Tajikistan

Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Last updated: 16 June 2016

Summary: Non-signatory Tajikistan has expressed interest in acceding to the convention and says it is in de facto compliance with the convention as it has never used, produced, transferred, or stockpiled cluster munitions. Yet Tajikistan abstained from voting on the first UN General Assembly resolution on the convention in December 2015. It has participated as an observer in most of the convention’s meetings. Tajikistan is contaminated by cluster munitions used during its civil war in the 1990s.

Policy

The Republic of Tajikistan has not acceded to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Tajikistan has been considering its accession to the convention since 2008, but has it has not taken any steps towards accession except for consultations.[1]

On 7 December 2015, Tajikistan abstained from the vote on the first UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution on the Convention on Cluster Munitions, which urges states outside the convention to “join as soon as possible.”[2] Tajikistan did not explain the reasons for its abstention on the non-binding resolution that was adopted by 140 votes, including many non-signatories.[3]

Previously, in September 2014, Tajikistan said the government was still considering joining and affirmed that Tajikistan “is fulfilling all obligations under the convention today.”[4]

Tajikistan participated in the Oslo Process that created the Convention on Cluster Munitions and endorsed both the Oslo Declaration (committing to the conclusion of an international instrument banning cluster munitions that cause unacceptable harm to civilians) and the Wellington Declaration (committing to negotiate a convention banning cluster munitions based on the Wellington draft text). However, Tajikistan did not participate in the formal negotiations of the convention in Dublin in May 2008, even as an observer, and did not attend the convention’s Signing Conference in Oslo in December 2008.[5]

Tajikistan has participated as an observer in every Meeting of States Parties of the convention. It was invited to, but did not attend the convention’s First Review Conference in Dubrovnik, Croatia in September 2015. Tajikistan attended intersessional meetings of the convention in Geneva in 2011 and 2012.

Tajikistan abstained from UNGA Resolution 70/234 on 23 December 2015, which “deplores and condemns” the continued use of cluster munitions in Syria.[6]

Tajikistan is a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty. It is also party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.

Production, transfer, use, and stockpiling

Tajikistan has stated several times that it does not use, produce, transfer, or stockpile cluster munitions.[7]

Cluster munitions were used in Tajikistan during its civil war in the 1990s. Unexploded ShOAB-0.5 and AO-2.5RT submunitions have been found in the town of Gharm in the Rasht Valley.[8]

The forces responsible for this cluster munition use have never been confirmed. In May 2011, the Ministry of Defense said that Tajik forces had never used cluster munitions.[9] A representative of Tajikistan’s Ministry of Interior said that Uzbek forces used cluster munitions in Rasht Valley and Ramit Valley in the 1990s and said Tajik forces had no capacity to use cluster munitions.[10]

In 2011, the Ministry of Defense informed the CMC that a review of weapons had not identified any cluster munitions stocks and said it had sent an official letter confirming that Tajikistan has no stockpile of cluster munitions to the Office of the President.[11]



[1] Statement of Tajikistan, International Conference on the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Santiago, 8 June 2010; and statement of Tajikistan, Convention on Cluster Munitions Second Meeting of States Parties, Beirut, 14 September 2011; and statement of Tajikistan, Convention on Cluster Munitions Third Meeting of States Parties, Oslo, 11 September 2012. In May 2011, a CMC delegation visited Tajikistan and met with a range of government officials from the Office of the President, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Labor and Social Protection, and the Ministry of Interior. ICBL-CMC, Report on Advocacy Mission to Tajikistan: 23–27 May 2011.

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

[3] Ibid.

[4] Statement of Tajikistan by Muhabbat Ibrohimov, Director, Tajikistan National Mine Action Centre, Convention on Cluster Munitions Fifth Meeting of States Parties, San Jose, 3 September 2014. The representative said that Tajikistan was considering submitting a voluntary transparency report for the convention, but none had been provided as of June 2016.

[5] For details on Tajikistan’s cluster munition policy and practice through early 2009, see Human Rights Watch and Landmine Action, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, May 2009), pp. 244–245.

[6]Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic,” UNGA Resolution 70/234, 23 December 2015.

[7] Statement of Tajikistan, Convention on Cluster Munitions Fifth Meeting of States Parties, San Jose, 3 September 2014; statement of Tajikistan, Convention on Cluster Munitions Third Meeting of States Parties, Oslo, 11 September 2012; statement of Tajikistan, Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 18 April 2012; statement of Tajikistan, Convention on Cluster Munitions Second Meeting of States Parties, Beirut, 13 September 2011; statement of Tajikistan, International Conference on the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Santiago, 8 June 2010. Notes by Action on Armed Violence/Human Rights Watch; and Letter No. 10-3 (5027) from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of New Zealand, 22 April 2008.

