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Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects
Core Treaties  
Treaties you might not expect  

(with Protocols I, II and III)
Geneva, 1980

Protocol IV
Vienna, 1995

Protocol II, as amended
Geneva, 1996


 The Convention and its four Protocols provide new rules for protecting people and objects—both military and civilian—from injury or attack by means of:

    fragments not readily detected in the human body by X-rays landmines and booby traps incendiary weapons blinding laser weapons.

Key Provisions

 This Convention, covering protocols on specific weapons, applies in situations common to the Geneva Conventions for the Protection of War Victims.

 Protocol I on Non-Detectable Fragments: prohibits the use of any weapon whose primary effect is injury by fragments that escape detection by X-rays in the human body.

 Protocol II on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Mines, Booby-Traps and Other Devices has several functions. It

  • extends the scope of the Convention to cover both international and internal armed conflicts
  • prohibits the use and transfer of non-detectable anti-personnel mines
  • prohibits the use of non-self-destructing and non-self-deactivating mines outside fenced, monitored and marked areas
  • broadens obligations of protection in favor of peacekeeping and other missions of the United Nations and its agencies
  • requires countries to enforce compliance with its provisions within their jurisdiction
  • calls for penalties in case of violation.

 Protocol III on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Incendiary Weapons prohibits attacking civilians or civilian objects with any weapon or device designed to burn people or set fire to objects, through flame, heat or both.

 Protocol IV on Blinding Laser Weapons prohibits the use of laser weapons specifically designed to cause permanent blindness to the naked eye (or to the eye with corrective eyesight devices). Countries that are party to the Convention and Protocols will not transfer such weapons to any country or other entity.

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