World Wide Ban on Land Mines No. 438
While 141 countries have signed the treaty to ban all antipersonnel land mines, the United States has yet to sign this treaty. Land mines are cruel, cause devastating injuries, and target unarmed civilians indiscriminately, remaining long after the cessation of hostilities.
An estimated 100 million land mines have been placed in more than 60 countries. About one-third of these land mines are in Africa. Land mines kill or injure more than 20,000 people per year and maim up to 75,000. Many victims are civilians, of whom many are children. The human and economic cost of injuries significantly burdens the health and social systems of already precarious economies.
On Armed Forces Day in May of 2001, leaders of the American armed forces issued statements to President Bush that supported the 1997 Land Mine Ban Treaty and confirmed that mines are unnecessary for military effectiveness, and that the dire consequences far outweigh the benefit of their use.
The United States, Cuba and Finland are among the only remaining nations that have still not signed the treaty. The U.S. Campaign to Ban Land mines drafted a letter to President Bush that supported the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty and echoed the position of the armed forces leaders.
Americans for Democratic Action urges the Bush Administration:
Americans for Democratic Action finds the inaction of the United States on this vital issue deplorable and calls upon President Bush to bring the country expeditiously up to the standards agreed upon by much of the rest of our world.
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