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
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
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!