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ETHICS AND JUSTICE WORKING GROUP, Landmine Monitor Report 2001
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The Ethics and Justice Working Group (EJWG) was established at the General Meeting in Maputo in May 1999 as an ad-hoc working group.[3] The EJWG believes that issues related to ethics and justice are fundamental to the landmine issue generally, and central to the ICBL as a global network, and that the broader socio-ethical implications of the Mine Ban Treaty need to be continuously analyzed, articulated and acted on. Noel Stott of the South African Campaign to Ban Landmines chairs the Group, having been elected into this position at the ICBL's General Meeting in March 2001.

Ongoing Activities

The Superman Mine Awareness Comic: The EJWG triggered discussion about the Superman mine awareness comic's cultural appropriateness, as seen from the perspective of campaigns in many countries of the South and some in the East.[4] The EJWG and MAWG drafted an ICBL letter to UNICEF in May 2000 formally requesting that UNICEF "openly address the cultural and technical concerns raised." UNICEF officers have subsequently announced the withdrawal of the comic book from circulation.

The "Polluter Pays" principle: [5] The EJWG seeks to focus consistent attention on this issue, particularly as the implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty compels governments to a renewed humanitarian commitment, as they focus on national guidelines for mine action. A recommended and accepted criterion for mine action should be that of avoiding "double dipping" situations, where those involved in production and export of landmines also profit from demining.

Landmines and Environment: Landmines have been called a toxic pollutant of global proportion, yet not much has been done to research their environmental consequences. Toward this end, the Sub-Committee on Environmental Aspects (SCEA) of the EJWG was created in May 1999, and it is working on the issue with a number of national campaigns and organizations affiliated with the ICBL.[6]

The SCEA continues to assess overall environmental aspects of the landmine crisis and environmental norms. A compilation of the information on Environmental Standards provided by States under Article 7 is being analyzed, with particular reference to the need for an international environmental standard for destruction of stockpiles. The SCEA has actively participated in various international conferences studying the relations between armed conflict, sustainable development and conservation strategies.

The Definition of AP Mines: One of the objectives of the EJWG is to stimulate analysis of a definition of AP mines that more fully encompasses its impact on the victim. Several members of the EJWG have focused on an impact-oriented definition of AP mine.

Ethical reflections on compliance of the Mine Ban Treaty: The EJWG is continuing work regarding the ethical arguments for compliance with the Mine Ban Treaty.

Present Activities

EJWG has begun to investigate how best to involve itself in a variety of issues, including: disability issues as a human rights concern; the ethical issues arising out of the quest for alternatives to AP mines; and importantly, the location of the ICBL with respect to other global social movements.

In addition, EJWG monitors and lobbies for companies to introduce environmentally and socially responsible criteria in the management of their portfolios. These criteria could exclude companies from investing where landmines or other munitions that have the same effect as AP mines are still produced.

The EJWG is monitoring mine action research and development and the activities of arms manufacturers involved in mine clearance more broadly. It is looking at ways to challenge mine clearance operators to work in a way that enables the victims or the victim communities to profit from mine clearance. The EJWG is studying the humanitarian impact of antitank mines.

Based on the experience of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), the EJWG intends to investigate both the feasibility and relevance of users apologizing for their use of antipersonnel landmines, as well as a TRC-type approach as a means for victims/survivors to come to terms with their trauma.

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[3] Previously known as the working group on legal and moral responsibility formed in Frankfurt in February 1998.
[4] Following a period of consultations and correspondence among ICBL members, including specialists in mine awareness, technical and cultural objections were raised by campaigns and NGOs particularly in Mozambique, Sudan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Philippines, Bosnia, Kosovo, Nicaragua and Colombia.
[5] The first "Call" of the ICBL included a broad call urging states that had contributed to the proliferation of landmines to commit financially for their eradication; members of the ICBL, now particularly in the EJWG, have focused more specifically on the "polluter pays" principle, with a mind to how it was applied in the environmental movement.
[6] From May 1999, Claudio Torres Nachón of the SCEA has conducted research on the environmental aspects of landmines. Some of the sub-committee's main findings and other research papers can be found in a dedicated web page hosted by the Centro de Derecho Ambiental e Integración Económica del Sur-DASSUR, at: http://members.xoom.com/dassur/envir.htmll.