© Ole Solvang, Human Rights Watch, July 2014A sign just north of Donetsk, Ukraine, reads “Detour: Mines.” Allegations of landmine use and the presence of landmine stocks have been documented, but as of October 2014 it was not possible to determine whether antipersonnel mines had been used or by whom.
In 2014, States Parties committed to the goal a mine-free world by 2025 when they agreed to the Maputo Declaration at the Mine Ban Treaty’s Third Review Conference in June. Landmine Monitor 2014 details progress toward that goal, recording the lowest number of new casualties ever and the completion of clearance obligations in four states. However, in 2013, many states remained behind on their clearance plans and global funding for mine action decreased compared to 2012.
There are 162 States Parties and one signatory to the Mine Ban Treaty.
- Oman acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty on 20 August 2014.
- The United States announced new policy measures in June and September 2014 to ban the production and acquisition of antipersonnel landmines, to destroy stockpiles, and to prohibit landmine use except on the Korean Peninsula, saying this is “signaling our clear aspiration to eventually accede to the Ottawa Convention.”
From September 2013 through October 2014, the Monitor confirmed new use of antipersonnel mines by the government forces of Syria and Myanmar, states not party to the Mine Ban Treaty, as well as by military forces in the internationally unrecognized breakaway area of Nagorno-Karabakh.
- The same countries and areas emplaced new mines in the previous reporting period, but information available to the Monitor indicates a significantly lower level of new mine use in Myanmar.
- In the conflict between Ukrainian government forces and Russian-backed separatists that erupted in early 2014, there have been allegations of landmine use and the presence of landmine stocks has been documented. But, it was not possible by October 2014 to determine whether antipersonnel mines had been used or by whom.
Non-state armed groups used antipersonnel mines or victim-activated improvised explosive devices in Afghanistan, Colombia, Libya, Myanmar, Pakistan, Syria, and Yemen.
- This is one fewer country (Tunisia) than reported in the previous Monitor.
No new use of antipersonnel landmines by a State Party was confirmed to have occurred during the reporting period, but Yemen did admit that a violation of the ban on use occurred in 2011.
- A number of allegations of mine use in previous years by the armed forces of South Sudan (in 2013 and 2011), Sudan (in 2011), Turkey (from 2009), and Cambodia-Thailand (2008 and 2009) remain unresolved and warrant ongoing attention and resolution by those governments and other States Parties.
Collectively, States Parties have destroyed more than 48 million stockpiled antipersonnel mines, including more than 1 million destroyed in 2013.
- More than 9 million antipersonnel mines await destruction by six States Parties.
- Belarus, Greece, and Ukraine remain in violation of the treaty after having failed to complete the destruction of their stockpiles by their four-year deadline. Belarus and Greece had a deadline of 1 March 2008, while Ukraine had a deadline of 1 June 2010.
- The destruction process for Greece’s mines halted after a series of explosions on 1 October 2014 demolished the Bulgarian facility where destruction was taking place, killing 15 workers.
In June 2014, China and the United States made important announcements regarding their antipersonnel mine stockpiles, with China stating that it held less than five million (compared to the long-standing estimate of 110 million), and the United States stating it held some three million (compared to the more than 10 million previously reported by the government).
Transfer and Production
For the past decade, the global trade in antipersonnel mines has consisted of a low level of illicit and unacknowledged transfers, but the appearance of mines in Sudan and Yemen indicates that some form of market for, and trade in, antipersonnel mines exists.
- At least nine states not party to the Mine Ban Treaty, including six landmine producers, have enacted formal moratoriums on the export of antipersonnel mines: China, India, Israel, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, and the United States.
Down from a total of more than 50 producing states before the Mine Ban Treaty’s existence, currently only 11 states are identified as potential producers of antipersonnel mines: China, Cuba, India, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, and Vietnam.
- The Monitor has removed the United States from its list of landmine producers following its 27 June 2014 policy announcement foreswearing any future production or acquisition of antipersonnel mines.
- Active production may be ongoing in as few as four countries: India, Myanmar, Pakistan, and South Korea.
Non-state armed groups in Afghanistan, Colombia, Myanmar, Pakistan, and Tunisia produce antipersonnel mines, mostly in the form of victim-activated improvised explosive devices.
In 2013, recorded casualties caused by mines, victim-activated improvised explosive devices, cluster munition remnants, and other explosive remnants of war (ERW) decreased to the lowest level since the Monitor started recording casualties in 1999.
- In 2013, a global total of 3,308 casualties were recorded, a 24% decline compared with the total of 4,325 in 2012.
- The incidence rate of nine casualties per day for 2013 is about one-third of that reported in 1999, when there were approximately 25 casualties each day.
- In many states and areas, numerous casualties go unrecorded; therefore, the true casualty figure is anticipated to be significantly higher. Nevertheless, the decrease in casualties is likely even more significant because of improvements in recording over time.
Casualties were identified in 52 states and three other areas in 2013, of which 34 are States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty.
