Informal expert meeting on strengthening the protection of civilians from the use of explosive weapons in populated areas
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway, convened a second informal meeting of governmental, military and other experts on strengthening the protection of civilians from the use of explosive weapons in populated areas in Oslo from 17-18 June 2014. Summary of the meeting, based on OCHA’s meeting report: - Encouragingly, there is increasing recognition among Member States and other key actors of the importance of the issue and... Read more
Gaza highlights need for new international commitment on the use of explosive weapons in populated areas
The use of explosive weapons in populated areas was by far the leading cause of deaths and injuries to civilians during the conflict in Gaza and Israel in July and August. The situation has been intolerable for civilians. Bombardment and shelling has damaged schools and hospitals, and destroyed vital infrastructure. Beyond the immediate suffering, the long-term costs will be severe. The following data is drawn from an United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs situation report, dated 5 August 2014.... Read more
INEW calls on all states to avoid the use of explosive weapons with wide-area effects in populated areas, and to condemn such use by others.
Explosive weapons highlighted at Security Council debate on children and armed conflict UNICEF and Save the Children highlighted the use of explosive weapons in populated areas as a key area of concern during the United Nations Security Council open debate on children and armed conflict on 17 June 2013. The statement by Yoka Brandt, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director, included the use of explosive weapons in populated areas as one of two alarming trends, the other being the use of schools... Read more
AOAV report ‘An Explosive Situation’: 26% increase from last year in civilian casualties from explosive weapons
An Explosive Situation, the latest report from Action on Armed Violence (AOAV), was launched today, 12 April 2013. It reveals the cost of the use of explosive weapons for unarmed civilians, including children. AOAV recorded a 26% increase in the number of civilians who were killed and injured by bombings around the world in 2012, up from 2011. More than 27,000 civilians were reportedly killed and injured by weapons such as rockets, air-dropped bombs, and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). 91%... Read more
The UN Secretary-General and the UN Special Representative to the Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict have highlighted the use of explosive weapons in populated areas as a key issue of concern for the protection of children in reports this year. They have called on parties to refrain from using explosive weapons with wide area effects in populated areas and for systematic data collection on the use and impact of explosive weapons and analysis of the human cost. An... Read more
INEW statement to First Committee 29 October 2012 I am speaking on behalf of the International Network on Explosive Weapons (INEW) – an NGO partnership calling for immediate action to prevent human suffering from the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. The humanitarian problem Explosive weapons use blast and fragmentation to kill and injure people in the area where they detonate, as well as to damage objects, buildings and infrastructure. When used in populated areas they tend to cause... Read more
INEW has produced the following advocacy sheet to inform states ahead of the forthcoming discussions on children and armed conflict in the Security Council, Human Rights Council and UN General Assembly. The advocacy is also available here as a PDF. Explosive weapons in populated areas – the challenge for protection of children in armed conflict The International Network on Explosive Weapons (INEW) calls on states to use the opportunity provided by the United Nations Security Council Open Debate on Children... Read more
A satellite image of Aleppo circulated by Amnesty International to illustrate concerns over the use of heavy weapons in civilian areas. Article 36 has posted the following piece on the situation in Aleppo and the response from the international community in calling for an end to the use of heavy weapons in population centres. The piece includes a link to a policy note explaining how these concerns reflect the same humanitarian problem as the call by the International Network on... Read more
Report by the International Network on Explosive Weapons on the United Nations Security Council Open Debate on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, 25 June 2012 The International Network on Explosive Weapons (INEW) has been working with states and organisations to highlight the need for action to address the problem of explosive weapons in populated areas (EWIPA). A key forum of engagement so far has been in the context of the Security Council debates on protection of civilians. The latest... Read more
Explosive weapons in populated areas – the challenge for civilian protection The International Network on Explosive Weapons (INEW) calls on states to use the opportunity provided by the United Nations Security Council Open Debate on Protection of Civilians in June 2012 to address the need for action on humanitarian impact of explosive weapons in populated areas. INEW encourages states to use the debate to: Acknowledge the severe impact on civilians caused by the use of explosive weapons in populated areas;... Read more
Press release from Action on Armed Violence For immediate release (London, 27 March 2012) UK organisation Action on Armed Violence released a report today which shows that in 2011, 84% of casualties from bombings in populated areas were civilians. The report analyses 2,522 incidents of explosive weapons use in 68 countries and territories, with 21,499 civilians reported killed and injured over the 12-month period. “Explosive weapons kill and injure far too many civilians. They are being used in locations where... Read more
The UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, has spoken out about the use of explosive weapons in populated areas during the bombardment of the Syrian city of Homs. In a series of key messages on Syria issued on 10 February 2012, the Emergency Relief Coordinator said: “The use of mortars, rockets and other explosives against people in some of the most densely populated parts of Homs, is abhorrent. It is causing widespread suffering now, and the damage to buildings and... Read more
Action on Armed Violence has issued an update highlighting concerns over the use of explosive weapons in the Syrian city of Homs. AOAV calls for an end to the use of explosive weapons in populated areas and “condemns the use of indirect-fire weapons, such as artillery shells and multi-launch rocket systems (MLRS) in civilian areas as entirely unacceptable.” Action on Armed Violence notes: “The range and intensity of the explosive weapons used by the Syrian armed forces in Homs marks... Read more
INEW member Article 36 has issued a statement highlighting the humanitarian consequences of the use of explosive weapons in densely populated areas of the Syrian city of Homs over the past few days. The statement is available on the Article 36 website and follows below. Explosive weapons in Syria 6 February 2012 The use of explosive weapons in Syria over the past several months has been an indicator of crisis unfolding and civilian protection being gravely eroded. The escalation of... Read more
Shelling of populated areas under the spotlight as Security Council debates protection of civilians (London / New York, 9 November 2011) As the United Nations Security Council convenes a high level debate on the protection of civilians today, a coalition of non-governmental organisations is calling on states to take immediate action against bombings in populated areas. In Côte D’Ivoire, Libya, Syria and other locations in 2011, shelling and rocket attacks into populated areas have had a deadly impact on civilians.... Read more
INEW has produced an advocacy paper to be circulated to states in advance of the UN Security Council Open Debate on the Protection of Civilians scheduled to take place on 9 November. INEW and its members will be reaching out to a range of states active on protection of civilians, both within and outside the Security Council. If you would like more information on the advocacy effort please contact Thomas Nash: tnash @ inew.org.
The International Network on Explosive Weapons has published an introductory leaflet outlining the problem of explosive weapons in populated areas and setting out INEW’s objectives and four-point call on governments. The leaflet is available here. Please feel free to use the leaflet in your advocacy with governments and outreach to organisations and individuals. If you would like to adapt or tanslate the leaflet, please contact Thomas Nash at: tnash @ inew.org.
In advance of the next UN Security Council debate on the Protection of Civilians on 9 November, INEW founding member Action on Armed Violence has published a summary of data gathered by its Explosive Violence Monitoring Project from 1 October 2010 to 30 September 2011. The data from 74 countries shows that there have been 20,644 civilian casualties and 85% of all casualties in populated areas were civilians. Click here to view the factsheet: EVMP 12-month factsheet.
A new report ‘Healthcare in Danger’ released by the International Committee of the Red Cross this week highlights the impact of violence on the provision of healthcare. Many of the findings point to the use of explosive weapons as a key form of violence posing concerns to healthcare providers. The report has generated substantial international media coverage. In their analysis of 655 violent events affecting healthcare providers over two and a half years, the report authors have disaggregated data to... Read more