NEW CASUALTIES IN 2001-2002
Landmine casualties continue to be reported in every region of the world. In 2001 and through June 2002, Landmine Monitor finds that there were new landmine/UXO casualties reported in 70 countries; down from 73 countries reported in the Landmine Monitor Report 2001. Landmine Monitor also registered mine casualties in eight regions it monitors because of their significant landmine/UXO problem. In calendar year 2001, new casualties were recorded in 69 countries and all eight regions. In early 2002, additional casualties were recorded in Algeria. The data sources used to identify new casualties includes official databases, government records, hospital records, media reports, surveys/assessments, and interviews.
Landmine Monitor has identified at least 7,987 new landmine/UXO casualties in calendar year 2001. About 70% of reported casualties are civilians. However, it is important to remember that this figure represents the reported casualties and does not include the thousands of casualties that are believed to go unreported as innocent civilians are killed or injured in remote areas away from any form of assistance or means of communication. There is no reliable reporting in some heavily affected countries such as Burma (Myanmar), Sudan, and Vietnam. Comprehensive data on landmine/UXO casualties is difficult to obtain, particularly in countries experiencing ongoing conflict, or with minefields in remote areas, or with limited resources to monitor public health services.
While acknowledging that it is impossible to arrive at an exact figure of casualties, it is likely that the number of new landmine casualties is between 15,000 and 20,000 per year.
Although there are three fewer countries with reported casualties in this year’s Landmine Monitor Report compared to last year’s, it should be noted this represents the addition of eight countries with new reported casualties (Republic of Congo, Czech Republic, Guatemala, Hungary, Oman, Poland, Syria and Tunisia), and the subtraction of eleven countries which had casualties previously, but not in this time period (Belgium, Bolivia, China, Djibouti, Indonesia, Israel, Latvia, Liberia, Malawi, Mongolia, and Morocco).
From January 2001 to the end of June 2002 landmine/UXO casualties were reported in:
Landmine and UXO Casualties in 2001-2002 Africa Americas Asia-Pacific Europe/Central Asia Middle East/North Africa AngolaBurundiChadDR CongoRep. Congo*EritreaEthiopiaGuinea-BissauKenyaMauritaniaMozambiqueNamibiaRwandaSenegalSomaliaSudanUgandaZimbabweSomaliland ChileColombiaCubaEcuadorEl Salvador*Guatemala*NicaraguaPeru AfghanistanBangladeshBurmaCambodiaIndiaKorea, ROLaosNepalPakistanPhilippinesSri LankaThailandVietnam AlbaniaArmeniaAzerbaijanBelarus*Bosnia & Herz.CroatiaCzech Republic*Estonia*GeorgiaGreeceHungary*KyrgyzstanMacedonia FYRPolandRussiaTajikistanTurkeyUkraineUzbekistanYugoslaviaAbkhaziaChechnyaKosovoNagorno-Karabakh AlgeriaEgyptIranIraqJordanKuwaitLebanonOman*SyriaTunisia*YemenNorthern Iraq
* Casualties identified as being caused by UXO only
SCALE OF THE PROBLEM
In 2001-2002, as shown in the preceding table, mine/UXO casualties are still occurring in every region of the world: in 20 countries in Europe and Central Asia, in 18 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, in 13 countries in Asia and the Pacific, in 11 countries in the Middle East and North Africa, and in 8 countries in the Americas. While ongoing conflict is a major problem in several mine-affected countries, Landmine Monitor has found that a majority (46) of the 70 countries that suffered new mine/UXO casualties in 2001-2002 had not experienced any active armed conflict during the research period. In many cases, the conflict had ended a decade or more ago.
There are twenty mine-affected countries that are not on the list of new mine/UXO casualties in 2001-2002. It is probable that there were new mine casualties in some of these; however, there was a lack of tangible evidence to confirm new casualties in 2001. In some other mine-affected countries, there was a clear statement of no new casualties, for example in Swaziland. It should be noted that although Tanzania is not mine-affected, the country does provide assistance to mine survivors coming over the border from Burundi and DR Congo.
