The 1997 Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention is a disarmament treaty that prohibits use, production, stockpiling, and transfer of anti-personnel mines and requires each state party to support humanitarian action to clear and destroy anti-personnel mine contamination and assist landmine victims.
Under the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention every state party undertakes “never under any circumstances” to use anti-personnel mines or to “develop, produce, otherwise acquire, stockpile, retain or transfer to anyone, directly or indirectly, anti-personnel mines”. Thus, all use of anti-personnel mines as well as their direct or indirect development, production (or acquisition by other means), stockpiling, retention, and transfer are prohibited.
For the purpose of the Convention the definition of anti-personnel mine includes all mines that are activated by the presence, proximity, or contact of a person (as opposed to a vehicle), but includes anti-vehicle mines with anti-handling devices that impede their clearance.
Under Article 5 of the Convention, each affected state is required to clear and destroy all anti-personnel mines in areas under its jurisdiction or control as soon as possible but not later than 10 years after becoming party to the convention.
If an affected state party is unable to complete clearance within its 10-year deadline, it may seek to extend the deadline for a period of up to ten years at a time. A request is approved or denied by majority of the states parties at an annual meeting or review conference. Unfortunately, many states parties have not fulfilled their clearance obligations in time and have sought one or more extensions to their legal deadline.