The Humanitarian Initiative on nuclear disarmament has shaken the status quo to its core. Like landmines and cluster munitions, discussing the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons has opened new areas of discussion, new space for action and new possible avenues towards abolition. One of the new areas of discussion is victim rights and victim assistance.
While there is a long history of supporting victim assistance in other humanitarian disarmament forums, the discussion of victim rights and assistance in regards to nuclear weapons has just begun. The concepts surrounding victim assistance are not well known in the nuclear disarmament community and wider public. Victim assistance puts the humanitarian front and centre in the humanitarian approach to nuclear weapons and yet there has been some confusion and debate about what victim rights mean and what their inclusion in nuclear disarmament could offer to abolition efforts.
Based on experience with victim assistance under the Ottawa Treaty and the Convention on Cluster Munitions, we are launching a series of memos exploring the idea of victim assistance in disarmament and what this topic can offer to nuclear disarmament. Memo #1 - A Humanitarian Approach to Nuclear Disarmament: Victim Rights and Assistance provides a brief overview of the victim assistance and victim rights to set a foundation for the upcoming memos.
Download the memo here and stay tuned for memo #2.