Antivehicle Mines with Sensitive Fuzes or Antihandling Devices
Human Rights Watch Backgrounder
February 25, 2002
Note: Information in this backgrounder was originally distributed in Geneva, Switzerland on February 1, 2002 in memorandum for delegates to the fifth meeting of the Intersessional Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty. This backgrounder is a revised version of that memorandum and incorporates factual corrections and additional information received from delegates.
Since the conclusion of the negotiations for the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, Human Rights Watch has emphasized that, according to the treaty's definitions, antivehicle mines (AVM) with antihandling devices (AHD) that explode from an unintentional or innocent act are considered antipersonnel mines and therefore prohibited. Additionally, if a fuzing mechanism for an AVM is sensitive enough to be activated by the unintentional act of a person, thus functioning as a de facto AHD, that AVM meets the definition of an antipersonnel mine in the Mine Ban Treaty and is prohibited.
This backgrounder consists of three parts:
· Part I introduces the issue and chronicles work to date.
The backgrounder also has three attachments:
· The first lists AVM reportedly stockpiled by States Parties.
Information regarding the complete composition of any country's stockpiles of AVM is generally not publicly available nor is there any transparency requirement for such data in any international treaty or agreement. The information set forth in this memorandum is likely incomplete. Still, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines' (ICBL) Landmine Monitor research initiative has been quite successful in documenting the practice of States Parties and this memorandum draws significantly from the three reports published to date.