oppressed them. After the central kleptocarcy was replaced with a democratic government, the new government recognized that the northern rebellion could not be violently defeated; when the new government agreed to respect the rights of the northern tribes, the northern tribes laid down their arms. In Mali, disarmament was not the cause of peace, but rather the result of a successful war for indigenous self-determination.
Keywords: Microdisarmament, human rights, Albania, Bougainville, Cambodia, Guatemala, Panama, Mali
JEL Classification: H11,H40,H56,I38,J15,K14,K42,N44,N45,N46,N47
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation