The Campaign against Cluster Munitions
Cluster Munition Monitor reviews every country in the world with respect to cluster munition ban policy as well as cluster munition use, production, trade, and stockpiling. It also contains information on cluster munition contamination and clearance activities, as well as casualties and victim assistance. Its principal frame of reference is the Convention on Cluster Munitions, although other relevant international law is reviewed, including the Convention on Conventional Weapons. The report focuses on calendar year 2013, with information included into July 2014 where possible. Full information here.
Cluster Munition Monitor reviews every country in the world with respect to cluster munition ban policy as well as cluster munition use, production, trade, and stockpiling. It also contains information on cluster munition contamination and clearance activities, as well as casualties and victim assistance. Its principal frame of reference is the Convention on Cluster Munitions, although other relevant international law is reviewed, including the Convention on Conventional Weapons. This report focuses on calendar year 2012, with information included up to July 2013 where possible. Full information here.
Cluster Munition Monitor report covers cluster munition ban policy, use, production, trade, and stockpiling for every country in the world, and also includes information on cluster munition contamination, casualties, clearance, and victim assistance. The report focuses on calendar year 2011, with information included up to July 2012. Full information here.
Cluster Munition Monitor 2011
Cluster Munition Monitor report covers cluster munition ban policy, use, production, trade, and stockpiling for every country in the world, and also includes information on cluster munition contamination, casualties, clearance, and victim assistance. The report focuses on calendar year 2010, with information included up to August 2011. Full information here. YouTube video: the Monitor in brief. Less than six minutes to learn what is happening now to support the victims of landmines and cluster munitions, today and tomorrow.
“Cluster munitions have a “wide-area effect”, which makes them inherently inaccurate when used. Moreover, unexploded duds lying around form a life-threatening hazard for civilians long after conflict. The UN family of agencies, in its work on the ground, has come across many types of cluster munitions. From its experience, all types of cluster munitions used so far cause unacceptable harm to civilians.”
Cluster Munitions in the world
Cluster munitions have been used during armed conflict by 19 governments since the end of World War II. There have been two instances of new use of cluster munitions since the convention entered into force on 1 August 2010, both by states that have not joined the convention: Thailand and Libya.
At least 28 states and three not internationally-recognized areas are believed to be contaminated by cluster munition remnants. The most severely contaminated are thought to be Lao PDR, Vietnam, Iraq, Cambodia, Nagorno-Karabakh, Western Sahara, Serbia, Lebanon, Mauritania, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Sudan.
Cluster munitions have killed and injured many thousands of people around the world: casualties have been recorded in at least 30 countries. Those with the most casualties are Lao PDR, Iraq, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Lebanon. Almost all known cluster munition casualties have been civilians with the majority being men and boys. A significant proportion of casualties were children who unknowingly came across unexploded submunitions while playing. Cluster munition victims, including people injured and family members of people killed, require long term assistance to adjust to living with a disability, psychological trauma, or the loss of a loved one who was often the primary wage earner. In addition to the risk that unexploded submunitions pose to people’s lives, they also cause fear and prevent development in contaminated communities. The Convention on Cluster Munitions includes legally binding obligations to assist cluster munition victims. Visit http://www.clusterconvention.org for more details.
What are cluster munitions?
Cluster munitions consist of containers and submunitions. Launched from the ground of dropped from the air, the containers open and disperse submunitions indiscriminately over a wide area. Many fail to explode on impact, but remain dangerous, functioning like de facto antipersonnel landmines. Thus, cluster munitions put civilians at risk both during attacks due to their wide area effect and after attacks due to unexploded ordnance.
What is the humanitarian problem with cluster munitions?
Air-dropped or ground-launched, they cause two major humanitarian problems and risks to civilians. First, their widespread dispersal means they cannot distinguish between military targets and civilians so the humanitarian impact can be extreme, especially when the weapon is used in or near populated areas. Many submunitions fail to detonate on impact and become de facto antipersonnel mines killing and maiming people long after the conflict has ended. These unexploded submunitions are more lethal than antipersonnel mines: incidents involving unexploded submunitions are more likely to cause fatalities than landmines, and also often cause multiple injuries and amputations.
116 countries have joined the Convention on Cluster Munitions:
Click here for details. Status as of January 2015.
