Erin Hunt

Disarming humanitarian, banning landmines, cluster bombs, killer robots & nukes, working @MinesActionCan and loving the fights I lose.

Erin Hunt's latest activity
published Get in Touch 2021-04-28 13:06:17 -0400

Contact Us

We want to hear from you! 

donated 2021-06-01 13:03:29 -0400
published Contact Your Parliamentarian in Act 2021-04-23 18:53:08 -0400

Contact Your Parliamentarian

In Canada, MPs and Senators are key contacts for changing Canada’s policy on humanitarian disarmament issues. They are also supposed to represent you and your views so let them know what you are thinking!


In Canada, you can find contact information for:


There are several different ways you can let your government hear your voice on this issue:

  • Send an email, letter or tweet detailing your concerns and the actions you want taken.
  • Book a face-to-face meeting with your MP or local Senator. Go alone or with other constituents to discuss your concerns.
  • Call and let your concerns and request for action known to staffers. Also take the opportunity to ask about the official position on the issue.


Before you make contact with your government official – whether by email, phone or in person – it is useful to prepare yourself ahead of time by outlining a short case statement:

  • Background: a couple  paragraphs on the facts and history of the problem
  • Core issues: note the main areas of concern are currently and why it needs to be addressed now. Tell them why you personally care about this issue!
  • Recommendations: Specifically what action is being requested and how it will address the problem.


On landmines and cluster munitions:

  • Landmines and cluster munitions are lethal barriers to development.
  • Canada should finish the job on landmines and cluster munitions.
  • One dollar per Canadian per year to mine action projects around the world will save lives and return Canada to a global leader on landmines and cluster munitions.

On explosive weapons in populated areas:

  • When explosive weapons are used in populated areas over 90% of the casualties are civilians.
  • Policy and practice change can save lives and protect civilians during armed conflict.
  • Canada should be working for a strong international Political Declaration that increases the protection of civilians in conflict by avoiding use of explosive weapons with wide area effects in populated areas
  • Parliamentarians should join the International Network on Explosive Weapons’ International Parliamentary Appeal.

On fully autonomous weapons:

  • A majority of Canadians are opposed to fully autonomous weapons.
  • Canada needs to ensure that our investments in artificial intelligence are not tainted by the development of fully autonomous weapons.
  • The Minister of Foreign Affairs has a mandate to advance international efforts to prohibit fully autonomous weapons but Canada has not yet spoken up.

On nuclear weapons:

  • Nuclear weapons put us all at risk. We are not equipped to respond if nuclear weapons are ever used again by accident or intention.
  • Canada should join the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in accordance with our stated goal of nuclear disarmament.
  • It is possible to join the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and belong to NATO.
  • Parliamentarians should join the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons’ Parliamentary Pledge. Use this template email to ask them to join. 
published Home 2021-04-19 14:56:16 -0400

Ordinary People, Extraordinary Impact

At Mines Action Canada, we believe that Ordinary People having an Extraordinary Impact is the key to building a safer and more peaceful world for us all. We work to end the suffering caused by indiscriminate and inhumane weapons such as landmines, cluster munitions, autonomous weapons, explosive weapons in populated areas and nuclear weapons with colleagues from around the world. 

Humanitarian Disarmament 

Mines Action Canada is Canada's leading humanitarian disarmament organization. Humanitarian disarmament seeks to prevent and remediate arms-inflicted human suffering and environmental harm through the establishment and implementation of laws and norms. This approach to disarmament puts people at the centre of policy and practice. Humanitarian Disarmament is an umbrella term for a collection of disarmament initiatives driven by humanitarian imperatives to strengthen international law as well as protect civilians. By advancing disarmament from a humanitarian perspective, governments and civil society work together to prevent further civilian casualties, avoid socio-economic devastation, and protect and ensure the rights and livelihoods of victims. The main purpose of humanitarian disarmament is the prevention of needless suffering and injury through the regulation and restriction of weapons that pose significant risks for civilian populations both during and after conflict. 

Humanitarian disarmament initiatives have included the Ottawa Treaty banning anti-personnel landmines, the Arms Trade Treaty, the Convention on Cluster Munitions and the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. We know it works!

Humanitarian disarmament allows all of us to have a say in global peace and security. No one needs to be an expert on security theory to understand that weapons which are indiscriminate and inhumane should not be used. Communities affected by these weapons are the experts but everyone can speak up. Together, we can make change. 

