HC Deb 30 July 1998 vol 317 c539W
Mr. Howard

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the Government's policy on classifying the use of land mines as a war crime. [49673]

Mr. Doug Henderson

[holding answer 9 July 1998]: I have been asked to reply.

Until such time as the use of Anti-Personnel mines become subject to a comprehensive prohibition under international law, it cannot be classified as a war crime. This is not a matter of policy but what is currently possible under international law.

The abhorrence with which the Government view the use of Anti-Personnel land mines should be in no doubt to anyone. This is reflected by the Government's introduction of domestic legislation to fulfill our obligations under the Ottawa Convention. We shall continue to encourage as many countries as possible to sign and ratify the Ottawa Convention.