Some weapons don’t differentiate between civilians and soldiers, and lead to innocent victims decades after the conflict has ended. This is why PAX wants to bring an end to controversial weapons such as cluster bombs, nuclear weapons and killer robots.
PAX works toward a form of disarmament called `humanitarian disarmament`: the focus is on the human suffering caused by these weapons. PAX is guided in this by International Humanitarian Law (IHL).
PAX is striving for humanitarian disarmament by working on better regulation and/or the prohibition of certain weapons, in particular weapons which by their nature, or through incorrect, use cannot differentiate between civilians and military personnel. This includes nuclear weapons, as well as cluster munitions, anti-personnel mines, depleted uranium or the use of explosive weapons in densely populated areas. PAX is also targeting new weapons technology, such as the rising use of armed drones or the fully autonomous weapons currently under development, the so-called `killer robots'.
From development to trade
PAX targets the entire chain of conflict: from the development of new weapons, the investments by financial institutions in the production of such weapons, through the arms trade and the use of these weapons in conflicts.
PAX does this through research, public campaigns and national and international lobbying. We demonstrate the effect of using particular weapons on civilians with the aid of research. We then use the research as the basis for lobbying campaigns, in order to persuade policymakers to improve the protection of civilians and to regulate or ban certain weapons. PAX also campaigns for strict interpretation and implementation of existing treaties such as the Arms Trade Treaty and the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
Since we believe in the power of international networks, we carry out a large proportion of our work within international coalitions. You can find further information on the pages of the individual weapons programmes.
As we strongly believe in the strength of international cooperation, most of our work is done through coalitions or networks. PAX is founder or board member of many of these, such as:
Harvard Law School’s Armed Conflict and Civilian Protection Initiative (ACCPI) and PAX released a jointly published brochure which examines the humanitarian disarmament cross-cutting approach and introduces key arms-related issues to which it has been applied. A new tool for diplomats and campaigners, the brochure also provides a definition of humanitarian disarmament, a timeline, list of key players, and selected resources.