Erin Hunt

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

Erin Hunt's latest activity

Conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh shows danger of explosive weapons use

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

On September 27th of this year, conflict broke out between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the region of Nagorno-Karabakh. While it is a self-governing, democratic region that holds independent, free and fair elections, it is a heavily disputed territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan while being home to mostly ethnic Armenians.

There has been confirmed use of explosive weapons and sustained heavy shelling in cities such as Stepanakert and Ganja, as well as multiple other areas. After multiple brief cease fire agreements, a peace seems to be holding. On November 9th, 2020, the two parties reached an armistice after six weeks of bloody conflict; with Armenia conceding territory to Azerbaijan.

The humanitarian cost of this conflict is heavy. Currently, hundreds of civilians have been confirmed dead and thousands have been displaced from the conflict. The use of explosive weapons in populated areas cause high civilian casualties from their wide area blast effects in densely populated zones, as well as damaging critical infrastructure including hospitals, homes, schools, roadways, electrical grids and sanitation centres. These reverberating effects will cause further death and injury, as well as continued displacement of survivors in the future.

These weapons have been utilized by those on both sides of the conflict. Azerbaijan has refused to allow additional humanitarian aid other than the International Committee of the Red Cross to enter the region which is extending the suffering of many survivors who are unable to access support. This crisis is all happening in the context of COVID-19 which puts civilians at further risk.

Additionally, there have been credible reports of the use of cluster munitions which have been banned by international convention – to which neither Armenia nor Azerbaijan are signatories. These weapons are especially harmful to civilians as they have wide blast areas and it is estimated that between 5-20% of the munitions fail to explode leaving incredibly dangerous situations for civilians long after their initial use[1].    

Under international humanitarian law, Armenia and Azerbaijan have an obligation to minimize harm to civilians. Mines Action Canada strongly condemns the neglect of this duty and calls on all parties to uphold this obligation and refrain from using explosive weapons in populated areas and banned cluster munitions; as well as allowing further humanitarian aid organizations into the region. We also call on Armenia and Azerbaijan to immediately join the Convention on Cluster Munitions and support the draft Political Declaration on Strengthening Protections from Humanitarian Harm arising from the use of Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas. 

[1] Amnesty International

published Making History: TPNW hits 50 ratifications in What's New 2020-10-24 18:42:12 -0400

Making History: TPNW hits 50 ratifications

The UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) just reached the 50 ratifications needed for entry into force! On the 75th anniversary of the founding of the UN, Honduras ratified the treaty bringing about a historic milestone. In 90 days the TPNW will enter into force and become binding international law!

Mines Action Canada congratulates the 50 states and the dedicated campaigners of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons on making history. Those 50 states are on the right side of history and we hope that Canada will soon join them.

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons has provisions to mitigate the harm caused by nuclear weapons use and testing that will start being implemented immediately making it a very useful new addition to international law. Canada should support that work in line with our commitment to the SDGs, a Feminist Foreign Policy and the rules based international order and the join the Treaty without delay.

Congratulations to all 50 states for leading the way to a world free of nuclear weapons, and to everybody who was ever involved in making this happen!


MAC Congratulates 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Winner!

Mines Action Canada congratulates the World Food Program (WFP) on being awarded the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize. We are very pleased that WFP's efforts to eradicate the use of hunger as a weapon and their lifesaving work around the world has been recognized by the Nobel Committee. The use of hunger as a weapon through instituting blockades and sieges is a war crime that we have unfortunately seen used too often in the past decade. We know that armed conflict also leads to hunger through the destruction of infrastructure, displacement, contamination of agricultural land with landmines, cluster munitions and explosive remnants of war, and economic devastation. This award celebrates the contributions of WFP staff and implementing partners who work in extremely difficult conditions to ensure people's most basic needs are met.
published CCW from a distance in What's New 2020-09-25 09:29:37 -0400

CCW from a distance

Delivered to the Convention on Conventional Weapons' Group of Governmental Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems by Executive Director, Paul Hannon, from our office in Ottawa via the online platform Interprefy.

