Philippines

Philippine Campaign to Ban Landmines Signs Groundbreaking Agreement with Commission on Human Rights

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The International Campaign to Ban Landmines and Cluster Munition Coalition (ICBL-CMC) welcomes the recent agreement signed by the Philippine Campaign to Ban Landmines (PCBL) and the Philippine Commission on Human Rights to work together in addressing the impact of improvised anti-personnel mines, sometimes referred to as improvised explosive devices.

“Under this groundbreaking agreement, the Philippine Campaign to Ban Landmines will provide evidence-based verification missions in cases involving explosive weapons, in addition to carrying out risk education, and facilitating victim assistance efforts” said PCBL National Coordinator Fred Lubang.

“The agreement illustrates the importance of national advocacy groups on making the promise of the Mine Ban Treaty a reality for affected communities” he added.

The innovative agreement between the grassroots campaign and the Philippine Commission on Human Rights highlights the dynamic nature and effectiveness of the civil society/states’ partnership forged by the mine ban and cluster munition ban communities.

The agreement echoes the call for protection of civilians and accountability by all parties to armed conflict in line with International Humanitarian Law, and seeks to broaden thepartnership with civil society groups such as PCBL, to end the scourge of antipersonnel landmines in the Philippines, said CHR Chairperson, Luis Martin Gascon at the signing ceremony.

The emergence of improvised mines in the Philippines follows a history of armed conflict with non-state armed groups.The Philippine Armed Forces has also demonstrated their support for the memorandum of understanding signed in September.

The PCBL work is supported through the ICBL-CMC Investing in Action (IiA) small grant programme. Grantee projects focus on activities promoting the Mine Ban Treaty and Convention on Cluster Munitions, and full implementation of the treaties at national level.

The ICBL warmly congratulates the Philippine Campaign to Ban Landmines and the Philippine Commission on Human Rights for their commitment to protecting civilian lives, and putting an end to suffering caused by landmines, including mines of an improvised nature.