Learn     Act     Give

published Canadians want to ban the bomb in What's New 2021-04-07 16:54:43 -0400

Canadians want to ban the bomb

A large majority of Canadians want the government to join the nuclear ban.  

A new poll released by Nanos Research on 6 April 2021 shows strong support for the nuclear ban among the Canadian public with 74% of respondents expressing support for joining the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) 

Commissioned by three civil society organizations, Hiroshima Nagasaki Day Coalition, The Simons Foundation Canada and le Collectif Échec à la Guerre, the poll follows an Appeal to Parliament published in the Ottawa Hill Times on January 18 and 20 that was endorsed by over 400 individuals and organizations including Mines Action Canada. Ever since the Treaty’s Entry into Force, more and more voices are questioning the government’s position towards the TPNW. The poll results indicate that only 14% of respondents agreed with the current Government of Canada position towards the treaty. 

Support for the nuclear ban treaty remained high even in the face of potential American pressure. The poll found that about 73% of Canadians agreed that Canada should join Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, "even if, as a member of NATO, it might come under pressure from the United States not to do so. The Government of Canada has frequently (and incorrectly) said that Canada’s obligations under NATO and the alliance with the United States prevent the country from joining the TPNWThese poll results from Canada are similar to the results from a 2020 poll of six European NATO countriesIt seems that Canadians, also, want the government to stand strong and make our own decisions on nuclear weapons. 

Support for a ban is strong amongst all demographic groups with young Canadians, ages 18 to 34, having the highest level of support for the TPNW 

With young Canadians already facing the existential threat of climate change, it stands to reason that this demographic would also want to end the risk posed by nuclear weapons.  

It is not only government policy towards nuclear weapons that Canadians are concerned about. Canadian financial institutions need to pay attentionThe poll also found that 71% of respondents would withdraw money from any investment or financial institution that was investing funds in anything related to the development, manufacturing or deployment of nuclear weapons. The Don’t Bank on the Bomb report has found 16 Canadian financial institutions with investments in nuclear weapons producers. Financial institutions just like governments need to be responsive to public opinion. Canadians do not want to profit off a weapon of mass destruction.  

Released days just after Montreal and White Rock, BC, became the 13th and 14th Canadian cities to join the ICAN City Appeal, this poll is clear evidence that momentum towards the ban treaty is growing in Canada. 

If Canada’s 3 largest cities and ¾ of its citizens support The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, it is time for the Government of Canada to take action. The Canadian government should: 

  • Study the TPNW in Parliament, it is a logical topic for the House of Commons and Senate Standing Committees on Foreign Affairs; 
  • Send a delegation to participate as an observer in the 1st Meeting of States Parties of the TPNW which must take place within the next year; and 
  • Support the positive obligations found in the TPWN with regards to victim assistance and environmental remediation through our international cooperation efforts. 

These steps are necessary for Canada to begin to follow the direction of its people. For too long, Canadian policy towards nuclear weapons has been divorced from the will of the Canadian people. It is time for Canadian leaders to listen to their citizens and join the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.  

published Explosive Weapons in Learn 2021-03-09 18:16:41 -0500

Explosive Weapons

Every year, explosive weapons harm and kill thousands around the globe. In 2019, there were at least 29,499 documented civilian deaths from explosive weapons, while in 2018 a total of 32,110 people were reportedly killed or injured by the weapons.

Taking many forms, such as bombs, grenades, missiles and more, these weapons use explosive force to affect the area surrounding their detonation, killing and injuring individuals indiscriminately with their blast and fragmentation. When used in populated areas, these weapons are known to disproportionately affect civilians with both immediate and long-term effects. Specifically, civilian deaths and injuries account for approximately 90% of casualties when explosive weapons are used in populated areas, compared to 20% when they are used in other areas. Particular concern exists over the higher risk posed to civilians by the use of explosive weapons with “wide-area effects.” This concern is due to their increasingly dangerous characteristics such as their inaccuracy, the scale of their blast or their use of multiple warheads.

As a result of the trauma endured by experiencing explosive weapon attacks, civilians often experience psychological and psychosocial harm, in addition to physical harm. The suffering of civilians is also exacerbated due to the destruction of infrastructure, such as sanitation systems or energy networks, within their communities that occur as a by-product of attacks. Consequently, this destruction causes indirect effects, referred to as “reverberating effects,” on essential services, such as healthcare, that individuals within the community depend on. From an environmental standpoint, these destructive weapons are harmful to the natural environment, as they can contaminate the air, the soil, and other natural resources.

