Taking stock

Small arms and human security in Georgia

Taking stock: small arms and human security in Georgia presents the findings of research conducted on small arms and light weapons (SALW) and human security issues in Georgia by the non-governmental organisations Saferworld (UK) and the Caucasus Institute for Peace, Democracy and Development (CIPDD, Georgia). The report is comprehensive in scope, considering the ownership of small arms in the country, their use and misuse, their impact on individuals, communities and the state, public attitudes and perceptions towards arms and security, and the capacity of state institutions to control the proliferation and misuse of small arms. The research for this survey was undertaken during a seven-month period from December 2005 to June 2006. A variety of methods were used during the research, including a nationwide household survey of 1,300 respondents (excluding Abkhazia and South Ossetia), 14 focus group discussions, interviews with more than 50 key officials and opinion-formers and a review of official data and media reports.

The report is intended as a practical reference tool to aid policy makers in developing effective responses to the outstanding small arms problems facing Georgia at this time. To this end, periodic consultation meetings were organised as part of the research process so that officials from the Georgian Government might review preliminary research findings and comment on them. The views expressed during these consultations are reflected in the final research report.

Although this survey analysed the impact on arms proliferation and security of thetwo areas of Georgia's internationally recognised territory that remain outside the control of the central Government - Abkhazia and South Ossetia - it is focussed primarily on those areas currently under Tbilisi's control. This is purely because of a variety of practical difficulties related to undertaking such research in these areas during 2005–2006.