For all eight countries added to the list, the reason for inclusion was that new incidents of mine/UXO casualties were reported, rather than the onset of a new conflict.
In several mine-affected countries, databases have been set up to collect information on landmine incidents and casualties. In others, international agencies and NGOs are carrying out surveys to assess the extent of the problem. Although Landmine Monitor considers that in some instances reported casualty figures are incomplete and understated, a sampling of the findings from the Landmine Monitor Report 2002 country reports follows. These findings are for the calendar year 2001, unless otherwise stated.
In countries/regions with established mine casualty databases, there is no clear pattern of increasing or decreasing casualty rates:
- Afghanistan: 1,368 casualties recorded (ICRC), up from 1,114 casualties recorded in 2000 (ICRC);
- Albania: 9 casualties recorded, down from 35 in 2000;
- Angola: 660 casualties recorded, down from 840 in 2000;
- Bosnia and Herzegovina: 87 casualties recorded, down from 100 in 2000;
- Cambodia: 813 casualties recorded, down from 847 in 2000;
- Croatia: 34 casualties recorded, up from 22 in 2000;
- Eritrea: 154 casualties recorded, in May/June 2000 49 casualties reported;
- Kosovo: 22 casualties recorded, down from 95 in 2000;
- Laos: 122 casualties recorded, up from 103 in 2000;
- Mozambique: 80 casualties recorded, up from 29 in 2000;
- Nagorno-Karabakh: 18 casualties recorded, up from 15 in 2000;
- Northern Iraq (Iraqi Kurdistan): 30 casualties a month, down from 48 per month in 2000.
In other countries, data on landmine/UXO casualties is collected from government ministries and agencies, international agencies and NGOs, hospitals, the media, and in some cases, databases that have been established by the country campaigns of the ICBL.
- Chechnya: 1,153 casualties reported, it is also reported that 30 to 50 civilians are injured each month in landmine incidents;
- Colombia: 201 casualties reported to October 2001, up from 83 reported for all of 2000;
- DR Congo: 135 casualties reported;
- Ethiopia: 71 casualties reported, down from 202 in 2000 (data is only available for the Tigray and Afar regions);
- Georgia: 98 casualties reported;
- India: 332 casualties reported;
- Lebanon: 90 casualties reported, down from 113 in 2000;
- Macedonia: 48 casualties reported;
- Namibia: 50 casualties reported, down from 140 in 2000;
- Nepal: 424 casualties reported, up from 182 in 2000;
- Pakistan: 92 casualties reported, up from 62 in 2000 (figures do not include incidents that may have occurred on the Pakistan-India border);
- Palestine: 20 casualties reported, up from 11 in 2000;
- Rwanda: 23 casualties reported, up from 20 in 2000;
- Senegal: 54 casualties reported, down from 65 in 2000;
- Somalia: 224 casualties reported, up from 147 in 2000;
- Sri Lanka: more than 300 casualties reported;
- Sudan: 123 casualties reported to June 2001;
- Tajikistan: 29 casualties reported;
- Turkey: 49 casualties reported, up from 5 in 2000;
- Uganda: 32 casualties reported, down from 38 in 2000;
- Yemen: 21 casualties reported, up from 12 in 2000.
In a number of mine-affected countries and areas the casualty rate increased in 2001-2002. In some countries and regions the increase appears to be due to a new or expanded conflict, or the movement of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs): Afghanistan, DR Congo, India, Palestine, and Sri Lanka. In other countries and regions the increase appears to be largely the result of improved data collection, for example, Chechnya, Georgia, Pakistan, and Turkey. In Colombia, both factors contribute to a higher number of reported casualties.
Casualties continue to be reported in 2002, for example: in Afghanistan, 658 new casualties reported to 30 June; in Cambodia, 343 new casualties reported to 30 April; in Croatia, 13 new casualties reported to 30 June; and in Palestine, 45 new casualties reported to 15 May.
In this reporting period, landmine/UXO casualties also include nationals coming from mine-free countries, and in some cases from other mine-affected countries, killed or injured while abroad engaged in military or demining operations, peacekeeping, or other activities. These countries include Albania, Algeria, Australia, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Denmark, Ethiopia, France, Gambia, Germany, Honduras, India, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Morocco, Mozambique, Norway, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia, South Africa, Syria, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States of America.
