New Small Arms Survey Report explores the roles of women in arms trafficking

GENEVA—The roles of women in arms trafficking have been addressed in broader studies focusing on issues like violent extremism prevention, women offenders, political activism, and transnational crime in relation to drug trafficking and human trafficking. However, there has been little research on this subject from a specific small arms control perspective.

Missing or Unseen? Exploring Women’s Roles in Arms Trafficking strives to fill this gap, and examines the extent to which well-established small arms research methods—general population surveys, key informant interviews, and court documentation reviews—can be used to explore arms trafficking through a gender lens.

The Report applies these methods in the form of three case studies—in Niger, Ukraine*, and the United States. It finds that the combined use of these methods does help to shed light on specific aspects of women in arms trafficking, such as their varied roles, which include high-risk activities and, in a few cases, leadership positions. The study also offers a number of suggestions for future research in this area.

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*Note: The Ukraine-based research for this Report was conducted prior to February 2022.