While international law offers a series of protections to civilians during armed conflict to help reduce the harm inflicted on them, the legal perimeters for the use of explosive weapons is thought to be “incoherent and fragmentary,” with inadequacy to sufficiently regulate the use of the dangerous weapons. Due to this gap in the legal framework, several states and international actors have expressed a desire to urgently enhance the protection of civilians from explosive weapons through other means. In total, 112 states and territories, as well as, numerous UN actors, have publicly acknowledged the harm caused by explosive weapons in populated areas.

The International Network for Explosive Weapons, INEW, is an international network of NGOs that plays a large role in working towards reducing human suffering as a result of explosive weapons. Through research, policy and advocacy, the network’s members work to increase awareness of the negative effects of these destructive weapons, while also taking concrete steps to address their negative implications. Mines Action Canada is a co-founder of INEW and we continue to work closely with the network. This work on explosive weapons is directly related to and informed by our efforts to end the suffering caused by landmines and cluster munitions.

Because much of the international community is concerned about the humanitarian harm caused by the use of explosive weapons, particularly in populated areas, discussions are currently underway to create a political declaration on the use of explosive weapons in populated areas (EWIPA). The declaration intends to emphasize the importance of offering protection to civilians from such weapons and the importance of compliance with international humanitarian law. While not new international law, a political declaration has the ability to change behaviours. Additionally, it seeks to provide tools that could reduce the impact of such weapons, such as the implementation of policies and changes to practices by militaries to reduce civilian harm. Such a political declaration can reinforce and enhance current international humanitarian law and the obligations that come with it.

Read all our news about explosive weapons here and learn more about INEW here.

We can absolutely solve this problem in our lifetime – but not without your help! Please ACT, GIVE or LEARN more today.

published International Women's Day 2021 in What's New 2021-03-08 13:53:26 -0500

International Women's Day 2021

From Nepal to Uganda, Iraq to Bosnia, Argentina to Zimbabwe, women are leading the way towards a safer and more peaceful future by advocating for disarmament and for the rights of victims of indiscriminate weapons. In small communities and on the world stage, women leaders are making change each and every day. Women clear landmines, provide services to survivors, advocate for nuclear disarmament and push governments to disarm despite large gender inequality in disarmament decision making. Today as every other day of the year, we #ChooseToChallenge the idea that disarmament is “men’s work” and salute the world-changing women and their allies working to eliminate inhumane and indiscriminate weapons. 

Learn more about how the humanitarian disarmament community is marking the day and how women's leadership is paving the way towards a world without indiscriminate and inhumane weapons by checking out these articles and posts.

  • Conflict and the Environment Observatory interviewed women working in mines action around the world on their work and its links to the environment profiling a number of the Mine Action Fellows. Read it here.
  • The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots is re-sharing posts and stories on gender and autonomous weapons all week. They started with a post from our Program Manager, Erin Hunt. Read it here.
  • The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) has a great briefing paper and video on gender and nuclear weapons. Read and watch here
  • The Gender Working Group has so many resources on gender in mine action. Check out the page here
  • Watch this film from Norwegian People's Aid in Laos. 
  • Listen in as Beatrice Fihn of ICAN and Susi Snyder of PAX talk about International Women's Day on this Instagram Live
  • Read more about what MAC and our partners in the Feminist Foreign Policy Working Group hope to see from Canada's Feminist Foreign Policy here
  • Mines Advisory Group has a number of stories out. You can check them out here
  • Watch this panel discussion on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons 

published Put civilians at the centre in What's New 2021-03-05 13:30:19 -0500

Put civilians at the centre

On the second day of informal consultations on the draft political declaration the use of explosive weapons in populated areas, Mines Action Canada took the floor to share our views on Section 4 of the draft text.

Here is the statement: 

Thank you Ambassador.

One strength of a political declaration over a legal document is the increased availability of descriptive and human-centred language. Section 4 of the draft Political Declaration allows states to commit to making real life-saving change using language that puts civilians at the centre of their actions.  We support INEW’s stamen on this section but would like to highlight a few key points.

In particular Paragraph 4.4 should be strengthened significantly to put civilians at the centre. Revising this paragraph with more detail of what victim assistance includes will avoid creating differential obligations towards victims of different weapons. INEW, HRW and HI have all made excellent suggestions so I will put our support behind those.

The reference to urban warfare in paragraph 4.1 should be deleted since not all populated areas can be considered urban. The mention of urban here focuses the paragraph too narrowly on civilians who live in urban areas rather than civilians living in all populated areas.

