Cluster munitions pose significant dangers to civilians for two principal reasons: their impact at the time of use and their deadly legacy. Launched from the ground or dropped from the air, cluster munitions consist of containers that open and disperse submunitions indiscriminately over a wide area, claiming both civilian and military victims. Many explosive submunitions, also known as bomblets, fail to detonate as designed when they are dispersed, becoming de facto landmines that kill and maim indiscriminately long after the conflict has ended and create barriers to socio-economic development.
To protect civilians from the effects of cluster munitions, Norway and other like-minded countries initiated a fast-track diplomatic process in 2006 aimed at creating a new international treaty. Working in partnership with UN agencies, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and civil society grouped under the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC), the fast-track Oslo Process resulted in the adoption in May 2008 of the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
After 30 states ratified, the Convention on Cluster Munitions entered into force on 1 August 2010. It prohibits the use, production, transfer, and stockpiling of cluster munitions. The convention also requires destruction of stockpiled cluster munitions within eight years, clearance of cluster munition remnants within 10 years, and assistance to victims, including those injured by submunitions as well as the families of those injured or killed, and affected communities.
Cluster Munition Coalition
Launched by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in November 2003, the CMC plays a crucial facilitating role in leading global civil society action in favor of the ban on cluster munitions. With campaign contacts in more than 100 countries, the CMC works for the full universalization and implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions. In January 2011, the CMC merged with the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) to become the ICBL-CMC, but the CMC and ICBL remain two distinct and strong campaigns.
Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor
Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor provides research and monitoring for both the CMC and the ICBL on the Convention on Cluster Munitions and Mine Ban Treaty respectively. Created by the ICBL as Landmine Monitor in June 1998, the initiative became the research and monitoring arm of the CMC in 2008 and changed its name in 2010 to Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor, known simply as “the Monitor.”
The Monitor represents the first time that NGOs have come together in a coordinated, systematic, and sustained way to monitor humanitarian disarmament treaties and to regularly document progress and problems. Established in recognition of the need for independent reporting and evaluation, the Monitor has put into practice the concept of civil society-based verification. It has become the de facto monitoring regime for both treaties, monitoring and reporting on States Parties’ implementation and compliance, and more generally, assessing the international community’s response to the humanitarian problems caused by landmines, cluster munitions, and other explosive remnants of war (ERW). The Monitor’s reporting complements transparency reporting by states required under the treaties and reflects the shared view that transparency, trust, and mutual collaboration are crucial elements for the successful eradication of antipersonnel mines and cluster munitions.
The Monitor is not a technical verification system or a formal inspection regime. It is an attempt by civil society to hold governments accountable for the legal obligations they have accepted with respect to antipersonnel mines and cluster munitions. This is done through extensive collection and analysis of publicly available information, including via field missions in some instances. The Monitor works in good faith to provide factual information about issues it is monitoring in order to benefit the international community as a whole. It aims to promote and advance discussion in support of the goal of a world free of landmines and cluster munitions.
A Monitoring and Research Committee coordinates the Monitor system and has overall decision-making responsibility for the Monitor’s research products, acting as a standing committee of the ICBL-CMC Governance Board. To prepare this report, an Editorial Team gathered information with the aid of a global reporting network comprised of more than three dozen researchers and the assistance of CMC campaigners. Researchers contributed primarily to country profiles, available on the Monitor’s website at www.the-monitor.org.
Unless otherwise specified, all translations were done by the Monitor.
The Monitor is a system that is continuously updated, corrected, and improved, and as was the case in previous years, the Monitor acknowledges that this ambitious report is limited by the time, resources, and information sources available. Comments, clarifications, and corrections from governments and others are sought in the spirit of dialogue and in the common search for accurate and reliable information on this important subject.
About This Report
This is the seventh annual Cluster Munition Monitor report. It is the sister publication to the Landmine Monitor report, which has been issued annually since 1999.
Cluster Munition Monitor covers cluster munition ban policy, use, production, transfers, and stockpiling in every country in the world, and also contains information on cluster munition contamination and clearance activities, as well as casualties and victim assistance. Its principal frame of reference is the Convention on Cluster Munitions, although other relevant international law is reviewed, including the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The report focuses on calendar year 2015, with information included into July 2016 where possible.
A broad-based network of individuals, campaigns, and organizations produced this report. It was assembled by a dedicated team of researchers and editors with the support of a significant number of donors.
Researchers are cited separately on the Monitor website at www.the-monitor.org.
The Monitor is grateful to everyone who contributed research to this report. We wish to thank the scores of individuals, campaigns, NGOs, international organizations, field practitioners, and governments who provided us with essential information. We are grateful to CMC staff for their review of the content of the report and their assistance in the release, distribution, and promotion of Monitor reports.
Responsibility for the coordination of the Monitor lies with the Monitoring and Research Committee, a standing committee of the ICBL-CMC Governance Board comprised of four NGOs as well as Monitor research team leaders and ICBL-CMC staff. The committee’s members include: DanChurchAid (Richard MacCormac), Handicap International (Alma Taslidžan Al-Osta), Human Rights Watch (Stephen Goose), Mines Action Canada (Paul Hannon), Loren Persi Vicentic (casualty and victim assistance team coordinator), Amelie Chayer (ICBL-CMC government liaison and policy manager), and Jeff Abramson (Monitor program manager). Megan Burke (ICBL-CMC director) is an ex-officio member.
From January to August 2016, the Monitor’s Editorial Team undertook research, updated country profiles, and produced thematic overviews for Cluster Munition Monitor 2016. The Editorial Team included:
- Ban policy: Mary Wareham, Kate Castenson, Stephen Goose, Andrew Haag, Mark Hiznay, and Yeshua Moser-Puangsuwan, with assistance from Haley Demuse and Hannah Vester.
- Contamination, clearance, and support for mine action: Jennifer Reeves and Marion Loddo; and
- Casualties and victim assistance: Loren Persi Vicentic, Erin Hunt, Clémence Caraux-Pelletan, Marie-Josée Hamel, Michael Moore, and Marianne Schulze.
The Monitor gratefully acknowledges the contributions of the Mine Action Review supported and published by Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA), which conducted mine action research in 2016 and shared it with the Monitor. The Monitor is responsible for the findings presented online and in its print publications.
Jeff Abramson of ICBL-CMC provided final editing in August 2016 with assistance from Morgan McKenna (publications consultant) and Nicholas Hitchens-Spellman (intern).
Report and cover formatting and design was undertaken by Lixar I.T. Inc. Imprimerie Minute printed the report in Switzerland. The front cover photograph was provided Ole Solvang/Human Rights Watch, and back cover photographs by Ole Solvang/Human Rights Watch, and Lara Brose/Handicap International. Additional photographs found within Cluster Munition Monitor 2016 were provided by multiple photographers, cited with each photograph.
We extend our gratitude to Monitor financial contributors. This work was made possible with funding from:
- Government of Australia
- Government of Austria
- Government of Belgium
- Government of France
- Government of Germany
- Government of New Zealand
- Government of Norway
- Government of Sweden
- Government of Switzerland
- Holy See
- UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS)
The Monitor’s supporters are in no way responsible for, and do not necessarily endorse, the material contained in this report. We also thank the donors who have contributed to the organizational members of the Monitoring and Research Committee and other participating organizations.