Thank you Chair and thank you to Germany and the ODA for their support in permitting remote participation. I would like to acknowledge that I am speaking to you today from the traditional and unceded territory of the Algonquin people. Recognizing the indigenous nations upon whose land we are working is an excellent reminder of the need to ensure that these discussions are inclusive and grounded in humanity. 

As a member of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, Mines Action Canada encourages the high contracting parties to ensure that CCW continues to draw on the expertise from civil society and the private sector. Civil society and the private sector have made significant contributions to the discussion since the beginning and High Contracting Parties have frequently commented including today on the importance of contributions from civil society. Our role should be safeguarded in any future work streams to ensure that all these discussions are inclusive. 

To keep our conversations grounded in humanity, we recommend adding in a work stream on moral or ethical concerns. A technocratic debate is insufficient to deal with the challenges posed by autonomous weapons systems. We need to be able to answer questions like “how can one test the humanity of an algorithm?” or “what is the relationship between explainablity and ethics?” Explainablity should never be considered as a synonym for ethical. 

 We are pleased to hear many delegations express a desire to move on from a discussion of definitions and characteristics because we note that CCW Protocol IV does not have a definition of a blinding laser weapon. It prohibits “laser weapons specifically designed, as their sole combat function or as one of their combat functions, to cause permanent blindness to unenhanced vision, that is to the naked eye or to the eye with corrective eyesight devices.” and while there is a definition of permanent blindness in Article 4 there is no definition of laser weapon in the Protocol. That lack of a definition obviously did not prevent negotiations nor stop it from being an effective Protocol. 

We appreciate the robust debate this week and would like to direct specific attention to Austria’s comments outlining the needs to show that this GGE is not an isolated diplomatic silo. The work here must reflect the situation outside of CCW where scientists, experts and industry are calling for action, where the public wants to prohibit autonomous weapons, and where political leaders are stepping up. Ambitious guidance at the political level such as the mandate letter for Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs which instructs him to Advance international efforts to ban the development and use of fully autonomous weapons systems” are not being matched by ambition in the CCW 

New international law is needed to address the multitude of concerns with autonomous weapon systems. It is time to negotiate another legally binding instrument, either here or elsewhere. That instrument should include: 

  • A general obligation to maintain meaningful human control over the use of force;
  • Prohibitions on weapons systems that select and engage targets and by their nature pose fundamental moral or legal problems; and  
  • Specific positive obligations to help ensure that meaningful human control is maintained in the use of all other systems that select and engage targets. 

Mines Action Canada appreciates the guiding questions put forward by the chair in his non-paper and we would like to present some additional questions for delegates to consider today and in future meetings:  

  • Considering what you have heard about data bias, are these conversations inclusive? 
  • Do our statements reflect the public conscience and political will of our citizens? 
  • Are we being as ambitious as those inventing new technology? 
  • What or who is missing from these conversations? 
  • Will a future generation of diplomats need to negotiate a treaty to protect the rights, lives and livelihoods of civilian victims of autonomous weapons systems because this generation did not seize the chance to negotiate a pre-emptive ban?  

We do not want to be the people who let the world sleepwalk into another humanitarian crisis. It is time for ambition and for taking the next step.  

Thank you.  


published Mandate Letters Set a Promising Tone in What's New 2020-01-20 15:11:48 -0500

Mandate Letters Set a Promising Tone

Right before the holidays, the Prime Minister's Office published the mandate letters for all the Cabinet Ministers and from Mines Action Canada's perspective there are a couple very interesting items in these letters. With Parliament resuming in less than two weeks, let's dig into the mandate letters and see what we can find.