We welcome the commitment to make data collected public in paragraph 4.2, however, we would like to see the phrase “where possible” deleted as it weakens this paragraph. Data is crucial for understanding how explosive weapons impact civilians and for providing life-saving services as mentioned by MAG therefore that data should be available widely. 

Paragraph 4.3 like others, should refer to all use of explosive weapons, not just that with wide area effects. Our efforts to limit the harm caused by explosive weapons should not exclude some types of these weapons. Additionally, the word “relevant” in qualifying civil society should be removed from this paragraph. We share Chile and Mexico’s questions about this language.

We support the suggestion by the Conflict and Environment Observatory to include language encouraging state signatories to support the work of the United Nations and other international and domestic stakeholders in identifying and implementing best practices in the assessment and environmentally sound management of conflict debris and pollution resulting from the use of explosive weapons.

We also support the inclusion of civil society in section 4.6 as mentioned by New Zealand, Chile, Mexico, Italy, Switzerland and others. We agree with Canada’s suggestion to ensure participatory and gender sensitive inclusion of civil society at all levels.

Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to strongly encourage states to be ambitious as we move towards a final version of this declaration. An ambitious document like the treaties adopted in Oslo in 1997 and Dublin in 2008 will save lives. Please keep people at the centre of your work here today and in the future.

Thank you Ambassador for your able and open chairing of week. We look forward to continuing the process.

published No Need to Wait in What's New 2021-03-04 13:00:05 -0500

No Need to Wait

On the second day of informal consultations on the draft political declaration the use of explosive weapons in populated areas, Mines Action Canada took the floor to share our views on Section 3 of the draft text.

Here is the statement: 

Thank you Ambassador.  

We support the comments from INEW on this section which will be delivered later.

Like our colleagues at Norwegian People’s Aid, we believe risk education should be added to paragraph 3.5. The Mine Ban Treaty, the Convention on Cluster Munitions and CCW Protocol V have all shown the need for and the value of risk education.

Because our purpose this week is to protect civilians, we note that there is no need to wait for the end of active hostilities to conduct risk education especially because explosive weapons use causes new contamination and during armed conflict civilians are often forced to undertake risky activities or travel to new areas with contamination due to displacement or infrastructure damage.

Finally, I would like to make a general comment. Yes it is important to take into account the views of states with operational experience and of civil society but it is crucial to include the experiences of states and communities living with the long term and extensive impact of explosive weapons use.

Thank you.

published Going beyond IHL on Explosive Weapons in What's New 2021-03-03 12:48:57 -0500

Going beyond IHL on Explosive Weapons

On the first day of informal consultations on the draft political declaration the use of explosive weapons in populated areas, Mines Action Canada took the floor to share our views on Section 1 of the draft text.

Here is the statement: 

Thank you Ambassador and thanks to the whole Disarmament Ireland team for their work to keep this process going.  

The purpose of this political declaration is to change behaviour and therefore the text must go beyond merely restating International Humanitarian Law (IHL). The evidence gathered over the past decade has shown that civilian harm continues even when IHL is applied. IHL is the bare minimum and all actors must take additional measures to prevent harm to civilians when using explosive weapons. As a member of INEW, Mines Action Canada has the following suggestions for strengthening section 1. 

As many state and civil society speakers have noted, the word “can” in the title and in paragraphs 1.2, 1.3 and beyond should be removed because there is significant evidence of the harm caused by explosive weapons. We have noted a small number of states have said that explosive weapons use in populated areas do not necessarily result in civilian harm but we have not seen any evidence to that extent, the evidence shows that when explosive weapons are used in populated areas, civilian harm will result. Like others in INEW, we would also recommend removing the qualifier “with wide area affects” throughout the declaration.  

On the title specifically we support INEW’s detailed comments. 

Articulating the harm caused by explosive weapons use in populated areas in paragraph 1.2 is a key part of the political declaration. This paragraph should clearly outline the direct, indirect and reverberating effects of explosive weapons used in populated areas as mentioned by many of my colleagues. Adding a direct mention of the gendered impacts in this paragraph would be beneficial here.  Though we would also support Mexico, Chile and Spain’s suggestion of a specific paragraph on gendered impacts.  

Reference to environmental harm in paragraph 1.3 is welcome. This point could be strengthened by referring to the environment rather than the natural environment. Also, as mentioned by Finland and perhaps others replacing the word urban with populated would strengthen this paragraph by not limiting the declaration to one type of populated area. 

