This research paper seeks to contribute to further thinking and dialogue among States and their militaries that conduct operations in urbanized environments on what more can be done to reduce civilian harm by proposing practical measures in the form of options for consideration.
UNIDIR seeks to enhance knowledge on ways to reduce risks and mitigate harm to civilians from the effects of explosive weapons in urbanized environments. This research frames the issue of explosive weapons in the broader context of protection of civilians in urban conflict and focuses on multilateral operations.
The research takes a comprehensive approach to civilian protection from a ‘risk reduction’ perspective—that is, seeking to understand where the risks and uncertainties lie in the entire ‘civilian protection life cycle’, recognizing that civilian harm is the cumulative effect of numerous risks and decisions made from formulating mandates, planning, execution, assessment and response to lessons learned and institutional learning. Particular focus is placed on the targeting and weaponeering processes.