It is rumoured that next week, the Labor Caucus will decide whether changes need to be made to Australia’s proposed Cluster Munitions Legislation.
Currently, the laws allow Australian troops to assist US forces in the use of these weapons, and also allow Australia to stockpile cluster munitions on our soil. This is despite the fact that Australia has signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions, banning their use.
If it is decided that the loopholes should remain within the draft legislation, this will become law, as the Coalition has already indicated that it will not oppose the current format.
To date, around 98% of all victims of cluster munitions have been civilians, and around one-third of this group are children.
Today, the Cluster Munitions Coalition of Australia, of which ChildFund Australia is a member, is calling on everyone to Send a Sock to Stephen Smith, in order to highlight the many thousands of people who lose their lives or suffer permanent disablement through injury.
- Read the Open Letter, signed by legal professionals, academics, heads of many Australian NGOs, as well as former Chief of Defence Force General Peter Gration and former Secretary of the Department of Defence Paul Barratt, on why the loopholes must be removed
- Sign the petition at Cluster Munitions Coalition of Australia
- Getting involved with the Twitter conversation: #fixthebill and #banclusterbombs