Like Switzerland we believe that in Paragraph 1.4 the term “unexploded ordnance” should be changed back to the appropriate technical term “explosive remnants of war,” which includes both unexploded ordnance and abandoned ordnance since they both cause harm to civilians. This change is also in line with the mention of explosive remnants of war in paragraph 3.5. 

We welcome the reference to the need for additional data on the gendered impacts of explosive weapons made in paragraph 1.8, however, WILPF has said the word “potential” should be removed as there is significant evidence that there are gendered impacts of explosive weapons use.  

In the last three decades there have been numerous additions to IHL in response to the changing nature of conflict and human settlement. These changes have been motivated by preventing death, injury and destruction from different weapon systems. They have been welcome additions to IHL making it more robust. Nevertheless, we should not be afraid to do more than existing IHL requires to protect civilian populations. 

Thank you.  

An opportunity for action: EWIPA and Canada's Feminist Foreign Policy

In 2017, Canada became the one of only five countries to commit to developing an explicitly feminist foreign policy. So far, this effort includes multiple specific directives, including the Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP), but an official outline of the feminist approach to Canada’s foreign policy has yet to be published. 

During this period, the world has seen continued conflict in multiple regions, with frequent use of explosive weapons in populated areas (EWIPA). The use of EWIPA poses specific humanitarian threats to civilians. In addition to immediate death and injury, EWIPA causes severe damage to critical infrastructure including roadways, electrical grids, schools, water and sanitation centres and hospitals. Many people are forced to flee from unlivable and dangerous conditions, including women and children.

The international community took notice of this humanitarian problem and has come together for negotiations of a political declaration to protect civilians in populated areas from explosive weapons. This declaration has the potential to set a benchmark for Canada’s feminist foreign policy. The text of the agreement adopts a non-partisan, rights-based, humanitarian centred approach to restricting the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. The political declaration aims to be transformative to those living in conflict affected areas by having states commit to updating military policy to protect civilians in populated areas from explosive weapons.

The draft declaration also supports policy coherence for Canada by reinforcing not only several action areas in FIAP, but also Canada’s commitments to the Women, Peace and Security Agenda and meeting the Sustainable Development Goals generally known as the SDGs. Multiple SGDs are endangered by the use of EWIPA; specifically, goal 4 of good health and well-being and goal 16 of peace, justice and strong institutions. This declaration supports the achievement of these goals. The declaration also reinforces the government’s commitment to the Safe Schools Declaration, which aims to protect education in conflict by restricting schools as military targets. Due to infrastructure loss, education is often disrupted when explosive weapons are used in populated areas.      

The Feminist Foreign Policy Working Group, a team of individuals from multiple civil society and academic organizations, has recently published a set of suggested core policy principles, including adopting a rights-based approach and upholding policy coherence, for Canada’s feminist foreign policy and the text of this declaration is in alignment with those core principles. While being a feminist document, it also promotes feminist outcomes; specifically, non-violence and sustainable development. 

More and more people are moving to and living in populated areas, making them critical locations for sustainable development. The use of EWIPA is catastrophic to this ambition. Not only is infrastructure lost, but the economy grinds to a halt, the health of the population is endangered, and the next generation is forced out of school. This turns back the clock on the economic and social development strides that have been made in the last two decades; but this declaration allows for significant gains in development to be recovered and built upon.   

We know what a future free from the impacts of EWIPA can look like. From the incredible work of humanitarian mine clearance organizations and others, including the Canadian government for their leadership with the Ottawa Treaty, areas that were once uninhabitable from landmine contamination are now thriving cities. Including Huambo, Angola, where Princess Diana made her famous landmine walk in 1997. Fast forward to today and women, men and children are safe, can get an education, can contribute to the economy and can continue to develop in a sustainable way. What was done once with landmines can be done again with explosive weapons in population areas.

Combating humanitarian consequences of the use of EWIPA must be central to Canada’s feminist foreign policy. As a first step, Mines Action Canada calls on Canada to lend its support and leadership to the Draft Political Declaration on Strengthening the Protection of Civilians from the Humanitarian Consequences that can arise from the use of Explosive Weapons with Wide Area Effects in Populated Areas negotiations and to implement the Feminist Foreign Policy Working Groups core policy principles in the official policy. Mines Action Canada has specific suggestions on how Canada and other states can improve the Draft Political Declaration in line with a feminist foreign policy available here.

Blog post by MAC Research Associate, Madison Hitchcock who is a graduate student in globalization and international development at the University of Ottawa.

published Erin Hunt in Staff 2021-02-26 16:58:32 -0500

Erin Hunt

Erin Hunt is the Executive Director of Mines Action Canada. She has been doing public education on the Ottawa Treaty banning landmines since 2003 and working in humanitarian disarmament in various capacities since 2006. 

Erin's areas of expertise include the humanitarian impact of indiscriminate weapons, victim assistance, gender in disarmament and Canadian disarmament policy. She contributes to the work of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, the Cluster Munition Coalition, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons and Stop Killer Robots. Erin contributes to the Women, Peace and Security Network - Canada and to national and international working groups on feminist and gender sensitive approaches to foreign policy and mine action. She also spent two years as a senior researcher on casualties and victim assistance for the Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor. Erin was a member of the civil society negotiating team during the 2017 process to negotiate the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons with the Nobel Peace Laureate International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.  

Prior to joining Mines Action Canada, Erin worked on victim assistance programs for landmine survivors in Uganda, implemented sport-based peacebuilding programs for youth in a post-conflict setting and worked in child welfare. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from the University of Victoria and a Masters Degree in Human Security and Peacebuilding from Royal Roads University.

published Yeshua Moser-Puangsuwan in Staff 2021-02-26 16:52:35 -0500

Yeshua Moser-Puangsuwan

Yeshua Moser-Puangsuwan has lived and worked in a dozen countries, spending most of his adult life in Southeast Asia. In 1995 he co-founded the Thailand Campaign to Ban Landmines. He has been involved in Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor since its inception in 1998, first as a country researcher (Myanmar/Burma, Lao PDR & Singapore).

Since 2005 Yeshua has worked for Mines Action Canada, providing Ban Policy Research Coordination to the Landmine & Cluster Munition Monitor for Asia, the Pacific, and the Middle East and North Africa regions, and on Non-State Armed Groups globally.

Previous to working for Mines Action Canada, from 1992 to 2005, Yeshua was the Southeast Asia Regional Representative for Nonviolence International, an ICBL and CMC member organization. He was also a co-founder of the International Action Network on Small Arms- a global civil society network focused on decreasing the suffering caused by small arms and light weapons.

Yeshua currently serves on the Board of Nonviolence International Canada, and is also a member of the international Board of the International Peace Bureau in Geneva, and is a member of the grant making Advisory Board of the International Nonviolence Trainers Fund of the AJ Muste Institute in New York.

Yeshua studied for an MA in Peace and Reconciliation from Coventry University, UK and a PhD in Peace Studies from Gujarat Vidyapith in Ahmedabad, India.

US born, in 1971 he refused military conscription during the close of the US War on Indochina. Subsequently he has worked to promote pragmatic nonviolent alternatives to address human problems. Yeshua has organized, or participated in, people power or civil resistance initiatives, from the local to the national level, on four continents, and in a score of countries.

Yeshua is a skilled nonviolence trainer, activist, and independent scholar on humanitarian disarmament, human rights and nonviolent direct action. His articles have appeared in several European, Pacific and Asian language journals and he has penned Opinion Editorials encouraging adherence to the landmine ban in papers published in India, Iran and Singapore. He has co-authored reports on nonviolent direct action methods used by popular struggles in Tibet and Burma, and on international peace teams. Most recently he has been involved in peacekeeping training for nonviolent direct actions in his home province, opposing pipeline construction in British Columbia, Canada.

Yeshua works remotely from the Ottawa office of Mines Action Canada, located in either Victoria, British Columbia or Bangkok, Thailand.

published Paul Hannon in Staff 2021-02-26 16:46:22 -0500

Paul Hannon

Paul Hannon is the Executive Director of Mines Action Canada (MAC), the Canadian member of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), which was the co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997. MAC is a founding member of the international Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC), launched in 2003, and is also the Canadian member of the CMC. The CMC was nominated for the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize. In 2011 he led the process to merge the CMC and ICBL.

Paul became the Executive Director of Mines Action Canada in July 1998 and represents MAC on the ICBL-CMC’s Governance Board of which he is the Vice-Chair. He is also a member of the Monitoring and Research Committee which oversees the research and production of the annual Landmine Monitor report and its sister publication the annual Cluster Munition Monitor report.

Paul led Mines Action Canada to co-found the International Network on Explosive Weapons (INEW) along with a number of likeminded civil society organizations. INEW has been key actor in the process towards a political declaration on the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.

In 2012 Mines Action Canada along with six other organizations co-founded the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots. The Campaign now has over 170 international, regional, and national non-governmental organizations in 65 countries. Paul is the Treasurer for the Campaign and a member of its Steering Committee.

