Who Suffers the Most From Explosive Weapons?

Think Fast, Think ahead, Act Now For Environment Of Peace

Civilians continued to suffer disproportionately from the impacts of explosive weapons in 2021 accounting for 59 per cent of total casualties, with 11,102 civilian deaths and injuries, according to the Action on Armed violence (AOAV)

The AOAV in its eleventh annual report said that 2021 marked the first year since 2015 that recorded a rise in civilian casualties from explosive weapon use. It was also the year with the highest percentage of child casualties recorded since 2011, at 13 per cent of the total civilian casualties – nearly double the decade average of seven per cent,

In 2021 The AOAV recorded 19,473 deaths and injuries as a result of the use of explosive weapons around the world. Eight nine per cent were civilians of those reported harmed by explosive weapons in populated areas in 2021, In addition, civilian casualties in populated areas accounted for 93 per cent of the total civilian casualties, the report said.

The report mentions that Afghanistan remained the worst-impacted country in terms of civilian casualties of explosive weapons for the second consecutive year.

  • In total, 9,147 people were killed (of which 3,376 were civilians), and 10,326 were injured (of which 7,726 were civilians).
  • The number of reported child casualties rose by 11% (1264 in 2020 to 1.407 in 2021).
  • The average number of civilians harmed per incident rose from 3.8 in 2020 to 4.5 in 2021 – a rise of 18%.
  • Manufactured explosive weapons accounted for 57% of civilian casualties (6,356), improvised explosive devices (TEDs) accounted for 43% of civilian casualties (4,726): this is the lowest number of civilians harmed by IEDs since our monitor began in 2010.
  • Ground-launched manufactured explosive weapons were responsible for 31% of all civilian casualties; air-launched explosive weapons were responsible for 20% civilians)
  • The average number of civilians harmed per air-strike rose from 3.6 to 5.1, a 42% rise – fuelled by air attacks in Gaza and Ethiopia.
  • Incidents were recorded in 57 countries and territories around the world, nine more locations than in 2020.


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