1980 Protocol III on the Conventional Weapons Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the use of Incendiary Weapons.pdf
For the purpose of this Protocol:
1. “Incendiary weapon” means any weapon or munition which is primarily designed to set fire to
objects or to cause burn injury to persons through the action of flame, heat, or combination
thereof, produced by a chemical reaction of a substance delivered on the target. (a) Incendiary
weapons can take the form of, for example, flame throwers, fougasses, shells, rockets,
grenades, mines, bombs and other containers of incendiary substances.
(b) Incendiary weapons do not include:
(i) Munitions which may have incidental incendiary effects, such as illuminants, tracers, smoke
or signalling systems;
(ii) Munitions designed to combine penetration, blast or fragmentation effects with an additional
incendiary effect, such as armour-piercing projectiles, fragmentation shells, explosive bombs
and similar combined-effects munitions in which the incendiary effect is not specifically designed
to cause burn injury to persons, but to be used against military objectives, such as armoured
vehicles, aircraft and installations or facilities.
2. “Concentration of civilians” means any concentration of civilians, be it permanent or
temporary, such as in inhabited parts of cities, or inhabited towns or villages, or as in camps or
columns of refugees or evacuees, or groups of nomads.
3. “Military objective” means, so far as objects are concerned, any object which by its nature,
location, purpose or use makes an effective contribution to military action and whose total or
partial destruction, capture or neutralization, in the circumstances ruling at the time, offers a
definite military advantage.
4. “Civilian objects” are all objects which are not military objectives as defined in paragraph 3.
5. “Feasible precautions” are those precautions which are practicable or practically possible
taking into account all circumstances ruling at the time, including humanitarian and military
Protection of civilians and civilian objects
1. It is prohibited in all circumstances to make the civilian population as such, individual civilians
or civilian objects the object of attack by incendiary weapons.
2. It is prohibited in all circumstances to make any military objective located within a
concentration of civilians the object of attack by air-delivered incendiary weapons.
3. It is further prohibited to make any military objective located within a concentration of civilians
the object of attack by means of incendiary weapons other than air-delivered incendiary
weapons, except when such military objective is clearly separated from the concentration of
civilians and all feasible precautions are taken with a view to limiting the incendiary effects to the
military objective and to avoiding, and in any event to minimizing, incidental loss of civilian life,
injury to civilians and damage to civilian objects.
4. It is prohibited to make forests or other kinds of plant cover the object of attack by incendiary
weapons except when such natural elements are used to cover, conceal or camouflage
combatants or other military objectives, or are themselves military objectives.