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Last Updated: 25 November 2013

Mine Ban Policy

Mine ban policy overview

Mine Ban Treaty status

State Party

National implementation measures

No implementation measures enacted

Transparency reporting

Last submitted 29 May 2007

Key Developments

Destroyed 4,553 stockpiled antipersonnel mines


The Kingdom of Bhutan acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty on 18 August 2005 and the treaty entered into force on 1 February 2006. Bhutan has stated that the treaty is “self-enacting” under existing domestic law.[1] In May 2013, Bhutan informed States Parties that “By the virtue of the Constitution of Bhutan, all international treaties and conventions are deemed as national laws. Furthermore, the Bhutan Civil and Criminal procedure code also contains relevant provisions, which would adequately cover implementation of the Convention for the time being.” The representative of Bhutan added, “the Royal Government will continue to adopt additional measures for implementation of the Convention as and when deemed necessary.”[2]

As of 1 August 2012, Bhutan had not submitted its annual Article 7 report, which was due on 30 April 2012. Bhutan has not provided the required annual updates since its initial Article 7 report on 29 May 2007. In June 2011, Bhutan stated, “We are presently engaged in discussions with the ISU [Implementation Support Unit] to explore means of strengthening the implementation of our commitments under the Convention, including those under Art. 7 of the Convention.”[3]

Bhutan attended the Twelfth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in December 2012, where it provided an update on its stockpile destruction and mine clearance efforts. Bhutan attended the intersessional Standing Committee meetings in May 2013, where it provided updates on its efforts regarding national legislation, stockpile destruction, and mine clearance.

Bhutan also attended the Bangkok Symposium on Enhancing Cooperation & Assistance in June 2013 in Bangkok.

Bhutan is not party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions or the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW).

Use, transfer, production, stockpiling, and retention

Bhutan’s initial Article 7 report acknowledges that Bhutan imported and used antipersonnel mines in the past but did not produce them.[4] At that time, Bhutan declared a stockpile of 4,491 antipersonnel mines, all of which it stated it would retain for training purposes.[5] In May 2013, Bhutan informed States Parties that it retained 490 antipersonnel mines.[6] Bhutan stated, “The mines are retained solely for training purposes and all officers and troops are imparted with basic mine laying and mine clearing training. Officers and troops also undergo specialized trainings in mine clearing and removal of improvised explosive devices (IEDs). A week-long training is conducted for all officers and troops annually. The training includes mine identification and awareness, minefield marking and layout, [and] detection and destruction techniques.”[7]

Bhutan informed States Parties in December 2012 that since the submission of their initial Article 7 report, they have destroyed 2,370 MNM-14 and 2,183 M-16 antipersonnel mines that were “either unserviceable or expired.”[8] The number of mines it destroyed since 2007 is greater than the stockpile declared in Bhutan’s initial Article 7 report. No explanation regarding the decision to reduce its mines retained or the changes in numbers was provided.

Bhutan’s treaty-mandated deadline for destroying any stockpiled antipersonnel mines was 1 February 2010. Bhutan has yet to indicate whether or not it destroyed any stockpiled antipersonnel mines in the past.


[1] “In Bhutan’s case, the treaty would be ‘self-enacting’ under domestic law since Chapter IV, clause 29 of the Civil & Criminal Procedure Code of Bhutan 2001 states that ‘The Royal Court of Justice shall apply International Convention, Covenant, Treaty and Protocol that are duly acceded by the Royal Government of Bhutan and ratified by the National Assembly of Bhutan.’” Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form A, 29 May 2007.

[2] Statement of Bhutan, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention, Geneva, 27 May 2013, www.apminebanconvention.org/intersessional-work-programme/may-2013/general-status-and-operation-of-the-convention/statements/?eID=dam_frontend_push&docID=16415.

[3] Statement of Bhutan, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Geneva, 23 June 2011.

[4] Article 7 Report, Forms C, D, E, F, and H, 29 May 2007. The Article 7 report indicates Bhutan government forces used mines on tracks to camps maintained by insurgents in Gorbakunda and Nganglam. Bhutan previously stated several times that it had not produced, imported, exported, stockpiled, or used antipersonnel mines.

[5] Article 7 Report, Form D, 29 May 2007. The stockpile consists of 1,740 M-14 mines and 2,751 M-16 mines. Bhutan did not provide any technical characteristics of the mines, as called for in Article 7, but their specific designations are typical of Indian-manufactured mines.

[6] Comprised of 245 MNM-14 and 245 M-16 antipersonnel mines. Statement of Bhutan, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention, Geneva, 27 May 2013, www.apminebanconvention.org/intersessional-work-programme/may-2013/general-status-and-operation-of-the-convention/statements/?eID=dam_frontend_push&docID=16418.

[8] Statement of Bhutan, Mine Ban Treaty Twelfth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 5 December 2012, www.apminebanconvention.org/meetings-of-the-states-parties/12msp/what-happened-at-the-12msp/day-3-wednesday-5-december/statements/?eID=dam_frontend_push&docID=15685; and Statement of Bhutan, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention, Geneva, 27 May 2013, www.apminebanconvention.org/intersessional-work-programme/may-2013/mine-clearance/statements/?eID=dam_frontend_push&docID=16441.