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Belgium's Efforts to Combat Illicit Arms Trade

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According to Wikipedia, the arms trade is defined as “global industry which manufactures and sells weapons and military technology”. Recorded to have happened since the 16th century, the global transfer of weapons undoubtedly has brought many profits for the mass arms-producing nations’ economic as well as strengthened the means of self-defense of a country. However, due to lux control over the arms market, making thousand types of firearms went missing or into wrong hands such as the extremist and terrorist, the trading of conventional weapons now partly results in armed conflicts, leading to many cases of human rights abuses and heavy casualties.

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The Belgium government has come out with many approaches to tackle with the current situation. First of all, in spite of being an arms exporter, Belgium is considered as a pioneering role in the development of measure for strengthen and improve the control on firearms. When the Arms Trade Treaty is approved by the General Assembly of the UN and opened for signature on 2 April 2013, it was immediately signed by Belgium and ratified by our country in 3 June 2014. Moreover, awarding of the threat posed by landmines, Belgium, in March 1995, became the first country to have a complete ban on production, use and export of anti-personnel mines and is currently the only country to do so. Our country remains active in this fight and looks forwards to their disappearance by 2025. Also, Belgium was the first country to recognize the binding nature of the EU code of conduct on arms exports. According to the 2018 rapport of Small Arms Trade Transparency Barometer, “Belgium ranks among the top 10 most transparent exporters of small arms”. To battle against illicit trade on weapons, Belgian parliament has adopted lots of policies. One of this is the Weapons Act of 2006, which makes the acquisition of firearms become more stricter with several criteria and improves the registration and traceability of firearms. However, the combating of illicit arms trade in Belgium did not become a real nation policy priority until the announcement of the Weapons Action Plan of 2012 focusing on the fight against illicit firearms trafficking and possession, comprising respectively a legislative, operational and judicial approach.

Through the aforementioned information, it is undeniable that the world, in general, and Belgium, in particular, have tried the best to addressed this problem effectively, but it still seems not enough. Taking all the obvious factors leading to the crises, there are some possible suggestions that should include, but not limited to: more strict control should be made on black markets relating to munition, munitions and other types of weapons; states must carry out rigorous risk assessments against human rights criteria before authorizing any arms transfer or military assistance; supervision is carried out often to understand the purpose of anyone who legally possession of firearms; calling upon a efficiently management in arms trafficking; propagandizing to raise awareness of the adverse consequences of weapons; proving aids for military-affected areas; calling upon effective government to gain trust from people; supplying fund and expertise to combat social aftermath of the illegal arms trade; improving means of exchange information.

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Belgium’s Efforts to Combat Illicit Arms Trade. (2022, October 28). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 8, 2023, from
“Belgium’s Efforts to Combat Illicit Arms Trade.” Edubirdie, 28 Oct. 2022,
Belgium’s Efforts to Combat Illicit Arms Trade. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 8 Feb. 2023].
Belgium’s Efforts to Combat Illicit Arms Trade [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Oct 28 [cited 2023 Feb 8]. Available from:
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