In 2019, Humanity & Inclusion’s partner organization Action On Armed Violence (AOAV) recorded 29,500 deaths and injuries from the use of explosive weapons around the world. Civilians continue to bear the burden of harm, accounting for 66% (19,400) of total casualties.
When explosive weapons were used in populated areas, more than 90% of those killed and injured were civilians. The number of civilian casualties recorded was 17,900 in populated areas, and 1,500 in areas not reported as populated.
Some countries saw a significant increase in civilian casualties: Afghanistan saw a 9% rise in civilian harm, Somalia saw a 14% increase, and Libya saw a 131% rise.
In total, manufactured weapons caused 51% of global civilian harm from explosive weapons, and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) caused 49%.
“In many conflicts, bombing and shelling puts an unbearable threat on civilians and forces the population to flee,” explains Anne Héry, Humanity & Inclusion’s advocacy director. “They also leave heavy contamination by explosive remnants posing a long-lasting threat for civilians after a battle.
“Bombing in urban areas is a disaster for the protection of civilians in conflict. Political discussions between States have begun to draft an international political declaration against the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. Several states appear as opposed to a strong political commitment. It is unacceptable.
“Humanity & Inclusion is involved in this diplomatic process aiming at improving the protection of civilians in armed conflict and fights for a strong political declaration to be adopted next May. For this, we need the back-up of the public to put pressure on governments and to ensure they are fully committed against bombing in populated areas.”
Keep heavy bombs from cities: Urge Congress to protect civilians
Sign our Care2 petition and help ensure Congress recognizes the harm explosive weapons cause and ask your representative to encourage the Trump Administration to support this political declaration.