A number of international law instruments are relevant to gender in mine action.
The Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production, Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction (AP MBC, adopted in 1997)
- The AP Mine Ban Convention is the cornerstone of the international effort to end the suffering and casualties caused by anti-personnel (AP) mines and provides a framework for mine action. Gender issues are not mentioned in the Convention but have been discussed at Meetings of States Parties, Intersessionals and Review Conferences.
- The Cartagena Action Plan 2010-2014 mentions gender as a guiding principle in the introduction and in relation to Clearance, Risk Education, Victim Assistance, Cooperation and assistance, Sex and age disaggreagated data and Reporting.
The Convention on Cluster Munitions (the CCM, adopted in 2008)
- The most recent international law instrument, the CCM prohibits all use, stockpiling, production and transfer of Cluster Munitions. Separate articles in the Convention concern assistance to victims, clearance of contaminated areas and destruction of stockpiles. The CCM officially broadens the definition of victims (Article 2) including not only the persons directly impacted by cluster munitions (mainly men and boys) but also their affected families and communities, which include those (mainly women) living with, depending on and becoming caregivers of survivors. The CMC is the only disarmament treaty that specifically underlines the importance of gender, for instance it recognises in its preamble “the need to provide age- and gender-sensitive assistance to cluster munition victims and to address the special needs of vulnerable groups”.
- The Vientiane Action Plan (VAP) adopted in November 2010 at the First Meeting of States Parties in Lao PDR also includes gender issues in several actions related to victim assistance.
The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (the CEDAW, adopted in 1979)
- This convention provides the basis for ensuring women's equal access to and equal opportunities in political and public life, as well as in education, health and employment. States that have ratified the Convention are committed to submitting reports every four years on measures taken to comply with their obligations.
The Beijing Platform (adopted in 1995)
- This declaration establishes gender mainstreaming as a major global strategy for the promotion of gender equality. Relevant to Mine Action is the "Women and Armed Conflict Diagnosis", Strategic objective E.2.; and Action 143 e.
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (the CRPD, adopted in 2006)
- The CRPD provides a framework to address the needs of survivors and to ensure the full realization of their human rights and respect for their inherent dignity.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child (the CRC), (adopted in 1989)
- The mere presence of landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) in civilian areas violates nearly every article of the CRC. The CRC provides legal, moral and ethical frameworks for assessing and analysing the situation of children living with problems of landmines, and formulating an appropriate response. The articles that are of particular relevance for mine action are; Article 23 on physical disability; Article 24 on health care and rehabilitation and Article 39 on armed conflicts.
The Convention on Prohibitions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects (the CCW, adopted in 1980)