In 2015 an average of 18 people around the world lost their life or limb to a landmine or another explosive remnant of war, every day.

That means over 6,460 people were hurt or killed in 2015.

Still some 60 countries around the world are contaminated by landmines and thousands of people continue living with a thisdaily threat of losing their life or limb.

In addition emplaced landmines deprive families and communities of land that could be put to productive use such as agriculture. They maintain a sense of insecurity long after conflicts end, delay peace processes and impede countries’ development for years.

Though the majority of states worldwide the world have renounced landmines and joined the Mine Ban Treaty, still 35 states remain outside of the treaty, reserving the right to use landmines at any time.

The majority of the countries remaining outside the treaty keep stockpiles that collectively total around 50 million landmines. If not destroyed, those landmines remain ready to be used any time. The biggest stockpiles of antipersonnel landmines are held by: China, Russia, the United States, India and Pakistan.

There is also a small group of countries that still continues producing antipersonnel landmines, including India, Myanmar, Pakistan and South Korea, with a few others reserving the right to produce the weapon.

Though new use of antipersonnel landmines is rare and limited, it still happens. Myanmar/Burma is the only government that has persistently continued laying antipersonnel mines over the years. In addition Libya (under Gaddafi) and Syria used antipersonnel mines during recent conflicts. There is also a number of non-state armed groups in a handful of countries that have continued using antipersonnel mines.

Use of antipersonnel landmines by anyone, anywhere, under any circumstances is unacceptable and triggers an international outcry. Each new mine in the ground can mean another lost life and or limb.

It is time to finish the job and put a final end to landmines!

ICBL Calls to Action

The dedication and commitment of ICBL campaigners around the world was pivotal in bringing about the groundbreaking 1997 Mine Ban Treaty – the first time a weapon in widespread use had been banned. The campaign demonstrated that ordinary people around the world, working together in a variety of ways for a common cause, can bring about change. It also showed the effectiveness of civil society working in partnership with governments and international organizations, putting humanitarian aims and protection of civilians above all else.

We strongly believe that States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty can fulfill their major treaty obligations sooner rather than later, and no later than 2025. We challenge the mine ban community to step up efforts to finish the job!

We also call for an immediate halt to the use of any new antipersonnel landmines, anywhere, and for remaining countries to join the Mine Ban Treaty without delay.

With engagement from people like YOU, the ICBL proves every day that civil society can make a difference worldwide and that ridding the world of landmines is possible.

You can contribute in many ways by taking action!! Here are some suggestions for things you can do and campaigning tools to help you effectively communicate key messages and raise awareness on the issue of landmines and the Mine Ban Treaty.

Ten Things You Can Do

Whether you have 10 minutes, one hour or plenty of time, you can help build a world free of landmines and promote the rights of landmine victims! The strength of the ICBL comes from the involvement of people like YOU at the local, national, regional and international levels.

1. Learn about landmines

Browse the ICBL website, including the resources section, and read about the latest global developments in the annual report issued by the Landmine Monitor

2. Join a local campaign or start one

Contact one of the national ICBL campaign members. If there is no campaign in your country then consider starting your own campaign! If you are from a non-governmental organization, read how to become a member.

3. Promote the 2025 Completion Challenge

We ask governments worldwide to increase efforts to complete their major obligations under the Mine Ban Treaty by 2025.

4. Send a lobbying letter

  • Read ‘Lobbying Letters‘ for tips and templates for writing a lobbying letter to send to your government about the implementation or universalization of the Mine Ban Treaty. You could:
    - Write to one of the States Parties with clearance obligations to finish clearing landmines.
    - Write to one of the countries that have not joined the Mine Ban Treaty. Urge them to get on board right away!
    - Write to those countries that are in a position to fund/increase funding in mine clearance, victim assistance or advocacy efforts. 

5. Meet with decision-makers 

Meet with mine action and victim assistance authorities in your country, and tell them to step up efforts to complete landmine clearance as soon as possible and to provide adequate assistance to landmine victims. 

