U.S. Fund for UNICEF U.S. Fund for UNICEF

Cluster Munitions Civilian Protection Act

The U.S. Defense Department says it will abandon the use of stockpiled cluster munitions after 2018. For the next seven years, though, the Pentagon reserves the right to use these weapons. Urge your congressman to enact anti-cluster munition legislation TODAY.

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Stop the Use of Cluster Munitions

Dear [Decision Maker],

I am writing to ask you to cosponsor and support H.R. 881, the Cluster Munitions Civilian Protection Act, that prohibits the use of cluster munitions with a failure rate of more than one percent, and ensures that the United States never uses such weapons in civilian areas.

As you may know, cluster munitions are large bombs, rockets, or artillery shells that contain hundreds of small, individual bomblets. The bomblets are designed to explode on impact; however, in older weapons, many of the submunitions fail to detonate. They remained armed and dangerous, injuring and killing civilians long after conflicts end.

Although U.S. cluster munitions procured after FY 2005 are required to have a failure rate of less than one percent, there is no such restriction on existing stockpiles of these weapons. Our government still has in storage 5.5 million cluster bombs with more than 700 million bomblets, some with failure rates as high as 30 percent. Current U.S. policy still allows for the use of these antiquated weapons.

Children are all too often the victims of these lethal weapons. The bomblets come in interesting shapes that attract children's curiosity some bomblets look like tiny bottles with short ribbons; some are yellow with tissue parachutes; some look like little gray tennis balls; some are small canisters with a white ribbon attached. All can injure and kill children.

H.R. 881 would make sure that the United States does not use the old, unreliable cluster munitions that leave behind deadly threats to civilians and particularly children.

I urge you to support this sensible policy on cluster munitions. Please cosponsor and support this important legislation. U.S. weapons should never cause an innocent child's death or injury during or after armed conflict.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]