Cluster munitions (sometimes called cluster bombs) are highly imprecise and indiscriminate weapons that work by dispersing hundreds of smaller submunitions, often referred to as bomblets or grenades, over a wide area. Cluster bombs pose a grave danger to civilians in situations of conflict because the weapons are designed to scatter explosives over wide swaths of land often hundreds of yards wide.

© J. Rodsted / NPA

Although intended to explode on contact, significant numbers fail to do so.  Cluster munitions thus endanger civilians long after a conflict is over because the high number of unexploded bomblets become de facto landmines that can indiscriminately kill and injure for years.

The United States currently produces, stockpiles, trades, and uses cluster bombs.  We urge the U.S. to heed the call of the growing number of organizations calling for a ban on the use of these unreliable, inaccurate, and inhumane weapons.

Handicap International in the U.S. will work to encourage our government to:

  1. Prohibit the use of cluster munitions;
  2. Cease any production or transfer of cluster munitions;
  3. Destroy stockpiles of cluster munitions;
  4. Acknowledge that users of cluster munitions and other munitions that become explosive remnants of war have special responsibility for clearance, warnings, risk education, and provision of victim assistance;
  5. Support a strong international legal regimen that prohibits the production, use or transfer of all cluster munitions