Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Last updated: 11 July 2016

Summary: State Party Malawi was among the first 30 ratifications to trigger the convention’s entry into force on 1 August 2010. It has expressed its desire to enact national implementing legislation for the convention, but has yet to introduce draft legislation for parliamentary approval. Malawi has participated in several of the convention’s Meetings of States Parties, most recently in 2013, and voted in favor of a UN resolution in December 2015. It has elaborated its views on a number of important interpretative issues relating to implementation of the convention. In its initial transparency report for the convention provided in 2011, Malawi confirmed it has not used, produced, transferred, or stockpiled cluster munitions and has not retained any for training or research purposes.


The Republic of Malawi signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 3 December 2008 and ratified on 7 October 2009. It was among the first 30 ratifications that triggered the convention’s entry into force on 1 August 2010.

Malawi has expressed its desire to adopt implementing legislation for the convention, but the exact status of the process was not known as of July 2016. Previously, in 2011, it reported that it intended to introduce draft implementing legislation for the convention for parliamentary approval.[1]

Malawi provided an initial Article 7 transparency report for the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 27 January 2011. As of 27 June 2016, it had not submitted any of the annual updated reports due by 30 April.[2]

Malawi participated in the Oslo Process that created the Convention on Cluster Munitions and supported a comprehensive ban without exceptions.[3]

Malawi participated in the convention’s Meetings of States Parties in 2010, 2012, and 2013 as well as regional meetings on cluster munitions, most recently in Lusaka, Zambia in June 2015.[4] Malawi was invited to, but did not attend the convention’s First Review Conference in Dubrovnik, Croatia in September 2015.

On 7 December 2015, Malawi voted in favor of a UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution on the Convention on Cluster Munitions, which urges states outside the convention to “join as soon as possible.”[5] It has also voted in favor of UNGA resolutions condemning the use of cluster munitions in Syria, most recently in December 2014.[6]

Interpretive issues

Malawi has described the prohibitions contained in the Convention on Cluster Munitions as “absolute with no exception or loopholes.”[7] In March 2010, Malawi elaborated its views on a range of important issues related to interpretation and implementation of the convention, including that:

  • Article 1(c) of the convention’s prohibition on assistance “should read to prohibit investments in CM [cluster munition] producers.”
  • “As well as transfer, the transit of CM is prohibited” under the convention.
  • “States Parties must not intentionally or deliberately assist, induce or encourage any prohibited activity” under the convention during joint military operations with states not party that may use cluster munitions.
  • “There should be no stockpiling of CM of non-State Parties on the territory under the jurisdiction or control of a State Party and State Parties must ensure the destruction or removal of CM of foreign states on the territory.”
  • The retention of cluster munitions for training and development “should be the exception and not the rule,” and those that do retain should only keep a “very limited number.”[8]

Malawi is party to the Mine Ban Treaty. Malawi is not party the Convention on Conventional Weapons.

Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling

Malawi does not possess stockpiles, does not retain any cluster munitions for training or other purposes, and does not have facilities that produce cluster munitions.[9] Malawi is not known to have ever used or transferred cluster munitions.

[2] The initial report covers the period from 1 August 2010 to 27 January 2011.

[3] For details on Malawi’s policy and practice regarding cluster munitions through early 2009, see Human Rights Watch and Landmine Action, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, May 2009), p. 115.

[5]Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution 70/54, 7 December 2015.

[6]Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic,” UNGA Resolution A/RES/69/189, 18 December 2014. Malawi voted in favor of similar resolutions on 15 May and 18 December 2013.

[7] Statement of Malawi, Convention on Cluster Munitions First Meeting of States Parties, Vientiane, 10 November 2010. Notes by the CMC.

[8] Statement by Maj. Dan Kuwali, Director of Legal Services, Malawi Defence Force, on Promoting a Common Understanding of the Provisions of the Convention in Africa, Africa Regional Conference on the Universalization and Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Pretoria, 25 March 2010.

[9] Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form B to Form J (inclusive), 27 January 2011. The response in almost all forms consists of “none” or “N/A” for not applicable.

Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 18 December 2019

The Republic of Malawi signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 4 December 1997 and ratified it on 13 August 1998, becoming a State Party on 1 March 1999. Malawi has drafted a Land Mine Prohibition Act to implement the Mine Ban Treaty, but no updates have been provided since 2010.[1]

Malawi has not attended any recent meetings of the treaty. It did not attend the Third Review Conference in Maputo in June 2014. Malawi last submitted an updated Article 7 transparency report in 2010.

Malawi is not party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons. Malawi is party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Malawi has never used, produced, imported, exported, or stockpiled antipersonnel mines. It possesses 21 inert mines used for training purposes.

[1] Statement of Malawi, Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention, Mine Ban Treaty, Geneva, 25 June 2010.


Last updated: 05 May 2017

Casualties Overview

All known casualties by end 2016

12 mine/explosive remnants of war (ERW) casualties (4 killed; 8 injured)


The last recorded casualties in the Republic of Malawi occurred in 2010, when an unidentified explosive device killed two Mozambican boys and injured a man on the Malawi-Mozambique border.[1] Since 1999, the Monitor has identified a total of 12 casualties from mines/ERW in Malawi, resulting in four people killed and eight injured.[2]

[1] “Landmines kill 2 Mozambican boys in Malawi,” The Maravi Post, 23 August 2010.

[2] ICBL, Landmine Monitor Report 2001: Towards a Mine-Free World (New York: Human Rights Watch, August 2001).

Victim Assistance

Last updated: 05 May 2017

The Republic of Malawi provides assistance to persons with disabilities, including those disabled by ERW, under the Disability Act, which entered into force in 2013. The lack of accessibility to public buildings and transportation as well as social stigma related to disability had a negative impact on the ability of persons with disabilities to access services and employment.[1]

Malawi ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in 2009.

[1] United States Department of State, “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2016: Malawi,” Washington, DC, 3 March 2017.