Cluster Munition Monitor 2022

Major Findings

As of 1 August 2022

Status of the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions

  • The convention is in good standing, with a total of 110 States Parties and 13 signatories. The last ratifications and accessions were in 2020, which shows how the pace of universalization has slowed.
  • A resolution by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) promoting the convention was adopted in December 2021 by 146 states, including 36 non-signatories to the convention. Russia was the only country to vote against it.

Use of Cluster Munitions

  • There have been no reports or allegations of new use of cluster munitions by any State Party since the convention was adopted in May 2008.
  • Ukraine is the only country in the world where cluster munitions are being used as of August 2022. Russia has used cluster munitions extensively since invading Ukraine on 24 February 2022, while Ukrainian forces appear to have used them at least three times in the war. Neither Russia nor Ukraine have joined the convention.
  • There were no reports of new cluster munition use in any other country during the reporting period (from August 2021 to July 2022). The last reported cluster munition use in Syria was in March 2021, but attacks could have gone unrecorded.

Casualties and Contamination

  • Globally, 149 new cluster munition casualties were recorded in 2021, killing 59 and leaving 90 injured. This is a sharp decline compared to the 360 casualties in 2020.
  • All casualties reported in 2021 were caused by cluster munition remnants, marking the first year since 2011 that there were no new casualties resulting from cluster munition attacks.
  • The significant reduction in the number of casualties observed in 2021 has been overshadowed by the devastating number of cluster munition attacks during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Preliminary data indicates at least 689 casualties reported during cluster munition attacks in Ukraine for the first half of 2022. Many casualties may have gone unrecorded.
  • Unexploded submunitions disproportionally harm civilians, with children particularly at risk. In 2021:
    • Civilians represented 97% of all casualties, with 144 civilians killed or injured by cluster munitions.
    • Children accounted for 66% of all casualties where the age group was known, with 90 child casualties recorded. Lao PDR and Lebanon saw tragic incidents where groups of children playing with submunitions were killed and injured.
  • A total of 29 countries and other areas are known or suspected to be contaminated by cluster munition remnants, including 10 States Parties with clearance obligations.

Stockpile Destruction and Retention

  • Since the convention’s adoption in 2008, States Parties have collectively destroyed 99% of the total global cluster munition stocks that they declared, destroying nearly 1.5 million cluster munitions and 178 million submunitions.
  • States Parties Bulgaria, Peru, and Slovakia destroyed a total of at least 1,658 stockpiled cluster munitions and 46,733 submunitions during 2021 and the first half of 2022.
  • Only 11 States Parties are retaining live cluster munitions for permitted research and training purposes, of which Belgium has the highest number.

Clearance of Cluster Munition Remnants

  • In 2021, States Parties reported clearance of approximately 61km2 of cluster munition contaminated land and the destruction of more than 81,000 submunitions. This is slightly below the 63.4km2 reported cleared and similar to the 80,900 submunitions destroyed in 2020.
  • Only Iraq and Somalia are working towards their original respective clearance deadlines, but neither is on target to meet them. The number of States Parties on track to achieve their obligations to clear all contaminated areas is decreasing.
  • Three States Parties requested an extension to their clearance deadlines in 2022: Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) until 2023, Chad until 2024, and Chile until 2026. Extension requests will be considered during the Tenth Meeting of States Parties.

Risk Education

  • In 2021, the majority of affected States Parties provided risk education specifically targeting groups vulnerable to the threat of cluster munition remnants, including children, refugees, and hard-to-reach pastoral and nomadic groups.
  • Age- and gender-disaggregated data on risk education beneficiaries was provided by Afghanistan, Chad, Iraq, Lao PDR, Lebanon, and Somalia.
    • Men represented more than half of all direct beneficiaries of risk education (54%) in these six States Parties, with at least 472,400 men reached.
    • One-third of all direct beneficiaries were children (36%), with nearly 314,000 boys and girls reached.
  • The socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic appeared to increase risks, with people forced to rely on harmful coping mechanisms. In Lao PDR and Lebanon, economic hardship was believed to have encouraged risk-taking as people tried to supplement diminishing livelihoods.
  • Risk education continued to be carried out to alert communities to the risks of contamination from recent or ongoing conflicts in non-signatories Libya, Syria, Ukraine, Yemen, and other area Nagorno-Karabakh.

Victim Assistance

  • Efforts to address the gaps in the accessibility and sustainability of rehabilitation services have been reported in most of the States Parties acknowledging responsibility for cluster munition victims. However, funding remains inadequate and insufficient to effectively implement victim assistance. Progress in the rehabilitation sector, the strongest area of assistance, was undermined by the economic situation and collapsing health systems in Afghanistan and Lebanon.  
  • Some limited progress was reported in ensuring survivor inclusion in social, economic, and educational activities in BiH, Chad, Iraq, Lao PDR, and Lebanon.
  • Measures to address the trauma and ongoing mental health impacts on cluster munition victims remain scarce and underfunded. Peer-to-peer support was among the most needed and least supported activities.
  • The International Mine Action Standard (IMAS) on Victim Assistance was fully adopted in 2021. According to the standards, national authorities should play a role in monitoring and facilitating multisector efforts to address the needs of survivors and ensure their participation in the development of relevant national legislation and policies. These new standards were under consideration for use in Iraq, Lao PDR, and Lebanon.

Production and Transfer

  • None of the 16 countries that still produce cluster munitions, or reserve the right to do so, are party to the convention.
  • Russia has continued to produce new cluster munitions and its armed forces have used at least two newly developed types of cluster munitions in Ukraine in 2022.
  • There is no evidence to suggest that cluster munitions have been transferred among the weapons provided to the Ukrainian government in 2022.
  • In the past, at least 15 countries have transferred more than 50 types of cluster munitions to at least 60 other countries.

Transparency Reporting

  • A total of 102 States Parties have submitted an initial Article 7 transparency report as required by the convention, but eight have not done so, of which Cabo Verde and Comoros are more than a decade late.
  • Compliance with the annual reporting requirement has been sporadic as more than half of States Parties do not provide transparency reports annually.

National Legislation

  • Niue enacted specific legislation to govern its implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions and Mine Ban Treaty in 2021, making a total of 33 States Parties with specific implementation laws for the convention.
  • Another 20 States Parties are planning or are in the process of drafting, reviewing, or adopting specific legislative measures to implement the convention, while 43 States Parties regard their existing laws and regulations as sufficient.
  • Italy enacted legislation in December 2021 to prohibit companies from funding manufacturers of antipersonnel landmines and cluster munitions.