States Parties (89)
Afghanistan, Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, Comoros, Congo (Republic of), Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Fiji, France, Germany, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Holy See, Honduras, Hungary, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Lao PDR, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia FYR, Malawi, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Mozambique, Nauru, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Norway, Palestine, Panama, Peru, Portugal, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Slovenia, Spain, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, Togo, Tunisia, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Zambia.
Signatories not ratified (27)
Angola, Benin, Canada, Central African Republic, Colombia, DR Congo, Cyprus, Djibouti, Gambia, Haiti, Iceland, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Namibia, Nigeria, Palau, Paraguay, Philippines, Rwanda, São Tomé and Principe, Somalia, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.
Cluster Munitions in Lebanon
Contamination and Impact
Cluster munitions were used in Lebanon by Israel in 1978, 1982, and 2006, contaminating some 57.8km2 of land. Cluster munition contamination originates primarily from August 2006. Israel used about four million submunitions in Lebanon, of which hundreds of thousands failed to explode and were left behind after the attacks. As of September 2013, 17km2 were suspected to be contaminated by cluster munition remnants across 166 suspected hazardous areas. (for more info see report here and here.)
According to the Lebanon Mine Action Center (LMAC), of the 284,259,287 square meters of land contaminated by Explosive Remnants of War (ERW), as of January 2014 there remains 83,140,929 square meters still uncleared. (source)
The total number of mine/Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) casualties in Lebanon recorded from 1975 to December 2012 was 3,683 (903 killed; 2,780 injured). As of December 2012, the LMAC data indicated 663 casualties (154 killed; 509 injured) from unexploded submunitions, of which 18% (120) were children at the time of the incident. The Monitor has identified 712 cluster munition casualties for the same time period, including those recorded by LMAC. Little data is available on casualties that occurred during cluster munition strikes; only 16 (three people killed; 13 injured) were identified. There were at least 2,780 mine/ERW survivors in Lebanon as of December 2012. (source)
Reports on Cluster Munitions used against Lebanon
A video report by Samantha Bolton:
‘It has been five years since the massive use of cluster bombs in south Lebanon during the conflict between Hezbollah and Israel in July/August 2006. The horrendous impact it had on civilians – as widely reported in the media – helped kick-start the Oslo Process just a few months later. This led to the Convention on Cluster Munitions banning these weapons’. Read more and watch the video report here.
Remnants of a War. In the 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel, one million cluster bomb munitions rained down upon the fields, orchards and villages of South Lebanon. An estimated 30% failed to detonate. Three years later, teams of locally recruited and trained deminers race to clear the land before more civilians are injured or killed.
Remnants of a War are a feature documentary, photographed in beautiful high definition that takes an intimate look into the lives of these brave men and women. Director Jawad Metni filmed for over two years in Lebanon, spending months embedded with the demining teams in the field, and capturing moments of joy, anxiety, and resilience. The film is a primer on the cluster munitions problem, and a portrait of a people struggling to make a decent living and return the land to their fellow Lebanese. Visit the Remnants of a War website to view a trailer and order copies of the film.
The cartoonist Patrick Chappatte travelled to Lebanon in February 2009, two and a half years after the war between Israel and Lebanon. In a cartoon documentary he describes how the population of the affected area lives with the constant threat of death or disfigurement through unexploded cluster munitions. Millions of these bomblets were scattered during the conflict and many failed to detonate. Thus, the 2006 war continues every time someone steps on an unexploded submunition. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KFfP4wiluA
The Second Meeting of States Parties (2 MSP) to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Beirut, Lebanon 12-16 September 2011
Details at http://www.clusterconvention.org/msp/2msp/
The Third Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions (3MSP) Oslo, Norway, from 11-14 September 2012.
Details at http://clusterconvention.org/3msp
The Fourth Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, (4MSP) Lusaka, Zambia, 10-13 September 2013
Details at http://4msp.clusterconvention.org/
The Fifth Meeting of States Parties (5 MSP) to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, 2—5 September 2014, San Jose, Costa Rica
Details at http://5msp.clusterconvention.org
The photo ‘Sam’s hand’ – Cambodia, 2 March 2008
“What concerns me is that even 30 years after the war, these bombs kill and maim. They took my eyes and my arms and continue to destroy the lives of so many other farmers like me” – Sam Youn Enn
Friends of Lebanon is a member organisation of the Cluster Munition Coalition