In 2001 and the first half of 2002, incidents during clearance operations or in training exercises caused casualties among deminers in: Abkhazia, Afghanistan, Albania, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Colombia, Croatia, Eritrea, Estonia, Greece, Jordan, Kosovo, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Yemen. There were unconfirmed reports of demining casualties in several other countries.
In 2001, the Geneva International Center for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) released a revision of the “Database of Demining Incident Victims” (DDIV). The new version, called “Database of Demining Accidents” (DDAS), incorporates various software improvements. The current DDAS includes details of incidents involving a total of 466 deminer casualties and contains data from Afghanistan, Angola, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Eritrea, Iraq, Laos, Kosovo, Kuwait, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe.
While progress has been made since the Mine Ban Treaty entered into force, landmines and unexploded ordnance continue to claim too many new casualties in too many countries and in most cases these are civilians. Based on the information gathered for Landmine Monitor Report 2002, it is clear that:
- The vast majority of new landmine casualties (70% of reported casualties in 2001) continue to be civilians.
- It is not only mine-affected countries that have a problem with landmines. In addition to the countries reporting new casualties, nationals from 29 countries (including 13 mine-free countries) were killed or injured by landmines while outside their own borders.
LANDMINE CASUALTIES: NEEDS AND ASSISTANCE
A landmine/UXO incident can cause various injuries to an individual including the loss of limbs, abdominal, chest and spinal injuries, blindness, deafness, and less visible, psychological trauma not only to the person injured in the incident, but to the families of those killed or injured.
The principal actors in landmine victim assistance generally agree that assistance includes the following components:
- Pre-hospital Care (first aid and management of injuries)
- Hospital Care (medical care, surgery, pain management)
- Rehabilitation (physiotherapy, prosthetic appliances and assistive devices, psychological support)
- Social and Economic Reintegration (associations of persons with disabilities, skills and vocational training, income generating projects, sports)
- Disability policy and practice (education and public awareness and disability laws)
- Health and Social Welfare Surveillance and Research capacities (data collection, processing, analysis, and reporting)
The Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration promotes a comprehensive integrated approach to victim assistance that rests on a three-tiered definition of a landmine victim. This means that a victim includes directly affected individuals, their families, and mine-affected communities. Consequently, victim assistance is viewed as a wide range of activities that benefit individuals, families and communities.
However, throughout the Landmine Monitor Report 2002 the term Survivor Assistance is used in the country reports to describe activities aimed at the individuals directly affected in landmine incidents. The use of the term survivor is intended to emphasize this distinction.
CAPACITIES OF AFFECTED STATES TO PROVIDE ASSISTANCE TO LANDMINE SURVIVORS
A detailed analysis of States’ efforts and capacities to address the needs of landmine survivors, and persons with disabilities in general, is beyond the scope of the research undertaken for this report.Nevertheless, since its first edition Landmine Monitor has gathered a great deal of information on the various categories of survivor assistance in 45 States Parties, 37 non-States Parties, and the eight regions covered in this report. Information has been collected on the activities of States through the public health system, and of international agencies and NGOs, that assist all persons with disabilities, including mine survivors. However, it is acknowledged that most information provided has come from international agencies and NGOs rather than from the relevant ministries in mine-affected countries. In many countries it is difficult to access official data. Landmine Monitor is assessing how to rectify this imbalance in future reports.
Based on a purely quantitative analysis of the information available it would appear that many countries have facilities to address some of the needs of landmine survivors, but in 2001/2002 Landmine Monitor has identified 42 mine-affected countries and six regions where one or more aspects of survivor assistance are inadequate. Furthermore, even when services exist, they are often inaccessible to most survivors, in being long distances from mine-affected areas, too expensive for survivors to afford, or bureaucratically off-limits to one group or another.
