International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL)
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Mine Clearance

Fulfilling Article 5 Obligations

We advocate for the prompt clearance of mined areas

States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty must complete the destruction of antipersonnel mines in mined areas under their jurisdiction or control as soon as possible, but no later than 10 years after joining the treaty. While significant progress in the clearing of mined areas has been made over the last decade, the challenge for the international community remains to finish the job. Too many States Parties are missing their deadline and are asking for an extension.

We urge mine-affected states to develop mine action plans that are consistent with their obligation to destroy all mines in all mined areas. "Mine-safe" or "impact-free" is not enough! Funding for mine action must also continue until all mined areas are cleared.

Mine Clearance Extension Requests

Extensions are not automatic!

While all mine-affected states must do their best to respect their 10-year clearance deadline, some of them will need to request an extension. Other States Parties must assess and decide on each request. This should be an opportunity to get as much information as possible on operational work plans to finish the task. Thirty States Parties have been granted deadline extensions so far. The ICBL prepares detailed comments on all extension requests.

Land Release

We encourage states to use the most efficient means to identify mined areas

Field experience shows how crucial it is to thoroughly verify if a suspected hazardous area is in fact contaminated before undertaking costly mine clearance activities. Techniques known as area cancellation and area reduction allow for a more efficient and expeditious release of non-contaminated land to the civilian population. They should be carried out according to strict guidelines and in consultation with mine-affected communities.

Mine Action and Development

Mine action must remain a key international priority

Some donor states and organizations are mainstreaming mine action into their development budgets to ensure long-term availability of funds. In order to ensure this does not result in a decrease of funds available for mine action, the donor and recipient states must prioritize mine action within development budgets. It should be included in Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers and other national development plans. Funding must also be maintained for mine action not related to development.

Risk Education

Risk education should be tailored to the needs of affected communities and connected to other mine action activities

Risk education seeks to reduce the risk of injury from mines and unexploded ordnance by raising awareness and promoting behavioral change. It includes public information dissemination, education and training, and community mine action liaison. Programs should be designed to take into account age, gender, social, cultural, and political factors. Risk education programs should also involve local stakeholders - especially those taking risks out of economic necessity - in developing alternatives to risk-taking behavior.
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