Paul brought to the campaign 15 years of experience with the Canadian development sector including working and consulting with Africa Emergency Aid, AlterNET Communications, Canadian Council for International Cooperation, International Development Research Centre, Mozambique Task Force, Oxfam Canada, the Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Fund (CCIC) and Partnership Africa Canada. He has also worked for the federal government and one of Canada’s major financial institutions.

Paul was born in Guelph, Ontario and is a graduate of Carleton University in Ottawa. He resides in Ottawa. In 2002 he was awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal.

Be Brave, Be Bold: Canada's Feminist Foreign Policy

The Government of Canada is drafting a new statement of their Feminist Foreign Policy. Mines Action Canada has joined Above Ground, Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights, Amnesty International Canada, The Equality Fund, Equitas, Inter Pares, Oxfam Canada, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, and Women, Peace and Security Network Canada to form the Feminist Foreign Policy Working Group. 

The Feminist Foreign Policy Working Group is pleased to release our submission to the Government of Canada containing specific recommendations for Canada's Feminist Foreign Policy. Each member of the Working Group was responsible for drafting their own section and recommendations to the government. Please read the submission here.

Additionally, the Working Group hosted a series of engagement sessions on the topic of a Canadian feminist foreign policy. The report from these engagement sessions is now available online here

For more on this work and the Feminist Foreign Policy Working Group please visit:

published Nukes are banned! in What's New 2021-01-22 11:56:58 -0500

Nukes are banned!

Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons Enters into Force

(Ottawa, 22 January 2021) Today Canadians celebrate nuclear weapons finally being prohibited under international law. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), also referred to as the nuclear ban treaty, entered into force today; 90 days after Honduras became the 50th state to ratify the Treaty. The Treaty will become legally binding for the 51 countries which have so far ratified it, and represents a major step forward for nuclear disarmament.

Canada has not yet joined the nuclear ban so Canadians from coast to coast are calling on Parliament to consider joining the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

The TPNW is the first international treaty that comprehensively prohibits nuclear weapons. It includes absolute prohibitions on developing, testing, producing, stockpiling, stationing, transferring, using, and/or threatening the use of nuclear weapons. The Treaty also addresses, for the first time, the impact nuclear weapons activities have had on indigenous communities. Inspired by the Ottawa Treaty banning landmines, this Treaty also includes positive obligations such as the provision of assistance to communities affected by nuclear weapons use and testing around the world. 

For the 51 countries now legally bound by the Treaty all these provisions came ‘into force’ today. As with other treaties, such as the Ottawa Treaty, more countries will become legally bound as they ratify the TPNW.

For governments which are yet to join the Treaty, like Canada, the power of the TPNW comes from the message it sends. Nuclear weapons are now prohibited. When weapons are prohibited, investment in their production declines, they become stigmatized and it becomes easier to eliminate them. 

The TPNW is the result of decades of work by dedicated activists and diplomats around the world. The International Campaign Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) worked tirelessly for this treaty and was awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts.

“Despite the global pandemic of 2020, 17 states finished their internal legal work to ratify the Treaty giving the world a shining example of what committed action for a better world, diplomacy and multilateralism can accomplish.

For years the nuclear armed states repeated endlessly that prohibiting nuclear weapons was impossible. Today proves that when we focus on the humanitarian impact of weapons and work collectively it is possible to change the world. 75 years of activism has paid off. Nuclear weapons have always been immoral, now they are illegal.” said Erin Hunt, Program Manager, Mines Action Canada and a member of ICAN’s negotiating team on the TPNW.

Canadians have taken a leadership role in ICAN throughout this process including Japanese Canadian hibakusha or Hiroshima survivor, Setsuko Thurlow who was one of two people to accept the Nobel Prize on behalf of ICAN. A dozen Canadian municipalities have endorsed the TPNW through ICAN’s City Appeal while 27 Members of Parliament and 19 Senators have signed ICAN’s Parliamentary Pledge joining the over 1,000 Canadians who have signed a parliamentary petition in support of the TPNW. Despite the leadership of Canadians, Canada has been slow to join or launch substantial discussion in Parliament regarding the Treaty. Parliament can no longer put off the TPNW.

To celebrate the entry into force, a photo collage of residents in British Columbia and Washington State publicly stating their opposition to further transit of nuclear weapons through the Salish Sea (Juan de Fuca Strait, Georgia Strait and Puget Sound) will be published. Mines Action Canada will also be hosting an Instagram Live with youth activists from British Columbia and Washington State to discuss their nuclear disarmament work.

