Protecting Civilians from the Effects of Explosive Weapons - An Analysis of International Legal and Policy Standards

Brehm, M United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR)ESEARCH (2012) C3
The use of explosive weapons, such as bombs, rockets, and mortar and artillery shells, in cities, towns and villages and in other populated areas has devastating humanitarian consequences. Explosive weapons act mainly through the projection of blast and fragmentation within an area. Their use, in populated areas, causes severe suffering to civilians, both in terms of death and serious injury resulting directly from the explosion, and in terms of damage to property and public infrastructure, which can indirectly affect civilian well-being and survival, sometimes for many years after a conflict has ended. Explosive weapons also leave behind explosive remnants that pose a threat to populations until those remnants are removed. [...] The study finds that the regulation of explosive weapons under international law and policy is fragmentary and incoherent.