Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice


Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice documents the creation of the new international treaty banning cluster munitions.  It looks at governments’ engagement in the Oslo Process, a diplomatic initiative started by Norway in November 2006 to create a legally-binding instrument outlawing cluster munitions and establishing a framework for clearing contaminated areas and meeting the needs of cluster munition victims. The report also considers government practice with respect to the use, production, stockpiling, and transfer of cluster munitions.

Banning Cluster Munitions contains entries on 150 countries, including signatories to the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions, stockpiler countries, and affected states.  It looks at the role played by civil society, particularly the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC), in helping to secure international support for the convention. It considers how the treaty was achieved using a diplomatic model pioneered over a decade ago in the creation of the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, which prohibits antipersonnel mines and requires their clearance and assistance to victims.

This report was written by Human Rights Watch and Landmine Action, and produced by Landmine Monitor. Human Rights Watch and Landmine Action co-chair the CMC and played central roles in the negotiation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Landmine Monitor is the International Campaign to Ban Landmines’ (ICBL) civil society-based research and monitoring program, which has monitored the universalization and implementation of the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty for over a decade. On behalf of the CMC, Landmine Monitor will fulfil such a role in relation to the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Human Rights Watch and Landmine Action are on Landmine Monitor’s Editorial Board, along with Mines Action Canada, Handicap International, and Norwegian People’s Aid.

Banning Cluster Munitions provides an overview of government policy and practice on banning cluster munitions prior to and throughout the Oslo Process. It does not look in depth at issues related to clearance and victim assistance. Landmine Monitor is preparing comprehensive monitoring on cluster munitions for publication in 2010 that will review the status of the Convention on Cluster Munitions and document the ongoing work of clearing cluster munition remnants and assisting cluster munition victims.

Banning Cluster Munitions was prepared by Human Rights Watch (Mark Hiznay, Mary Wareham, Kerri West, Anders Fink, Yekaterina Reyzis) and Landmine Action (Katherine Harrison, Richard Moyes, Anne Duquenne). Stephen Goose of Human Rights Watch served as final editor. Landmine Monitor (Jacqueline Hansen, Katie Pitts, Tatiana Stephens) managed the proofreading and production of Banning Cluster Munitions. Print and web layout were provided by Lixar I.T. Inc., the cover was designed by Rafael Jiménez, and St. Joseph Communications printed the report.

We are grateful to everyone who assisted in the preparation of this report, including CMC and ICBL staff and campaigners for providing input and feedback on the draft report. We especially wish to thank the governments who responded to our requests for information. At this point, there is still a marked lack of official, publicly available information about the use, production, transfer, and stockpiling of cluster munitions. We welcome comments, clarifications, and corrections from governments and others, in the spirit of dialogue, and in the common search for accurate and reliable information on an important subject.

It was only possible to carry out this work with the generous contributions of Landmine Monitor donors who are in no way responsible for, and do not necessarily endorse, the material contained in this report.