A Simple Request to the World’s Warring Nations: Stop Bombing Civilians

August 14th, 2020 - by Action on Armed Violence

Action on Armed Violence

• Percentage of civilian deaths among all those killed by explosive weapons in populated areas, 2011-2019 — 90%

• Percentage of civilian deaths among those killed by explosive weapons in areas reported  as “unpopulated,”  2011-2019 — 27%

• Overall deaths and injuries of civilians from explosive weapons, 2011-2019 — 251,306

What Do We Do to Address the Impact of Weapons? Stop Bombing Civilians!

Action on Armed Violence seeks to reduce the impact of armed violence through monitoring and research of the causes and consequences of weapon-based violence. We have a specific focus on the impact of explosive weapons with wide area effects in populated areas and have been running a global monitor of explosive violence since October 2010.  

In 2018, AOAV recorded 32,110 casualties from explosive violence, of which 70% (22,342) were civilians. When explosive weapons were used in populated areas such as towns and cities, 90% of those were civilians.

In addition to monitoring harm, we have investigated numerous case studies of explosive weapon harm, including the long-term harm from explosive weapons in Sri Lanka, Lebanon and Syria, air strikes by NATO forces, improvised explosive device attacks by jihadist terrorists and the wide area harm of explosive weapons in Ukraine, Jordan and Israel, amongst others. 

Our work is disseminated at international forums, such as the UN and we have presented evidence of explosive violence harm to the UK parliament and to numerous think tank and public debates. Our work is widely cited in the media and we are a regular commentator on armed violence internationally. For more information, please contact Iain Overton: ioverton@aoav.org.uk

ACTION ALERT: Sign the Petition to Stop Bombing Civilians!

I call on all States worldwide to:

•   Publicly commit to end the use of explosive weapons with wide area effects in populated areas;

•   Fully implement the treaties banning landmines and cluster munitions without delay and encourage non-signatory states to sign them;

•   Contribute to assisting the victims, clearing weapons in affected zones, and preventing further injuries and deaths.


Weapons-related research and advocacy work are key components of AOAV’s efforts to reduce the incidence and impact of armed violence. To this end, we are very active in addressing the harm wrought by explosive weapons in populated areas.

AOAV has a long history of reducing access to and use of weapons that cause harm to the general population. Over the decades, AOAV has played a leading role among civil society organisations acting on weapons — in promoting and securing international agreements related to disarmament, including the Antipersonnel Mine Ban Treaty (1997), Protocol V (2003), the Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development (2006), the Convention on Cluster Munitions (2008) and the Oslo Commitments on Armed Violence (2010), the Arms Trade Treaty (2014) and the UN Programme of Action on Small Arms.

AOAV’s Key Reports on Explosive Violence Include:
Explosive Violence Monitor 2018 (pdf)
Explosive Violence Monitor 2017 (pdf)
Explosive Violence Monitor 2016 (pdf)
Explosive Violence Monitor 2015 (pdf)
Explosive Violence Monitor 2014 (pdf)
Explosive Violence Monitor 2013 (pdf)
Explosive Violence Monitor 2012 (pdf)
Explosive Violence Monitor 2011 (pdf)

Patterns of Harm: Five years of AOAV explosive violence data (2011 — 2015) (pdf)

Our Key Reports on Manufactured Weapons Include:
The reverberating effects of explosive weapon use in Syria (pdf)
When the bombs fall silent (pdf)
The Refugee Explosion (pdf)
Wide-area impact report (pdf)
Under Fire: Israel’s artillery policies scrutinised (pdf)
Air Power in Afghanistan (pdf)
A Tale of Two Cities (pdf)

Our Key Reports on Improvised Explosive Devices Include:
Addressing the threat posed by IEDs (pdf)
Understanding the rising cult of the suicide bomber
Understanding the regional and transnational networks that facilitate IED use
Tracking IED Harm (pdf)
Anatomy of a Suicide Bombing (pdf)
Material Harm (pdf)
Blood on the Streets of Boston (pdf)

Our Key Reports on Guns Include:
The Devil’s Trade: Guns and Violence in El Salvador (pdf)
US Department of Defense spend on guns in ‘War on Terror’
15 Mass shootings that changed the law

For More on Guns, See GunBabyGun.

About Action On Armed Violence
Today our main focus is on seeking to establish a political commitment against the use of explosive weapons in populated areas, as well as seeking to ensure that existing international treaties are adhered to.

AOAV fully supports the goals of Every Casualty, the international NGO that campaigns for the recording of victims by all parties to conflicts. As its simple mission statement notes: ‘Governments must ensure that all lives lost to armed violence, anywhere in the world, are properly recorded.’ We are also pleased to be a part of the associated Casualty Recorders Network, an international alliance that strives for best practice among its 50 members.

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes