Volume 2 Issue 7

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Civilians in Populated Areas must be protected: ICRC Report on Explosive Weapons

Date of News: 


Date of Publication: 


Unique ID:


Name of the Author: 

Pratyaksha Rani

Field of Law: 

Humanitarian Law

Content of News:

International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) made a Report on Explosive Weapons with wide areas effect: A deadly choice in populated areas, this report analyses the impact of weapons used in war upon the civilian population. The president of ICRC says that there should be no use of such weapons in populated areas unless the measures were taken to prevent the effect and consequent risk of civilian harm. As there is no prohibition of heavy explosive weapons in populated areas under International Humanitarian Law however there are certain governing rules for feasible precautions in attack. According to the evidence collected, the ICRC showed the extensive suffering of civilians, especially women and children, the use of explosive weapons causes: ? Increase civilian deaths & injuries ? Mental and psychosocial injury ? Damage to the civilian property and critical infrastructure ? Disruption in service essential ? Degradation of environment ? Long term consequences with respect to development, etc The impact of explosive weapons used during war faced by civilians can be witnessed in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Gaza and Afghanistan. However, the report issued various recommendations on preventive and mitigation measures: ? Avoid the use of heavy explosive weapons in populated areas unless the proper mitigation measures are taken, ? Civilians should be protected as a strategic objective, ? The armed forces should be trained to use the weapons in urban areas and in the populated areas, ? Ensure to identify and map the civilian infrastructure. The report demonstrates the urgent need to take action against the use of explosive weapons in populated areas and for such an avoidance policy needs to be incorporated.