First is the big news, the mandate letter for Minister of Foreign Affairs, François-Philippe Champagne, includes instruction to "advance international efforts to ban the development and use of fully autonomous weapons systems". You read that right - Canada's Foreign Minister as to help a ban on the development and use of killer robots. That is pretty big news. Canada has been waffling on the issue of autonomous weapons for years now. In diplomatic talks at the United Nations, Canada would occasionally give a statement on the importance of international humanitarian law and the role of weapons reviews in preventing the use of indiscriminate weapons but no one would consider Canada a leader on this issue. Now Canada needs to join the likes of Austria, Chile, and Brazil in not only calling for a ban on autonomous weapons systems but actively working for one. This addition to the mandate letter has definitely been noticed internationally and states will be looking to see a change in Canada's position at the United Nations. We will be watching closely to see how Global Affairs implements this instruction from the mandate letter. We will be looking to see if Minister Champagne is working with his counterparts in National Defense, Innovation, Science, and Industry, Public Safety and Justice to formulate a strategy to bring Canada and the world towards a ban on autonomous weapons systems. Canadian diplomats will need to have the time and resources needed to make this ban a reality but with support and political will it can be done in the next two to three years.

Next up, both Minister Champagne and Minister of National Defence, Harjit Sajjan, have instructions related to the women, peace and security agenda in their mandate letters. This is more great news for our work. Mines Action Canada knows that humanitarian disarmament and the women, peace and security agenda are closely linked. Better implementation of disarmament treaties like the Ottawa Treaty banning landmines protects girls and women in conflict affected areas while better implementation of the women, peace and security agenda increases women's participation in disarmament decision making resulting in better outcomes for us all. 

Finally, there is a strong focus on the Sustainable Development Goals and the effectiveness of international assistance in the mandate letter for Minister of International Development, Karina Gould. That is important because there are significant links between the Sustainable Development Goals and disarmament, whether it is nuclear disarmament or clearance of landmines, cluster munitions and explosive remnants of war. Landmine clearance alone is linked to progress on 12 Sustainable Development Goals. The focus on effective international assistance is welcome because we know that supporting mine action (clearance of contaminated land and victim assistance) provides exceptional value for money. Landmines, cluster munitions and explosive remnants of war are lethal barriers to development so support to mine action allows all other development work to happen. When land is cleared and survivors are assisted, communities can safely grow food, refugees and displaced persons can return home and trade can flow smoothly. A recent report showed that for every dollar invested into mine action in Lebanon resulted in an economic benefit of $4.15. If Canada is looking for development projects that promote the Sustainable Development Goals and exemplify effective international assistance, mine action is the way to go. Plus, we would be finishing what Canada started in 1997 with the Ottawa Treaty banning landmines. 

Based on these mandate letters, there is a lot of potential for Canada to resume its position as a champion of humanitarian disarmament and help make the world a safer place for us all. Let's hope the Ministers have the courage to see them though.

Humanitarian Disarmament and the 2019 Election

As we have in previous elections, Mines Action Canada submitted surveys on humanitarian disarmament policy to the major political parties - the Conservative Party, the Green Party, the Liberal Party and the New Democratic Party. We were unable to reach the People's Party of Canada via telephone or email and thus was unable to send a copy of the survey to them.

With assistance from international experts on each of these topics, we are pleased to provide you with a brief analysis of each response to assist you in making your decision for October 21st. MAC does not endorse any one party as each party's positions on humanitarian disarmament issues have strengths and weaknesses. Overall, we would have liked to see stronger commitments to fund disarmament work and more concrete examples of how policies would be put into practice. 

Before we get into any analysis of the parties' positions, here are the full answers as provided to Mines Action Canada in alphabetical order:

While Mines Action Canada is happy to provide this resource free of charge, please consider making a donation to support our work.


Read more
published Contact Us in About Us 2016-11-16 13:55:57 -0500

Contact Us

There are many ways to get in touch with our team.

Send us an email by clicking here.

By mail:

Mines Action Canada                            

PO Box 4668 Stn E


K1S 5H8

By Telephone:

+1 613 241-3777

On social media:





published Write in Act 2016-11-16 13:25:41 -0500


Mines Action Canada and its advocates realize the importance of public opinion in influencing the government agenda. A letter writing campaign is ongoing to engage the Canadian public, the media, high profile Canadians and our representatives at all levels of government to call upon them to take stronger action.

