The Antipersonnel Mine Ban Treaty (MBT), which was adopted in 1997 and entered into force in 1999, is a milestone achievement in the field of humanitarian disarmament. It prohibits the use, production, transfer, and stockpiling of antipersonnel mines. It also requires that each State Party clear antipersonnel mine contamination on its territory within ten years (Article 5), and destroy stockpiles within four years (Article 4). Support for victims of antipersonnel mines is also required by the treaty.
More than 80% of all states in the world are States Parties to the MBT. It also has a great normative effect on those states that are not yet party to it. Thanks to the treaty, landmine use has dramatically dropped, as has global production and trade. Additionally, tens of millions of antipersonnel mines have been destroyed, large areas of contaminated land have been cleared and returned to communities for safe use, and the number of new recorded casualties has significantly reduced since the 1990s.
More than 30 states and other areas have completed clearance of antipersonnel mines on their territories since the MBT entered into force. Landmines are nevertheless still a threat in almost 60 states and other areas. NPA remains concerned over areas where the clearance of mine contamination is slow and over the number of states seeking to extend their Article 5 deadlines to complete their clearance obligations. The good news is that for the majority of affected states and other areas, completion of clearance can be accomplished in a matter of just a few years if up-to-date land release methodologies are napplied and the requisite political will is mobilized.