Article 36 is a specialist non-profit organisation, focused on reducing harm from weapons. A small and effective team of advocacy and policy experts based in the UK, with staff in Geneva, Switzerland, we take our name from article 36 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions, which calls for scrutiny of new weapons and methods of warfare.
Together with civil society partners and governments, we develop new policies and legal standards to prevent civilian harm from existing and emerging weapons. This is underpinned by our rigorous, transparent and independent analysis of how weapons harm civilians, and how to reduce and prevent such harm.
Our team has more than a decade of experience in diplomatic negotiations and in developing practical, actionable policies. From framing humanitarian issues and shaping civil society responses, to convening key political meetings and presenting as experts in international treaty negotiations, we provide a critical voice on the role of weapons in our world.
Developing international laws and standards takes time: the adoption of a treaty is typically the result of a decade’s work. Treaties also require effective support after they have been signed. Therefore, we are part of the leadership teams for several international disarmament coalitions, including the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), which won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize. We also provide leadership and expertise within the International Network on Explosive Weapons (INEW) – which we coordinate – the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), and the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC).
We have developed a resource on working in global civil society coalitions, as an introduction to those working within these partnerships or considering establishing them (which can also be downloaded as a report here).
We also host the Say No To #Manpanels list of individuals who benefit from their male gender and have committed not to speak on panels that include only men.
Article 36 is grateful for support from a wide range of government and private organisations, including the governments of Norway, Ireland and Switzerland, Open Society Foundations and DeepMind. We are pleased to partner with academic institutions, including the University of Liverpool (with whom we have a PhD collaboration), Harvard Law School and the University of Exeter.
Through our innovative policy work and close partnerships, our small team exerts significant strategic influence. Article 36’s impact is visible in new and creative framings of challenges. For example, our framing of the need for ‘meaningful human control’ over autonomous weapons systems has become central to how state representatives, UN bodies, coalition partners and other humanitarian and human rights organisations talk about legal standards around the potential use of artificial intelligence in weapons.
Reframing the problem can help move deadlocked discussions to signed treaties. For example, a 2013 report by Article 36 outlined that a treaty banning nuclear weapons did not depend on the agreement of nuclear armed states, who historically oppose such bans. As members of the ICAN Steering Group, we rallied a wider coalition around this idea. Drawing on our professional network, we hosted a series of informal, small-group meetings, bringing together diplomats and other important stakeholders. These multi-stakeholder planning discussions were key to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons being adopted in 2017.
Our impact can also be seen in the inclusion of humanitarian concerns in international weapons agreements. With our partners, Article 36 overcame initial ambivalence from negotiators to make sure that assisting victims of nuclear weapons use and testing, and cleaning up contaminated environments, was part of the 2017 treaty.
- A world where the development, use and impact of weapons is controlled and scrutinised to ensure the greatest protection of the public, and the greatest accountability of users.
- A world where these conditions are supported through strong norms backed by an active partnership of states and civil society.
- To reduce harm from weapons, to promote strong controls over the development and use of weapons and to reduce the perceived importance of violence as a means of securing our common future.
- To publicly scrutinise the development and use of weapons and the harm they cause and to work for the adoption of practices, policies and legal controls to prevent harm.
- To work with partners for the development and implementation of international norms that foster and reinforce this mission.
Our values and principles
- We believe in pursuing non-violent solutions to problems.
- We believe that consideration and control of the tools of violence is one foundation for effective and appropriate social control of violence.
- We believe that how weapons are developed and used should be publicly and independently scrutinised, based on evidence, transparency and a diversity of social perspectives.
- We recognise the power and importance of social norms as a framework within which behaviours are understood and assessed.
- We believe policies and legal agreements can respond to humanitarian concerns and support a normative framework that reduces harm from weapons.
- We work with partners, in civil society, international organisations and states, to forge a common language, to frame problems, and shape effective solutions.
- We recognise that strong partnerships are vital to shaping new norms and ensuring that established norms continue to support the prevention and reduction of harm.
Article 36 was established in 2011 by Thomas Nash and Richard Moyes.
Richard Moyes is Managing Director at Article 36. He was previously Director of Policy at Landmine Action, and Co-Chair of the Cluster Munition Coalition. Prior to that he established and managed explosive ordnance disposal projects for the UK NGO Mines Advisory Group. He is an Honorary Fellow at the University of Exeter.
Laura Boillot (née Cheeseman) is Programme Manager for Article 36. Laura previously worked as a Campaign Manager and subsequently as the Director of the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) towards the negotiation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, and its subsequent universalisation and implementation. Prior to that she worked as Program Officer working on the Control Arms campaign and on issues related to gun control for the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA).
Maya Brehm is an Advisor (Geneva Representative) for Article 36. Maya previously worked as a researcher in weapons law at the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, focusing on autonomous weapon systems, and as a lecturer and course coordinator at the Geneva Centre for Education and Research in Humanitarian Action. Prior to that, she managed a project on the norms of explosive weapons at the UN Institute for Disarmament Research.
Elizabeth Minor is an Advisor for Article 36. She was previously a researcher at Every Casualty and Oxford Research Group, where she launched the global Casualty Recorders Network, and was responsible for studies into the methodologies and practices used in the field of documenting and recording the casualties of armed conflict and violence. She also sits on the Board of the NGO Airwars.
Anna de Courcy Wheeler is an Advisor for Article 36. Anna previously worked as a Senior Analyst at International Crisis Group, where her work focussed on international humanitarian norms, law, and conflict prevention, and at The Freedom Fund, an anti-slavery organisation. Prior to that she was a Fellow at Columbia’s School of International Political Affairs where she worked on conflict prevention, and NYU’s Law School, where she worked as part of a team supporting the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions. Anna began her career in Rwanda, investigating and documenting crimes committed during the 1994 genocide, and working on post-genocide access to justice.
Article 36 is incorporated in the UK as a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee (Company No. 07755941). It is overseen by a Board with backgrounds in advocacy, law and finance.
Board of Directors
Jonathan Fell is a founding partner of Ash Park Capital, a specialist fund management company focused on investments in the global fast-moving consumer goods industry. Prior to 2013 he worked as an equity research analyst following the tobacco and beverages sectors at the investment banks Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and, most recently, Deutsche Bank.
Richard Lloyd joined Which? in April 2011 as Executive Director. Richard has over 20 years’ experience of campaigning, policy-making and service provision in charities, housing agencies and local government. Richard has also worked for two years in No10 Downing Street as a Special Adviser to the Prime Minister, dealing with economic issues across the government, including strategy, communications and consumer policy.
Sapna Malik is a partner at Leigh Day, with over 12 years’ litigation experience. She has been identified by Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession 2012 as “having established an impressive reputation for handling work at the intersection of human rights and personal injury law.” Sapna joined Leigh Day as a trainee in 1996, qualified as a solicitor in 1998 and was made a partner in 2005. In 2010 Sapna was invited by the Foreign Secretary to join an advisory group on Human Rights.
List of donors
Article 36’s work has been supported by:
J Leon Foundation
The Future of Life Institute, in partnership with Arizona State University
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland (through Irish Aid)
Canadian Department of National Defence, Defence Engagement Programme
Open Society Foundations