25 March 2015

March 1st marks the sixteenth anniversary of the Mine Ban Treaty entry into force. This year, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines' campaigners celebrated the 16th anniversary around the world by undertaking campaign actions to promote the implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty and in some countries to promote the norm and universalization of the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

The Initiative for Mine Free Turkey joined the Turkish Parliamentary Commission on Human Rights Watch in launching a Protection from Mines Project. Within the framework of this project, 26 thousands posters have been sent to the primary, secondary and high schools in 17 provinces located in mined areas.

Turkey Campaign 1 March Event 599 350

Muteber Ogreten, the Coordinator of the Initiative for a Mine-Free Turkey with members of parliament and other Turkish campaigners. (c) IMFT

Canadian Landmine Awareness Week, an initiative by Mines Action Canada, celebrates this day annually by organizing week-long activities to promote the success of the Ottawa Treaty, inform people of the challenges remaining and inspire action.

The Iraqi Alliance for Disability held its third National Conference on the rights of Persons with Disabilities, survivors of landmines and cluster munitions. This event was well attended by MPs, Ministers, Ambassadors and about 400 survivors and persons with disabilities. The speakers of the conference emphasized the implementation of the needs and rights of these persons according to the legislation.

Moaffak Alkhafji 1 March Event 599 350

Moaffak Alkhafaji head of national campaign in Iraq. (c) IADO

Ban Landmines Campaign Nepal celebrated 1 March by organizing a table-tennis tournament for young students. The event was successful in bringing together government officials, civil society members, children, and adults from the community in a fun event to promote awareness. The involvement of youth in humanitarian and development issues is of paramount importance in Nepal. Coordinator of the Campaign in Nepal also met with Secretary General of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and encouraged SAARC secretariat to consider banning landmines and cluster munitions in the framework of SAARC. The Secretary General promised to follow up this issue with the campaigners in advance of next SAARC summit.

NCBL 1 March 599 350

Government official award students after a table-tennis tournament marking 1 March in Nepal. (c)NCBL

Campaigners in Myanmar discussed banning and clearance of landmines with Minister of the Office of the President of Myanmar and his Deputy Minister. Campaigners were assured that the Government of Myanmar is taking action in clearing mines and considering landmines in national wide cease fire agreement.

Myanmar Campaigners 1 March 599 350

Col. Thant Zin, national campaigner TV interview on 1 March (c)HMAI

Sri-Lankan campaigners have held several meetings with new government including with Prime Minister Advisor to encourage banning landmines and cluster munitions and accession to the treaties.

West Virginia Campaign to Ban Landmines and Cluster Bombs'Proud Students Against Landmines (PSALM) marked the 16th anniversary entry into force of the Mine Ban Treaty with a community awareness event. PSALM students also celebrated the 16th anniversary of the founding of PSALM by students. 

Nora S Students 1 March 599 350

PSALM students (c) WVCBL

These are just a few examples of the campaign actions held - Campaigners in Afghanistan, Cambodia, Colombia, Italy, Serbia, Netherlands and many more also marked the day.