HRW reports gains from anti-mine ban

Sept. 13, 2006 at 12:00 PM
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NEW YORK, Sept. 13 (UPI) -- Human Rights Watch Wednesday welcomed the decrease in the use of anti-personnel mines in 2005 and this year resulting from the Mine Ban Treaty.

The figures were provided by the Geneva-based International Campaign to Ban Landmines. But the campaign also noted that international funding for mine action fell for the first time in 2005, raising concerns about future efforts to eradicate them.

"More than three-quarters of the world's nations have embraced the Mine Ban Treaty and even most of those who haven't yet joined are largely obeying it," said Human Rights Watch's Steve Goose. HRW is a founding member of the ICBL.

The treaty prohibits use, production and trade of antipersonnel land mines and requires clearance of mined areas within 10 years and the destruction of stockpiled antipersonnel mines within four years. There are 151 nations that have ratified the treaty.

Currently there are 13 producers of antipersonnel mines -- Myanmar, China, Cuba, India, Iran, North Korea, South Korea, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam. Human Rights Watch said 40 countries remain outside the treaty, including China, Russia and the United States.

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