In most reports of mine-affected countries, data is available on the facilities that have been identified as providing assistance to landmine survivors and other persons with disabilities. These centers were asked to report on how many people were assisted in 2001, and how many of those were landmine survivors. Landmine Monitor was not always able to get this information and some facilities do not keep records on the cause of injury, as all persons with disabilities are treated equally. Nevertheless, while acknowledging that the data is far from complete, it does give an indication of where the focus is for landmine survivor assistance. It is also recognized that these figures do not represent the total number of individuals assisted as one person may have accessed several of the services recorded.
Hospital Care – 1,620 landmine casualties were identified in hospital records: Africa 709, Americas 6, Asia Pacific 456, Europe and Central Asia 330, and Middle East and North Africa 119.
Rehabilitation (patients assisted or prostheses supplied) – 104,173 assisted, including at least 21,617 landmine survivors: Africa 26,887 assisted, at least 5,433 survivors; Americas 1,274, at least 394 survivors; Asia Pacific 33,051, at least 10,193 survivors; Europe and Central Asia 39,376, at least 4,227 survivors; Middle East and North Africa 3,585, at least 1,370 survivors.
Psychosocial Support – 12,763 assisted, including at least 4,662 survivors: Africa 4,060, at least 1,142 survivors; Americas 872, at least 58 survivors; Asia Pacific 5,885, at least 1,955 survivors; Europe and Central Asia 1,554, at least 1,351 survivors; Middle East and North Africa 392, at least 156 survivors.
Vocational Training and Economic Reintegration – 8,022 assisted, at least 2,937 survivors: Africa 986, at least 295 survivors; Americas 392, at least 92 survivors, Asia Pacific 6,469, at least 2,467 survivors; Europe and Central Asia 116, at least 24 survivors; Middle East and North Africa 59, all were mine survivors.
Capacity Building – training of local health care providers including surgeons, nurses, first aid providers, and prosthetic/orthotic technicians – at least 1,587 people received training in 2001: Africa 434, Americas 5, Asia Pacific 970, Europe and Central Asia 118, Middle East and North Africa 60.
Data Collection – an analysis of data collection capacities in 73 mine-affected countries revealed that only 12 have a comprehensive system in place; a further 28 countries have some capacity. Even with a data collection system in place it is believed that not all mine casualties are reported. IMSMA has the capacity to record mine casualty data; however a lack of resources sometimes prevents this facility from being used. In at least four countries where Landmine Impact Surveys have been completed it appears that there was no continuation of data gathering by the mine action centers to record new mine casualties: Chad, Mozambique, Thailand, and Yemen. In Kosovo it appears that there has been no data collection since the closure of the mine action center even though the ICRC trained data collectors to take over this function. The principal collectors of mine casualty data are the mine action centers, the ICRC, UNICEF, and some NGOs.
In summary, six key general observations can be made from the research collected in 2001/2002:
- In many of the countries reporting new casualties, the assistance provided to mine survivors continues to be inadequate to meet their needs;
- Most services continue to be located in urban centers whereas the majority of mine survivors can be found in rural areas where the concentration of mine pollution is greatest;
- The majority of resources continue to be directed towards medical and physical rehabilitation;
- Without accurate data on casualties it is not possible to ensure that survivor assistance programs and limited resources are directed to where the need is greatest;
- International organizations, international and local NGOs, and UN agencies continue to play a key role in the delivery of services to mine survivors; and
- The economic situation of many mine-affected countries remains an obstacle to the provision of adequate assistance to landmine survivors.
SAMPLE OF REGIONAL DEVELOPMENTS AND KEY FINDINGS
- In 2001, ICRC-supported hospitals treating war-wounded in 22 countries assisted around 1,500 mine/UXO casualties.
- In 2001, ICRC prosthetic/orthotic centers produced 16,501 prostheses, of which 9,779 were for landmine amputees, and 16,637 crutches and 1,163 wheelchairs. NGOs and other agencies working in mine-affected countries also produced or distributed at least 14,573 prostheses, 5,640 crutches, 2,253 wheelchairs, and 7,828 other assistive devices.
