Building Bridges...Crossing Them Together
Please join us in supporting Human Rights Watch in efforts to change International Incendiary Weapons Laws By E signing a letter to the United Nations
letter below is what you will be advocating for...
Open Letter on Incendiary Weapons from
Healthcare Professionals and Burn Survivor Organizations
Opened for Signature November 2021
This letter calls on governments to strengthen international law on incendiary weapons in order to prevent the unacceptable human suffering they inflict. The letter is open for signature by healthcare professionals and burn survivor organizations through the form following the text of the letter.
As healthcare professionals and burn survivor organizations, we oppose any use of incendiary weapons due to the excruciating harm they cause. We urge governments to strengthen international law to prevent further human suffering from these cruel weapons.
Incendiary weapons inflict horrific burns, sometimes to the bone, and can cause respiratory damage, infection, shock, and organ failure. Over time, contractures—the permanent tightening of muscles and other tissue—impede mobility, while the trauma of the initial attack, painful treatments, and appearance-changing scars lead to psychological harm and social exclusion. Furthermore, the inadequate resources available to medical providers in armed conflict settings exacerbate the difficulties of burn care.
Those of us who are healthcare professionals, including burn specialists, understand the human impacts of such injuries and the challenges of treating them. Some of us have even cared for incendiary weapon victims ourselves. Those of us who are burn survivors or their family members have directly or indirectly experienced the effects of burn injuries and empathize with those who suffer the immediate and lifelong consequences of incendiary weapons. As a result, we know that addressing incendiary weapons at the international level is a humanitarian imperative.
Protocol III to the Convention on Conventional Weapons seeks to protect civilians by regulating incendiary weapons, but two loopholes limit its effectiveness. First, Article 1(1)’s design-based definition of incendiary weapons excludes certain multipurpose munitions with incendiary effects, notably those containing white phosphorus. Second, Article 2 of the protocol has weaker restrictions for ground-launched incendiary weapons than air-dropped versions, even though they cause the same harm. Closing these loopholes would be legally simple and produce significant humanitarian benefits.
We call on states parties to this treaty to recognize the unnecessary human cost of incendiary weapons and initiate a process to revisit and strengthen existing law. For additional information and articles see
Advocacy comes in many forms...from testifying at the statehouse to letter campaigns to burn prevention.
Advocating for patients when they have no voice and no other support
Encouraging family members to be strong advocates...explaining things that only a burn survivor has been through on their recovery journey
We are a strong voice for you.
BSONE works with many other organizations like Boston Fire Fighters Burn Foundation, Boston-Harvard Burn Injury Model Systems, NFPA, American Burn Association Face Equality International and Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors to ensure your voice is heard through us. If you are interested in becoming active as an advocate contact us through this website.