Antipersonnel Landmines & Cluster Munitions

Antipersonnel Landmines

Antipersonnel Landmines (APMs) are still being laid today. These – and landmines from previous conflicts – continue to claim victims in every corner of the globe each day. The situation has improved in recent years, but a global mine crisis remains. Unfortunately, there is still a long way to go before every world citizen can live in a mine-free world.

An APM is a type of small arm that is inhumanly insidious because it continues to cause harm long after the cessation of hostilities. APMs indiscriminately kill or maim anyone who touches them. The tragic nature of APMs today is that most of the victims are civilians and a majority of those are children. The international community must continue its committed efforts aimed at mine-clearance.

Most of Pax Christi’s sections have been actively involved in the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, ICBL. Many have taken the lead in national APM coalitions by carrying out advocacy work with their political leaders and by mobilising public opinion. A significant number of countries have still to sign and ratify the Treaty. Pax Christi works for widespread ratification of the APM Ban, along with more programmes and resources for mine victims and mine removals. More information is available here.

 

Cluster Munitions

Cluster munitions are weapons that can disperse up to several hundreds of smaller submunitions – sometimes referred to as “bomblets” - over wide areas. They have indiscriminate wide-area effects that kill and injure civilians during attacks, and they leave severe and lasting humanitarian and development consequences from large quantities of post-conflict unexploded ordnance.

The Cluster Munitions Coalition, CMC, is an international network committed to protecting civilians from the effects of cluster munitions. Pax Christi International is a co-founding NGO of the CMC. Member organisations are active within the CMC. More information is available here.

 

Highlights

  • Pax Christi International supports the implementation of the Ottawa Convention: (1) striving for the universal acceptance of a ban on anti-personnel mines; (2) the destruction of those stockpiled; (3) the clearance of mined areas; and (4) providing aid to victims.
  • A global ban on the use of cluster bombs that are responsible for maiming and killing thousands of civilians moved closer to reality on the 3rd of December 2008.
  • Participation in an annual Global Week of Action to Ban Cluster Munitions.