ANTI-PERSONNEL LAND MINES

WHEREAS, members of the Philadelphia Bar Association through the International Human Rights Committee have become acquainted with the issue of anti-personnel landmines and the International Law and human rights issues raised by the use of such mines;

WHEREAS, the investigation of the committee has disclosed the following:

  1. Landmines kill or maim an estimated 26,000 persons each year, one victim every 22 minutes.
  2. Up to 4 out of every 5 victims is a civilian, not a combatant.
  3. One of the biggest threats to the safety of American troops now serving in the former Yugoslavia is from landmines.
  4. The problem is growing because while approximately 80,000 landmines are cleared each year, approximately 2.5 million are placed.
WHEREAS, members of the Philadelphia Bar Association have become aware of certain legal issues raised by the use of these weapons and that among these issues are:
  1. The use of anti-personnel landmines is violative of International Law in that it does not discriminate between combatant and non-combatant civilian victims.
  2. The use of anti-personnel landmines is violative of International Law because the damage done by the mines is far out of proportion to any legitimate combat aim.
  3. The use of anti-personnel landmines is violative of International Law because the mines continue to kill and maim civilians long after the conflict has ended.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Philadelphia Bar Association:
  1. Urges Congress to pass appropriate legislation that would ban the manufacture, storage, sale and use of anti-personnel landmines.
  2. Calls upon the President to take appropriate executive action to ban the manufacture, storage, sale and use of anti-personnel landmines.
  3. Supports United States participation in international negotiations for the purpose of negotiating a ban on the manufacture, storage, sale and use of anti-personnel landmines.

PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
ADOPTED: December 19, 1996