Explosive weapons in populated areas

Armed conflicts are increasingly fought in population centres, but often with weapon systems that were originally designed for use in open battlefields. When used in populated areas, explosive weapons that have wide-area effects are very likely to have indiscriminate effects. They are a major cause of harm to civilians and of disruption of services essential for their survival.

ICRC comments on the Draft Political Declaration on Strengthening the Protection of Civilians from the Humanitarian Consequences that can arise from the use of Explosive Weapons with Wide Area Effects in Populated Areas.

The ICRC commends Ireland for the text "Draft Political Declaration on Strengthening the Protection of Civilians from the Humanitarian Consequences that can arise from the use of Explosive Weapons with Wide Area Effects in Populated Areas", which is circulated on 29 January 2021. In the ICRC's view, the revised draft provides a solid basis for further work towards clear and concrete political commitments to strengthen the protection of civilians from harm caused by these weapons. In this paper, the ICRC outlines its main comments and recommendations on the text.