Background Briefing

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Human Rights Watch believes that the Bush administration should reverse its decision not to join the Mine Ban Treaty, and should not insist on the right to use self-destruct antipersonnel mines indefinitely.  Specifically with respect to the production and export issues raised in this paper:

  • Research and development on or production of mines or munitions capable of being victim-activated should be immediately halted. 

  • Continued funding for the Spider program should be made contingent on the removal of the battlefield override feature.

  • Continued funding for the Intelligent Munitions System should be dependent on the compliance of this program with the Mine Ban Treaty.

  • The Department of Defense should publicly clarify whether the Matrix mine system has already been deployed, and if it is capable of being victim-activated.  DoD should also provide details on target identification and the protections afforded civilians in areas Matrix mines are used.

  • The Department of Defense should clarify current policy regarding use of Claymore mines with tripwires, and should prohibit such use everywhere, including Korea.

  • The Mine Export Moratorium should be made permanent.

  • Antivehicle mines that do not self-destruct and that are being withdrawn from service in order to implement the February 2004 policy should not be made available for transfer or export under foreign military sales or excess defense articles programs.

  • Any interpretations of or exceptions to the Mine Export Moratorium should be publicly disclosed, as well as what understandings the United States observes regarding the transfer of mines prohibited by CCW Amended Protocol II.

  • The appropriate Congressional committees should be notified on an annual basis by the Department of State of any export or transfers of antipersonnel mines by U.S. agencies or companies, regardless of the intended purposes of the mines or the number of mines.

    <<previous  |  indexAugust 2005