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Cluster munitions: what the RC/RC Movement is doing


What is the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement doing to reduce the impact on civilians?

Development, promotion and implementation of norms

The Movement plays a crucial role in the development, adoption and promotion of international humanitarian law. On the issue of cluster munitions specifically, the ICRC has been active
since 2000 when it called for specific new rules of international humanitarian law to protect civilians from the effects of these weapons. In addition, both the International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent and the Council of Delegates have, since 1999, repeatedly sought to strengthen the protection of
civilians from the indiscriminate use and effects of weapons. The most recent development in this regard is the 2009 Movement Strategy on Landmines, Cluster Munitions and Other Explosive Remnants of War, which outlines specific goals for the promotion and implementation of norms on cluster munitions.


Preventing accidents and reducing the effects of weapon contamination

"Weapon contamination" is the umbrella term to describe activities aimed at reducing the effects of mines, cluster munitions and explosive remnants of war such as unexploded bombs, shells and projectiles that continue to kill and maim after the fighting has ended. In 1997, the ICRC established a full-time ‘Mine Action
Sector,’ based in Geneva, in response to the Movement’s request that it become the lead organization in this field. It has since supported mine action activities in more than 40 countries. During, before and after
conflicts and in rapid onset emergencies, the Movement carries out activities to prevent accidents and alleviate the effects of weapon contamination. These activities can include data gathering and analysis,
risk reduction, risk education, and survey and clearance.