ALERT – Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) releases its 6th annual report on the use of explosive weapons

Posted by: on May 15, 2017 | No Comments

According to this last report, 45,624 people were killed or injured by explosive weapons in 2016. 70% of the victims were civilians.

Action on Armed Violence is a member of the International Network on Explosive Weapons (INEW), a coalition of NGOs cofounded by Handicap International to advocate against the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. It has just released its 2016 Monitor on Armed Violence “Explosive Truth”.

The harm recorded in 2016 and reflected in this report illustrates the need for dire action to protect civilians of explosive weapons in populated areas:

  • In populated areas, civilian deaths and injuries represented 89% of all reported deaths and injuries in 2016 (they account for 70% of the victims globally).
  • In other areas, the average number of civilians killed or injured in an incident of explosive weapon is In populated areas, this number goes up to an appalling average of 23 civilians were killed or injured in every incident.

Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Turkey saw the highest number of civilian deaths and injuries in 2016. In conflict areas, it is worth noting that many incidents and casualties go unreported, therefore these numbers are most likely underestimated.

Handicap International campaign to stop the bombing of civilians

For years, Handicap International has led a campaign to to reduce civilian suffering by ending the use of explosive weapons with wide area effect in populated areas.

Explosive weapons used in populated areas cause death, suffering and serious injuries, such as burns, open wounds and fractures. Their impacts stretch far beyond this immediate effect: this practice results in forced population displacement and the destruction of vital infrastructure such as homes, schools and hospitals. It also takes its toll on the population’s mental health, generating hidden psychological suffering and traumas.

Moreover, during an attack, a varying proportion of weapons do not explode on impact, posing a permanent threat to civilians long after a conflict has ended. The presence of explosive remnants of war makes it dangerous for people to return home once an attack or conflict has ended.

States and other users must politically commit to stop using explosive weapons with wide area effects in populated areas.

Read the full report here.