“Public opinion polls show the public unambiguously supportive of global nuclear disarmament. We know it can be done because Canada led on the international convention which banned antipersonnel landmines. That was one of Canada’s foreign policy initiatives which has had the most significant impact on reducing suffering caused by that weapon on every continent. Prohibition of a weapon comes before its elimination!  Canada lost its opportunity to lead on banning Nuclear Weapons but the opportunity to strengthen this new international instrument is in our hands now. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons asks a question that Canada needs to answer: will Canada help end nuclear weapons or will Canada wait until nuclear weapons end us?” said Dr. Yeshua Moser-Puangsuwan of Mines Action Canada.

To mark the entry into force of the TPNW, civil society organizations from across Canada have come together to call on Parliament to launch a study on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Canadians deserve a public debate about this groundbreaking treaty.



Negotiated in 2017, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons legally prohibits, under any circumstances, the development, production, testing, acquisition, stockpiling, transfer, use or threat of use of nuclear weapons. It also requires states party to the treaty to provide assistance to victims of the use and testing of nuclear weapons.

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was negotiated and adopted by 122 nations in the United Nations General Assembly. It currently has 86 signatories and 51 ratifications. Canada boycotted the negotiations and remains outside the Treaty to this day. However, Canadian civil society, including Erin Hunt representing Mines Action Canada, played an important role in the negotiations.

Read our new document on myths and reality checks about the TPNW here: 

The photo collage of residents in British Columbia and Washington State is available at: 

Public opinion polling in six NATO countries shows widespread support for the TPWN:

A global list of Entry into Force activities can be found at:

Giving Canadian Nuclear Ban Myths a Reality Check

The ground-breaking Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) enters into force on 22 January 2021. Canada remains outside the TPNW despite the risks nuclear weapons pose to Canadians. No country is equipped to respond to a nuclear detonation whether that detonation is intentional or accidental.

In the absence of a Parliamentary study of the TPNW, a number of myths about the TPNW have been circulating in Canada. These myths inhibit Canada’s ability to meet its stated goals as being a leader on nuclear disarmament and leave us behind as progress is being made towards a world without nuclear weapons.

These Canadian myths about the TPNW need a reality check.

Read the myths and reality checks here.

published Salish Sea Photo Action 2021-01-07 15:44:25 -0500

Salish Sea Photo Action

Nukes Out of the Salish Sea

The Salish Sea (the Strait of Georgia, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and Puget Sound) is home to one of the largest stockpiles of nuclear weapons in the world and nuclear armed submarines frequent the waters putting everything we know and love at risk of a nuclear weapon detonation - accidental or otherwise. 

There is hope though, on January 22, 2021 the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons entered into force. For the first time ever, the international community says nuclear weapons are banned. 

Unfortunately, Canada and the United States remain outside the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and they refuse to join the more than 80 states who have signed or ratified the Treaty.

To celebrate the Entry into Force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and to remind local decision makers that they need to take action and join the Treaty, Mines Action Canada hosted a cross-border photo action with our friends at Non-Violence International Canada and Washington Against Nuclear Weapons Coalition


Inclusiveness in 2021: the new and improved “normal”

The pandemic has made 2020 an unusual year, kept us physically far from each other but united more than ever to show that humanitarian disarmament is as relevant, and perhaps even more relevant, than before. In these first days of 2021, it is important to carry forward lessons learned from that challenging year. 

Since June, more than 250 civil society organizations have signed an open letter arguing that humanitarian disarmament can help lead the way to an improved post-pandemic normal. In a new video, Mahpekay, indiscriminate weapon survivor and orthotic specialist delivering rehabilitation services, Elkin, operator working in Colombian mine contaminated areas and Raluca, humanitarian disarmament advocate share how pandemic has affected their work. Images from Pakistan, India, Afghanistan Colombia, Belgium, France, New York, South Africa, Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Turkey and Thailand show how this pandemic is a worldwide concern. MAC has been part of an informal working group on humanitarian disarmament and COVID-19 and we are pleased to share this video from Humanity and Inclusion highlighting some of the lessons learned in 2020:

To mark the new year, in the spirit of humanitarian disarmament and the Open Letter, we are calling the international community to prioritize human security, reallocate military spending to humanitarian causes, work to eliminate inequalities, ensure multilateral fora incorporate diverse voices, and bring a cooperative mind-set to problems of practice and policy. By being inclusive in 2021, we can reshape the security landscape for the future and help create a new—and improved— “normal.” 

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