[8] Tajikistan Mine Action Center, “Cluster munitions in Gharm,” undated, but reporting on an April 2007 assessment.

[9] CMC meeting with Maj. Gen. Abdukakhor Sattorov, Ministry of Defense, Dushanbe, 25 May 2011.

[10] CMC meeting with Col. Mahmad Shoev Khurshed Izatullovich, Commander of Special Militia AMON (SWAT) Antiterrorist Unit, Ministry of Interior, Dushanbe, 26 May 2011.

[11] CMC meeting with Maj. Gen. Sattorov, Ministry of Defense, Dushanbe, 25 May 2011.


Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 02 November 2011

Commitment to the Mine Ban Treaty

Mine Ban Treaty status

State Party

National implementation measures 

Existing law deemed sufficient but efforts underway to modify

Transparency reporting

7 March 2011

Policy

The Republic of Tajikistan acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty on 12 October 1999, becoming a State Party on 1 April 2000. In late 2007, the Tajikistan Mine Action Center (TMAC) submitted three draft amendments to the national parliament aimed at harmonizing national laws with the requirements of the Mine Ban Treaty.[1] Tajikistan has not reported any progress since that time.  In the past, the government said that new legislation to implement the treaty domestically was unnecessary, as it relied on its criminal code to punish violations of the treaty.[2]  

Tajikistan submitted its ninth Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report, dated 7 March 2011, covering calendar year 2010.

Tajikistan attended the Tenth Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in Geneva in November–December 2010, as well as the intersessional Standing Committee meetings in June 2011 where it gave an update on its mince clearance efforts.

Tajikistan has continued to promote the Mine Ban Treaty in its region, calling for a “Central Asia region free of mines,” and a “Mine Action Regional Coordination body in Central Asia.”[3] It also hosted the Dushanbe Workshop on Progress and Challenges in Achieving a Mine-Free Central Asia on 7 and 8 July 2009, the third in a series of regional conferences.[4]

Tajikistan is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) and its Amended Protocol II on landmines. Tajikistan is also party to CCW Protocol V on explosive remnants of war. It has never submitted annual national reports as required by the protocols.

Production, transfer, use, stockpile destruction, and seizures

Tajikistan has reported that it never produced or exported antipersonnel mines.[5] The most recent use of mines in Tajik territory occurred in 2000 and 2001, when Russian and Uzbek forces placed mines at various border locations inside Tajikistan.[6]

Between 5 May 2002 and 31 March 2004, Tajikistan destroyed its stockpile of 3,084 antipersonnel mines it inherited from the Soviet Union.[7] It retains no mines for training or development purposes, as it consumed the last of these in 2007.[8]

In 2009, Tajik authorities seized a total of 16 PMN-2 blast mines during “anti-criminal operations” and subsequently destroyed the mines.[9] In 2008, Tajikistan reported two instances where mines were “confiscated or detected…as a result of counter-terrorism activity.”[10]

Tajikistan reported in 2008 that a total of 49,152 PFM-1S remotely-delivered blast mines[11] and 100 “blocks” of POM remotely-delivered fragmentation mines[12] were transferred by Tajik border protection forces to Russian forces in Tajikistan sometime in 2006 for destruction after being discovered following the completion of its stockpile destruction program.[13] These stocks were destroyed in October 2006 by the order of the Russian Federation Federal Border Service.[14] 

Tajikistan is the only State Party to declare antipersonnel mines stockpiled on its territory by a state not party to the treaty. It reported that approximately 18,200 antipersonnel mines of various types are stockpiled with Russian Ministry of Defense units deployed in Tajikistan.[15] These stockpiles are not under the jurisdiction or control of Tajikistan.[16] In each of its Article 7 reports since 2003, Tajikistan has reported that intergovernmental talks are “currently underway” to clarify and complete data collection regarding these Russian mines.[17]

 



[1] Interview with Jonmahmad Rajabov, Director, TMAC, Dushanbe, 5 February 2008. The amendments are to the following laws: “On State Armaments Order,” “On Circulation of Explosive Materials for Civil Purposes,” and “On Arms.” The amendments resulted from a project started in 2006, in cooperation with the Tajik NGO Harmony of the World. The ICRC provided funding for the project, but did not review the recommendations. Email from Eve La Haye, Legal Adviser, Arms Unit, ICRC, 29 July 2008.

