ALERT – Stop Bombing Civilians: HI calls on 4,500 members of Parliaments in 8 countries

Posted by: on Sep 20, 2018 | No Comments

HI is calling on 4,500 Members of Parliaments to act against the use of explosive weapons in populated areas, an almost systematic practice in present-day conflicts, of which 92% of casualties are civilians.

Present-day conflicts are increasingly fought in urban areas and the use of explosive weapons is now almost systematic. The bombing of populated areas has a disastrous impact on civilians, including death, disabling injuries, psychological trauma, forced displacement, destruction of vital infrastructure such as hospitals and schools, and the contamination of areas by explosive remnants of war.

  • In Iraq, more than 800,000 people were forced to flee bombing during the military offensive on the city of Mosul between October 2016 and July 2017. An estimated 8 million tonnes of rubble has been contaminated by explosive remnants, hindering the return of residents and the reconstruction of seriously damaged cities.
  • In Syria, cities like Kobane, Raqqa and Homs have been devastated by the intensive use of explosive weapons. Decontamination and reconstruction will take decades to complete.

States must recognise the humanitarian problems caused by the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. They must commit to finding political solutions to bring an end to this practice and ensure civilians are protected from the effects of war, as required under international humanitarian law.

To achieve this, HI is calling on Members of Parliaments in eight countries (Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States) to take a stand against this scourge by signing the “Stop Bombing Civilians” petition and advancing this cause in parliament. HI is also asking them to put pressure on governments to commit to ending the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.

Since 2016, HI has been implementing an international campaign to say “Stop Bombing Civilians”. The organisation aims at collecting 1 million signatures to submit to the United Nations. A member of the INEW (International Network on Explosive Weapons) coalition, HI is calling on all states to end the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.