A review of less lethal weapons manufacture, trade and (mis)use human rights and trade control implications N. Corney1 and M. Crowley2 1 Omega Research Foundation, Bridge 5 Mill, 22A Beswick Street, Manchester M4 7HR, UK. neil@omegaresearchfoundation.org +44 (0) 161 273 8875 2 Omega Research Foundation and University of Bradford, Division of Peace Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Bradford, Richmond Road, Bradford, BD7 1DP, UK. m.j.a.crowley1@bradford.ac.uk +44 (0) 1274 232323 This paper was jointly researched and written by Neil Corney and Michael Crowley, who share coauthorship equally. ABSTRACT At a time of unprecedented global unrest and social protest, an increasing number of law enforcement agencies are using less lethal weapons to control public gatherings, manage prisons and police borders on a greater scale, both in number and geographical spread, than ever. There is wide divergence in the types and quantities of weapons used, selection and testing procedures, procurement practices, policies and procedures for use, and the content of training, both between countries and between different agencies within the same country. Traditionally the manufacture and trade in less lethal systems has been dominated by companies based in Europe and North American. However, evidence shows that this is changing. This paper presents some initial results and illustrative cases from an ongoing global survey of less lethal weapons, highlighting a range of traditional and novel less lethal weapons that are now being manufactured, traded and deployed by law enforcement officials throughout the world in custodial and non-custodial contexts. The paper presents less lethal law enforcement weapons and equipment in the following categories: electric shock weapons and devices; kinetic impact devices; and riot control agents; briefly examining the particular physical/medical effects of each weapon type and highlighting relevant human rights concerns associated with its use. Consequently the paper assesses whether the less lethal weapon or equipment in question can be used legitimately and if so under what constraints; or whether the manufacture, trade and use of certain less lethal weapons should be prohibited. Finally the paper highlights some examples of the current less lethal weapons marketplace, and examines recent international initiatives to more effectively regulate the trade in less lethal weapons and law enforcement equipment. Keywords: manufacture, export, import, trade control, weapons, equipment, legislation ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: Research for this paper was undertaken as part of a 3-year project, “Establishing effective controls on the use of and trade in torture technologies, as a tool to fight torture and support remedy and reparation”. Grant Contract EIDHR/2017/388-471, partfunded by the European Union – European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR). The contents of this paper are the sole responsibility of the authors and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union. Additional project funding was received from the Sigrid Rausing Trust (UK), Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust (UK) and the Oak Foundation (UK).

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