[2] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form A, 14 March 2005. The 1996 Law on Weapons expressly regulates all issues related to the registration, shipment, transport, acquisition, transfer, and storage of armaments and munitions on the territory of Tajikistan. Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form A, 3 February 2003.

[3] Statement by Bakhtiyor Khudoyorov, Minister of Justice, Second Review Conference, Mine Ban Treaty, Cartagena, 3 December 2009.

[4] Five states from the region participated along with eight donor states and several international and national NGOs. The workshop also included a parallel program for victim assistance experts from Tajikistan and Afghanistan.

[5] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Forms E and H, 3 February 2003.

[6] Ibid, Form C.

[7] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form G, 14 March 2005. The text in Forms A, D, and F cite a total of 3,029 mines destroyed, but the detailed listing in Form G adds up to 3,084. This includes: 1,591 POMZ-2; 633 PMN; 436 OZM-72; and 424 MON-100 mines.

[8] Tajikistan initially retained 255 antipersonnel mines, and had indicated it would use these until 2010 when their shelf life expired.  Tajikistan consumed 30 mines in 2005, 120 mines in 2006 and 105 mines in 2007. The mines were used for refresher training of survey and demining personnel. For more details, see Landmine Monitor Report 2008, pp. 662–663.

[9] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form B2, 30 April 2010.

[10] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form B2, 3 February 2008.

[11] TMAC has confirmed that this is the number of individual mines. It likely represents 768 canisters each containing 64 individual mines.

[12] According to the form “each block [of POM mines] has several clusters [canisters] and each cluster has several mines. We have not determined the number of clusters that each block includes. This means, that each block has several mines.” Typically, a KPOM-2 canister has four mines, but it is unclear how many canisters are in a block.

[13] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form B, 3 February 2008. Tajikistan used the optional form B2.

[14] Order #21/6/8-5609, dated 1 September 2006. Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form B2, 3 February 2008.

[15] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form B, 3 February 2003.

[16] Interview with Jonmahmad Rajabov, then-Deputy Head of the Board of Constitutional Guarantees of Citizens Rights, Executive Board of the President, in Geneva, 5 February 2003. In another interview in Geneva on 13 May 2003, he stated that Tajik forces are under a separate command-and-control structure and would refuse orders by Russian forces to lay mines.

[17] See Form B of each Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report.


Mine Action

Last updated: 25 November 2016

Contaminated by: landmines (medium contamination) and other unexploded ordnance (UXO). There may be residual contamination by cluster munition remnants. 

Article 5 deadline: 1 April 2020
(Not on track to meet deadline)

Non-signatory to the Convention on Cluster Munitions 

At the end of 2015, the Republic of Tajikistan had 10.36km2 of confirmed and suspected mined areas, in addition to 2.3km2 of land contaminated by other explosive remnants of war (ERW). In 2015, 0.76km2 of mined land was released by clearance and technical survey, and 0.57km2 was canceled. A humanitarian demining law was ratified in 2016.

The last known area of cluster munition contamination, 446,260m2, was cleared in 2015. There are now no known areas of cluster munition contamination, however, a residual threat may remain. 

Recommendations for action 

  • Tajikistan should, as soon as possible, complete survey of 79 un-surveyed mined areas along the Tajik-Afghan border whose records were made publicly available in September 2013, in order to clarify the actual extent of mine contamination.
  • Tajikistan should finalize its Mine Ban Treaty Article 5 completion workplan and its mine action strategic plan, including precise and clear milestones.
  • Tajikistan should develop a resource mobilization strategy to secure funding for mine clearance operations in both the border regions and the Central region.
  • Tajikistan should submit its outstanding annual Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 transparency report for 2015.

Contamination

Mine and ERW contamination (see below for cluster munition contamination)

At the end of 2015, Tajikistan had 5.72km2 of confirmed “accessible” and “executable” mined area across three provinces and 15 districts, as set out in the table below. This excludes another 23 so-called “inaccessible” and “non-executable” areas, which cover an estimated 1.04km2. In addition, an estimated 3.6km2 of mined area still to be surveyed exists across 101 areas. A further 2.3km2 contains ERW only.[1] 

Of the surveyed mined area that can be readily cleared, 60 confirmed hazardous areas (CHAs) totaling approximately 3.98km2 are along the border with Afghanistan. Minefield records for the 101 un-surveyed areas are also along the Tajik-Afghan border.[2] A further 10 CHAs totaling approximately 1.74km2 are in the Central region. They are located on mountains that are difficult to access, but can be cleared during the region’s relatively brief summer period.[3]

Antipersonnel mine contamination by district as at end 2015[4]

District

Province

Total CHA

Inaccessible CHA

Non-executable CHA

Readily clearable CHA

SHA*

No.

