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Memorandum to Delegates of the Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Conventional Weapons

  Ten years ago, images of white phosphorus munitions raining fire on populated areas of Gaza generated international outrage and sparked discussions of incendiary weapons at the United Nations. The Israel Defense Forces’ use of white…
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International Norms Ignored as Civilians Suffer

(Beirut) – The Russian-Syrian joint military operation has used internationally banned and other indiscriminate weapons in unlawful attacks on civilians in northwest Syria in recent weeks, Human Rights Watch said today. According to the…
A man inspects the destruction left by overnight air strikes targeting residential areas at Kafr Nabl in the rebel-held Idlib Province, Syria, May 20 2019.
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Memorandum to Delegates of the 2018 Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Conventional Weapons

Incendiary weapons are among the cruelest weapons used in contemporary armed conflict. These weapons, which produce heat and fire through the chemical reaction of a flammable substance, cause excruciating burns and destroy…
Des habitants tentent d'éteindre des incendies provoqués par une attaque à l'arme incendiaire dans l'ouest d'Idlib, Syrie, 30 juillet 2018.
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UN Security Council Should Act on Eastern Ghouta Situation

(New York) – Attacks by Syrian-Russian forces in an area near the Damascus in late October and early November 2017 killed eight children and destroyed or damaged four schools, Human Rights Watch said today. The attacks on Eastern Ghouta…
Children walk through the rubble of the Tamayuz (“Excellence”) kindergarten in the town of Hamouriyeh after it was hit by a Syrian-Russian airstrike on November 8, 2017. © 2017 Private
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Memorandum to Delegates at the Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Conventional Weapons

    Introduction In November 2017, for the first time in 37 years, a UN disarmament body will have a dedicated opportunity to address the humanitarian problems caused by incendiary weapons, one of modern warfare’s cruelest class of…
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Cluster Munitions, Attacks on Main Roads, Residential Areas in Idlib Area

(Beirut) – The Russian-Syrian joint military operation has carried out unlawful airstrikes in recent weeks that have killed civilians trapped in northern Syria, Human Rights Watch said today. The ongoing attacks and the lack of…
Screenshot from recording of cluster munition attack in Qalaat Al-Madiq, Syria.
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Memorandum to Delegates at the Fifth Review Conference of the Convention on Conventional Weapons

Introduction In mid-December 2016, countries party to a major disarmament treaty have an opportunity to take concrete steps toward reducing and ending the human suffering caused by incendiary weapons. They will convene at the United Nations in…
Photo of a ZAB-2.5 incendiary submunition from a December 5, 2016 attack on Maarat al-Numan south of Idlib.
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Lack of Jobs, School, Health Care Spurs Poverty, Exploitation

(Brussels) – Delays in registration and limited implementation of temporary protection policies in Turkey mean that many Syrian refugees are left without effective protection or access to jobs and services that they desperately need, Human Rights Watch…
A migrant child stands in a tent on the side of a highway near Edirne, Turkey where hundreds of mostly Syrian migrants have had to wait as Turkish police prevent their bid to cross the border with Greece.
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Indiscriminate Attacks Despite Syria’s Written Guarantees

(New York) – The military offensive that the Russian and Syrian government forces opened against armed groups opposed to the government on September 30, 2015, has included extensive use of cluster munitions – inherently indiscriminate and internationally…
AO-2.5RTM submunitions found in Ma`arat al-Nu`man in Idlib province after a cluster munition attack on December 14, 2015.
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Memorandum to Convention on Conventional Weapons Delegates

Incendiary weapons rank among the cruelest means of armed conflict. The fire and heat they produce cause excruciatingly painful burns that are difficult to treat and can lead to long-term psychological harm and severe disfigurement. They also start fires…
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Memorandum to Convention on Conventional Weapons Delegates

As states party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) convene for their annual meeting in November 2014, the matter of incendiary weapons is reaching a crossroads. Ongoing use of these exceptionally cruel weapons highlights the urgent need to…
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The Syrian government’s extensive use of cluster munitions has caused numerous casualties, damaged infrastructure, and is resulting in a deadly legacy of explosive remnants of war that will pose dangers to civilians for years to come. Human Rights Watch…
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Memorandum to Convention on Conventional Weapons Delegates

Incendiary weapons produce heat and fire through the chemical reaction of a flammable substance. These weapons cause extremely painful burns that are difficult to treat, and also start fires that can destroy objects and infrastructure. Field…