Covid-19: A message from the director of the Small Arms Survey

Dear friends and colleagues of the Small Arms Survey,
Let me start by wishing you and your loved ones the very best for your health, emotional and physical, from the Small Arms Survey team. I send this message from my home and hope that it reaches you safe in yours. As intimate-partner violence rates rise, people in vulnerable situations see their mental health under strain, and the economic downturn pushes more people into poverty; the grief, uncertainty, and fear can at times feel overwhelming. Beyond taking precautions to safeguard physical well-being, I encourage our team to prioritize their psychological health above all.
We have worked from our homes since 13 March, having begun contingency plans for doing so in early February. My prime concern has been putting in place the technical resources needed for remote work and I’m glad to see the team ensuring the timely delivery of projects, deploying their creativity with alternative approaches such as online consultations, interviews, and training. We’re also very grateful for the flexibility and willingness of our partners to adopt original solutions—thank you.
We’re following the guidance from the Canton of Geneva and the Graduate Institute, planning on a phased return to the office starting on 8 June. However, rest assured that we are ready for project implementation to continue remotely until the end of the year.
Beyond reviewing and updating our internal setup to meet our commitments, we have provided suggestions on how Covid-19 affects issues of small arms and armed violence. This includes tailored advice for stakeholders, as well as a blog post on effective weapons and ammunition management during this pandemic. If any of you have similar questions on behalf of your own institution, don’t hesitate to write us at
Finding a cure for Covid-19 has rightly refocused both attention and resources, and I hope we see a resolution sooner rather than later. However, the challenges brought by the proliferation and diversion of weapons and ammunition are not going away, neither during nor after the pandemic, and despite the UN Secretary-General’s calls for a global ceasefire, we see conflicts exacerbate. That is why we will continue to invest our time, energy, and resources for a future without illicit small arms and armed violence.
Stay well,
Daniel de Torres

PS. Watch this space for our upcoming virtual events in June.