Cluster Munition Monitor 2019

Major Findings

As of 31 July 2019, unless otherwise indicated

Status of the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions

  • The convention entered into force on 1 August 2010 and remains the sole international instrument dedicated to ending the human suffering caused by cluster munitions.
  • A total of 106 countries have acceded to or ratified the Convention on Cluster Munitions and are now States Parties. Another 14 signatories to the convention must complete ratification to be fully bound by the convention’s provisions.
  • The Gambia and Namibia ratified the convention in the second half of 2018, while the Philippines ratified in the first half of 2019. The last state to accede to the convention was Sri Lanka, in March 2018.
  • A total of 144 states, including 33 non-signatories voted in favor of an annual United Nations General Assembly resolution promoting the Convention on Cluster Munitions in December 2018. Non-signatory Zimbabwe was the only state to vote against the resolution as Russia abstained for the first time, after voting no in 2015–2017. 

New Use

  • There have been no reports or allegations of new use of cluster munitions by any State Party since the Convention on Cluster Munitions was adopted in May 2008.
  • Cluster munitions continued to be used in Syria during the reporting period (July 2018–July 2019) by Syrian government forces with support from Russia. Neither is a State Party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Since mid-2012, the Monitor has recorded at least 674 cluster munition attacks in Syria. While the number of reported cluster munition attacks has decreased since mid-2017 as Syrian government forces have regained areas previously held by non-state armed groups, the actual number is likely far higher and new use often goes unrecorded.
  • Cluster Munition Monitor could not independently confirm allegations of new cluster munition use in Libya, which is not a party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions. 


  • In total, the Monitor recorded 149 new cluster munition casualties in 2018, a continuation of the significant decrease compared to the annual total of 971 in 2016.
  • In 2018, the highest number of casualties were recorded in Syria (80) where casualties occurred both due to cluster munition remnants and during cluster munition attacks. Far fewer casualties during attacks were recorded (65 in 2018, less than a third of the 196 in 2017, which had marked a sharp decline from 857 in 2016).
  • The 2018 casualty total marked the lowest annual figure since increased cluster munition casualties from new use in Syria were reported in 2012.
  • Civilians accounted for 99% of all casualties whose status was recorded in 2018 and 2017, consistent with statistics on cluster munition casualties for all time, and due to the indiscriminate and inhumane nature of the weapon.
  • In 2018, casualties from cluster munition remnants were recorded in eight countries and one other area: Afghanistan, Iraq, Lao PDR, Lebanon, South Sudan, Syria, Ukraine, Yemen, and Nagorno Karabakh.
  • Many casualties go unrecorded or lack sufficient documentation, particularly casualties that occurred during extensive use in Asia (Southeast Asia and Afghanistan) and in Iraq. The estimated number of global all-time casualties for 34 countries and three other areas is 56,000 or more.

Stockpile Destruction

  • A collective total of nearly 1.5 million cluster munitions and more than 178 million submunitions has been destroyed by 35 States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions. This represents the destruction of 99% of the total global cluster munition stocks declared by States Parties.
  • Two States Parties completed stockpile destruction in the reporting period: Botswana on 18 September 2018 and Switzerland on 19 March 2019.
  • During 2018, five States Parties destroyed a total of 1,079 cluster munitions and more than 46,000 submunitions.
  • Guinea-Bissau did not meet its stockpile destruction deadline of 1 May 2019 and has been in violation of the convention since then.
  • Bulgaria has submitted a request to extend its stockpile destruction deadline by another 18 months, until 1 April 2021, and it is the first State Party to make such a request.
  • Four States Parties with cluster munitions to destroy have begun the process, destroying a collective total to date of more than 1,000 cluster munitions and nearly 125,000 submunitions.

Victim Assistance

  • States Parties have committed to improving assistance for cluster munition victims by 2020 as part of the Dubrovnik Action Plan, but continued declines in funding for community-based work of local organizations hampered access to rehabilitation and economic activities.
  • Some assistance existed in all affected States Parties, but at least eight needed to improve or undertake initial efforts to collect data on victims and their needs. In many States Parties, more services, better coordination, and greater integration into national systems remained necessary.
  • All the States Parties with cluster munition victims had some forms of ongoing healthcare and rehabilitation available, but access to rehabilitation services for survivors in remote and rural areas needed significant improvement in at least three States Parties.
  • Most coordination of activities included some survivor representation, but this was not meeting the standard of close consultation with cluster munition victims, including survivors, required both in the convention itself and in associated rights of persons with disabilities. 

Contamination and Clearance

  • A total of 26 states (12 States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, two signatories, and 12 non-signatories) and three other areas are contaminated by cluster munition remnants. It is unclear whether one State Party and one non-signatory are contaminated.
  • Eight States Parties, one signatory, and one non-signatory completed clearance of areas contaminated by cluster munition remnants in previous years. No country completed clearance in 2018. 

Production and Transfer

  • Eighteen States Parties and one non-signatory no longer produce cluster munitions, which marks no change from previous years.
  • Sixteen countries outside the convention produce cluster munitions or have not committed to cease production in the future.


  • A majority of States Parties that once stockpiled cluster munitions have not retained any for training or research in detection, clearance, and destruction techniques, as permitted by the convention.
  • Thirteen States Parties are retaining live cluster munitions or submunitions for training and research; all are from Europe with the exception of Cameroon.
  • Germany retains the most cluster munitions for research and training, but significantly lowered the number retained again in 2018, as did Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Spain, and Switzerland. 

National Legislation and Transparency

  • Thirty-one States Parties have enacted national legislation to implement the convention, most recently Afghanistan in September 2018. Another 18 States Parties are in the process of drafting, considering, or adopting national legislation for the convention, while 42 States Parties view their existing laws as sufficient to enforce their implementation of the convention.
  • A total of 92 States Parties have submitted an initial transparency report as required by the convention, representing 89% of all States Parties for which the obligation currently applies. Eleven States Parties have not delivered their initial transparency reports.