Cluster Bomb Ban

A year ago, I’d never heard of a cluster bomb. Since then, I’ve learned a bit about it, and now you can learn some too.

An e-mail from Human Rights Watch:

Cluster Munions Ban In Effect
Human Rights Watch Helped Lead Effort to Discredit the Weapons
On August 1, the international treaty banning the use of cluster munitions went into effect. Human Rights Watch, together with our partner organizations, spent years collecting evidence about the disproportionate harm these weapons inflict on civilians and pressing policy makers to outlaw them.

Cluster munitions open up in the air, scattering hundreds of small submunitions indiscriminately over a football-field-size area. The bomblets frequently fail to explode on impact, leaving duds on the ground that can kill and maim civilians months and even years later, much like landmines.

So far, 108 governments have signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions, and 38 of them have ratified it. The United States has not yet signed, but it plans to ban all but a tiny fraction of its existing arsenal in 2018.

The convention bans the use, manufacture, and trade of cluster munitions. It sets deadlines for destroying cluster munition stockpiles and clearing contaminated land. It also calls for aid for the weapon’s victims.

Human Rights Watch provided the earliest and most thorough record of damage caused by cluster munitions, including studies in Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, and Georgia. We co-founded the international Cluster Munition Coalition, which has acted as the driving force behind the treaty.

Take Action: Pressure the United States to sign the treaty »

Read more »

More ways to help, from Mennonite Central Committee:

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