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UNODA Occasional Papers No.25: The Gun-Free Zone - A Tool to Prevent and Reduce Armed Violence, December 2013

image of UNODA Occasional Papers No.25: The Gun-Free Zone - A Tool to Prevent and Reduce Armed Violence, December 2013

UNODA Occasional Papers is a series of ad hoc publications that deal with topical issues in the field of arms limitation, disarmament and international security and are intended primarily for those concerned with these matters in Government, civil society and in the academic community. This paper brings together existing information and experiences from practitioners and policy makers and analyzes the impact of Gun-Free Zones (GFZs) in order to determine when and where GFZs can be a valuable measure to prevent and reduce armed violence. It gives national governments, local authorities and international development and peacebuilding agencies and organizations a better understanding of GFZ in order to incorporate, where applicable, this tool into their strategies.

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Abstract

Armed violence—the intentional, threatened or actual use of arms to inflict death or injury—takes many forms around the world, but it always has devastating consequences. More than two thirds of reported victims of armed violence in 2011 lived in countries not in armed conflict. According to the Global Burden of Armed Violence, more than 500,000 people die worldwide every year as a consequence of armed violence. And the indirect consequences of armed violence extend far beyond these numbers when one considers injuries, forced migration and the impact of violence on people’s livelihoods.

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