The Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction, also known as the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, is the cornerstone of the international effort to end the suffering caused by anti-personnel mines. The Convention was adopted on 18 September 1997 and it entered into force on 1 March 1999. To date, 162 States have formally agreed to be bound by the Convention. The Convention provides a framework for mine action, seeking both to end existing suffering and to prevent future suffering. It bans the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel mines. In addition, States that accede to the Convention agree to destroy both stockpiled and emplaced anti-personnel mines and to assist the victims of mines.
Australia was one of the original signatories of the Convention and in December 1998 the Australian Parliament passed the Anti-Personnel Mines Convention Act. This legislation gives effect under Australian law to the provisions of the Mine Ban Convention. It creates offences relating to the placement, possession, development, production, acquisition, stockpiling and transfer of anti-personnel landmines by Australian citizens or members of the Australian Defence Force or on territory under Australian jurisdiction or control.
In keeping with Australia's obligations under the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, the Australian Defence Force has destroyed Australia's stockpile of antipersonnel landmines. A small number of mines have been retained, as permitted by the Convention, for research and training purposes in support of Australia's work in humanitarian demining.