History

Saferworld has been preventing violent conflict and building safer lives for over 28 years.

Launched in Bristol, UK, in 1989, Saferworld began life as a politically-independent research organisation. In the 1990s we pioneered work for more effective arms controls, and we also began examining the broader elements underlying conflict – such as governance, power, marginalisation, access to resources and development. Our guiding principle – which remains to this day – was that people should be at the heart of all responses to conflict.

In 2000 we expanded our policy work and started in-country programming in Kenya and the Western Balkans. We have grown significantly since then: we now work in over 20 countries across East Africa, Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and South East Asia. In all cases, local partners form the backbone to our programme. Our policy and programming covers a range of issues at local, national, regional and international levels including community security, gender, peace and security, justice and development.

Today, with headquarters in London and a presence in key regional and policy centres including Brussels, Nairobi, Vienna, Washington DC and Beijing, we remain one of the world’s leading organisations on conflict prevention thinking and practice.

Since the beginning we have been at the forefront of efforts to stop irresponsible arms transfers that fuel conflict. We were present at the very first discussions that formed the idea for a global arms trade standard. We worked in coalition for nearly 20 years to achieve the Arms Trade Treaty which became international law in 2014. - Excerpt from 25th anniversary publication.