Area (km2)

No.

Area (km2)

No.

Area (km2)

No.

Area (km2)

No.

Area (km2)

Tajik-Afghan border

GBAO** Region

20

2.13

4

0.27

0

0

16

1.86

4

3.6

Khatlon Region

63

2.89

15

0.75

4

0.016

44

2.12

97

Sub-total

 

83

5.02

19

1.02

4

0.016

60

3.98

101

3.6

Central region

GBAO** Region

6

1.22

0

0

0

0

6

1.22

0

0

Direct Rule District

4

0.52

0

0

0

0

4

0.52

0

0

Sub-total

 

10

1.74

 

 

 

 

10

1.74

 

 

Total

 

93

6.76

19

1.02

4

0.016

70

5.72

101

3.6

Note: * The approximate size of the 101 suspected minefields is an estimate, based on desk analysis, and pending further survey.
** Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region.

Nosiri Khusrav district, in the southwestern corner of Khatlon district, was declared mine-free in 2015.[5]

Mine contamination in Tajikistan is the consequence of different conflicts. Tajikistan’s border with Afghanistan was mined by Russian forces in 1992–1998; the border with Uzbekistan was mined by Uzbek forces in 2000–2001; and the Central region of Tajikistan was contaminated as a result of the 1992–1997 civil war.[6]

Mine contamination remains in the provinces of Khatlon and Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO) along the Tajik-Afghan border region (estimated to contain 60,357 antipersonnel mines), and in the Central region.[7] Shuroobod, in the Khatlon region on the Afghan border, is the most heavily mined district, and most of the mines were dropped by helicopter due to the inaccessibility for vehicles and people.[8] In 2013, following a Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD) survey, FSD and the Tajikistan Mine Action Center (TMAC, now called the Tajikistan National Mine Acton Center, TNMAC) concluded that no mines remain on the Tajikistan side of the border with Uzbekistan.[9]

There were believed to be 79 un-surveyed minefields as of September 2016.[10] In September 2013, records of 110 previously unrecorded and un-surveyed minefields were made public for the first time. Security constraints were reported to have prevented survey activities in the past.[11] The number of minefields was subsequently confirmed as 107 (not 110).[12] All are located in the provinces of Khatlon and the GBAO along the border with Afghanistan.[13] As of December 2015, 101 un-surveyed minefields were said to remain, covering an estimated 3.6km2.[14] Non-technical survey (NTS) of the minefields began in 2014.[15] Serious challenges have been reported during NTS, due to the extreme inaccessibility of mined areas and one mined area blocking access to others.[16] According to records, these minefields contain 57,189 mines (50,948 blast mines, 4,430 fragmentation mines, and 1,811 “booby-trapped” mines), in addition to 17 munitions employed in booby traps, and 100kg of explosive charges (500 pieces of 200g of TNT).[17]

Mine contamination in Tajikistan constrains development, limits access to grazing and agricultural land, and affects farming, wood gathering, and grazing activities related to rural life, especially in the Central region.[18] The main mine contamination is located along the borders, with a less direct impact on local communities and development, as these are restricted military security zones. However, contamination in these regions affects cross-border trade and security, and has political impact on peacebuilding initiatives with neighboring countries.[19]

Cluster munition contamination 

The last known area of cluster munition contamination was cleared in 2015.[20] However, Tajikistan has stated that submunitions may still be encountered in the future, during other survey and clearance operations.[21] Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) similarly reported that following completion of clearance operations in 2015, cluster munition contamination in Tajikistan is now “virtually non-existent,” but cluster munition remnants may be found in new areas or other hazardous areas.[22] 

Four cluster munition containers were discovered during survey and clearance in 2015, with evidence that the containers had been moved by local people. This, along with the discovery of cluster munition remnants during battle area clearance since 2003, indicates that additional cluster munition contamination may be present close to the area released in 2015. NPA intends to investigate this in 2016, once weather permits.[23] 

Cluster munitions were used during Tajikistan’s civil war in the 1990s, though it is not known who used them. In total, since the start of the mine action program in 2003 until the end of 2015, approximately 750 submunitions were reportedly identified and destroyed in Tajikistan.[24] Prior to 2014, unexploded submunitions were last found in 2011.[25]