- Form J, the voluntary reporting attachment to the Article 7 Report for 2001 was submitted by eight mine-affected States and 23 non-affected States up to the end of July 2002 to report on victim assistance and other mine action activities. The mine-affected States include Albania, Cambodia, Colombia, Ecuador, Honduras, Mozambique, Peru, and Thailand. The non-affected States include Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Liechtenstein, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain and Sweden. In addition, Croatia, Nicaragua, and Yemen provided victim assistance information as part of Article 7’s Form I.
- In Angola, in July 2001 a new Victim Assistance Subcommission of the National Intersectoral Commission for Demining and Humanitarian Assistance was established.
- In Chad, according to the Landmine Impact Survey, of 217 recent survivors none reported receiving physical rehabilitation or vocational training after their accident.
- In Eritrea, the ICRC and the Eritrean authorities signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the establishment of a physical rehabilitation program for persons with disabilities in the country.
- In Mozambique, the National Demining Institute (IND) has developed a draft policy for Survivor and Victim Assistance which attempts to define the role of the IND concerning mine survivor assistance.
- In Namibia, on 24 September 2001, the Disability Advisory Office, within the Prime Minister’s office, started operations.
- In Uganda, in September 2001 a new integrated mine awareness and survivor assistance program started in northern Uganda.
- In Colombia, the government launched the Antipersonnel Mine Observatory which collects data on landmine incidents and casualties.
- In El Salvador, the National Family Secretariat, headed by the First Lady of El Salvador, is implementing a Law of Equal Opportunities for Disabled Persons.
- In Honduras, a new orthopedic workshop commenced production in San Pedro Sula.
- Mexico, during the January 2002 Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration, announced their initiative at the United Nations to create an international convention for the promotion and protection of the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities.
- In Nicaragua, efforts are being made to ensure that survivor assistance becomes an integral part of the public health system, and of other State institutions including the Ministry of the Family (MIFAMILIA), the Institute for Youth, and the National Technological Institute (INATEC).
- In Afghanistan, according to the World Health Organization, 65 percent of Afghans do not have access to health facilities. Only 60 out of 330 districts have rehabilitation or socioeconomic reintegration facilities for persons with disabilities and even in those districts the needs are only partially met.
- In Burma, the ICRC reported that in 2001 the country ranked third out of their 14 prosthetic/orthotic programs worldwide for the highest number of mine survivors receiving prostheses, after Afghanistan and Angola.
- In India, in the mine-affected area of Jammu and Kashmir the State government has pledged to improve medical services in all health institutions in the State.
- In Laos, the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare formally approved the constitution of the Lao Disabled People’s Association, after five years.
- In Sri Lanka, the NGO Hope for Children introduced a mobile artificial limb manufacturing and fitting vehicle to provide assistance in remote areas.
- In Thailand, from 6-8 November 2001, representatives from Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam attended the South East Asia Regional Conference on Victim Assistance.
- In Vietnam, the Community-Based Rehabilitation program expanded from 40 to 45 provinces.
- In Armenia, in January 2002 the Yerevan Prosthetic-Orthopedic Enterprise stopped providing assistance because of a lack of State funding. This is a repeat of the situation reported previously when the center closed between October 2000 and February 2001. Operations were due to resume in August 2002.
- In Azerbaijan, in 2002 the ICRC is opening a new rehabilitation center in Ganja, the second largest city, and upgrading an existing facility in Nakhichevan.
- In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the average distance between amputees and a limb-fitting center is 100-150 kilometers.
- In CIS countries, on 31 May 2001, the “International Complex Program on the Rehabilitation of War Veterans, Participants of Local Conflicts and Victims of Terrorism for 2001-2005” was approved by a resolution of the Council of the Heads of Government of the CIS countries.
- In Croatia, the Orthopedics and Rehabilitation Department of the Martin Horvat hospital in Rovinj was renovated to provide rehabilitation and psychosocial support to young mine survivors.
- In Chechnya, many hospitals and clinics often function without running water, proper heating or sewage systems. The ICRC has signed an agreement with the Chechen Ministry of Health and the Chechen branch of the Russian Red Cross to assist the health facilities in Chechnya. To July 2002, there were no rehabilitation centers operating inside Chechnya.
