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Cluster munitions continue to kill civilians

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Advocacy | Armed violence reduction | PUBLISHED ON September 6th 2019
BLU 24 submunitions in Laos (archive image)

BLU 24 submunitions in Laos (archive image) | @HI

Released last August, the 2019 Cluster Munition Monitor report reveals that attacks involving cluster munitions continued to occur in Syria in 2018. The Monitor has recorded at least 674 cluster munition attacks in Syria since mid-2012. These attacks have caused heavy contamination by cluster munition remnants, which pose a deadly and long-term threat for the local population. Globally, at least 149 people were killed or injured by cluster munition attacks and remnants in a total of eight countries and one territory. 

In 2018, new uses of cluster munitions were reported only in Syria. At least 38 cluster munitions attacks occurred in Syria between July 2018 and June 2019. Since mid-2012, the Monitor has recorded at least 674 cluster munition attacks - when attacks were first seen in the country. 

The Monitor recorded 149 new cluster munition casualties in 2018 globally caused either by attacks using these weapons (65) or as a result of cluster munition remnants (84). It represents a sharp decline from 951 recorded in 2016, mainly due to a change in the Syrian conflict context. This figure remains a major cause for concern: 99% of cluster munition victims are civilians. 

In 2018, Yemen had the highest recorded casualties due to cluster munition remnants (31). 40 years after the conflict, casualties continue to be recorded in Lao PDR (21). These figures highlight the dramatic consequences of using cluster munitions, which create long-term contamination by explosive remnants and a deadly threat for the population.

“HI is calling on belligerent parties to immediately end the use of cluster munitions, says HI Advocacy Director. It also calls on states to put pressure on countries that use cluster munitions to end this practice. Any new use of these weapons should be condemned. Only by systematically condemning their use and stigmatising those responsible, and calling on all states to sign the treaty, will the international community be able to reduce and eventually eradicate the use of cluster munitions.”

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HI is an independent and impartial aid organisation working in situations of poverty and exclusion, conflict and disaster. We work alongside people with disabilities and vulnerable populations, taking action and bearing witness in order to respond to their essential needs, improve their living conditions and promote respect for their dignity and fundamental rights.

HI is an independent and impartial aid organisation working in situations of poverty and exclusion, conflict and disaster. We work alongside people with disabilities and vulnerable populations, taking action and bearing witness in order to respond to their essential needs, improve their living conditions and promote respect for their dignity and fundamental rights.

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