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April 01, 2022

USCBL-USCMC condemns Russian use of antipersonnel mines in Ukraine

The U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines - U.S. Cluster Munition Coalition (USCBL-USCMC) today issued the following statement, shared below, and available here

(Washington, 1 April 2022) – The U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines - U.S. Cluster Munition Coalition (USCBL-USCMC) strongly condemns the use of internationally banned antipersonnel landmines by Russian forces in the Ukraine conflict, as reported by USCBL steering committee member Human Rights Watch. The USCBL calls for an immediate halt to all use of antipersonnel landmines. 

Antipersonnel landmines are banned under the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, to which 164 countries are states parties, although neither Russia nor the United States are party to the Mine Ban Treaty. 

Antipersonnel landmines are inherently indiscriminate weapons that maim and kill long after conflicts end. According to the 2021 Landmine Monitor, civilians accounted for 80 percent of casualties from landmines and other explosive remnants of war in 2020 – including 1,872 child casualties. In Ukraine alone, the Landmine Monitor has recorded 2,727 mine casualties since the outbreak of conflict in 2014 through 2019, though this number may now rise sharply. 

The use of antipersonnel landmines by Russian forces in Ukraine follows their widespread use of cluster munitions, killing and injuring civilians. The USCBL-USCMC strongly condemns the use of both weapons and urges Russia and all parties to guarantee protection of civilians, respect for international humanitarian law, and to adhere to the international norm banning use of antipersonnel landmines and cluster munitions. 

The USCBL-USCMC urges the United States to condemn the use of antipersonnel landmines and take immediate steps to accede to the Mine Ban Treaty. The failure of the United States to join the international agreement banning antipersonnel landmines weakens the impact of United States’ criticism of Russia’s use of these weapons. 

Therefore, we also call upon the Biden Administration to rapidly submit the Mine Ban Treaty to the United States Senate for advice and consent. The time for the United States government to act is now. 

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About USCBL-USCMC

The U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines - U.S. Cluster Munition Coalition is a coalition of non-governmental organizations working to ensure that the U.S. comprehensively prohibits antipersonnel mines--by banning their use in Korea--and joins the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, as more than 160 nations have done. It is the national affiliate of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), founded in New York in 1992 and recipient of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate together with former ICBL coordinator Ms. Jody Williams of Vermont. We also call for sustained U.S. government financial support for mine clearance and victim assistance. 

The U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines is coordinated by Humanity & Inclusion and its Steering Committee members include: Amnesty International USAArms Control AssociationCenter for Civilians in ConflictFriends Committee on National LegislationHuman Rights WatchLegacies of WarPhysicians for Human RightsUNICEF USAWest Virginia Campaign to Ban Landmines and Cluster Munitions / Proud Students Against Landmines.

About Humanity & Inclusion

Humanity & Inclusion is an independent international aid organization, working in situations of poverty and exclusion, conflict and disaster for 40 years. Working alongside people with disabilities and people living in situations of extreme vulnerability, our action and testimony focus on responding to their essential needs, improving their living conditions, and promoting respect for their dignity and basic rights. Humanity & Inclusion is one of six founding organizations of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), the co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997.

Humanity & Inclusion has set up development programs in more than 60 countries and intervenes in numerous emergency situations. The network of eight national associations (Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States) mobilizes resources, jointly manages projects, and increases the impact of the organization’s principles and actions.  The organization has numerous prizes to its name, including the 2011 Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, the 1996 Nansen Prize, and two 2020 European Union Horizon Prizes for innovation. Humanity & Inclusion acts and campaigns in places where “living in dignity” is no easy task. 

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