Ottawa Convention Ratification Urged as U.S. Makes Welcome Landmine Policy Shift
Washington, D.C. – Human Rights First today praised the Obama Administration’s commitment to not “produce or otherwise acquire any anti-personnel landmines (APL) in the future, including to replace expiring stockpiles.” The organization urges the administration to build on this momentum and work with Congress to ratify the Ottawa Convention, an international treaty banning the weapons. The administration’s announcement came today as delegates meet in Mozambique to discuss the treaty.
“The administration has made an important policy change today, one that will end the United States’ role in the production, marketing and consumption of anti-personnel landmindes,” said Human Rights First’s Robyn Lieberman. “This step, in conjunction with the United States’ continued role as the largest financial supporter of humanitarian mine action, will protect the lives of people in conflict zones who are subjected to the horrifying scourge of these weapons.”
Human Rights First notes that the United States’ commitment to end the use of APLs should be enshrined in law through the ratification of the Ottawa Convention. That step would demonstrate American leadership in the effort to eradicate landmines worldwide and show a commitment to advancing international policies that protect human rights.
“American leadership on human rights is undermined when it refuses to ratify key international treaties and frameworks, including the Ottawa Convention, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), and the Convention on the Rights of the Child,” said Lieberman. “While steps that bring the United States into closer alliance with these treaties are always welcome, they are not a substitute for ratifying these conventions and making them law. The United States should join with other nations around the globe that have ratified these treaties.”