New report: wide area effects of explosive weapons

October 3, 2016

In conflicts all over the world, in countries such as Syria, Ukraine and Yemen, the use of explosive weapons like mortars and rockets in populated areas is a major cause of humanitarian harm and civilian casualties. Against the background of international recognition of the humanitarian problems caused by the use of explosive weapons in populated areas, a new report by PAX and Article36 analyses how certain explosive weapons create wide area effects.

The report, Areas of harm, Understanding explosive weapons with wide area effects, considers the implications of these effects when such weapons are used in cities, towns and villages, finding that in some contexts certain explosive weapons are as likely, if not more likely, to cause harm to the civilian population as to damage a specific military target. The report also looks at how the area effects of certain explosive weapons are already recognized in military policy and practice as having a direct link to the risk presented to civilians. However, this recognition is dispersed across various policy and operational frameworks. In view of this, the report promotes the consolidation of this recognition through an international political declaration containing commitments to reduce harm from the use of explosive weapons.

Download the report Areas of harm
Read more about our work on explosive weapons in populated areas

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