Protection of civilians
“Indiscriminate harm”: explosive weapons in populated areas raised at UN protection debate, expert meeting announced
On 30 January 2015, the UN Security Council held an open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict. A number of delegations raised concerns about the humanitarian harm caused by the use explosive weapons in populated areas, the threat to civilian protection that such actions pose, and the new international standards that are needed as a result. During the debate, Austria announced that it will hold an expert meeting on explosive weapons in September in Vienna. The Vienna meeting will follow previous discussions hosted by... Read more
Explosive weapons in international criminal tribunal cases: launch of PAX’s “Unacceptable Risk” report
On 28 January, the International Humanitarian and Criminal Law (IHCL) Platform of the T.M.C. Asser Instituut hosted the launch of INEW member PAX’s report “Unacceptable risk: Use of explosive weapons in populated areas through the lens of three cases before the ICTY”. In this report, PAX examines how military experts assessed the acceptability of explosive weapon use in three cases brought before the International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). PAX found that many of the experts considered that it was inappropriate to use explosive... Read more
Explosive weapons and the protection of civilians Briefing paper by the International Network on Explosive Weapons ahead of the UN Security Council Open Debate on the Protection of Civilians, 12 February 2014 Whether from a bomb in a market in Pakistan or Iraq or shelling and bombing in Syria, the use of explosive weapons in populated areas is a major cause of death, injury and destroyed livelihoods. At the upcoming UN Protection of Civilians debate scheduled for 12 February 2014,... Read more
UN Secretary-General raises concerns over explosive weapons in latest Protection of Civilians report
Continuing the attention given in previous reports to the problems resulting from the use of explosive weapons in populated areas, the most recent report issued by the UN Secretary-General on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict raises concerns and provides recommendations and guidance to states on this issue. In this report issued on 22 November 2013, the UN Secretary-General states that the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has been instructed to engage with Member States, the... Read more
On Monday 19 August 2013, the United Nations Security Council held an Open Debate on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, under the Argentinean presidency.
INEW advocacy ahead of the Reclaiming the Protection of Civilians under IHL conference in Oslo, Norway
Explosive Weapons and the Protection of Civilians Briefing paper by the International Network on Explosive Weapons ahead of the Reclaiming the Protection of Civilians under International Humanitarian Law conference 23-24 May 2013, Oslo Whether from a bomb in a market in Pakistan, Iraq or Nigeria, shelling and bombing in Syria or Afghanistan, or the use of unguided rockets in Israel, the use of explosive weapons in populated areas is a major cause of death, injury and destroyed livelihoods. INEW member,... 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 Security Council held a debate on the protection of civilians on 12 February 2013. During the debate 15 states made reference to the problem of explosive weapons in populated areas. Of these, Qatar spoke on behalf of the Arab Group and Sweden spoke on behalf of the Nordic countries. In addition the EU noted the issue in its statement on behalf of EU member states and others aligning with the statement. Guatemala included the issue in its longer... 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
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
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.
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.
INEW Coordinators Richard Moyes and Thomas Nash have published an article in the Summer 2011 issue of Disarmament Times entitled ‘A New Agenda on Explosive Force’. The article is available to read below and is also available to read online and download as a PDF on the Disarmament Times website. A New Agenda on Explosive Force By Richard Moyes and Thomas Nash In the first half of this year, Libya and Cote d’Ivoire have provided high-profile examples of explosive force... Read more