In response to a statement today by the Department of Defense reiterating that the United States would continue to develop and use landmines, Adotei Akwei, the advocacy director at Amnesty International USA said:
“It is hard to imagine a policy more outdated and destructive than United States policy on antipersonnel landmines. The decision to continue the development and deployment of landmines is deadly and dangerous. The Biden administration must immediately reverse this decision and it should join the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty.
“Landmines are inherently indiscriminate weapons that maim and kill long after conflicts end. They should not have a place in the arsenal of any country. This landmine policy starkly sets the U.S. apart from its allies. It is in direct opposition with President Biden’s aspirations to be a global human rights leader – for the United States to truly be a leader, it must change its land mines policy as soon as possible.”
The global community came together to reject this weapons ban through the 1997 Mine Ban treaty to which 164 countries are state parties, including every other member of NATO. While still not a signatory, the U.S. has functionally adhered to several provisions of the Mine Ban Treaty – except those that would prohibit the U.S. from ordering the use of landmines on the Korean peninsula. The United States has not used antipersonnel landmines since 1991, excluding the use of a single munition in 2002; it has not exported them since 1992 and has not produced them since 1997.
Media contact: Mariya Parodi, [email protected]