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Survivors of landmines and cluster munitions, Dublin 2008. Photo copyright Mary Wareham

Cluster Munitions

Cluster munitions have killed and injured thousands of civilians since they were first used over 60 years ago, and one third of all known casualties are children.

Our aim is to promote the protection of civilians during and after conflict by bringing an end to the use of cluster munitions in warfare.

Since 1997, we have supported work on clearance, risk education and the rehabilitation of survivors, as well as raising awareness about the devastating effects of landmines and cluster munitions.

In 2003, we became one of the founding members of the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC), a global group of civil society organisations, united by the campaign to ban cluster munitions.

In 2007, as a CMC member, we added our support to the Oslo Process, a movement started by a small group of countries determined to see an international treaty that banned cluster munitions, which included provisions to clear contaminated areas and assist survivors, by the end of 2008.

A global ban was achieved in December 2008 when the Convention on Cluster Munitions was signed by 94 countries in Oslo.

The Convention on Cluster Munitions:

  • bans the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of cluster munitions
  • requires countries to clear affected land within ten years and destroy their stockpiles within eight
  • requires countries to support survivors and affected communities.

The work of the campaign to ensure universal ratification of the Convention and full implementation of its provisions is continuing.