A/HRC/49/41 Advance Edited Version Distr.: General 19 January 2022 Original: English Human Rights Council Forty-ninth session 28 February–1 April 2022 Agenda items 2 and 3 Annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and reports of the Office of the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development Impact of the civilian acquisition, possession and use of firearms by children and youth Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Summary In the present report, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights highlights how the availability of firearms in society influences their acquisition, possession and use by children and youth. The High Commissioner details the profound impacts that the use of firearms has on the enjoyment of human rights and calls for comprehensive measures to reduce the harm caused by firearms. She recommends reducing the availability of firearms in society and implementing measures designed to prevent and address the underlying causes of firearms-related deaths and injuries. I.  Introduction  information. The present report was submitted after the deadline so as to include the most recent A/HRC/49/41 1. In its resolution 45/13, the Human Rights Council requested the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare a report on the human rights impact of the civilian acquisition, possession and use of firearms by children and youth, with a view to contributing to the strengthening or the development of comprehensive public policies based on socioeconomic interventions and services that address the factors driving firearms-related violence. 2. To prepare the report, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) sought inputs from States,1 national human rights institutions, United Nations entities,2 international and regional organizations and non-governmental organizations.3 It also drew on a diverse range of public sources, including international and regional instruments, the practice of United Nations human rights mechanisms and reports of regional and humanitarian organizations, civil society, scholars and practitioners. 4 3. The present report builds on previous reports submitted in response to Human Rights Council resolutions 29/10 and 38/10. Those reports addressed human rights and the regulation of civilian acquisition, possession and use of firearms, and the impact of civilian acquisition, possession and use of firearms on civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, respectively.5 4. The present report examines the acquisition, possession and use of firearms by children and youth.6 It focuses on violent crimes, accidental firearms injuries and suicides and details impacts that such use has on the enjoyment of human rights. It also considers direct and indirect impacts, as well as the impact on particular groups. The report goes on to examine types of comprehensive public policy measures that can be adopted to tackle the factors driving firearms-related deaths and injuries. It considers three types of measures: reducing the availability of firearms; preventing firearms-related deaths and injuries; and addressing the underlying causes of firearms-related deaths and injuries. The report concludes with a number of recommendations. II. Acquisition, possession and use of firearms by children and youth A. Acquisition and possession of firearms 5. As highlighted in previous reports, the vast majority of firearms in the world are held by civilians; by the end of 2017, there were more than 850 million civilian-held firearms.7 Estimates in rates of firearms possession vary between countries, from 120.5 firearms per 100 residents in the United States of America, to less than 1 for every 100 residents in Japan. Due to a higher rate of manufacturing of firearms than that of destruction or disposal of firearms, the global number of firearms is rising.8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 2 Submissions were received from Algeria, Colombia, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritius, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. One submission was received, from the Office for Disarmament Affairs. Submissions were received from the University of Minnesota Human Rights Program, the University of Dayton Human Rights Center and the Women’s International League for Peace an

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