The contaminated land that was cleared in 2015 has been used for pasture during the summer months when the snow has melted, and the nearest village is 15km away.[26] The contaminated area was around 200 meters from the nearest suspected mined area.[27] 

Program Management

The Commission for the Implementation of International Humanitarian Law (CIIHL) acts as Tajikistan’s national mine action authority, responsible for mainstreaming mine action in the government’s socio-economic development policies.[28] 

TNMAC reports to the First Deputy Prime Minister of Tajikistan, who chairs the CIIHL. Since its nationalization in 2014, TNMAC believes its cooperation with national ministries and agencies has improved.[29] 

The Ministry of Defense plays a significant role in Tajikistan’s mine action sector. With the adoption in July 2013 by the ministry of the Strategic Plan on Humanitarian Demining (2013–2016), the ministry has sought to focus on three main objectives: to further support demining; to enhance national capacities; and to create the conditions for a sound national mine action program.[30]

While transition to national ownership is considered to have been successful, UNDP’s Support to Tajikistan Mine Action Programme (STMAP) project will continue until at least the end of 2017 to support the building of sustainable national structures and TNMAC’s technical capacity.[31]

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) office in Tajikistan has been supporting mine action since 2003. The OSCE’s strategy in Tajikistan is twofold: to support the development of national demining capacity; and to foster regional cooperation in border management and security.[32]

An agreement on cooperation between the governments of Tajikistan and Afghanistan was signed in 2014, and TNMAC has coordinated with the UN Mine Action Centre for Afghanistan (UNMACCA) and Afghanistan’s Directorate of Mine Action Coordination (DMAC) on land release approaches, NMAS, exchange visits, cross-border projects, victim assistance, and risk education.[33]

Areas for land release are prioritized based on tasks issued by the Tajik government, requests from local authorities, and the capacities of demining agencies. Adverse weather conditions during the winter limit access to some designated priority tasks, as do security restrictions.[34] The Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) is working with TNMAC and the UNDP to develop a prioritization system and tool for Tajikistan, which will identify distinct criteria and indicators for the separate regions.[35] A two-day prioritization workshop was held in Dushanbe in May 2016 as part of TNMAC/UNDP’s STMAP project, which was also attended by operators, and facilitated by GICHD.[36]

Based on NTS conducted previously by FSD and TNMAC, and also existing minefield records, mine clearance in Tajikistan is mostly focused on areas where contamination has been confirmed.[37]

Strategic planning

The current national mine action strategic plan (NMASP) 2010–2015 expired at the end of 2015.[38] Tajikistan is in the process of developing a new strategy, the “Article 5 completion plan for 2016–2020.” Operators have been consulted during development of the plan,[39] and as of October 2016, it was still being revised.[40]

The draft completion plan seeks to focus on the most heavily mine-contaminated regions, which are along the Afghan border. From June to September, during favorable weather in the high-altitude areas, efforts will focus on the Central region.[41] In conjunction with the government of Tajikistan and the Tajik Border Forces, TNMAC will prioritize land release activities using a district-by-district approach based on the following criteria: mined areas with economic and infrastructure impact; the number of un-surveyed minefield records in each district (those with a larger number of minefields records will be considered a priority for the deployment of NTS teams); and the number of mined areas in each district (a smaller number of minefields will be considered a priority to deploy clearance teams to release the whole district).[42]

As part of the Article 5 completion plan, Tajikistan has defined four different categories of mined areas: CHAs; “inaccessible CHAs”; “non-executable CHAs”; and “un-surveyed minefield records.” CHAs are defined as “An area declared dangerous due to the presence of mines”; inaccessible CHAs are defined as “CHA that is impossible to access by land release teams due to relief (like high mountains, steep slopes, etc.), small river islands, mudflows, and other constraints including security”; non-executable CHAs are defined as “A CHA in which clearance is impossible to execute under current working conditions,” due to sandy soil, depth of items (60cm–70cm), or waterlogged ground.[43] TNMAC expects further inaccessible and non-executable tasks to be identified through NTS or technical survey or during clearance; and that operating teams and TNMAC will agree on common criteria to declare an area/task as inaccessible or non-executable.[44] 

The future phases of Tajikistan’s national mine action program to “completion” were formalized into a “transition and exit strategy” in 2013. The strategy was revised in October 2014, to plan the three-year period from the beginning of 2015 to the end of 2017, and seeks to increase national ownership. The GICHD is assisting the program in this process.[45] 

