01 March 2019

March 1 2019 marks 20 years since the life saving Mine Ban Treaty entered into force following much hard work and the cooperative efforts of civil society, the ICRC, States and the United Nations.

We celebrate the progress made, lives saved and rights ensured for landmine survivors since the treaty became international law. We also welcome renewed commitment by States and the mine ban community at large, towards a Mine Free 2025.

To mark the ocassion, ICBL and network partners participated in Mine Ban Treaty 20th anniversary events undertaken in Geneva and in affected countries worldwide. 

On 1 March, ICBL joined Treaty champions including States, #UNHumanRightsUNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and UNICEF in an event highlighting the impact of the lifesaving treaty and what remains to Finish the Job for a Mine Free World. 

UN High Commissionner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet addressed the meeting emphasizing links between the Mine Ban Treaty and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the need to ensure all landmine survivors are able to enjoy their human rights. "We still have much to do to ensure the rights of survivors on 20th anniversary of the Mine Ban Treaty".  

ICBL Ambassador Margaret Arach Orech also spoke to the gathering hosted by the Norwegian Mine Ban Presidency, via a video address highlighting 20 Years of Mine Ban Treaty success and the importance of ensuring survivors' rights now and into the future. The gathering also heard from a Colombian mine survivor who stressed the positive impact of the treaty for the country's more than 11,000 landmine survivors. 

Speaking at the event, ICBL Director Hector Guerra noted "The participation of landmine survivors and members of affected communities has always been essential to the mine ban movement, from the onset in the 1990s. It still is today, and it is a central component of our advocacy work".

"We trust that the Review Conference to be held this year in Oslo will be a success, helping to guide the efforts of this community from now until 2025", he added. 

At the 2014 Review Conference in Maputo, Mozambique, States committed to achieving a mine free world, to the fullest extent possible, by 2025. 

Since its launch in 1992, the ICBL has been the voice of civil society in the diplomatic arena, pushing for changes in government policies and practices on addressing the suffering caused by landmines. The campaign includes national and international NGOs, as well as dedicated individuals, across many disciplines including human rights, development, refugee issues, and medical and humanitarian relief.