On March 1st, Human Rights Watch and other members of the US Campaign to Ban Landmines (USCBL) are organizing on Twitter and Facebook to tell both the administration and Congress that the US needs to relinquish antipersonnel mines and get on board the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty. Our goal is to make the call for the US to ban landmines a trending topic on Twitter, and to raise the profile of the issue on Facebook and other social networking tools on March 1st, which marks eleven years since the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty became binding international law.
If you have an account on Facebook or Twitter, you can participate in this initiative on March 1st and during that week by:
- Donating your status - Upload one of the "Ban Landmines USA" icons or ‘avatars' below and use it in place of your regular photo or icon on your Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Flickr, and other accounts. Switch your status to a "Ban Landmines USA" on Monday, March 1st and use it that day, that week, or for the whole month of March!
- Tweeting the hashtag #banminesusa - Our goal is to make the call for the US to ban landmines a trending topic on Twitter through use of the hashtag #banminesusa. So on March 1st and during that week, please tweet #banminesusa every time you see an article, press release, or campaign action in support of the objective to "Ban Landmines USA." Tell your friends on Twitter to do the same. Every time you see a tweet with #banminesusa, please re-tweet it.
On December 1, 2009, a US official confirmed that the US has begun a comprehensive landmine policy review "initiated at the direction of President Obama." The United States has not used antipersonnel mines since 1991 (in the first Gulf War), has not exported them since 1992, has not produced them since 1997, and is the biggest donor to mine clearance programs around the world. But it still retains 10 million stockpiled antipersonnel mines and has not joined the 1997 treaty prohibiting the weapon. The US Campaign to Ban Landmines and its member organizations are using the month between March 1st, 2010 (Mine Ban Treaty's 11th anniversary of entry into force) and April 4th (UN Mine Action Day) to remind the US that now's the time for the US to relinquish antipersonnel mines and get on board the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty.
Human Rights Watch is a founding member of the US Campaign to Ban Landmines and its parent, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, 1997 Nobel Peace Laureate. In addition to Human Rights Watch, other US Campaign to Ban Landmines members participating in this #banminesusa campaign include Jesuit Refugee Service USA and the Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict (CIVIC).