If your country has not joined the Mine Ban Treaty yet, reach out to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other key authorities like the Ministry of Defense, and tell them to join the treaty as soon as possible. 

6. Get the word out

Write to a local newspaper, call up a local radio station, post on social media and send information to your network of contacts. Share your posts with us on Twitter at @MineFreeWorld, and keep the conversation going!

7. Organise a campaign event

Raise awareness in your community. Organise a public event such as a photo or art exhibition, a landmine awareness day, a letter-writing event, or a public demonstration. Consider holding your event on one of the key dates of the Mine Ban Treaty: entry into force anniversary on 1 March, International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action on 4 April, or signature anniversary on 3 December.

8. Stay informed and join in the conversation on social media

Subscribe to our newsletter, join us on Facebook and share our posts, and follow us on TwitterFlickr and YouTube, either from your own page, your organisation’s page or both.

Social media is an excellent way to help you share your advocacy messages with as many people as possible, and to connect with ICBL campaigners around the world.

9. Take action on campus 

Many students and other young people across the globe are already involved in the campaign against landmines. You too can take action in your community, at school or on campus! Here are some ideas: 

  • Start or join a letter-writing campaign.
  • Make a presentation to your class or community.
  • Take part in a theatre event or arrange an art exhibition to raise awareness of the impact of landmines on communities.
  • Hold a vigil for those killed and maimed by landmines every day.
  • Organise a public protest or collect signatures to urge non-member states to join the Mine Ban Treaty.
  • Help raise money to support the ICBL’s advocacy work.
  • Get in touch with your national campaign.
  • Involve peers in your student group, social club, fraternity/sorority, faculty or class. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Use campus events or activities in your community to gather support for the campaign, spread awareness and raise money – e.g. parties, social evenings, registration/enrolment, graduations or concerts.
  • Write an article on the landmine issue for your student newspaper, ask them to do a photo feature on the issue, write a letter to the editor, organise an interview or news piece for campus radio.

10. Make a donation

  • Support the ICBL online or by mail. Every bit counts!

Poongsan: Stop Producing Cluster Bombs

CLUSTERCampaigners from 49 countries around the world, representing hundreds of civil society organizations, signed a joint letter urging the CEO of Poongsan to immediately halt the production of cluster munitions. The countries represented are Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Canada, Chile, Colombia,  Denmark, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Guatemala, India, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Lao PDR, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Mexico, Mozambique, Nepal, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Somalia, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom, Uruguay, United States, Venezuela, Vietnam, Western Sahara, Yemen and Zambia.

The South Korean company Poongsan produces various types of ammunition. According to the ‘Worldwide investments in cluster munitions: a shared responsibility’ report, Poongsan has been involved in the production of different types of cluster munitions.

Poongsan supplies coin blanks to mints around the world. It has reportedly sold coin blanks in the past to Australia, Canada, Chile, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, India, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, South Korea, the United States as well as the area of Taiwan. All of them have joined the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions, except India, Latvia, the Philippines, Poland, South Korea, and the United States. (Taiwan cannot join due to its status.)

Royal Mints in the Netherlands and Norway have stopped buying coin blanks from Poongsan Corporation because of the company’s involvement in the internationally outlawed cluster munitions.

Last month the Cluster Munition Coalition and its member organization PAX (the Netherlands) launched a global action urging all countries, in particular States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, to stop buying coin blanks from Poongsan until the company stops producing cluster munitions. The action also called upon the European Mint Director Working Group (MDWG) to remove Poongsan from its list of vetted suppliers of coin blanks.



