In the course of 1991, several nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and individuals began simultaneously to discuss the necessity of coordinating initiatives and calls for a ban on antipersonnel landmines.
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 International Campaign to Ban Landmines.
From the beginning the International Campaign to Ban Landmines has defined itself as a flexible network of organizations that share common objectives. The campaign calls for an international ban on the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of antipersonnel landmines, for increased international resources for humanitarian mine clearance, and increased international resources for mine victim assistance programs.
In 1993 the Campaign Steering Committee consisting of the original six organizations was formalized, and the coordinator recognized. As dozens of national campaigns formed and hundreds of organizations joined the Campaign, the Steering Committee was expanded in 1996 and 1997 to reflect the growth and diversity of the Campaign. New members included the Afghan Campaign to Ban Landmines, Cambodia Campaign to Ban Landmines, Kenyan Coalition Against Landmines, Rädda Barnen, and South African Campaign to Ban Landmines.
Today, this network represents over 1,000 human rights, humanitarian, children’s, peace, veteran’s, medical, development, arms control, religious, environmental, and women’s groups in over 60 countries. These groups work locally, nationally, and internationally to ban antipersonnel landmines. ICBL was an important force behind the convention to ban antipersonel landmines signed in Ottawa in December 1997 by more than 120 countries. In 1997 the ICBL and its coordinator Jody Williams received the Nobel Peace Prize.
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