|Mine Ban Treaty Update
The Mine Ban Treaty (MBT) is the first arms treaty in existence that makes provisions for the victims of landmines. The obligation to assist landmine victims is due largely in part to the efforts of LSN co-founders Jerry White and Ken Rutherford. Governments are now required, under international law, to provide assistance to landmine survivors in their community.
In the eight years since the Mine Ban Treaty was first signed:
• The number of victims has dropped from about 26,000 per year to 18,000.
• As of September 30, 2005, 154 countries had signed the treaty. There is no evidence of the use of antipersonnel landmines by any of the Mine Ban Treaty signatory countries.
• At least 38 countries have ceased production of antipersonnel landmines, including 33 States Parties, and five Non-States Parties (Egypt, Finland, Iraq, Israel, and Poland).
• About 400,000 stockpiled mines have been destroyed by states parties.
• In 2004, over 135 square kilometers of mine-affected land were cleared in 37 countries.
• Victim assistance is not a matter of charity, but an obligation for those that joined the Mine Ban Treaty, and lasts the length of each survivor’s lifetime.
• Only 16 of the 24 most mine-affected States Parties have thus far developed plans to fulfill their survivor assistance obligations by 2009. Even among those that did develop plans, majority were vague policy statements, not concrete and measurable objectives.
• Some mine-affected States Parties still claim that they are unable to do anything on survivor assistance in the absence of “international cooperation”, or rather, donor funds.
• Future Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities Treay work has been recognized by States Parties as a key element in supporting their national-level efforts to fulfill their obligations toward landmine survivors.
LSN has been part of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) since 1995. The Mine Ban Treaty (MBT) became international law on March 1, 1999, following ratification by 40 countries. Currently, there are 151 nations that have adopted this treaty.
Much work however remains to be done to make sure that survivors of landmine accidents can fully recover from the trauma. LSN's Nobel Prize-winning work is helping victims get legs, get jobs, and get on with their lives.