Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs)


Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) kill thousands every year, inflict grievous physical injuries and profoundly impact the security and stability of affected States.

They have long been one of the main causes of casualties among military forces, cause significant numbers of casualties among civilians, block life-saving humanitarian aid and continue to hinder the political, social and economic development of many countries.

In order to better address the multifaceted threat caused by IEDs, combining legal, humanitarian, military and technical dimensions, High Contracting Parties to Amended Protocol II decided at the Twentieth Annual Conference of the High Contracting Parties to Amended Protocol II  to establish an informal open-ended Group of Experts, which shall, inter alia,  address the issue of improvised explosive devices. 

The Group’s aim is to share experience on the scale of the humanitarian problem posed by IEDs and to learn about efforts to defeat and prevent the use of IEDs at a national, regional and international level, by producing a compilation existing guidelines and best practices aiming at addressing the diversion or illicit use of materials that can eventually be used for making IEDs.

The work further includes exchange of information, on a voluntary basis and subject to national policies on the protection of sensitive information, on national measures, reporting methodologies, best practices and lessons learned on:

  • IED risk education methods;
  • new types of IED, including trigger mechanisms, new components used as main charge and detonators;
  • methods of clearance of IED, with a particular focus on urban environments;
  • technical innovations and new means for clearance of IED as part of humanitarian action;
  • methods to protect civilians from IED.

Questionnaire on International Cooperation in Countering Improvised Explosive Devices (C-IED)

The questionnaire (CCW/AP.II/CONF.17/WP.1) is available for download in EnglishEspañolFrançaisрусский中文عربى

Compilation of existing guidelines, best practices, and other recommendations

The APII Group of Experts developed a compilation of existing guidelines and best practices aimed at addressing the diversion or illicit use of materials which can be used for IEDs. A draft Compilation was first circulated on 5 April 2012 by the Co-Coordinators on IEDs.

High Contracting Parties are invited to update the Compilation at any moment. Please contact the ISU for any assistance on this matter.

IED online hub

Pursuant to General Assembly resolution A/RES/71/72, UNODA has established an “online hub providing impartial, authoritative information relevant to addressing the issue of IEDs in a comprehensive manner, facilitating access to existing initiatives, policies and tools presenting good practices, inside and outside the United Nations system, filling gaps where needed but avoiding duplication; “.

CCW Amended Protocol II

Further Information

Related Links

Related Pages