The Mine Ban Treaty (also known as the Ottawa Treaty) is an international convention that bans the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel mines, and ensures their destruction.
Countries choose whether to accede to this Treaty. By joining the Mine Ban Treaty, states commit to respect all the obligations it contains.
The Treaty was opened for signature in Ottawa, Canada, in December 1997. Since then, the treaty has gained 161 State Parties (states or countries that have signed it), representing more than 80 percent of the world's nations.
The U.S. has yet to join this life-saving convention. Other States Not Party include China, Cuba, North Korea, Israel, Russia and Syria. See which countries have yet to join the Mine Ban Treaty.
Summarized obligations for States Parties
The full text of the convention can be found here.
Article 1: General obligations
Each State Party undertakes to never:
- use, produce, stockpile and transfer anti-personnel mines;
- assist, encourage or induce anyone to engage in any activity prohibited to a State Party.
Article 4: Destruction of stockpiled anti-personnel minesEach State Party has to destroy all its stockpiled anti-personnel mines that are under its jurisdiction or control, as soon as possible but not later than four years after the entry into force of Treaty for that state.
Article 5: Demining
Each State Party must clear affected areas of anti-personnel mines that are under its jurisdiction or control, as soon as possible but not later than ten years after the entry into force of the Treaty for that state. “Every country joining the Treaty has to clear its own land.”
Article 6: International cooperation and assistance
Each State Party in a position to do so shall provide assistance for the care, rehabilitation and social and economic reintegration of mine victims and for mine-risk education activities. This assistance also relates to mine clearance and the destruction of stockpiled anti-personnel mines.
Article 7: Transparency measures
Each State Party must report on the implementation of the Treaty as soon as possible, and at the latest 180 days after the entry into force of this Convention for that State Party.
Article 9: National implementation measures
Each State Party shall take all appropriate legal, administrative and other measures, including the imposition of penal sanctions, to prevent and suppress any activity prohibited to a State Party undertaken by people or on territory under its jurisdiction or control.
• 36 countries have yet to join the Mine Ban Treaty. The United States, China and Egypt are among those countries.
• 161 States Parties – more than 80 percent of the world’s nations have joined the Mine Ban Treaty.
(as of May 2013)
Despite the difficulties with collecting data, Landmine Monitor 2012 reports at least 78,472 accidents due to anti-personnel mines and improvised explosive devices between 2000 and 2011.
In 2011, mines, victim-activated IEDs, cluster munition remnants, and explosive remnants of war caused 4,286 casualties, according to the Landmine Monitor 2012—roughly 11-12 per day. At least 1,320 people died as a result of these weapons.
Demining at-risk areas, as well as risk education for local communities, have helped achieve a significant reduction in the number of accidents since the treaty’s inception.
Sadly, every new victim joins the several hundreds of thousands of mine victims from previous years – victims who need support for the rest of their lives.
Landmine Monitor 2012 found that direct international support for victim assistance programs through international mine action funding declined almost 30%, falling by $13.6 million from 2010. This was the lowest annual total for victim assistance since the Monitor began reporting on victim assistance funding.
Clearance of contaminated areas
As of May 2013, 72 states are believed to be affected by mines.
In 2011, at least 190km2 of mined areas were released through clearance or survey by 37 mine action programs, destroying more than 325,000 antipersonnel mines and almost 30,000 antivehicle mines.
Since 2001, 1,700km2 of land has been released through clearance or survey. More than 3.1 million mines were removed from the ground.
In addition, the Landmine Monitor 2012 reports that 233km2 of former battle areas were cleared in 2011, with more than 830,000 items of unexploded or abandoned ordnance destroyed. And additional 55km2 of land contaminated by cluster-munitions was freed, with more than 52,000 unexploded submunitions destroyed.
The International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL)
Handicap International is a co-founder of the ICBL. Visit the ICBL website to find out more about the international campaign against these weapons.
The U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines (USCBL)
Handicap International U.S. coordinates the USCBL. The USCBL is one of 100 country campaigns that comprise the ICBL.
This detailed report shows how countries are progressing with meeting their promises under the Mine Ban Treaty.
Anti-personnel Mine Ban Convention
The official website documenting the process to eradicate landmines.