Convention Reaches Ratification Milestone
After years of collecting evidence and applying pressure to policy makers, the treaty banning cluster munitions is set to officially become binding international law.
On Tuesday, Burkina Faso and Moldova both ratified the treaty, bringing the number of ratifying countries to the thirty needed for the agreement to take legal effect August 1. The treaty bans using, making and selling cluster munitions, and sets deadlines for the destruction of stockpiles and the clearing of contaminated land. It also provides aid for victims of the weapon. The United States has yet to sign.
Cluster munitions scatter small bombs over an area as wide as a football field, leaving explosive remnants on the ground that can kill and maim civilians and children months and even years later.
Human Rights Watch provided the earliest and most thorough record of damage created by cluster munitions, and co-founded the international Cluster Munition Coalition, the driving force behind the treaty’s creation.