April 6, 2021 – As the Biden administration approaches its 100th day in office, CIVIC joins several other organizations in reiterating calls for a U.S. policy banning the use, production, acquisition, and transfer of anti-personnel landmines – indiscriminate weapons that disproportionately harm civilians. CIVIC also calls on the US Government to accede to the Mine Ban Treaty and lay out an accelerated timeline for the destruction of stockpiled landmines.

In January 2020, the Trump administration introduced a new policy that allowed the use of anti-personnel landmines in conflict. CIVIC, a steering committee member of the US Campaign to Ban Landmines, joined organizations around the world in condemning the policy and calling for its reversal. During his campaign, President Biden committed to reversing this policy, calling it “deeply misguided” due both to the risks to civilians and the lack of military need. Yet in a new statement, Department of Defense spokesperson Mike Howard noted that US landmine policy remained unchanged and stated that anti-personnel landmines “remain a vital tool in conventional warfare that the United States military cannot responsibly forgo.”

“This statement – just days after International Mine Awareness Day – undermines President Biden’s promise and misrepresents the grave dangers of anti-personnel landmines,” says CIVIC Executive Director Federico Borello. “Anti-personnel landmines are indiscriminate weapons that cause unacceptable harm to civilians, and especially children, both at their time of deployment and for decades after. The Biden administration needs to urgently overturn the policy of the previous administration and replace it with one that bans the use, production, acquisition, and transfer of these dangerous weapons.”

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