Get Local Media Involved

Write to your local newspaper reporters or post on your blog,

  • spread the word to newspaper, radio, and TV personalities,
  • submit articles or comment online with alternative media outlets,
  • Check our How–To–Guide for getting media attention.

Contact your MP

Write a letter to your Member of Parliament or to the Prime Minister to ensure Canada continues to provide global leadership – politically and financially - on landmines and cluster bombs until all obligations of both Conventions are met, organize a “Write–athon” at your school or university, engage as many participants as possible, check our How–To–Guide for engaging the government.


published Promote in Act 2016-11-16 13:25:23 -0500


Actions in support of our mission can be as minimal of investment as participating in political action alerts (like writing a letter to your MP) to more intensive actions such as organizing educational events (like school or community group presentations on the issue), or fundraising events to support advocacy work in Canada (like a casual dress day at work during Canadian Landmine Action Week in February).

Organize an educational awareness raising event

Let people know that landmines, cluster bombs and explosive remnants of war harm thousands each year. Events could be:

  • an information table in a public space (shopping center, community center), schools and universities
  • a roundtable discussion or speakers panel
  • a display of drawings and paintings in a public space
  • a memorial shoepile that you build representing all the lives and limbs lost to these weapons. One mis-step and life will never be the same again!

Help break new ground on an age-old problem. Visit our page of How-to Guides or contact us at info [at] for more information.

published How To Guides in Act 2016-11-16 13:25:00 -0500

How To Guides

MAC wants to help you take action. Here are some of the resources available but contact us at info[at] if you need any more help.

How-to & Event Kits



published Act 2016-11-16 13:24:48 -0500


The last landmine casualty was only 2 hours ago. How many steps did you take in that time? Imagine if each of those steps were taken not knowing if when you placed your foot down you would face life, death or dismemberment. It’s a terrifying way to walk through life and a harsh reality faced by innocent people and communities around the globe each day.

Atrocities created by indiscriminate weapons are solvable in our lifetime. But we can’t do it alone. We need your help. Take the next step. Take it today. Take it right now.

Standing still is not an option. It’s time for you to make a move.

Learn more about some simple acts that you can do to make a world of difference:

  • Write your MP and the media. Write an article or letter for your local media or blog using our how-to guides.  Want to take action right now? Contact your MP to ensure the Canadian government upholds its promises on landmines and cluster bombs!
  • Promote by helping to spread the word!  Organize an educational event; give a presentation to your school, church, community, workplace or fundraise for a safer world for all. Everything you need is at your fingertips!
  • Share your commitment and your passion using our social media tools which you can use to jump off to our Facebook page, our Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. Please stay awhile, talk with us, we want to hear from you.
  • Join our community or become a member. Help us build an explosion of interest in the safety and security of the victims and survivors of these insidious weapons. Formalize your involvement by joining our mailing list or volunteering.
  • Raise funds. Your support helps us implement programs here in Canada and around the world, and moves us closer to our goals – the eradication of landmines and cluster bombs from our world. Host a Bomb Appetit! Dinner party or choose one of the many other ways to raise funds and give to MAC including signing up to our monthly donor program online!

One step after another. Let’s keep moving forward. Take the next steps:  LEARNGIVE.

Real change for good is within reach. It takes just one step. Make it yours. Make it today.

published Landmines in Learn 2016-11-16 12:46:12 -0500


Antipersonnel landmines claim victims in every corner of the globe each day. Incapable of distinguishing between the footfall of a soldier and that of a child, they remain a threat long after the end of a conflict.

Antipersonnel landmines are explosive devices designed to injure or kill people. They lie dormant for years and even decades under, on or near the ground until a person or animal triggers their detonating mechanism. Antipersonnel mines cannot be aimed: they indiscriminately kill or injure civilians, soldiers, peacekeepers and aid workers alike.

Made of plastic, metal or other materials, they contain explosives and some contain pieces of shrapnel. They can be activated by direct pressure from above, by pressure put on a wire or filament attached to a pull switch, by a radio signal or other remote firing method, or even simply by the proximity of a person within a predetermined distance.

