Association for Defending Victims of Terrorism – AOAV reported that, civilians continued to suffer disproportionately from the impacts of explosive weapons in 2021.
This is AOAV’s eleventh annual report on harm from explosive weapons looking at global impact of explosive violence in 2021.
In 2021, AOAV recorded 19,473 deaths and injuries as a result of the use of explosive weapons around the world. Civilians continued to suffer disproportionately, accounting for 59% of total casualties, with 11,102 civilian deaths and injuries.
Of those reported harmed by explosive weapons in populated areas in 2021, 89% were civilians. In addition, civilian casualties in populated areas accounted for 93% of total civilian casualties.
Such findings reflect the consistent pattern of harm AOAV has monitored over the decade. Between 2011 and 2020, AOAV found that when explosive weapons were used in populated areas, on average nine in every ten deaths and injuries caused were civilians.
2021 marks the first year since 2015 that AOAV has recorded a rise in civilian casualties from explosive weapon use. It was also the year with the highest percentage of child casualties recorded since 2011, at 13% of the total civilian casualties – nearly double the decade average of 7%.
For the second consecutive year, Afghanistan was the worst-impacted country in terms of civilian casualties of explosive weapons, and Syria the second worst-impacted.