As island nations often lack the capacity to effectively patrol immense areas of ocean, the porous borders of Caribbean states make them particularly vulnerable to illicit weapon flows. Smuggled small arms and light weapons have wrought a devastating impact on the economy and security of the region, and for many years the Caribbean suffered the world’s second highest rate of gun homicide.

Participants at arms control workshop in the Caribbean

The Centre for Armed Violence Reduction works with Caribbean states and civil society to build arms control capacity and to promote the adoption of international standards. As arms-related legislation in many Caribbean states is out of date, international instruments such as the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) and the UN small arms Programme of Action (UNPoA) offer valuable examples of best practice. CAVR promotes inter-agency co-operation, helping Caribbean states to coordinate efforts to curb the proliferation of illicit weapons. Collaborating with officials, agencies and civil society across the region, the Centre helps to improve information sharing, capacity building, record keeping, implementation of international instruments and reporting, both among Caribbean nations and in unison with other regions.

Most recently, CAVR joined the Caribbean Community IMPACS project and the Arms Trade Treaty Baseline Assessment Project (ATT-BAP) in conducting regional workshops with 13 Caribbean states. These focussed on capacity building, establishing National Points of Contact and the use of international arms control standards. Read our case study of the workshop to find out more.