When triggered, a landmine unleashes unspeakable destruction. The blast causes injuries like blindness, burns, destroyed limbs and shrapnel wounds. Sometimes the victim dies from the blast, due to loss of blood or because they don't get to medical care in time. Those who survive and receive medical treatment often require amputations, long hospital stays and extensive rehabilitation.

Stepping on a blast antipersonnel mine will invariably cause foot and leg injuries, and secondary infections usually resulting in amputation. Fragmentation mines project hundreds of metal fragments, showering the victim with deep wounds. Bounding fragmentation mines are more powerful versions: they spring up about 1 meter and then explode, firing metal fragments to a large radius.

The Ottawa Convention banning landmines defines an antipersonnel mine as: "a mine designed to be exploded by the presence, proximity or contact of a person and that will incapacitate, injure or kill one or more persons." (Article 2.1)

Landmines are everywhere. According to Landmine Monitor, over 54 countries and territories in all regions of the world are affected by landmines and/or explosive remnants of war. Nobody knows how many mines are in the ground. But the actual number is less important than their impact: it can take only two or three mines or the mere suspicion of their presence to render a patch of land unusable.

The Ottawa Convention banning landmines and the International Campaign to Ban Landmines - of which Mines Action Canada is a part of – has made huge strides in solving this problem over the past 20 years – 80% of the world’s countries have  joined the Convention; tens of thousands of stockpiled mines have been destroyed. However, there is still much left to do. In 2020, the Landmine Monitor recorded 7,073 mine/ERW casualties, of which at least 2,492 people were killed. There is also an estimated 500,000 survivors living in the world today expecting the medical, psycho-social support and economic assistance they have been promised under the Convention.

Read all our news about landmines here.

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

published Cluster Bombs in Learn 2016-11-16 12:45:49 -0500

Cluster Bombs

On December 3rd, 2008 governments from around the world signed the most significant disarmament and humanitarian treaty of the decade, banning the use, production, transfer and stockpiling of cluster munitions, and obligating them to provide victim assistance and to clear contaminated land. 

Cluster bombs (also referred to as cluster munitions) include cargo containers and submunitions. Fired, launched or dropped by aircraft or land-based artillery, the containers open and disperse bomblets or submunitions over a wide area, often resulting in very dense contamination. The bomblets are designed to pierce armour and can kill anyone within a range of 50 meters with its explosive lethal charge. A single cluster bomb strike can spread hundreds to thousands of bomblets over as much as one square kilometer - with no distinction between military or civilian targets. Cluster munitions also have a failure rate ranging from 5-30%. Those that do not explode on impact become explosive remnants of war. These 'dud' munitions become de facto landmines and must be treated and cleared as such. Throughout 2001-2002, 1,228 cluster bombs containing 248,056 submunitions were used in Afghanistan. In 2003, 13,000 cluster munitions containing an estimated 1.8 to 2 million submunitions were used in Iraq.

To date, 120 countries have joined the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) since it opened for signature and 103 countries have ratified it – it entered into international law on August 1st 2010. 

With the pressure of the civil society in the form of the Cluster Munition Coalition, Norway launched an initiative in February 2007, known as the Oslo Process, following the failure of government talks within the traditional forum for discussing weapons issues – the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW). Led by Norway and other supportive governments including Austria, the Holy See, Ireland, New Zealand, Mexico and Peru, the Oslo Process set out to create an international treaty by the end of 2008.  The February 2007 “Oslo Declaration” was endorsed by 46 countries and committed them to conclude a treaty that would prohibit the use, transfer, and production of cluster munitions that cause unacceptable harm to civilians, would require the destruction of existing stockpiles, and provide adequate resources to assist survivors and clear contaminated areas. Following the meeting in Oslo, a series of international conferences were hosted by other supportive governments to discuss the terms of the treaty in Peru, Austria, New Zealand and Ireland. Around 140 countries participated in one or more of the Oslo

Process conferences including major user and producer states, affected states and states that stockpile cluster bombs. Regional conferences have also been held in Belgium, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Thailand and Zambia. Serbia also hosted a conference for states affected by cluster munitions.