artwork mac2







“WE ARE CONNECTED” ART EXHIBIT opened on Friday, February 10th  at the Monongalia Arts Center, downtown, Morgantown. The exhibit will run until March 4th, 2017.
“WE ARE ALL CONNECTED” PSALM ART EXHIBIT is a look at the interconnectedness of life and the need to abolish landmines and cluster munitions. 
 psalm connected paintings1IMG_4923
The theme for our art exhibit is inspired by a quote attributed to Native American Chief Seattle,  “Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things are connected.” 
“What We Do to One, We Do to All…What We Do for One, We Do for All”
When we recognize that we are all connected, we begin to understand that our life touches more people than we can ever know. The question is not if we are making a difference, but rather what kind of difference are we making? We are not alone on the journey through life — we are all connected at some level — that the actions of one person can affect another person, which, in turn, affects another and yet another. We see this “connectedness” is how these weapons affect people and their environments around the world. We also see it in the work of the international community of people that comprise the campaigns to rid the world of these weapons. This vast global community that make up the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and Cluster Munitions, along with survivors, share strategies and work together to ensure that affected regions have the capacity to reach their goals. Our exhibit hopes to demonstrate that we are truly connected…to each other and the environment.
psalm guides 1
Since the inception of PSALM, students have used their many gifts and talents to raise awareness about world issues that concern them. PSALM students have arranged a display shadow boxes that connect to one another, symbolically representing our connectedness in life. The colorful artworks were made to be attractive in a way that would entice viewing yet confront the observer with difficult issues, namely the remnants of war and conflicts that affect the most vulnerable of the world today. Artworks will also address environmental concerns of these remnants of war. A paper “weaving” will also serve as a reminder of “woven web of life” and of the need to work together to resolve these pressing issues of our world today. Gallery visitors will be asked to join in the artmaking by choosing a strip of painted papers from a basket and weave it into artworks on display. The result being a “work in progress” that the visitors attending the exhibit can participate in…one that won’t be completed until the show has ended.

March 1st 2017 marks the 18th anniversary of the entry into force of the Mine Ban Treaty and the founding of the PSALM organization, member of WVCBL.

PSALM Students Receive Human Rights Award

HRC-LogoThe City of Morgantown’s Human Rights Commission recognized PSALM students as an organization that exemplifies the spirit of diversity and human rights and contribute to making Morgantown a more inclusive community in honor of Human Rights Day on December 10, 2016. PSALM students were selected to receive the first Don Spencer Human Rights Award. PSALM students were presented with the award at a ceremony on December 20th at Morgantown City Council Chambers. The students were also honored with a reception following the award ceremony.

 Jan Derry, director of the HRC, stated, “I believe the leadership, role modeling of compassion for our global neighbors and activism demonstrated by the students of PSALM will go a long way for moving our city to becoming a more inclusive community.  I personally am thrilled to learn of such a remarkable program and feel blessed to be able to be a part of bestowing this recognition to PSALM students”.

PSALM at city council

Many thanks to ALL campaigners of the ICBL/CMC who continue to serve as role models for our students!

Cluster Munition Use in Yemen by Saudi-led Coalition

We-Can-Stop-Cluster-Bombs180x_432x432On December 6, the Saudi-led coalition fired Brazilian-made rockets 

containing cluster munitions in Saada, close to two schools. There were
at least 8 civilian casualties- 2 people were killed and 6 others were
injured, including a child, resulting from the attack.

Read the Human Rights Watch press release here:


Sadly, the Saudi-led coalition continues to show utter disregard for 
human life in Yemen– we are asking that the coalition cease the use of
all types of cluster munitions. We also are asking Brazil to look into
the unlawful use of Brazilian-made weapons. Join us in condemning                                                          this most recent use of cluster munitions!

PLEASE SEE advocacy messages:


15MSP Successfully Concludes in Santiago








The 15th Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty (15MSP) concluded successfully on 1 December with important advances in the treaty’s implementation and a strong commitment expressed by states and civil society to work together to reach a mine-free world by 2025. International campaigners including WVCBL/PSALM participated in the MSP.

