HI calls on governments against bombing in civilian areas
On the eve of the Canadian federal election, HI is calling on the leaders and leaders of the main parties to mobilize against the bombing of civilian areas. Elsewhere in the world, HI invites the public to call on its members of parliament in Germany, Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. By calling on your MPs, let us exert our full weight on governments to put an end to the bombing of civilians in populated areas. 90 MPs (from Belgium, France, Switzerland…) have already expressed their support for our campaign.
Sanaullah is 5 years old and was victim of a mortar in Afghanistan. | © Jaweed Tanveer / HI
Civil society has a unique opportunity to change the course of modern conflicts and better protect civilians from bombardments:
On the 1st and 2nd of October 2019, Vienna holds the "Protecting Civilians in Urban Warfare" conference. This will be followed by two rounds of diplomatic negotiations in Geneva, during which states will discuss an international commitment against the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. In March 2020, a political declaration committing states against bombing in populated areas is expected to be opened to signatures.
Bombings in urban areas have become systemic in current conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Yemen. According to the latest Action On Armed Violence (AOAV) report, published in June 2018, 32,100 people were killed or injured by explosive weapons in 2018. 70% of these victims were civilians, or 22,000 people. When explosive weapons are used in populated areas, 90% of the victims are civilians.
Every day, at least 60 civilians are victims of the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. This practice has become the rule in current conflicts. In conflict situation, systematic and disproportionate bombing of civilians seems to be considered as acceptable, almost normal.
The humanitarian consequences of the bombing of civilians are appalling: serious and disabling injuries, heavy psychological trauma, forced displacement and impoverishment of populations, destruction of essential infrastructure (hospitals, ports, bridges, etc.), destruction of the social and economic fabric...
Together, we can put an end to the bombing of civilians in urban areas.