IEDs and the Mine Ban Convention: a minefield of definitions?

The year 2019 marks the 20th anniversary of the entry into force of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention. It will also see the five-yearly Review Conference of the Convention take place in Oslo in November.

This momentum has brought about a renewed focus of States Parties and other stakeholders on further strengthening implementation to ensure continued success of the Convention. One issue that has drawn widespread attention and raised concerns is the increased use of anti-personnel mines of an improvised nature (‘improvised anti-personnel mines’) in recent conflicts and their humanitarian consequences.

These mines have been referred to as improvised explosive devices (‘IEDs’) in different fora by different actors, and there has been some confusion about which IEDs fall within the definition of anti-personnel mines for the purpose of the Convention.

This blog endeavours to contribute to the clarification of this issue, by explaining that the Convention applies to both manufactured and improvised anti-personnel mines alike, and demonstrating, including through practical examples, that certain IEDs constitute anti-personnel mines within the scope of the Convention [1].

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Source: ICRC