Cluster Munitions

Image: Cluster Bombs in Olive Grove. Photo Simon Conway

Peace organisation PAX works to ban cluster munitions everywhere in the world. Our aim is to ensure strict compliance with the Convention on Cluster Munitions and call on states that have not yet done so to join the treaty. The convention categorically prohibits the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of cluster munitions.

A cluster munition, also known as a cluster bomb, is a weapon containing multiple explosive submunitions. Cluster munitions are dropped from aircraft or fired from the ground, opening up in mid-air to release tens or hundreds of submunitions, which then saturates an area up to the size of several football fields. Anybody within the strike area of the cluster munition, be they military or civilian, is likely to be killed or seriously injured. Moreover, many of the submunitions do not explode as intended, which leaves them to function as landmines.Submunitions can remain a fatal threat to anyone in the area long after a conflict ends. Most victims of cluster munitions are civilians (98% of the victims in 2016 for which the status was known).

In 2003 PAX co-founded the Cluster Munition Coalition, an international coalition of non-governmental organisations to prevent the humanitarian harm caused by  cluster munitions. The coalition now has more than 350 members in over 100 countries. In December 2008, 94 countries signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions in Oslo. The Netherlands was one of them. To date, 119 states have joined this life-saving treaty. The Netherlands ratified the convention in February 2011 and has since destroyed all of its cluster munitions stockpiles.


Cor Oudes, Programme Manager

Activiteiten & resultaten


PAX wants to halt investment in cluster munitions producers. The annual research, that was published for the first time in 2009, is partly carried out by Dutch economic research company Profundo. The report investigates which of the world’s financial institutions invest in cluster munitions producers. We also highlight the financial institutions that show the way by ceasing all such investment. The latest update of the report was published on 23 May 2017.

Campaign Stop Explosive Investments

PAX and the Cluster Munition Coalition are leading the Stop Explosive Investments campaign, We advocate for legislation to prohibit investment in cluster munitions and encourage financial institutions to install policies to prevent investments in cluster munitions producers.

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