Civilian Harm

  • Reverberating Effects from Military Action

    Considerations for Military Actors (Recommendations Brief)

    December 17, 2020

    One of the themes of the 2020 PAX PoC Conference was reverberating effects of use of force on civilians. During armed conflict, the negative effects of warfare often extend far beyond a weapon's direct, immediate impact. Nonetheless, there is still too little attention for longer-term, indirect, and sometimes non-physical impact of certain weapons and strategies in military training, operations and evaluations. This recommendations brief provides context to the topic, and contains a number of recommendations for military actors on how to prevent, minimise or mitigate harmful reverberating effects of their use of force on civilians. The recommendations are based on discussions during the various sessions of the conference.

  • Seeing Through the Rubble

    The civilian impact of the use of explosive weapons in the fight against ISIS

    October 26, 2020

    This joint report by the PAX Humanitarian Disarmament Team and the monitoring organization Airwars demonstrates the dire and long lasting impact on civilians of the recent international coalition’s campaign in Mosul, Raqqa and Hawijah and calls for stronger international commitment against the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. The analysis goed beyond the weapons' direct impact, studying too their indirect and longer-term negative effects on civilians.

  • Transparent reporting on civilian casualties (Dutch)

    PAX briefing paper

    October 5, 2020

    This briefing paper was prepared by PAX in anticipation of a parliamentary debate on new transparency measures around reporting on civilian casualties from Dutch military action. The paper explains the shortcomings of the proposed measures and outlines its recommendations for improved practice. It is only available in Dutch.

  • Civilian harm tracking and investigation

    Challenges and opportunities identified in contemporary literature

    July 10, 2020

    This paper follows up on the main findings of the literature study into civilian harm tracking tools and investigation mechanisms (published May 2020). It finds that the current state of tracking and investigation practices appears compromised by three interrelated challenges: A lack of universally adopted policies and standardized operational practices hampers effectiveness of civilian harm tracking; contemporary warfare’s increasing ‘remoteness’ presents new challenges that have yet to be addressed; a lack of transparency around the processing of civilian harm claims – characteristic of many militaries – further aggravates these shortcomings

  • Civilian harm tracking, analysis and response

    PAX PoC team position paper

    June 25, 2020

    This paper outlines the PoC program's position with regard to civilian harm tracking, analysis and response within the context of modern warfare. It explains the concepts - offering a newly developed definition of civilian harm - and lays out why PAX deems civilian harm tracking, analysis and response a political, moral, humanitarian and strategic objective.

  • Literature Review Civilian Harm Tracking Tools & Investigation Mechanisms

    May 2, 2020

    This literature review seeks to provide a mapping of publications that address civilian harm (CH) tracking tools and investigation mechanisms with the objective of garnering an overview of existing tools and mechanisms, their limitations, and practical recommendations for improved and more transparent CH tracking and investigation.

  • Explosive weapons with wide area effects and risk to civilians

    A background note to theconsultations on a politicaldeclaration on explosive weapons in populated areas

    February 10, 2020

    Explosive weapons that have wide area effects are especially problematic when used in populated areas. This paper elaborates on the link between the technical characteristics of these weapons and the risk they pose to civilians.

  • Areas of Harm

    Understanding explosive weapons with wide area effect

    October 3, 2016

    In conflicts all over the world, in countries such as Syria, Ukraine and Yemen, the use of explosive weapons like mortars and rockets in populated areas is a major cause of humanitarian harm and civilian casualties. Against the background of international recognition of the humanitarian problems caused by the use of explosive weapons in populated areas, a new report by PAX and Article36 analyses how certain explosive weapons create wide area effects.

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