A cluster munition comprises a container that disperses submunitions (small bombs) in the air which fall to the ground individually over an area of some 10,000 square metres (depending on the model and a range of factors). They are used to kill people or destroy vehicles (or both).
A cluster munition is defined in the Convention on Cluster Munitions as a “conventional munition that is designed to disperse or release explosive submunitions each weighing less than 20 kilograms, and includes those explosive submunitions.”Art. 2, 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions. By conventional munition is meant weapons other than biological, chemical, or nuclear. Landmines are specifically excluded from the definition of a cluster munition by the Convention.Art. 1(3), 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions.