Unexploded Ordnance (UXO)
Handicap International (HI) is an organisation that supports casualties who sustain life-changing injuries and disabilities within armed conflicts. Explosive munitions are doubly dangerous because they don't all explode immediately; instead they litter the vicinity with primed ordnance ready to be detonated by unsuspecting civilians.
In a case study dated May 2015, HI analysed weapons contamination in Syria: 'A time bomb in the making'. Of 77,645 damaging or potentially damaging incidents documented - 83.73% involved explosive weapons and 75% of these occurred in densely populated areas. Landmines, used to control borders caused damage more often in the Syrian countryside where internally displaced people under siege found themselves trapped in some of the most contaminated areas. Indiscriminate use of explosive devices in densely populated areas violates International Humanitarian Law (Additional Protocol 1 to the Geneva Conventions) but that has not curbed their use in Syria. Experiences of those injured by UXO, as well as work being done to reduce the risk of injury to civilians is presented here.