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Explosive Violence Monitor: 2022

AOAV’s report presents the findings of global explosive violence patterns in 2022. It constitutes the twelfth consecutive year of Action on Armed Violence’s (AOAV) Explosive Violence Monitoring Project (EVMP), which records the casualties from explosive weapon use worldwide as reported in English-language media.

In 2022, AOAV recorded 31,273 deaths and injuries as a result of the use of explosive weapons around the world. Civilians continued to suffer disproportionately from this harm, accounting for 20,793 of these casualties – or 66% of all those killed and injured by explosive weapons around the world.

As has been demonstrated every year for the past decade, this threat to civilians is exacerbated when explosive weapons are used in populated areas: in 2022, 90% of all those reported killed and injured by explosive weapons in populated areas were civilians. Furthermore, 94% of global civilian casualties from explosive weapons over the past year occurred in locations reported as populated.

These findings reflect a consistent pattern of harm that AOAV has documented for more than a decade: on average over the last eleven years, when explosive weapons were used in populated areas, nine in every ten of those killed or wounded were civilians.

Overall, 2022 saw a 73% increase in incidents of explosive weapon use around the world, and an 83% spike in civilian casualties compared to 2021. This rise was predominantly down to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, but it was also caused by smaller flare-ups of violence between Armenia and Azerbaijan; increased volatility between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan; and ongoing conflicts and armed struggles in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Myanmar, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

The full report is available for download here: Explosive Violence Monitor 2022.

KEY FINDINGS

  • In 2022, AOAV recorded 31,273 deaths and injuries caused by explosive weapons across 4,322 incidents.
  • Of these casualties, 20,793 were civilians, making up 66% of the total number. This marks the highest levels of civilian harm recorded since 2018.
  • The report shows that civilian casualties from the use of explosive weapons soared by 83% last year because of the war in Ukraine. AOAV recorded 10,351civilian casualties in Ukraine alone.
  • Explosive weapons used in populated areas were responsible for 90% of civilian casualties, while other areas accounted for only 12%.
  • AOAV recorded 19,632 civilians killed and injured in populated areas, which represented 94% of globally reported civilian deaths and injuries.
  • The average number of civilians harmed per incident rose from 4.5 in 2021 to 4.8 in 2022, indicating a 7% increase.
  • Reported female civilian casualties of explosive violence rose by 1.6% from 744 in 2021 to 756 in 2022, while reported female casualties in 2022 represented 4% of total civilian casualties.
  • The number of reported child casualties fell by 19%, from 1,419 in 2021 to 1,146 in 2022, and child casualties of explosive violence fell to 5% in 2022 from the 13% recorded in 2021.
  • Ukraine, Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, and Ethiopia saw the highest number of global civilian casualties in 2022.
  • Manufactured explosive weapons accounted for 78% of civilian casualties in 2022, while improvised explosive devices (IEDs) accounted for 21%.
  • Ground-launched manufactured explosive weapons were responsible for 52% of all civilian casualties, while air-launched explosive weapons accounted for 19%.
  • The average number of civilians harmed per air-strike rose from 5.6 to 7.5, indicating a 34% increase.
  • Incidents were recorded in 60 countries and territories around the world, which is three more than in 2021.


For more information on this report, please contact Iain Overton, AOAV’s Executive Director on +44 (0) 7984 645 145 or at ioverton@aoav.org.uk.