Goto main content

30 000 people killed or injured by explosive weapons in 2019

Emergency Explosive weapons
International

HI partner organisation Action On Armed Violence (AOAV) releases figures on explosive violence casualties in 2019.

City of Kobané in North Syria after heavy bombing in 2016

City of Kobané in North Syria after heavy bombing in 2016 | © P. Houliat / HI

In 2019, Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) recorded 29,500 deaths and injuries from the use of explosive weapons around the world. Civilians continued to bear the burden of harm, accounting for 66% (or 19,400) of total casualties (killed and injured).

When explosive weapons were used in populated areas, over 90% of those killed and injured were civilians.

17,900 civilian casualties were recorded in populated areas, whereas 1,500 civilian casualties were killed in injured in areas not reported as populated.

Some countries saw sharp rises of civilian casualties: Afghanistan saw a 9% rise in civilian harm; Somalia saw a 14% rise; and Libya saw a 131% rise.

In total, manufactured weapons caused 51% of global civilian harm from explosive weapons, while improvised explosive devices (IEDs) caused 49%.

“In many conflicts, bombing and shelling put an unbearable threat to civilians and forcing the population to flee. They also leave heavy contamination by explosive remnants posing and long lasting threat for civilians after a battle,”  explains Anne Héry, Humanity & Inclusion’s advocacy director.

“Bombing in urban areas is a disaster for the protection of civilians in conflict. Political discussions between States have begun in order to draft an international political declaration against the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. Several states appear opposed to a strong political commitment. It is unacceptable!”

“HI is totally involved in this diplomatic process aiming at improving the protection of civilians in armed conflict and fights for a strong political declaration to be adopted next May. For this, we need the back-up of the public to put pressure on governments and to ensure they are fully committed against bombing in populated areas.”


Keep heavy bombs from cities: Urge our government to protect civilians

If you are ever going to act to ensure your Government acts to Stop Bombing Civilians, now is the time! Sign the petition to put pressure on your government. You will be helping to save lives.

Where your
support
helps

PRESS CONTACT

CANADA

Fatou Thiam

USA

Mica BEVINGTON

 

Help them
concretely

To go further

 Increase of use of landmines driven by Russia, Myanmar and non-state armed groups Explosive weapons

Increase of use of landmines driven by Russia, Myanmar and non-state armed groups

The Landmine Monitor 2022 reports a high number of casualties caused by landmines - including improvised mines and explosive remnants of war - for the seventh year in a row. The Monitor recorded 5,544 casualties in 2021. 75% of them were civilians. This high figure is mainly the result of increased armed conflicts and contamination with improvised mines since 2015. The use of landmines by the Russian and Myanmar armies, as well as by non-state armed groups in five countries, are the main factors of a sharp global increase of the use of these weapons in 2022.

States will gather in Geneva from November 21th to 25th for the 20th annual Mine Ban Treaty conference. As we celebrate the 25 years of the Ottawa Treaty, HI urges States to pressure parties to conflict to end the use of these barbaric weapons and to support the funding of victims assistance that is shrinking despite growing needs and high casualty rates in recent years.

Read the full report.

80 States have made history by endorsing the international agreement against bombing on towns and cities
© G. Lordet / HI
Explosive weapons

80 States have made history by endorsing the international agreement against bombing on towns and cities

Acknowledging the devastating humanitarian consequences of bombing and shelling of towns and cities, 80 States adopted an international agreement to better protect civilians from the use of explosive weapons in populated areas, at the Dublin Conference on November 18, 2022.

The day I stepped on a mine, my fate was sealed
© J. M. Vargas / HI
Explosive weapons

The day I stepped on a mine, my fate was sealed

Marta Quintero has been part of HI’s demining operations in Colombia for seven years. She is working for the future of her country with an unerring determination born out of personal experience.