- In Georgia, specialized medical rehabilitation and psychological support appears to remain inaccessible, or unavailable, for many mine survivors.
- In Kosovo, concerns have been raised that rather than seeking to establish sustainable rehabilitation programs in Kosovo some programs provide assistance by transporting those requiring rehabilitation or prosthetics to other countries.
- In Slovenia, on 1-2 July 2002, a workshop entitled “Defining Strategies for Success” was held at the International Trust Fund for Demining and Mine Victims Assistance center in Ig, to identify strategies for improving survivor assistance in the Balkans.
- In Turkey, a new center for prosthetics and rehabilitation was opened at Dicle University, near the mine-affected areas.
- In Ukraine, on 13 November 2001, the President accepted a new decree on the medical and social protection of persons with disabilities, including veterans and victims of war.
- In FR Yugoslavia, Handicap International signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Serbian Ministry of Social Affairs to assist in the process of reforms and creation of a new policy addressing the needs of persons with disabilities.
MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA
- In Algeria, the ICRC signed an agreement with the Ministry of Health to create a production unit at the Ben Aknoun prosthetic/orthotic center in northern Algiers.
- In Lebanon, the National Demining Office established a National Mine Victim Assistance Committee, which includes all the major actors in survivor assistance. The national disability legislation that was approved in May 2000 is not yet in effect.
- In Syria, a new physiotherapy center was opened in Khan Arnaba close to the mine-affected area.
- In Yemen, Presidential Law Number 2 establishing a care and rehabilitation fund for persons with disabilities came into effect.
ADDRESSING THE NEEDS OF SURVIVORS
The number of mine/UXO survivors requiring assistance continues to grow every year. Nevertheless, it has been noted that in many mine-affected countries, the assistance provided to mine survivors is inadequate to meet their needs. In addition to the new casualties registered in 2001-2002, Landmine Monitor has identified 38 other countries with, in medical terms, a “residual caseload” of landmine survivors from previous years. In other words, many countries with no new landmine casualties in 2001-2002, nevertheless have landmine survivors from prior years that continue to require assistance. Consequently, almost two-thirds of the countries in the world, 121 countries, are affected to some extent by the landmine/UXO problem and the issue of survivors.
A survey of 897 landmine/UXO survivors conducted by the Landmine Survivors Network in Bosnia and Herzegovina, found that only 22 percent, around 200 people, were psychologically and physically well, and self-sustaining. The other 78 percent of survivors needed continuous follow-up and support. Using this survey and based on earlier estimates of 300,000 landmine survivors in the world, it could be argued that at least 234,000 individuals require continuous follow-up and support.
As with all human services, landmine survivor assistance is a complex and long-term issue. Prostheses wear out, need repairs, and replacement. Medical problems can resurface years after the original incident. Someone who walked well with a prosthesis for years may need a wheelchair later in life. Likewise, socio-economic reintegration is not a result that is easily achievable or sustainable. Vocational training programs and other methods to facilitate economic reintegration struggle to succeed in economies where everyone is under-employed. And while very few survivors suffer from actual post-traumatic stress disorder, many have lingering psychological issues which when left un-addressed, can cause severe harm to the survivor and all those who are close to them.
Whether the disability is an amputation, a visual impairment, deafness, or something else, landmine survivors often face discrimination, barriers to the built environment and communication systems, social isolation, exclusion from educational opportunities, and segregation from formal and informal labor markets. To rectify this, two approaches need to happen simultaneously. First, assistance to landmine survivors should be viewed as a part of a country’s overall public health and social services system. Second, within those general systems, deliberate care must be built in to ensure that landmine survivors and other persons with disability receive the same opportunities in life – for health care, social services, a life-sustaining income, education, and participation in the community – as every other sector of a society. Striking a balance is crucial. Landmine survivors should not be viewed as a group separate from other war victims or persons with disabilities. The ultimate goal of survivor assistance programs should be survivors’ complete rehabilitation, and their reintegration into the wider community.
In many mine-affected countries this goal cannot be reached without financial assistance from the international community. The Mine Ban Treaty requires, in Article 6, Paragraph 3, that “Each State in a position to do so shall provide assistance for the care and rehabilitation, and social and economic reintegration, of mine victims....”