The Convention on Cluster Munitions was finally negotiated and its wording was adopted at the Dublin Diplomatic Conference on May 30th, 2008 by 107 states.  It is a legally binding international treaty that forbids the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of cluster bombs.

Like chemical, biological, and antipersonnel landmine conventions before, the Convention on Cluster Munitions bans an entire category of weapons. The Oslo treaty sets the highest standard to date in international law for assistance to victims and their communities. It obliges nations to destroy all stockpiles within eight years and to clear contaminated land within ten. States must also provide detailed annual transparency reports on progress towards meeting their legal obligations.

Read all our news about cluster munitions here and learn more about efforts to Stop Explosive Investments

What still needs to be done?

Use of cluster munitions must be stopped, survivors assisted and unexploded submunitions need to be cleared.

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

published The Monitor in About Us 2016-11-16 12:45:21 -0500

The Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor

Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor assesses the global landmine, cluster munition, and explosive remnants of war (ERW) situation, and monitors adherence to the treaties banning landmines and cluster munitions.

  • The Monitor conducts its research and monitoring for two global coalitions, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and the Cluster Munition Coalition, and is the de facto monitoring regime for the treaties banning landmines and cluster bombs.
  • Before the Monitor there was no systematic monitoring of the international community’s response to the humanitarian problem caused by landmines, cluster bombs, and other ERW.
  • Landmine Monitor was created in 1998, and became Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor in 2010. From 1999-2009 the Monitor produced two publications, the Landmine Monitor Annual Report and its Executive Summary. Starting in 2010 the Monitor began producing three publications: Country Profiles, Landmine Monitor, and Cluster Munition Monitor.
  • The Monitor consists of a eight member Monitoring and Research Committee, an Editorial team and a network of over 70 researchers.
  • Mines Action Canada has been heavily involved in the Monitor since its beginning and our staff are currently on the Monitoring and Review Committee and the Editorial team.


published Advocacy in About Us 2016-11-16 12:44:58 -0500


MAC works with its coalition members, international partners and you – our active supporters - to achieve a mine-free world and to eliminate the disastrous consequences of indiscriminate weapons on civilian communities.

We seek to prevent further civilian casualties due to indiscriminate weapons and to ensure existing victims receive the help they need. We believe the human-made disaster caused by these weapons is solvable in our lifetime.

Our vision is to bring humanity one step closer to peace and social justice by eliminating the impacts of victim-activated weapons and restoring the rights and dignity of affected individuals and communities. Your support helps us implement programs domestically and internationally to bring us closer to this vision through further our advocacy work in Canada, internationally and with civil society groups around the world! We do this by:

  • Actively serving on the governance bodies of three international movements – the Nobel Prize laureate International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) and the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots. MAC was a founder of the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) in 2003 and a founder of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots in 2012. MAC has served actively on the ICBL–CMC Governance Board since 2000.
  • Participating actively and providing leadership in all relevant international meetings and conferences on landmines, cluster munitions, their respective treaties and humanitarian disarmament issues.
  • Developing and disseminating accessible education materials on indiscriminate weapons; organizing forums where the public and decision makers can dialogue with experts speaking on topics such as implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions and stopping investments of Canadian funds in companies that produce cluster bombs or their components.
  • Engaging and educating decision-makers in Canada and around the world on this issue through one-on-one meetings; providing regular updates the progress and obstacles in treaty implementation; and generating media attention on the issue via press conferences, press releases and media opportunities. Planning and implementing in collaboration with ICBL-CMC or Campaign to Stop Killer Robots partners, annual strategies to engage countries that are not part of the treaties in addition to engaging member countries with pending implementation mine action deadlines through media events, educational campaigns, one on one advocacy meetings and research publications.


