In resolution 53/15, the Human Rights Council requested the High Commissioner “to prepare, in consultation with States, United Nations agencies and other relevant stakeholders, an analytical report on the impact of arms transfers, including the diversion of arms and unregulated or illicit arms transfers, on the enjoyment of human rights, with a focus on the role of access to information in preventing, mitigating and responding to the negative human rights impact thereof, and to present the report to the Human Rights Council at its fifty-sixth session”.
Guiding questions on the inputs sought
- Please identify the impact of arms transfers, including the diversion of arms and unregulated or illicit arms transfers on the enjoyment of human rights.
- Please explain whether, and if so, how access to information prevents, mitigates and responds to the negative human rights impact of arms transfers, including the diversion of arms and unregulated or illicit arms transfers. In particular, please elaborate on how access to information can support efforts aimed at ensuring the prevention and cessation of, and accountability for, violations and abuses of international human rights law and violations of international humanitarian law resulting from arms transfers, including the diversion of arms and unregulated or illicit arms transfers.
- Please provide information on applicable laws on access to information, highlighting
- Whether such laws are applicable to arms transfers, and whether they are also applicable to information on transfers carried out by private entities, as well as wholly or partially State-owned businesses.
- What restrictions or possible restrictions, if any, exist to granting access to information on arms transfers, or limitations or restrictions relating to the content of the information that may be granted.
- Any statistical data available on the number of requests for information on arms transfers granted and rejected.
- Please provide information on applicable legislation, policy or practice, whereby the State proactively makes available information related to arms transfers.
- Please outline the extent to which obligations related to access to information or transparency apply to private business entities, as well as wholly or partially State-owned enterprises, including those carrying out arms transfers. Please provide details on the applicable obligations.
- Please indicate whether data on the identification and tracing of arms is subject to the right of access to information, and whether such information otherwise is made publicly available.
- Please provide information on whether there are oversight mechanisms competent to request or demand information on arms transfers, and whether transparency requirements or access to information laws are applicable to such mechanisms. If so, please elaborate on the scope and content of such requirements.
- Please provide information on the right of access to information on arms transfers of parties to legal proceedings, as well as possible exceptions related to the admission of evidence, including exceptions related to trade secrets or national security. If the press and the public have been excluded from all or part of such proceedings, please provide information on the extent to which this has occurred.
- Please indicate how the transboundary nature of arms transfers affects or can affect the enjoyment of the right of access to information relating to such transfers.
How inputs will be used
Unless requested otherwise, the information provided may be made available on the OHCHR website (www.ohchr.org).