The Global Alliance on Armed Violence (GAAV) is a network of over 160 actors in 60 countries working to reduce and prevent armed violence worldwide. Our members represent a broad spectrum of work which directly and indirectly supports armed violence reduction - from small arms control to advancing survivors’ rights, working with gangs and criminals groups to conflict prevention and peace building.
GAAV’s vision is a world where people and communities are safe from armed violence. Our mission is to provide a global platform that helps to improve the quality, impact and visibility of local, national, regional and international initiatives to prevent and reduce armed violence.
To this end, GAAV pursues the following objectives:
- Create a ‘whole of society approach’ to armed violence prevention and reduction: To generate dialogue, collaborative efforts and genuine partnership with affected communities and all sectors relevant to armed violence prevention and reduction to promote local initiatives internationally.
- Improve the quality and scale of resources given to local and national initiatives on armed violence prevention and reduction: To enhance the ability of actors on-the-ground to construct effective organizations and programmes for sustained prevention and reduction of armed violence.
- Disseminate proven and effective practices in armed violence prevention and reduction: To improve the impact and effectiveness of local, national, regional and international armed violence prevention and reduction programming and initiatives through monitoring and evaluation as well as gathering and dissemination of lessons learned.
Strengthen networking and advocacy on armed violence prevention and reduction: To provide a platform for communication and collaboration that will project a unified voice and strengthen advocacy on armed violence prevention and reduction.
GAAV promotes partnerships across sectors and coordinates communities of practitioners to investigate programme and policy solutions to reduce armed violence. GAAV’s strategy is framed by three related pillars of work:
- Working Groups (thematically and geographically clustered)
- Advocacy and Communications; and
- Knowledge Exchange and Capacity Building.
Armed violence kills over 526,000 people every year. On average, a person dies due to armed violence every minute. Nine out of ten of these deaths occurs outside of a conflict zone. The number of people who have suffered physical injury, psychological harm, economic loss, and substantial impairment of their rights is even larger than those who suffer fatal attacks.
In recent years, the efforts of civil society organizations (CSOs) to address the problem of armed violence have been disparate, each tackling specific issues. Whilst these efforts have brought significant successes locally, on the whole they have not been fully integrated into the international community’s global response to armed violence.
Stronger collaboration is needed between key stakeholders, such as civil society, academia, the private sector, the development community, health sectors and local governments, in order to effect these changes. This is the rationale behind the development of the Global Alliance on Armed Violence (GAAV) – an alliance which reaches out to key constituencies that have not yet been properly engaged for a ‘whole of society’ approach.
GAAV members recognise that armed violence prevention and reduction plays a major role in improving community safety, security and access to justice, and creating conditions for greater socio-economic development, poverty reduction, peace and good governance. By promoting partnerships, solutions and advancing enabling policy environments, GAAV aims to help reduce the worldwide burden of armed violence.