On 26 March, UNLIREC and the Government of Haiti held an online workshop to provide the government with technical assistance on firearms classification. This workshop forms part of a broader support to the Haitian authorities’ ongoing commitment to modernize their national legal framework on firearms, parts, components, ammunitions and explosives, an issue considered a priority by the government of Haiti.

In the context of the current legal and technical drafting assistance provided by UNLIREC, a specific need was identified on firearms classification. The objective of this workshop was to establish a common language for the drafting process on firearms, parts, components and ammunitions. The 18 participants (which included government representatives and civil society organizations) were given information, recommendations and useful tools, mainly for them to be able to define and identify the different types and characteristics of firearms. As a result, those leading the drafting process can decide of firearms to which civilians should have access to, and the ones that should be prohibited or restricted.

This activity forms part of a project entitled “UNLIREC Technical Assistance Package for Weapons and Ammunition Management in Haiti” and funded by UNDP and the Peacebuilding Fund. The project has also previously run other similar initiatives including legal workshops on international instruments on firearms and ammunition control and recommendations for improving Haiti’s current legal framework.

This activity brought together the legal task force responsible for drafting the decree on this issue, civil society organizations, UNPOL, UNDP, BINUH and UNLIREC. The task force is made of the following Haitian government entities: Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Defense, Armed Forces, National Police, National Disarmament and Dismantling and Reinsertion Commission and Customs Administration. UNLIREC has offered to coordinate a technical follow-up session on firearms classification to strengthen national capacity and enable the drafting of the decree’s relevant provisions.