UC Law SF International Law Review


Mary A. Ferrer


The number of antipersonnel landmines worldwide has increased dramatically in the last twenty-five years. There are an estimated 80 to 110 million landmines deployed or stockpiled in sixty-two countries around the world. This global landmine crisis has devastating effects in developing countries, where the majority of the world's landmines are laid. Despite international efforts to remove landmines, civilians in developing countries continue to be injured by landmines that were laid during wars that have long since ended. Although landmines are perceived as purely military weapons, the reality is that eighty percent of landmine casualties are civilians, not soldiers. Many of these civilians are children; the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) estimates that there is one landmine for every twenty of the world's children.

This Note suggests that existing international law regulating landmine use fails to adequately protect the interests of civilian populations in developing countries as mandated by current international humanitarian law and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. By examining the devastating effects landmines have on the political, economic, and social lives of civilian populations, this Note concludes that nothing short of a total ban on the use and stockpiling of these weapons will ensure civilians and children are protected as mandated by international humanitarian law.