Explosive Weapons with Wide Area Effect: A Deadly Choice in Populated Areas

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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 report provides a broad evidence-based assessment of the devastating consequences of the use of these weapons; a technical overview of weapons of concern; an analysis of the implications of the use of these weapons under international humanitarian law; and a synopsis of relevant policies and practices adopted by parties to armed conflicts. 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 reduce the risk of civilian harm from the use of heavy explosive weapons in populated areas. The report aims to induce a change in policies and practices by parties to armed conflicts, towards better protection for the civilian population.

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