A cluster bomb is a weapon that has inside multiple -- often hundreds -- of small explosive sub-munitions or bomblets that are dispersed over an area the size of several football fields. As a result, the final location of each bomblet is impossible to control for those deploying them, and so whom they maim or kill is unknown and indiscriminate. Some bomblets are even designed to look like soft drink cans, hockey pucks or tennis balls.
Simply put, the victim of a cluster munition could equally be a soldier, an innocent woman or a small child -- later that day, in a week, or 10 years. In Laos they are still killing people more than 35 years after they were dropped. In fact, research estimates that as many as 98% of the victims of unexploded cluster munitions are civilians, a third of which are children.