Armed conflicts are increasingly fought in population centres – but often with weapon systems that are designed for open battlefields. When used in populated areas, explosive weapons are very likely to have indiscriminate effects. Up to 90% of those killed and injured in such situations are civilians. Many more are affected when social, commercial, infrastructural, cultural, educational, religious and health-care facilities are shattered.
Parties to armed conflict must always give due weight to the reasonably foreseeable reverberating effects of using bombs, missiles, mortars, rockets, artillery and other explosive weaponry – certainly also in populated areas.
Upcoming related events
S/2019/373 paras 31, 42, 49, 55-57, 63
SG’s Disarmament Agenda (pp.34-36)
Collecting data on civilian casualties can inform dialogue and policy towards attaining SDG Targets; assist the Security Council in implementing arms embargoes; and in undertaking risk assessments preceding the transfers of conventional weapons where applicable.
UN system links
> “Enhancing civilian protection from use of explosive weapons in populated areas: building a policy and research agenda”
- International Network on Explosive Weapons (INEW)
- Action on Armed Violence (AOAV)
- Expert meeting – “Explosive weapons in populated areas: Humanitarian, legal, technical and military aspects”
- Casualty recording mechanism
- The UN and casualty recording