Today in Brussels, INEW member Handicap International launched a new exhibition of the stories of victims of explosive weapons from Syria, with photos and videos collected online. Their stories reflect the experience of hundreds of thousands of Syrians since the beginning of the war in 2011.
Explosive weapons are frequently used in populated areas in contemporary conflicts, and is particularly prevalent in Syria. 90% of the deaths and injuries caused by such attacks are civilians. When used in populated areas, explosive weapons kill and cause serious injury and suffering, disability and psychological trauma. In Syria, this use of explosive weapons in towns and cities has contributed to mass population displacement and destroyed vital infrastructure including houses, schools and hospitals.
As a certain percentage of munitions will not explode on impact, unexploded munitions will also continue to pose a threat to civilians populations long after the fighting has ended. The presence of explosive remnants of war makes it dangerous for people to return to their homes.
States must commit to stop using explosive weapons with wide area effects in populated areas, so that such suffering can be reduced.