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Armed Violence and Guns in Central Asia

Despite their history as satellite states of the former Soviet Union, the countries of the Central Asian Plateau report some of the World’s lowest civilian gun possession rates, ranging from 0.9 per 100 people in Kyrgyzstan, to 3.8 per 100 people in Turkmenistan.1

Estimated military small arm stockpiles vary from as few as 19,000 in Tajikistan to 757,000 in Kazakhstan.2

Uzbekistan is believed to have the largest number of law enforcement firearms in the region, with police holdings estimated at 72,000.3

The few public health figures that have been reported in the region seem to suggest that gun homicide rates have been dropping in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan since the mid 1990s, and are consistently low in Turkmenistan from 2003 to 2006.4 5 6 7 8

According to international arms transfer data, Kazakhstan is the most prominent importer and exporter of small arms and light weapons in the sub-region.9

In terms of participation in international processes, all are Members of the United Nations,10 and all but Uzbekistan has submitted reports to the UNPoA.11 12 13 14 Only Kazakhstan was present to vote (in favour) to begin negotiations for an Arms Trade Treaty in 200915 and none of them has yet signed the Arms Trade Treaty.16

For more information on armed violence and gun control laws in each country and territory of Central Asia, please use the search tools in the left hand column.

Short References

1.

Karp, Aaron.2007.‘Completing the Count: Civilian firearms - Annexe online.’ Small Arms Survey 2007: Guns and the City.Cambridge:Cambridge University Press,27 August. (Q5)Full Citation

2.

Karp, Aaron.2006.‘Trickle and Torrent: State stockpiles.’ Small Arms Survey 2006: Unfinished Business.Oxford:Oxford University Press,1 July. (Q6)Full Citation

3.

Karp, Aaron.2006.‘Trickle and Torrent: State stockpiles.’ Small Arms Survey 2006: Unfinished Business.Oxford:Oxford University Press,1 July. (Q7)Full Citation

4.

UNODC.2014.‘Homicides and Gun Homicides in Kazakhstan.’ Global Study on Homicide 2013: Trends, Context, Data.Vienna:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC),10 April. (Q8904)Full Citation

5.

WHO.2014.‘Inter-country Comparison of Mortality for Selected Cause of Death – Gun Homicide in Kyrgyzstan.’ European Detailed Mortality Database (DMDB).Copenhagen:World Health Organisation Regional Office for Europe,20 June. (Q6077)Full Citation

6.

UNODC.2013.‘Homicide in 207 Countries - Tajikistan.’ Global Study on Homicide 2011: Trends, Context, Data.Vienna:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,26 June. (Q6325)Full Citation

7.

UNODC.2008.‘Recorded Intentional Homicide, Completed.’ Tenth United Nations Survey of Crime Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems (2005-2006).Vienna:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,10 December. (Q10)Full Citation

8.

WHO.2012.‘Inter-country Comparison of Mortality for Selected Cause of Death – Gun Homicide in Uzbekistan.’ European Detailed Mortality Database (DMDB).Copenhagen:World Health Organisation Regional Office for Europe,23 February. (Q6104)Full Citation

9.

Marsh, Nicholas.2013.‘Database of Authorised Transfers of Small Arms and Light Weapons.’ NISAT Small Arms Trade Database.Oslo:Norwegian Initiative on Small Arms Transfers,14 February. (Q16)Full Citation

10.

UN.2013.‘Member States of the United Nations.’ UN.org Web Site.New York:United Nations General Assembly,7 April. (Q290)Full Citation

11.

Parker, Sarah and Katherine Green.2012.‘Findings - Table 3: Reporting States by Rank and Score.’ The Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (Phase 1): Assessing Reported Progress.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies,1 August. (Q8752)Full Citation

12.

Parker, Sarah and Katherine Green.2012.‘What do the PoAIM Scores Represent? How Should the PoAIM Scores Be Interpreted?.’ The Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (Phase 1): Assessing Reported Progress.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies,1 August. (Q8753)Full Citation

13.

Parker, Sarah and Katherine Green.2012.‘Point Allocation System.’ The Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (Phase 1): Assessing Reported Progress.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies,1 August. (Q8754)Full Citation

14.

Parker, Sarah and Katherine Green.2012.‘Introduction.’ The Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (Phase 1): Assessing Reported Progress.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies,1 August. (Q8755)Full Citation

15.

UNGA.2009.‘Towards an Arms Trade Treaty: Establishing common international standards for the import, export and transfer of conventional arms.’ UN Resolution A/RES/64/48.New York:United Nations General Assembly,2 June. (Q1886)Full Citation

16.

UNODA.2013.‘Towards Entry Into Force.’ Arms Trade Treaty.New York NY:United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs,2 April. (Q7226)Full Citation