published Youth in Learn 2016-11-16 12:44:30 -0500


  • MAC’s Youth Leadership, Education and Action Program contributes to reducing the humanitarian and development impact of landmines and cluster bombs by providing resources and training to mine action and development organizations and youth from around the world.
  • The resources and training are meant to build the capacity of the organizations to utilize young people in their work, and build the capacity of young people to be effective delivery agents of mine action, including advocacy, victim assistance and mine risk education. 
  • By providing forums for mine action and development organizations to collaborate at the regional and international levels, the program aims to help mitigate the humanitarian and development impact of victim-activated weapons. 
  • Youth LEAP conferences and workshops are opportunities for mutual information sharing between sectors, and capacity building for both on how to more effectively utilize a prime resource: youth. The youth participants will be cross-pollinators between sectors, integrating mine action objectives into development programs and vice-versa.
  • Youth LEAP takes place in the form of international youth forums organized alongside major international meetings on cluster bombs and landmines; a globally coordinated virtual Youth to Youth Action Network; apprenticeship programs; and a small grants program.
  • MAC has produced a manual on the best practices of working with youth for a mine-free world, which is available in English, French, Spanish, Arabic and Russian
  • MAC also has online resources for youth campaigners looking to develop their leadership and campaigning skills. 
published Stop Explosive Investments in Cluster Bombs 2016-11-16 12:44:02 -0500

Stop Explosive Investments

In 2008 governments negotiated the Convention on Cluster Munitions that bans the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of cluster bombs. It also prohibits all countries that have joined the Convention to assist anyone in any activity banned under the Convention, such as the production of cluster bombs. To date, 118 countries have ratified the Convention.

The Ottawa Treaty banning landmines and the Convention on Cluster Munitions both state that “each State Party undertakes never under any circumstance to assist, encourage or induce, in any way anyone to engage in any activity prohibited to a State Party under this Convention.” We believe that financing the production of antipersonnel mines or cluster bombs or their components should clearly constitute “assistance” or encouragement.

Cluster bombs continue to be produced in some countries that have not yet outlawed these weapons. Although countries that have joined the Convention must stop producing cluster bombs, some banks and other financial institutions in or from these countries continue to fund their production by investing in corporations that manufacture them elsewhere. This undermines the commitment these countries have made to ban these weapons and runs counter to their obligations under international law.

MAC is working hard to see all Canadian financial institutions articulate a clear position and policy against these types of investments and Canada's legislation is changed to prohibit investment in producers of cluster munitions.

Help ensure your investments don't bomb:

  • Learn more about the Stop Explosive Investments Campaign including which financial institutions are investing in cluster munition producers.

  • Write a letter to your bank

    • Ask them to clarify their policies on investing in producers of cluster bombs.

    • Let them know you do not want your money financing weapons that pose unacceptable risks to civilians and are banned by the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

    • Let MAC know of any responses you receive so we can ensure we are working with the most accurate information.

  • Write a letter to your Member of Parliament

    • Ask them to bring in new legislation to clearly prohibit investments in companies that produce cluster munitions or their components in Canada now that we are state party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

    • Find your MP here and remember it's free to mail letters to the House of Commons.

    • Let MAC know if you receive a response we should follow up on!

  • Invest in a world free of cluster bombs and landmines by supporting MAC

    • Organize a Monopoly, Payday or Life tournament. Charge an entrance fee or ask players to donate a portion of their game winnings in real funds!

    • Gather a group of friends or classmates and auction off your goods and services (e.g. one hour of snow shoveling, babysitting for an evening, music lessons). Donate the proceeds to MAC.

    • Become a monthly or one-time donor and make a gift to support this work! 

published International Partners in About Us 2016-11-16 11:40:01 -0500

International Partners

With your support, Mines Action Canada and our international partners are taking steps today, so that civilian populations may walk freely tomorrow.  Our international partners, a network of non-governmental organizations, are dedicated to the safety and security of civilian populations affected by indiscriminate weapons. Together, this issue is solvable in our lifetime.

International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL)

In 1991, several non-governmental organizations and individuals began simultaneously to discuss the necessity of coordinating initiatives and calls for a ban on antipersonnel landmines.

The International Campaign to Ban Landmines’ (ICBL's) founding organizations: Handicap International, Human Rights Watch, medico international, Mines Advisory Group, Physicians for Human Rights, and Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation came together in October 1992 to formalize the ICBL.