Nearly 100 states and a strong delegation for the International Campaign to Ban Landmines began the week in Santiago with the troubling news of increased mine casualties and decreased funding for mine action. Spurred by the Landmine Monitor 2016 findings, many participants warned against complacency and the need to focus on country-specific solutions to address the legacy of landmines from past conflicts as well as the increased use of improvised landmines by non-state armed groups.

 Poland’s announcement that it had completed the destruction of its stockpiled landmines, before its deadline, inspired applause in the conference hall. The strong participation of landmine survivors, including 10 from Chile, reminded delegates of the urgency of their mission and ensured that discussions remained grounded in addressing the humanitarian impact of landmines.

The presence of delegates from Afghanistan, Iraq, South Sudan and Yemen underscored the importance of the Mine Ban Treaty to countries in the midst of both acute and prolonged conflict. With airports closed in Yemen, delegates traveled overland to Jordan before flying to Santiago-allowing the Yemeni delegation to report on their efforts to implement the treaty and to call on international support. A strong Colombian delegation encouraged participants with news of the successful peace process there and the important role that mine clearance has played in resolving the decades-old conflict.

Ukraine, another country in conflict, was an important focus of discussion during the week. The country’s deadline for landmine clearance was 1 June 2016. For understandable reasons, Ukraine has not been able to complete clearance of landmines on its territory before that date. Had Ukraine applied for an extended deadline, this would have been approved by states. The ICBL remains concerned by Ukraine’s ongoing violation of the Mine Ban Treaty but at the same time was gratified to see States Parties speaking with one voice to encourage Ukraine to return to compliance with Article 5 by submitting a request for an extended deadline.

Panel discussions during the 15MSP furthered efforts to improve policies and programs, including though the presentation of the integrated approach to addressing the needs and upholding the rights of mine survivors and by raising the profile for the importance of a gender perspective in all aspects of mine action, among others.

Warmly and skillfully hosted by Ambassador Marta Maurás Pérez of Chile representing H.E. Heraldo Muñoz, Minister of Foreign Affairs, the 15MSP contributed toward a mine-free world by 2025, demonstrating that this goal is achievable when states and civil society work together to tackle the challenges that landmines pose.

The Fifteenth Meeting of the States Parties, Santiago, Chile

15MSP Logo

The Fifteenth Meeting of the States Parties (15MSP) to the Mine Ban Treaty will take place in Santiago, Chile, from 28 November to 1 December 2016. 

At the 15MSP, the States Parties are expected to report progress and plans on implementing the Maputo Action Plan and achieving their treaty obligations. States not party are expected to report on their positions and plans for joining the Mine Ban Treaty. During the 15MSP, the States Parties will also consider and take decisions on requests for extended mine clearance deadlines under Article 5 of the treaty.

As President and host of the 15MSP Chile plans to focus its efforts on some specific obligations of the Mine Ban Treaty, such as: victim assistance, mine clearance, stockpiles destruction and compliance.

PSALM/WVCBL will attend the MSP. We encourage the U.S. to attend and join the Mine Ban Treaty.

PSALM Students Present at WVU Health Science Center for Global Health Day

The Global Health Program at West Virginia University Hospital Health Science Center hosted its annual Global Health Day event on Thursday, October 20th, 2016. PSALM students were invited to set up information tables to raise awareness about the devastation caused by landmines and cluster munitions the world over. Students presented to visitors at the event. Dr. Larry Schwab was the keynote speaker on Childhood Blindness.PSALM WVU Global Health 16 PSALM workers


President Santos 1

Today the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize to President Juan Manuel Santos in recognition of his efforts to return peace to Colombia by ending its decades-long civil war.

The Committee noted that “The award should also be seen as a tribute to the Colombian people who, despite great hardships and abuses, have not given up hope of a just peace, and to all the parties who have contributed to the peace process.”

The eradication of landmines is a vital part of the peace agreement between the Colombian government and FARC rebels. In March 2015, both parties came to an agreement to work together to remove landmines as a fundamental step towards an ultimate peace.

