Landmines and other weapons that do not distinguish between combatants and innocent civilians have been declared inhumane by the international community for nearly 15 years. Since the 1990s, the United States has not exported, produced or used victim-activated weapons. However, the United States remains one of only 13 countries that have yet to enact a restriction against procuring these armaments.
Victim-activated weapons affect individuals all over the world, from U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan to innocent children in Asia. Sub-Saharan Africa is the most heavily mined continent in the world and over 90% of those affected by landmines are innocent civilians. These weapons not only make peacebuilding extremely difficult, but they disrupt needed economic and political development.
Recently, the Senate introduced a bill calling for a final disassociation with victim-activated weapons. This legislation would prohibit the U.S. from acquiring landmines. Senator Leahy (D-VT) and others introduced S. 3768 on August 1st and have since referred it to the Committee on Armed Services. Please write and call your representatives to speak out against this horrible human rights violation. Additionally, consider supporting organizations such as the International Mine Action Training Center (IMATC) that work as humanitarian de-miners to safely remove these weapons from the soil of Africa.