Joint NGO statement on protection of civilians Photo: © UNHCR/Susan Schulman
In 2017 nearly a fifth of all children were living close to conflict – with 142 million children living near areas of intense fighting. These children are more at risk of harm than any generation since the end of the Cold War. The number of verified incidents of all six grave violations against children in war – as identified by the United Nations – continues to increase, with the reported number tripling since 2010.
INEW briefing paper on the protection of civilians – May 2019
The use of explosive weapons, particularly in populated areas, causes wide-spread and long-term harm to civilians. Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) has been monitoring casualties from the use of explosive weapons around the globe since 2010. So extreme has such harm been in Syria in recent years that, by the end of 2017, Syria had overtaken Iraq as the country most impacted by explosive violence since our monitor began.
Increasingly, the brunt of armed violence and warfare is being borne by children. Children suffer in conflict in different ways to adults, partly because they are physically weaker and also because they have so much at stake – their physical, mental and psychosocial development are heavily dependent on the conditions they experience as children.
To date, expert and inter-governmental discussions on addressing the humanitarian impact of EWIPA have tended to focus on the use of EWIPA by State armed forces. It is expected that this will be the principal focus of any future political declaration. Less attention has been paid to the use of EWIPA by armed non-State actors (ANSAs). Yet, such use—and how to avoid or at least limit it—must be considered in order to ensure more effective and comprehensive protection of civilians.
Report on a workshop examining military policies and practices on the use of explosive weapons in populated areas, 2-3 May 2018
The use of explosive weapons in populated areas has been identified as a key issue on the protection of civilians agenda by states and organisations over recent years. On 2-3 May 2018, Article 36 and CIVIC convened a workshop to gather military and civilian perspectives, and to identify, share and discuss military policies and procedures relevant to the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. This paper summarizes some of the key presentations and discussions from the workshop.
On 18 October 2018, INEW delivered a statement to the UN General Assembly’s First Committee raising concerns over the widespread harm that results from the use of explosive weapons in populated areas, and encouraging all states to take urgent action to provide better protection to civilians in conflict.
INEW submission to Germany on EWIPA Talks
Explosive weapons: Protecting civilians from the use of explosive weapons in populated areas
There are approximately 350 million children living in areas affected by conflict today. Many of these children have been subjected to unimaginable suffering. They are not just caught in the crossfire or treated by combatants as expendable collateral damage, but often deliberately and systematically targeted. Children also suffer the indirect consequences of conflict. Children living in conflict-affected settings are less likely to be in school or have access to basic sanitation and clean water, and more likely to die in childhood due to under-nutrition and a lack of medical care, including vaccinations.
Fleeing the bombs: Approaching explosive weapons in the policy framework of displacement (November 2017)
Photo: © IHH Humanitarian Relief Fondation https://flic.kr/p/mC9de1