UN Secretary-General once again raises serious protection concerns over use of explosive weapons in populated areas

New report on the protection of civilians in armed conflict issued on 14 May 2018 In his new report on the protection of civilians in conflict, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has once again called on parties to conflict “to avoid the use of explosive weapons with wide-area effects in populated areas”. Referencing the “unrelenting horror and suffering” of civilians in armed conflict, he noted that “[c]ivilians are routinely killed or maimed, and civilian objects damaged or destroyed, in targeted or... Read more

Weapons choice in Syria and Iraq has devastating impact on civilians

Most recently, in early 2018, the opposition-stronghold of Eastern Ghouta came under heavy bombardment – including artillery shelling, mortar fire, airstrikes – by Russian and Syrian regime forces, the latter having reportedly also used chemical weapons. Several INEW members have reported on the devastation: Human Rights Watch reported that by early February, hundreds had killed and at least 13 hospitals struck in a bombardment civilians described as incessant and widespread, with bombs falling “like rain”; PAX reported a dramatic escalation... Read more

Communique from Maputo regional conference on the protection of civlians from the use of explosive weapons in populated areas

Maputo Regional Meeting on Protecting Civilians from the Use of Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas Communique Representatives of 19 African countries,[1] the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Network on Explosive Weapons and other civil society organizations, met in Maputo, Mozambique, from 27-28 November 2017, to share knowledge and evidence on the distinctive pattern of harm caused to civilians by the use of explosive weapons in populated areas,... Read more

Report on EWIPA at the UN General Assembly’s First Committee 2017

This is an overview of which states spoke about harm from the use of explosive weapoons in populated areas at the UN General Assembly’s First Committee each week, as published in Reaching Critical Will’s First Committee Monitor. WEEK 1 Throughout September, 3,328 civilians were recorded killed or injured from the use of explosive weapons. This harm was experienced by civilians in twenty countries, with the highest levels of harm in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen. When explosive weapons were... Read more

INEW briefing paper on explosive weapons in populated areas ahead of UN General Assembly’s First Committee

Protecting civilians from the use of explosive weapons in populated areas  October 2017 Briefing Paper ahead of the UN General Assembly First Committee on International Security and Disarmament DOWNLOAD PDF FILE The need to provide an effective response to the civilian harm resulting from the use of explosive weapons in populated areas has been highlighted as a top humanitarian priority,[1] given high levels of civilian casualties arising from conflict increasingly taking place in urban settings. Beyond those killed and injured,... Read more

Statement to the UN First Committee on the impact of explosive weapons in populated areas, 29 October 2013

The bombing and shelling of towns and cities is a major cause of death, injury, and destroyed livelihoods. The International Network on Explosive Weapons is a civil society partnership working to prevent and reduce that harm. Explosive weapons include mortars, rockets, artillery shells, aircraft bombs, improvised explosive devices, and other munitions.  When used in populated areas, these weapons tend to cause high levels of harm to individuals and communities. The British NGO Action on Armed Violence recorded from English language newswire... Read more

HRW documents airstrikes and extensive use of explosive weapons in Syria

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has documented the Syrian Air Force repeatedly carrying out indiscriminate, and in some cases deliberate, air strikes using explosive weapons against civilians. The 80-page report, “Death from the Skies: Deliberate and Indiscriminate Air Strikes on Civilians” is based on visits to 50 sites of government air strikes in opposition-controlled areas in Aleppo, Idlib, and Latakia governorates, and more than 140 interviews with witnesses and victims. The air strikes Human Rights Watch documented killed at least 152... Read more

INEW advocacy paper for UN Protection of Civilians debate

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.