New Report Released: "Firearms Possession and Domestic Violence in the Western Balkans"
Friday, December 14, 2007 8:40 AM

The South Eastern and Eastern Europe Clearinghouse for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons has published a report analysing the linkages between the legislation and implementation mechanisms regulating civilian firearm possession and domestic violence in the Western Balkans. Research was conducted in the six countries of the Western Balkans and the UN Administered Territory of Kosovo. Findings from the national research were compiled into a regional report, which is intended for use as a lobbying platform from which civil society can advocate to governments and law-makers for improvements to legislation that will strengthen prevention measures and provide for greater protection of victims of armed domestic violence. The report includes recommendations to the governments of the region, as well as options for the future engagement of civil society.

Key recommendations to governments include:

  • Ensure that national strategies and general polices on domestic violence explicitly recognise the possession and use of firearms as a risk factor, and that a gender perspective is mainstreamed into strategies and policies on SALW control;
  • Review the effectiveness of protection measures for victims of domestic violence, including those related to confiscation of a firearm and cancellation of a firearm licence;
  • Strengthen the legal framework and prescribe stricter criteria for obtaining a firearm licence;
  • Establish comprehensive and coordinated data collection systems that harmonise data collected from all relevant institutions dealing with domestic violence and armed violence and ensure that data is used to inform policy-making.

Recommendations to civil society include:

  • Advocate to governments to link national strategies on domestic violence and SALW control;
  • Draft proposals and lobby for legal changes to legislation on domestic violence and civilian firearms possession;
  • Include the issue of armed domestic violence in trainings for relevant state officials;
  • Make the connection to firearms possession when conducting awareness campaigns on domestic violence.

The report is now available to download from the SEESAC website here. Printed copies are available on request. For further information please contact Ms. Ciara Loughney, SEESAC SALW Awareness Officer,

Published in:  Firearms Possession and Domestic Violence in the Western Balkans: A Comparative Study of Legislation and Implementation Mechanisms, Press Release, SEESAC, UNDP.