Illicitly craft-produced small arms and light weapons (SALW) are increasingly used in episodes of armed violence, terrorism, and criminality across all regions of the world. Despite the global nature of this issue, and the significant challenges it poses for regulation, detection and control, a global discussion on and approach to this issue is lacking.

In June 2024, UNIDIR will present a global study on crafted-produced SALW to increase knowledge and understanding on proliferation trends, and raise awareness of the challenges for preventing and addressing their illicit proliferation, trafficking, and misuse. This factsheet presents a preliminary and non-exhaustive overview of the information collected from 43 States, as well as United Nations entities, regional organizations, and civil society actors. This information is intended to support preparations for the Fourth Review Conference on the implementation of the Programme of Action (PoA) and International Tracing Instrument (ITI).

Information presented in this Factsheet draws upon UNIDIR’s Global Survey on addressing the global craft production of SALW, which was distributed to all UN Member States during 2023. The Survey sought to gather information to enable a mapping of different types of SALW craft production around the globe, and identify challenges and effective measures to address the illicit proliferation of craft-produced SALW. UNIDIR continues to welcome contributions to this research.

To receive UNIDIR’s survey, or to share any relevant information, please contact the Conventional Arms and Ammunition Programme at

Citation: Matilde Vecchioni and Sanem Topal (2024). "Unregulated: Examining the Global Proliferation of Craft-Produced Weapons", UNIDIR, Geneva.