Treaty obligations

The Convention on Cluster Munitions includes an obligation never to use, produce, transfer or stockpile cluster munitions. It also includes several positive obligations to ensure no further use and to redress past harm caused by the weapons.

The rights of cluster munition victims

The Convention on Cluster Munitions calls for the full realization of the rights of all cluster munition victims by obligating states, in accordance with applicable humanitarian and human rights law, to adequately provide assistance, including medical care, rehabilitation and psychological support, and provide for the economic and social inclusion of victims (Article 5).

Cluster munition victims include all persons directly impacted by cluster munitions as well as their affected families and communities. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities provides the applicable human rights standard and should define the way assistance is provided.

States Parties must develop a national action plan and designate a focal point within the government for coordinating all matters related to this issue. In their work on victim assistance, states must consult with and involve cluster munition victims and their representative organisations. States Parties should integrate victim assistance work into existing mechanisms to make it more cost-efficient and effective. They must also report annually on their progress in turning the promises of the convention into reality for victims (Article 7).

Under the Dubrovnik Action Plan States Parties have made political commitments to ensure the effective provision of assistance, for example through increasing the availability and accessibility of services in remote and rural areas.

While all States Parties in a position to do so have a legal obligation to provide resources and to support victim assistance, the convention places overall responsibility for the provision of assistance on the States Parties with cluster munition victims. The CMC calls on all states to ensure the promises made to victims are turned into reality as a matter of urgent priority.

Detailed information on the current state of play of victim assistance is available in the latest Cluster Munition Monitor report. Information on individual countries is available in the country profiles section.

Inclusive development

The convention reaffirms the importance of inclusive development. It requires that victim assistance be implemented with a view to its incorporation into existing mechanisms for disability, development and human rights, while ensuring that cluster munition victims can take full advantage of these mechanisms. This approach requires States Parties to ensure that existing services are accessible to, and inclusive of, all cluster munition victims. In cases where existing services do not suffice to meet the special needs of cluster munition victims, States Parties must develop new, non-discriminatory services to address those gaps.

More information can be found in the document: Frameworks for Victim Assistance: Monitor Key Findings and Observations