The Protocol on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Mines, Booby-Traps and Other Devices as amended on 3 May 1996 (Amended Protocol II)
The original Protocol II on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Mines, Booby-Traps and Other Devices was adopted in 1980 together with the framework Convention and Protocols I and III. Subsequently, the First Review Conference in 1996 addressed the increasing worldwide problem of landmines. This resulted in negotiations to amend the original Protocol II by introducing a number of changes that were agreed by the States Parties. At the closure of the First Review Conference on 3 May 1996, Protocol II as amended was adopted.
The amendments made to the Protocol, however, fell short of totally prohibiting landmines. There was disappointment at the failure of the States Parties to reach consensus on effective ways to combat the global scourge of these types of weapons. Many States Parties had expressed that they were in favour of a total ban, while many others were not of the same view. Countries keen on supporting the international momentum generated by the CCW process started a new process outside the framework of the United Nations. Eventually, the civil society movement and pro-ban States brought the international community together towards a global ban on anti-personnel mines with the adoption of the Ottawa Convention.
Amended Protocol II entered into force on 3 December 1998. As with the framework Convention and the other Protocols, it is deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations. The original version of Protocol II remains in force for a limited number of States Parties which have not acceded to the amended version.
Amended Protocol II (AP II) contains rules which regulates, but does not ban the use of landmines, booby-traps and other explosive devices.
AP II prohibits the use of non-detectable anti-personnel mines and their transfer.
AP II prohibits the use of non-self-destructing and non-self-deactivating mines outside fenced, monitored and marked areas.
AP II seeks to limit the indiscriminate damage caused by landmines and requires States Parties to take all feasible precautions to protect civilians when using these types of weapons.
AP II applies to non-international armed conflicts as well as conflicts between States, which means that its rules not only apply to States, but also to parties in a conflict other than States. Therefore, if an armed conflict occurs on the territory of a State Party, the Protocol binds all parties to the conflict.
Anti-personnel landmines must be placed in clearly marked and protected minefields or be equipped with self-destruct and self-deactivation mechanisms that disarm and render the mine unusable after a certain period of time.
Mines dropped from aircraft or delivered by artillery or missiles must be outfitted with self-destruct and self-deactivation mechanisms.
All anti-personnel mines must be detectable using common mine detection equipment to enable them to be located and safely removed after a conflict ends. The responsibility for clearing any mines is on the government controlling the territory where the mines are located.
It also prohibits the use of anti-personnel mines that do not contain a sufficient amount of metal to be detected with standard demining equipment and regulates the transfer of landmines.
It prohibits the use of booby-traps and other devices in the form of apparently harmless portable objects, such as children's toys, specifically designed to contain explosive material.
Its technical annex contains requirements for recording, detectability, self-destruction and self-deactivation, as well as on international signs for minefields and mined areas.
These rules are commonly considered as the minimum norms to reduce the humanitarian impact of these weapons.
The text of Amended Protocol II
(Certified true copy)
Annual Conferences of the High Contracting Parties, the Group of Experts, and National annual reporting
Article 13 of Amended Protocol II provides for a conference of High Contracting Parties to the Protocol to be held annually for the purpose of consultations and cooperation on all issues relating to the Protocol.
The First Annual Conference took place in 1999. Since 2009 the annual conferences consider, in particular, the work of the informal open-ended Group of Experts, established by the Tenth Annual Conference.
The High Contracting Parties are required to provide national annual reports to the Depositary on all issues related to the Protocol in advance of the Conference. All national annual reports are posted on this website by the Implementation Support Unit.
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