Explosive weapons with wide area effect: a deadly choice in populated areas – Extract: Chapter 5

The use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area in populated areas is one of the main causes of civilian harm in today’s armed conflicts. This extract of a longer report unpacks the avoidance policy that the ICRC is calling on states and non-state armed groups to adopt with regard to the use of such weapons, summarizes why such an avoidance policy is necessary and explains what it entails in practice. It concludes with detailed 'good practice' recommendations for political authorities and armed forces on measures to be taken in terms of doctrine and policies, as well as training, planning and conduct, to op-erationalize an avoidance policy. These measures will to a large extent reduce the risk of civilian harm from the use of heavy explosive weapons in populated areas and facilitate respect for international hu-manitarian law.