Children playing in the streets of Gaza following the Israeli bombings in May 2021.

Children playing in the streets of Gaza following the Israeli bombings in May 2021. © Mohammed Zaanoun/NPA.

Children playing in the streets of Gaza following the Israeli bombings in May 2021. © Mohammed Zaanoun/NPA.

Norwegian People's Aid Weapons Policy (revised)
Adopted on 15 May 2023


Operations and advocacy are two sides of the same coin for NPA. Just as the removal of mines and cluster munition remnants from the ground saves lives, so too has our work to move states to negotiate, adopt, adhere to, and implement weapons related treaties and political commitments.

The 1997 Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention (APMBC) and the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) are milestones in international humanitarian disarmament law. The life-saving potential of the newest addition to humanitarian disarmament law, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) that entered into force in early 2021, is another advocacy victory.

Because weapons technology is continuously and rapidly evolving, international law and norms governing the choice of means and methods of warfare and law enforcement must follow suit. Appropriate limits must be imposed on the design, production, transfer, or use of weapons and systems in order to protect civilians from indiscriminate and harmful effects, uphold human dignity, protect the environment and to ensure that rules and principles of international humanitarian law and human rights law are respected.

As a field-based organisation with several decades of experience working in conflict and post-conflict areas and specialising in operations and interventions that address weapons and ammunition before, during, and after their use, NPA has technical and operational expertise to help inform policy and advocacy discussions.

NPA is well placed to contribute to processes which develop and strengthen international policies, rules, and norms to better protect civilians from unacceptable harm. Building on our history of contributions to global efforts that have banned anti-personnel mines, cluster munitions, and nuclear weapons, NPA will continue to have a strong voice on other unresolved or emerging weapons-related issues that call for an international response. In short, we will defend and strengthen current norms and laws, and fight to develop new ones where needed the most. We will focus our attention on selected policy priorities, but our work extends well beyond the policy topics described here.

This publication is intended to promote greater understanding of the specific weapons-related policy challenges on which NPA currently works and provides concrete steps that can be taken to protect civilians.

NPA provides field-based research and analysis and communicates realities from the field to policy-makers and the media. We contribute to strengthening national approaches through capacity development support to National Mine Action Authorities and local implementing partners, participate in multilateral forums, and work in civil society coalitions. Through operations and advocacy, NPA aims to turn the life-saving potential of existing humanitarian disarmament treaties into reality.