Russia Arms Deal With Bahrain Shows Why We Need an Arms Trade Treaty | Human Rights and the Will to be free |

a proposed UN Arms Trade Treaty has no authority over the internal sale of arms. But Russia’s recent deal with Bahrain does show how and why a potential arms trade treaty could help prevent weapons from landing in the hands of human rights abusers around the world.


The continued supply of weapons to repressive regimes is nothing new, but it does highlight the need for a globally binding Arms Trade Treaty that restricts transfers to human rights abusers. Continuing to supply arms even as government forces gun down peaceful protesters sends the message that the supplier believes the recipient government is still legitimate. An Arms Trade Treaty that held states parties responsible for the end use of their arms exports and imposed real consequences for their misuse could provide a strong disincentive in these circumstances.