President Santos Lends His Leg

President Santos lending his leg as part of a global campaign in solidarity with landmine victims. March 2012.

The International Campaign to Ban Landmines congratulates President Santos for receiving the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize. The Colombian government should live up to the Prize’s aim and spirit by deploying every effort to clear and destroy all landmines by March 2021, and to uphold the rights and address the needs of all landmine victims, according to its obligation under the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty.

“The Nobel Prize not only recognizes what has been achieved, but also carries great responsibility to continue the work for sustainable peace with justice and equality. Despite the stunning result of the October peace referendum, I truly hope that all Colombians do everything they can to turn all elements of this peace agreement into action, including by ridding the country of landmines once and for all,” said Jody Williams, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate (1997) and ICBL Ambassador.

Colombia is affected by landmines, cluster munitions and explosive remnants of war, which have taken a heavy toll on the people of Colombia with at least 11,100 recorded casualties. Colombia joined the Mine Ban Treaty in December 1997. In March 2016 Colombia became a State Party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

“The Nobel Prize for Colombia, awarded to its President and as a tribute to the Colombian people, and in particular, to the victims of the Colombian conflict, is proof of the support the international community has dedicated to its peace process. As Colombians, we are divided over the peace process and the “No” vote won in the recent referendum that rejected the contents of the peace agreement. Nevertheless, the dream of peace remains alive and the prize is the incentive that will keep the light of hope burning.” said Alvaro Jimenez, Coordinator of La Campaña Colombiana Contra Minas (CCCM).

The International Campaign to Ban Landmines, jointly with Jody Williams, was awarded the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of its efforts to bring about the Mine Ban Treaty that aims “to put an end to the suffering and casualties caused by anti-personnel mines.


peace day finish the job

Nations Condemn Use of Cluster Bombs



Deadly Attacks in Syria as Treaty Members Meet

(Geneva) – Nations attending the annual meeting of the international treaty banning cluster munitions on September 7, 2016, condemned the continued use of these weapons in Syria, Human Rights Watch said today. During the three-day meeting in Geneva, first responders, local activists, and journalists reported at least eight cluster munition attacks in Syria, some of which, they reported, killed and injured civilians,including children.

The United States did not attend the meeting, which took place at the same time as President Barack Obama’s historic visit to Laos, but two developments in the past week show the ever-growing power of the Convention on Cluster Munitions. The US, which is not a treaty member, announced it will provide US$90 million over three years to facilitate clearance efforts in Laos, and the last US producer of cluster munitions, Textron Systems, announced it is getting out of the business.

“We are outraged that yet more civilians in Syria lost their lives to cluster munitions this week as countries were meeting to discuss the international ban on these weapons,” said Steve Goose, arms director at Human Rights Watch and chair of the Cluster Munition Coalition, an international group of organizations working to end the use of the weapons. “Words won’t bring back those who have died, but they do send a strong message to cluster munition users that they are on the wrong side of humanity.”

The 55 states parties participating in the sixth annual meeting of the Convention on Cluster Munitions adopted a declaration in which they “condemn any use by any actor.” The nations said: “We are deeply concerned by any and all allegations, reports or documented evidence of the use of cluster munitions, most notably in Syria and Yemen in the past year.”

Numerous governments, as well as the UN, International Committee of the Red Cross, and the Cluster Munition Coalition, have condemned the use of cluster munitions in the past year in Syria, by the joint Syrian-Russian military operation, and in Yemen by a coalition of countries led by Saudi Arabia. None of these countries are part of the treaty.

 “We are outraged that yet more civilians in Syria lost their lives to cluster munitions this week as countries were meeting to discuss the international ban on these weapons” Steve Goose Arms Director at Human Rights Watch

On September 6, Syria Civil Defense, a search-and-rescue volunteer group that operates in opposition-held areas, addressed a briefing for delegates attending the meeting to explain how it is clearing unexploded submunitions and other explosive remnants of war. That same day, two of its volunteers were killed and two wounded in a reported cluster munition attack as they were responding to an earlier air attack on the town of Khan Shaykhoun in Idlib governorate.

