Convention on prohibitions or restrictions on the use of certain conventional weapons which may be deemed to be excessively injurious or to have indiscriminate effects


The Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects, commonly known as the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), is an international treaty that aims to restrict or prohibit the use of specific types of conventional weapons that are considered to cause excessive injury or have indiscriminate effects.

The CCW was adopted in 1980 and entered into force in 1983. It was created in response to growing concerns about the humanitarian impact of certain weapons used in armed conflicts. The convention seeks to strike a balance between military necessity and the protection of civilians and combatants by regulating the use of certain types of weapons.

The convention is composed of several protocols, each addressing a specific category of weapons:

  1. Protocol I: Non-Detectable Fragments: This protocol prohibits the use of weapons that are undetectable by X-ray devices. It aims to prevent injuries to civilians and military personnel who may come into contact with such weapons.
  2. Protocol II: Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Mines, Booby Traps, and Other Devices: This protocol restricts or prohibits the use of landmines, booby traps, and other similar devices. It aims to prevent civilian casualties and post-conflict hazards caused by these weapons.
  3. Protocol III: Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Incendiary Weapons: This protocol regulates the use of incendiary weapons, which are designed to set fire to targets or cause burn injuries. It aims to protect civilians from the indiscriminate effects of such weapons.
  4. Protocol IV: Blinding Laser Weapons: This protocol prohibits the use of laser weapons specifically designed to cause permanent blindness. It seeks to prevent the use of weapons that could cause unnecessary suffering and long-term harm to individuals.
  5. Protocol V: Explosive Remnants of War: This protocol addresses the issue of explosive remnants of war, such as unexploded ordnance and abandoned explosive devices. It aims to minimize the post-conflict dangers and risks associated with these remnants.

It’s important to note that not all countries are party to all protocols of the CCW. Some countries may be party to only certain protocols based on their national interests and policies. The CCW is regularly reviewed and updated by states parties to adapt to new challenges and emerging technologies in the field of conventional weapons.

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