Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 12 November 2019


The People’s Republic of Bangladesh signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 7 May 1998, ratified on 6 September 2000, and became a State Party on 1 March 2001.

Bangladesh has not drafted implementation legislation for the Mine Ban Treaty.[1] In 2009, Bangladesh stated that it “is aware of its obligation in terms of enacting enabling legislation in support of the provisions of the Anti-personnel Mine Convention. Recently the government has initiated the process to draft legislation banning the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of Anti-personnel Mines.”[2] Bangladesh has made similar statements each year since 2002. In 2013, Bangladesh reported, “necessary implementation measures are in process” under national implementation measures.[3] It provided the same update in its Article 7 transparency report in April 2017.[4]

Bangladesh’s last attendance at a meeting of the convention was the Third Review Conference in Maputo in June 2014. Bangladesh last submitted an Article 7 transparency report in April 2017.

Bangladesh is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) and its Amended Protocol II on landmines and Protocol V on explosive remnants. Bangladesh is not party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Production, transfer, use, stockpiling, and destruction

Bangladeshi officials have often stated that the country has never produced or exported antipersonnel mines and never used antipersonnel mines within the country or along its borders.[5]

Bangladesh completed destruction of 189,227 stockpiled antipersonnel mines in February 2005.[6]

Bangladesh has 2,499 Iranian-produced M18A1 Claymore-type mines that it maintains can only be used in command-detonated mode, and therefore are not prohibited by the Mine Ban Treaty.[7] Bangladesh has not described in detail the specific measures it has taken to ensure that the mines can only be used in command-detonated mode, as has been urged by other States Parties.

In February 2013, cross-border traders informed the Monitor that officers of the Nasaka (Burmese Border Forces) warned them that an operation to lay landmines along the land border between Myanmar and Bangladesh would begin soon. On 12 February 2013, residents of Naikhongchari in Bangladesh stated to the Monitor that a Bangladeshi national saw an object which he alleged looked like a landmine near pillar 51 (the border is marked by numbered pillars). Local Border Guard of Bangladesh (BGB) forces went to pillar 51 and removed the object and reportedly sent it to their battalion office at Naikhongchari. Another news report noted that mines had been planted in the areas near border pillars 37 to 40. Later in February, the BGB issued a warning to locals to avoid border area and increased their surveillance to prevent people from getting near the border.

In March 2013, the ICBL wrote to Bangladesh’s Minister of Foreign Affairs to request information on any recent landmine use along Bangladesh’s border with Myanmar and reminded the government that Bangladesh should declare any recovered antipersonnel landmines from its border areas in its Article 7 Report. The ICBL asked if the minister “could confirm whether military forces from Myanmar recently laid mines on Bangladeshi territory or transited Bangladesh territory to undertake mine laying on Myanmar territory, and we would welcome any additional information you have on this matter.” As of October 2013, the ICBL had received no response to its letter.

Mines retained for research and training

Bangladesh has retained 12,050 antipersonnel mines for research and training under Article 3 of the treaty, which is the third highest number among States Parties. The number of antipersonnel mines retained since Bangladesh’s initial Article 7 report in 2002 has decreased only slightly from its original number of 12,500.[8] This indicates that mines are rarely being consumed during any training or research activities.

In December 2009, Bangladesh said that the retained mines “are used only to impart training to Bangladesh Armed Forces personnel, specifically to assist engineering contingents to prepare for UN peacekeeping missions with de-mining mandate.”[9] In the past, Bangladesh army officials have stated that they need a large number of retained mines because they believe that deminer training requires live rather than dummy mines and because engineering units and training facilities are spread all over the country.[10]

In its Article 7 reports, Bangladesh has not used the expanded Form D for reporting on retained mines that States Parties agreed to in 2005. The form is intended to ensure that States Parties are transparent about the precise intended purposes, actual uses, and future plans for use of retained mines.

[1] In its first mention in its Article 7 report in April 2003, Bangladesh stated that its implementation legislation was in its “final stage of preparation.” Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form A, 29 April 2003. However, in subsequent Article 7 reports including the one from June 2010, it has simply repeated that “Necessary implementation measures are in progress.” Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form A, 25 June 2010.

[2] Statement by Amb. Akramul Qader, State Minister, Embassy of Bangladesh to the United States (US), Mine Ban Treaty Second Review Conference, Cartagena, 3–4 December 2009.

[3] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form A, 28 February 2013.

[4] Ibid., 12 April 2017.

[5] It most recently said this in its statement at the Second Review Conference in 2009.

[6] For details on stockpile destruction, see, Landmine Monitor Report 2005, pp. 156–157.

[7] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form B, 28 February 2007.

[8] Bangladesh initially listed 15,000 retained mines, including 2,500 M18A1 Iranian Claymore-type mines. In 2005, it changed the M18A1 number to 2,499 for unknown reasons. In its last four Article 7 reports, it did not include the 2,499 M18A1 mines in the list of retained mines, explaining that the devices are not prohibited under the Mine Ban Treaty. In its 2017 report, Bangladesh indicated that it retains 12,050 mines. Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D, 12 April 2017.

[9] Statement by Amb. Qader, Embassy of Bangladesh to the US, Second Review Conference, Cartagena, 3–4 December 2009.