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Prime Minister responds to Inquiry on Explosive Threats

A report, co-authored by AOAV, Emergency UK and coordinated by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Explosive Threats, has drawn a response from Prime Minister Theresa May. The report, whose findings and recommendations reflect evidence received as part of an inquiry into assistance to victims of explosive violence launched by the APPG on Explosive Threats in February 2018, was the culmination of the ‘REVIVE’ campaign.

REVIVE, which stands for ‘Reduce Explosive Violence, Increase Victim Empowerment’, was set up to determine the reasons for the alarming rise in the number of civilian casualties resulting from explosive violence around the world – as charted by AOAV and others – and to offer solutions to the UK and the international community on how best to meet this challenge.

The inquiry, which received evidence from organisations and individuals ranging from the Rt Hon. Mark Lancaster, Minister of State for the Armed Forces, to Save the Children UK, drew attention to the dramatic increase in civilian deaths as a result of airstrikes in 2017 (compared to 2016), whilst assessing what instruments where in place to record the numbers of victims, and what programmes were in place to care for the injured in the short and long-term.

The report also drew attention to the fact that all explosive weapons share the potential to be indiscriminate in their immediate, explosive impact (no matter how ‘precise’ they may be deemed in terms of their design or associated targeting system) and their potential to be used indiscriminately by state and non-state actors alike.

In her letter to Matthew Offord MP (chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Explosive Threats), Prime Minister Theresa May iterated: “I can assure you that the relevant Government Departments are working together to best mitigate the serious humanitarian consequences of conflict highlighted in your report”. AOAV continues to urge all governments involved in conflict to avoid the use of explosive weapons in populated areas and adhere to all principles outlined in Protocols Additional to the Geneva conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the protection of victims of international armed conflicts (protocol 1), of 8 June 1977.

To read the letter in full, please see here.