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Human rights, aid in danger, arms sales to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, civilian protection in Afghanistan: research and advocacy round up

Over the past few months, new research and advocacy initiatives on the use of explosive weapons in populated areas have been undertaken and published by INEW members and others – below is a round up of some key content (that is not covered in other news posts):

Sur International Journal on Human Rights: Explosive weapons and human rights considerations

In the December 2015 issue of the Sur International Journal on Human Rights, Maya Brehm of the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights examined the negative impact of explosive violence on the enjoyment of human rights. The article argues that a human rights perspective can help victims of explosive violence to fully realise their rights and support efforts aimed at bringing about changes in military policies and practices to reduce harm to civilians. Explosive weapons are also addressed in other articles in the issue. Read more

The city of Saada in Yemen, which has been hit heavily by airstrikes (© UNOCHA/Phillipe Kropf https://flic.kr/p/BwWvF7)

The city of Saada in Yemen, which has been hit heavily by airstrikes (© UNOCHA/Phillipe Kropf https://flic.kr/p/BwWvF7)

Insecurity Insight: Danger to aid workers from explosive weapons

Also in December, Insecurity Insight released an analysis of violent incidents affected aid workers between December 2014 and November 2015. In the Middle East, events attributed to state forces reported the use of explosive weapons in 83% of cases. Explosive weapons were also the most frequently reported weapon (67% of all events) where it was not possible to determine of whether a state force or a non-state actor cause the impact on humanitarian work. Read more

NGOs call for parties to halt the use of explosive weapons in populated areas in Syria

In January 2016 a group of human rights and humanitarian NGOs called on parties to the conflict in Syria to stop using explosive weapons in populated areas, as part of a call to end sieges and atrocities as a prerequisite for peace. Read more

Humanitarian Practice Network (HPN) blog: Protecting civilians from explosive weapons

In February the HPN published a blog by Dr Simon Bagshaw of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, which sets out in detail the short and long term humanitarian impacts of explosive weapons, and the need for a change in practice regarding the use of these weapons in populated areas. Read more

United Nations calls on government of Afghanistan to curb explosive weapons use in populated areas

In February, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) released its annual report on the protection of civilians. This noted rising casualties from the use of explosive weapons in populated areas in Afghanistan, and also highlighted the UN Secretary-General’s call on states to take action towards a political commitment on this issue. UNAMA also called on the government of Afghanistan to “cease the use of mortars, rockets, grenades, other indirect weapons, and aerial attacks in civilian-populated areas.” Read more

Devastation in the Syrian city of Kobane (©Handicap International)

Devastation in the Syrian city of Kobane (©Handicap International)

Peace in Progress: Focus on explosive weapons in populated areas

In February the Peace in Progress magazine of the International Catalan Institute for Peace focused on bombing and bombardment in towns and cities, looking at political, legal and humanitarian aspects of the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. The issue features analysis from Ray Acheson of INEW member the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, on political action to end the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. Read more

NGOs submit evidence to parliamentary inquiry on use of UK-manufactured weapons in Yemen

In March, seven NGOs who are also members of INEW made a joint submission to an inquiry by the UK parliament’s Committee on Arms Export Controls into the use of UK-manufactured weapons by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition in Yemen and whether any UK obligations have been broken. The submission focused on the transfer of explosive weapons by the United Kingdom to Saudi Arabia, and subsequent use and resulting humanitarian harm in Yemen. Read more

 

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