The proliferation of ‘portable weapons’ in any society is a key source of the spread of violence, which impacts on the protection of civilians. Disarmament is therefore central to the protection of civilians. 'Human security' needs to be at the heart of any approach to disarmament. The possession of arms as a means of security, defence, brokering power and survival must be replaced by viable and sustainable alternatives. Hence there is the necessity to always consider disarmament, demobilisation, reintegration, transformation and development as linked and interdependent.