IRRC No. 307

Toward a global ban on landmines

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The use of arms, projectiles, or material calculated to cause unnecessary suffering, and more especially of poisoned weapons (chemical and biological weapons), was banned under the conceptual framework of both the 1907 Hague Convention (IV) and the 1925 Geneva Protocol. In the discussions leading to a ban on the use of chemical weapons, diplomats from around the world referred to their use as “barbaric and dishonourable” because of their effect on soldiers or the likely indiscriminate impact on civilians. It is a universal achievement that it is now impossible to conceive of a world that does not show concern for civilians caught up in war. As international attention to the protection of civilians in internal armed conflicts grows, it is accompanied by renewed debate regarding regulation of warring parties' conduct through humanitarian and human rights law.

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