Cluster munitions pose an immediate threat to civilians by scattering multiple submunitions or bomblets over a wide area. Many fail to detonate and leave unexploded submunitions that continue to pose a threat long after a conflict ends.

The treaty has been signed by 119 countries, and 100 of them have ratified it. During the meeting, Madagascar, Namibia, and Nigeria said they would ratify soon. France, Germany, and Italy announced that they have completed destruction of their stockpiles of cluster munitions.

Twenty countries that have not signed the treaty attended the conference as observers including Argentina, China, Finland, Greece, Libya, Oman, Qatar, Serbia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Sudan, and Turkey.

During President Obama's historic visit to Laos, he met with cluster bomb victims and toured the Cooperative Orthotic and Prosthetic Enterprise (COPE) visitors' centre in Vientiane with its operations manager Soksai Sengvongkham, September 2016.  © 2016 Khamchanh Phetsouphan

During President Obama’s historic visit to Laos, he met with cluster bomb victims and toured the Cooperative Orthotic and Prosthetic Enterprise (COPE) visitors’ centre in Vientiane with its operations manager Soksai Sengvongkham, September 2016.
© 2016 Khamchanh Phetsouphan

President Obama’s Laos visit highlighted that country’s continued suffering from cluster munitions used by the US decades ago, particularly unexploded submunitions – called “bombies” by locals – as well as other explosive remnants of war. During the visit, President Obama met with cluster bomb victims and announced a significant increase of funds to help clear and destroy explosive remnants of war. The president did not, however, address the question of when the US will end the production, transfer, use, and stockpiling of cluster munitions.

On August 30 Textron Systems announced that it has decided to stop its production of sensor fuzed weapons, which are prohibited by the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Textron was the last US manufacturer of cluster munitions, so this decision clears the path for the US to end production, transfer, and use of all cluster munitions, which would enable it to join the treaty.

PSALM students participate in PAX Cluster Bomb Divestment Campaign

PSALM students participate in PAX Cluster Bomb Divestment Campaign


“More funding for clearance and victims is essential, but it should be accompanied by a commitment to relinquish cluster munitions, so that the US can join the international ban treaty,” Goose said.

Germany’s Ambassador Michael Biontino has been elected president of the next annual meeting of the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

The convention obliges states parties to adopt national implementation measures, including legislation, to carry out the provisions of the treaty, but only 27 countries have done so. Human Rights Watch issued an updated report on September 5, outlining key elements that should be included in strong legislation to implement the treaty.

Human Rights Watch is a co-founder of the international Cluster Munition Coalition, and Goose served as the head of the coalition’s delegation at the meeting. Human Rights Watch gave presentations for delegates at briefings about Cluster Munition Monitor 2016, the coalition’s annual report on the status of the treaty; how to respond to new use in Syria; and on the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.






The Cluster Munition Monitor 2016 was launched at the United Nations Office in Geneva, hosted by the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR). In parallel the report is being released by national campaigns in several countries.

The 2016 report covers global developments in ban policy, survey and clearance of cluster munition remnants, casualties and victim assistance. The complete report and press release and major findings (in English, French, Spanish and Arabic) can be downloaded from the Monitor website.

After many years of advocacy by the Cluster Munition Coalition, Cluster Munition Coalition-US and other campaign members, yesterday, Textron, one of the largest producers of globally banned cluster munitions announced it will stop producing cluster munitions. Textron, a US company has produced CBU-105 Sensor Fuzed Weapon (SFW), which has been transferred to Saudi Arabia and used in Yemen over the past one year. Textron has been the only cluster munitions producer in the US.

The  international community including 100 States Parties, 19 signatories to the Convention on Cluster Munitions will come together for the Sixth Meeting of States Parties to the convention in Geneva September 5th.