[Answered] Why are cluster bombs considered controversial? Explain the provisions of the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) and its significance in international law.

Introduction: What are cluster bombs?

Body: What are the provisions of the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) and their significance in international law?

Conclusion: Way Forward

A bomb that explodes in the air and scatters smaller “bomblets” across a large area is known as a cluster munition. The bomblets are made to destroy troops, tanks, and other equipment by simultaneously striking several different targets. The dud rate is the proportion of bomblets that do not explode right away and remain dormant for several years. These dormant bomblets function as unstable landmines and pose a serious hazard to the civilian population, particularly women and children, for a considerable amount of time which makes these bombs highly controversial. These were used by the US in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq & Russia against Ukraine. Efforts of civil society organizations & Human rights watch led to the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM)  an international treaty that prohibits all use, transfer, production, and stockpiling of cluster munitions, a type of explosive weapon which scatters submunitions (“bomblets”) over an area.

What are the provisions of the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) and their significance in international law?

  • Prohibits the use of cluster bombs: Article 1 of the CCM bans the use, production, stockpiling, and transfer of cluster bombs.
  • Production and Transfer Prohibition: States Parties are not allowed to manufacture, obtain, stockpile, or transfer cluster munitions to other states or non-state entities.
  • Destruction and Clearance: States must ensure that Cluster munition remains must be removed and destroyed in any locations that fall under the jurisdiction and control of the parties. They have a deadline to meet for completing these responsibilities, which is specified in the convention.
  • Assistance to Victims and Affected Communities: States Parties are required to offer cluster munitions victims assistance, including medical attention, rehabilitation, and emotional support. They are also urged to help the impacted areas rebuild economically and socially.


Presently, only 112 countries have acceded to the CCM including many North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) members such as Canada, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom while important countries such as the U.S., Russia, China, Israel, and India have not signed the CCM. As envisioned in the CCM, cluster bombs should be completely outlawed for use, ownership, transfer, and supply. To make this a reality, all UN member states must ratify the CCM and eliminate cluster munitions from the planet.

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