The Mine Ban Treaty
The Mine Ban Treaty (MBT) has been instrumental in reducing drastically the number of victims from landmines, mine-contaminated land, and the laying of new mines.
The MBT is the international agreement that prohibits anti-personnel mines. The treaty’s full name is “the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction.” It was adopted in 1997 and came into force in 1999. Additionally, the MBT lays down deadlines for the clearance of areas affected by mines (within 10 years), and for the destruction of stockpiles of such weapons (within 8 years).
Completed: 28 states and territories
Remaining contamination: 59 states and territories
According to the Mine Ban Treaty, an antipersonnel mine is a mine designed to be exploded by the presence, proximity or contact of a person and that will incapacitate, injure or kill one or more persons.
Made of plastic, metal or other materials, they contain explosives and sometimes pieces of metal or other objects meant to cause additional injury.
They can be activated by direct pressure from above, by pressure put on a wire or filament attached to a pull switch, or even simply by the proximity of a person within a predetermined distance.