- Although down 26% in absolute numbers, the vast majority of recorded landmine/ERW casualties (79%) were civilians.
- In 2013, child casualties accounted for 46% of all civilian casualties where the age was known, up seven percentage points from the 39% of recorded casualties for 2012; female casualties remained 12% of all casualties where the sex was known.
- Seventy-four percent of recorded global casualties occurred in States Parties.
- Steady declines in annual casualty totals continued in the three States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty that have regularly recorded the highest number of annual casualties over the past 15 years: Afghanistan, Cambodia, and Colombia.
- The 31 States Parties with significant numbers of mine/ERW casualties have reported between 226,000–358,000 landmine survivors over time through 2013.
- In Syria, a state not party to the convention, casualties due to landmines/ERW more than tripled in 2013 compared to 2012.
- In 2013, casualties from victim-activated improvised explosive devices were identified in seven states, a decrease from the 12 states identified in 2012 and less than in any previous year since 2008.
Contamination and Land Release
Some 56 states and four other areas were confirmed to be mine-affected as of October 2014. A further six states have either suspected or residual mine contamination.
At least 185km2 of mined areas were cleared in 2013—less than the at least 200 km2 in 2012—destroying almost 275,000 antipersonnel mines and 4,500 antivehicle mines.
- The largest total clearance of mined areas in 2013 was achieved in Afghanistan, Cambodia, and Croatia, which together accounted for 75% of recorded clearance.
- Over the past five years, clearance operations have resulted in the clearance of approximately 973km2 of mined area and the destruction of more than 1.48 million antipersonnel mines and 107,000 antivehicle mines.
In 2013, three States Parties formally declared completion of clearance of all known mined areas: Bhutan, Hungary, and Venezuela. Burundi completed clearance of its suspected mined areas in April 2014.
- As of October 2014, 28 states and one other area have declared themselves cleared of mines since the treaty entered into force in 1999.
- Within the next five years, the Monitor believes that 24 States Parties and 16 states not party as well as three other areas are fully capable of completing clearance.
- Of the 32 States Parties that have confirmed outstanding mine clearance obligations, 23 (72%) have been granted at least one extension period, more than half of which are deemed to either not be on track with their extension requests or their progress is unclear.
- Ten States Parties were granted extension requests within the past year, either at the Thirteenth Meeting of States Parties in December 2013 or the Third Review Conference in June 2014. Ethiopia had indicated that it would submit an extension request, but had not yet done so as of 1 November 2014. Ethiopia’s current clearance deadline is 1 June 2015.
- Among States Parties, massive antipersonnel mine contamination, defined by the Monitor as more than 100km2, is believed to exist only in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Turkey, and very probably also in Iraq. Several other states report suspected contamination at this level, but better survey is needed to confirm actual contamination.
Most States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty with significant numbers of mine victims made considerable progress in victim assistance under the Cartagena Action Plan (2009–2014), establishing a solid starting point to rapidly accelerate under the Maputo Action Plan (2014–2019) the kinds of achievements that make a real impact on the lives of victims.
- As of June 2014, approximately two-thirds of States Parties had active coordination mechanisms and relevant national plans in place to advance efforts to assist mine victims and uphold their rights.
- In nearly all States Parties, survivors were participating in decisions that affect their lives and in the implementation of services—although in many countries, their participation must be better supported, especially for survivors to be effectively included in coordination roles.
- In most States Parties, victim assistance efforts have been integrated into other disability rights and development efforts, through collaborative coordination, combined planning, and/or survivor participation.
At the Mine Ban Treaty’s Third Review Conference all States Parties committed to advance the full, equal, and effective participation of mine victims in society. Statements made during the session on victim assistance and by 40 states during the high-level segment stressed the importance of commitments on victim assistance.
- A new Committee on Victim Assistance, officially involving the ICBL, has a fresh mandate to support States Parties in implementing victim assistance and to raise the needs and rights of victims in other relevant frameworks and fields.
- During the reporting period, members of the international community took important steps to strengthen ties between disarmament, human rights, and development efforts.
Support for Mine Action
Donors and affected states contributed approximately US$647 million in international and national support for mine action in 2013, a decrease of $34 million (5%) from 2012 when the contributions recorded totaled $681 million.
International assistance in 2013 was $446 million, a decrease of almost $51 million from 2012.
- A total of 47 states and three other areas received support from 31 donors.
- Contributions from the top five mine action donors—the United States, Japan, Norway, the EU, and the Netherlands—accounted for 65% of all donor funding.
- This is the eighth consecutive year that international contributions for mine action have totaled more than $430 million.
- Afghanistan received $72.6 million in funding in 2013, more than any other country for the eleventh consecutive year and more than twice the funds received by the second largest recipient, Lao PDR.
Eighteen affected states provided $201 million in national support for their own mine action programs, an increase of $17 million compared with 2012.
In addition to those contributions, appropriations from the UN General Assembly for mine action within 11 peacekeeping operations provided $150 million in 2013, an increase of 33% compared with 2012.