“The landmine is eternally prepared to take victims. It is the perfect soldier.”  Jody Williams, 1997 Nobel Peace Prize winner, founding coordinator of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines

The Campaign calls for an international ban on the use, production, stockpiling, and transfer of antipersonnel landmines, and for increased international resources for humanitarian mine clearance and mine victim assistance program. The network represents over 1,100 human rights, demining, humanitarian, children's, veterans', medical, development, arms control, religious, environmental, and women's groups in over 60 countries, who work locally, nationally, regionally, and internationally to support the ban on antipersonnel landmines.

Mines Action Canada sits on the Governance Board of the ICBL-CMC. Learn more about the ICBL at:

Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC)

The Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) is a global network of over 250 civil society organizations working in 70 countries to end the harm caused by cluster bombs. In 2003, MAC helped to found the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) along with 80 non-governmental organizations from around the world. It was a response to growing concerns about ERW and cluster munitions' use in civilian areas and their impact. Other founding members include Human Rights Watch, Handicap International and other leaders from the Nobel Peace Prize-winning International Campaign to Ban Landmines which secured the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty.

The CMC has successfully campaigned for a strong international treaty prohibiting cluster munitions with calls to:

  1. Stop clusters' use, production and trade until the associated humanitarian problems have been resolved;
  2. Increase resources to assist affected communities and individuals; and
  3. Users of clusters and other weapons that become ERW accept responsibility for clearance, risk education, warnings, information and victim assistance.

Mines Action Canada sits on the Governance Board of the ICBL-CMC. Learn more about the CMC at:

Campaign to Stop Killer Robots

Formed by 10 non-governmental organizations at a meeting in New York on 19 October 2012 and launched in London in April 2013, the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots is an international coalition working to preemptively ban fully autonomous weapons. These robotic weapons would be able to choose and fire on targets on their own, without any human intervention. See the Chronology charting the Campaign's major actions and achievements to date.

The Campaign has gown to be a global coalition of 61 international, regional, and national non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in 26 countries that calls for a preemptive ban on fully autonomous weapons. 

Learn more about the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots at:

published Staff in About Us 2016-11-16 11:39:33 -0500


We believe that ending war brings peace, but our collective actions bring peace of mind to the many civilians affected by these weapons. The Mines Action Canada team is dedicated to working together with Canadians and our partners to achieve a mine-free world and to eliminate the suffering caused by indiscriminate weapons.

Our team

published About Us 2016-11-16 11:35:54 -0500

VISION: To bring humanity one step closer to peace and social justice by eliminating the impacts of indiscriminate weapons and restoring the rights and dignity of affected individuals and communities.

Mines Action Canada (MAC) is an international leader working to eliminate the serious humanitarian, environmental and development consequences of indiscriminate weapons. 

We are committed global advocates working to alleviate the impact that these weapons have on the rights, dignity and well being of civilian populations. We do this by engaging the public; supporting domestic and international partners; researching and monitoring the performance and compliance levels of disarmament and humanitarian laws; and by developing and disseminating resources.

When you support Mines Action Canada, you are supporting initiatives that are an imperative component to making positive global change for hundreds of thousands of women, men and children. MAC is successfully achieving these goals by implementing our core values of peace, social justice, partnership, solidarity, cooperation, and innovation.

The human-made disaster caused by these weapons is solvable in our lifetime. Please, take the next steps today:    


For more information on MAC, please click below:

Mines Action Canada is located in Ottawa which is on the unceded territory of the Algonquin people. They have cared for this land for generations and when Europeans first arrived, they offered assistance, sharing knowledge and skills, to help the newcomers live on new and unfamiliar land.

Mines Action Canada strives to take those ideas of stewardship of the land and of offering assistance to help all live well into our work on a daily basis. We are mindful of broken covenants and we seek to live in respect, peace and right relations with the indigenous peoples of Turtle Island as we reside and work upon unsurrendered Algonquin territory. 

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