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In Libya, years of UN and EU embargo deterred legal arms supply and may have initiated illicit trafficking and diversion from neighbouring countries [ 51 ]. Small Arms Survey [ 53 ] research highlights the importance of tracing marked weapons and serial numbers, allowing for identification of weapons suppliers and flows and addressing the source of cross-border proliferation of SALW [ 19 , 51 ]. An important step towards border control would be to elaborate export and import controls through legislation and enforce these with customs inspections [ 7 ].

Armed violence reduction and injury prevention requires the advocacy of interdisciplinary practitioners across the fields of criminal justice, security, development, health, policy, anthropology and education. Through surveillance of SALW and public health injury reporting we can evaluate the burden of armed violence in Libya. Kruk et al. Unfortunately, Libya demonstrates the severe health and human rights consequences that occur due to failure of these processes. The post-conflict environment therefore requires a diverse package of DDR, second generation weapons reduction, SSR, judiciary and legislative interventions.

In this way the public health and security sectors can effect a pragmatic partnership during and after the current period of insecurity that afflicts Libya. GB revised the manuscript for submission.


All authors read and approved the final manuscript. Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Journal List Confl Health v. Confl Health. Published online Jul 9. Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Gemma Bowsher, Email: ku. Corresponding author. Received Oct 5; Accepted Apr 5. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC.

Abstract The conflict environment in Libya is characterized by continued pervasive insecurity amidst the widespread availability of small arms and light weapons SALW. Keywords: Small and light weapons, Armed Libya. Background The conflict environment in Libya is characterized by a widespread availability of small arms and light weapons SALW. A history of armed conflict in Libya Since , the health system of Libya has been heavily affected by armed conflict. Consequences of SALW on Libyan public health The impacts of violent armed conflict in Libya are long-term; victims are usually young males but also include other vulnerable groups, particularly those of Tawerghan or sub-Saharan African background [ 2 ].

Armed violence reduction as a public health issue SALW control is increasingly recognised as a public health good, especially in the post-conflict environment [ 17 , 31 ] pp. SALW: Measuring the public health impact Measuring the public health impact of SALW poses difficulties in the post-conflict environment when surveillance data are sparse [ 58 ], particularly for violence against specific groups such as women [ 30 ] p. Reccommendation 1. Establish a public health reporting system for SALW associated injuries 2. Denormalise the arms industry and emphasise the norms upheld by the ATT 3.

Support regional cooperation to effect reductions in military spending 4. Develop local and community interventions engaged with mitigating individual motivations for SALW possession 6. Reinsert armed brigade revolutionaries into GNC forces 7.

Small Arms and Light Weapons

Enlist existing community leaders such as brigade commanders in SALW reduction programmes 8. Initiate demand-side DDR initiative such as community-based financing, loan exchanges and weapons lotteries 9. Establish legislation targeting SALW reduction through channels such as firearm registration, age limits, waiting periods and background checks Limit the scope illicit trafficking from neighbouring countries by enacting customs controls and vigilant policing.

Open in a separate window. International arms control The Geneva declaration on Armed Violence and Development was aimed at supporting state actors and civil society organisations to reduce the burden of armed violence [ 30 ]. Leadership There is potential for brigade commanders to exercise their authority for the disarmament of SALW and reintegration of their combatants — provided of course that some compromises be made [ 36 ].

Brigade weapons Stockpile. Picture Credit Richard Sullivan Brigade Weapons Stockpile. Disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration DDR Weapons reduction programs combined with DDR show successes when they are adequately prioritized [ 38 ].

Targeted demand —side interventions SALW supply reduction through DDR campaigns forms an integral component of conflict management strategies [ 38 ]. Conclusion Armed violence reduction and injury prevention requires the advocacy of interdisciplinary practitioners across the fields of criminal justice, security, development, health, policy, anthropology and education.

Notes Ethics approval and consent to participate Ethics approval was not required. Competing interests The authors declare that they have no competing interests. References 1. Alusala, n. Pretoria: Institute for Security Studies; Amnesty International.

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