THE INTERSESSIONAL STANDING COMMITTEE
Since September 2001 the Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration (SC-VA) has been co-chaired by Canada and Honduras, having taken over this role from Japan and Nicaragua. The co-rapporteurs are France and Colombia (who will become co-chairs in September 2002). The SC-VA continues to make progress in achieving its mandate to identify practical means to assist States Parties in meeting their obligations under the Mine Ban Treaty in relation to the care and rehabilitation of landmine survivors.
In October 2001, Canada hosted a “Standing Committee Planning Workshop” in Ottawa, to promote discussion on establishing a framework for the SC-VA’s future activities and identifying key issues to be addressed. The workshop was attended by representatives of the governments of Canada, Honduras, France, Nicaragua and Japan, together with the Chair of the ICBL Working Group on Victim Assistance, and representatives from UNMAS, Landmine Monitor, the ICBL, and other NGOs.
Two intersessional meetings were held in January and May 2002, in Geneva, Switzerland. In January, the SC-VA welcomed eight participants from French/English-speaking African nations taking part in the second phase of the Raising the Voices of Landmine Survivors Initiative. The main themes of the meeting were: measuring progress in implementing the treaty; critical issues and advancements in medical care, in psychological and social rehabilitation, and in physical rehabilitation; and human rights and disability. One of the key outcomes of this meeting was the introduction of a consultative process, coordinated by UNMAS, to identify new opportunities for the Standing Committee.
In the May intersessional meetings, the main themes of the SC-VA were: overview and status of implementation; update on implementation plans and progress – prosthetics and orthotics, psychosocial rehabilitation, economic reintegration of persons with disabilities, and human rights and persons with disabilities. More participants in the second phase of the Raising the Voices Initiative, this time from Portuguese/English-speaking Africa, had an opportunity to address the meeting on the priorities for survivor assistance. UNMAS presented preliminary findings from the consultative process and four items were identified as desired areas of focus for future SC-VA meetings: national level planning and coordination of victim assistance by the governments of mine-affected countries; emergency medical care; prosthetics and orthotics; and economic reintegration.
|<MINE RISK EDUCATION | STATES PARTIES>|
 For the purposes of Landmine Monitor research, casualties include the individual killed or injured as a result of an incident involving antipersonnel mines, antivehicle mines, improvised explosive devices and unexploded ordnance. From the information available in many countries it is not always possible to determine with certainty the type of weapon that caused the incident.
 These include Abkhazia, Chechnya, Kosovo, Nagorno-Karabakh, northern Iraq (Iraqi Kurdistan), Palestine, Somaliland, and Western Sahara.
 Landmine Monitor identified 8,064 casualties in 2000.
 For further information see ICBL Working Group on Victim Assistance, Guidelines for the Care and Rehabilitation of Survivors; see also Providing assistance to landmine victims: A collection of guidelines, best practices and methodologies, compiled by the Co-Chairs of the Standing Committee on Victim Assistance, Socio-Economic Reintegration and Mine Awareness, May 2001.
 More detailed information on this important area is compiled by Handicap International in Landmine Victim Assistance: World Report 2001 which examines a wide range of indicators to determine a State’s capacity to adequately address the needs of the persons with disabilities, including landmine survivors.
 For details see “Measuring the Progress in Implementing the Convention,” presentation by Sheree Bailey, Landmine Monitor Victim Assistance Research Coordinator, to the Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration, Geneva, 28 January 2002, available at www.gichd.ch.
 For details see “Progress in Implementing the Convention,” presentation by Sheree Bailey, Landmine Monitor Victim Assistance Research Coordinator, to the Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration, Geneva, 27 May 2002, available at www.gichd.ch.
 For more general observations see Landmine Monitor Report 2001, p. 41.
 ICRC Special Report, Mine Action 2001, Geneva, July 2002, p. 8.
 Ibid., p. 10.
 The committee was previously known as the Standing Committee on Victim Assistance, Socio-Economic Reintegration and Mine Awareness.