The annual TNMAC workplan for 2016 was approved by the government in December 2015.[46] However, the annual plan only includes mine survey and clearance, as no known cluster munition-contaminated areas remain.[47] 

Legislation and standards

In 2015, Tajikistan drafted a humanitarian demining law, which covers all aspects of mine action. However, mine clearance NGOs are not believed to have been consulted during the drafting of the law.[48] The law (no. 1338) was ratified by Tajikistan’s parliament on 23 July 2016.[49] The new law was presented to mine action stakeholders in Tajikistan in September 2016, during a workshop hosted by TNMAC.[50]

Tajikistan’s National Mine Action Standards (TNMAS), which have been revised and translated into Russian, were awaiting government approval as of August 2016.[51] The TNMAS predominantly refer to mines, but also cover UXO, including cluster munition remnants.[52]

Operators

The FSD and NPA are the two international demining operators in Tajikistan. NPA reported that the number of operational staff deployed in 2015 fluctuated during the year, with an average of between four and five teams throughout the year; clearance operations were curtailed due to the practical challenges of demining at high altitude in the Central region, while security imposed clearance restrictions on the Afghan border.[53]

In 2015, the Union of Sappers Tajikistan (UST) obtained permission to conduct survey and received a grant from the UNDP for technical and NTS in the south of the country.[54] Until 2015, limitations in Tajikistan’s legislation had prevented UST as a public organization from gaining accreditation for demining activities.[55]

A Humanitarian Deming Group (HDU) under the Ministry of Defense acts as a contractor for the TNMAC, funded by the OSCE.[56]

In 2015, combined FSD, NPA, and Ministry of Defense operational capacity for survey and clearance in Tajikistan was 117 deminers across nine multipurpose teams and one manual clearance team—a marked decrease in capacity compared to 2014. Of this, NPA deployed six multi-purpose teams, totaling 62 personnel in 2015; FSD deployed one manual team, consisting of 13 personnel; and the Ministry of Defense’s HDU deployed three multi-purpose teams, totaling 42 personnel. UST deployed two NTS teams in 2015.[57]

Neither mine detection dogs (MDDs) nor machines were used operationally in 2015.[58] The MDD program ended in early 2015 due to the very limited number of tasks suitable for dogs. Consequently, 18 MDDs were handed over to the Ministry of Interior and to the Border Forces.[59] Similarly, economic use of mechanical assets reached its limit, and by 2015, few tasks remained for demining machines. Moreover, in 2015, machines were prevented from even being deployed due to security constraints along the border with Afghanistan, which blocked access to areas suitable for machine deployment.[60] Most future tasks will require manual clearance.[61]

To undertake cluster munition clearance in 2015, NPA deployed one female demining team comprising eight deminers, one male demining team comprising seven deminers, two team leaders, and two task supervisors.[62]

Land Release (Mines) 

Total mined area released by clearance and technical survey in 2015 was almost 0.76km2, compared with 1.15km2 in 2014. In addition, almost 0.57km2 was canceled in 2015 by survey while almost 0.4km2 was confirmed as mined.

Survey in 2015 (mines)

In 2015, more than 0.51km2 was reduced by technical survey, and a further 0.56km2 was canceled (see table below).[63] In addition, NPA reported that almost 0.4km2 was confirmed as mined in 2015.

Antipersonnel mine survey in 2015[64]

Operator

District

Province

Area canceled (m2)

Area reduced by TS (m2)

Area confirmed (m2)

NPA

Tavildara

Central Region

242,367

2,656

0

Jirgatol

Central region

126,641

32,343

392,000

Darvoz

GBAO

159,572

111,176

6,000

Nosiri Khusrav

Khatlon

28,912

18,771

0

FSD

Tavildara

Central region

0

180,745

0

MoD

Vanj

GBAO

0

187,527

0

Total

 

 

557,492

514,447

398,000

 

Clearance in 2015 (mines)

In 2015, FSD, NPA, and the MoD/HDG cleared close to 0.25km2 across 23 mined areas (three of which were suspended and not yet completed), destroying 395 antipersonnel mines and 121 items of UXO (see table below).[65] This is a marked decrease from 2014, when 0.65km2 of mine-contaminated area was cleared.[66]

Mine clearance in 2015[67]

Operator

District

Province

Areas cleared

Area cleared (m²)

AP mines destroyed

UXO destroyed

NPA

Tavildara

Central region

1

4,977

1

0

Jirgatol

Central region

2

31,016

19

0

Darvoz

GBAO

9

88,066

250

20

Vanj

GBAO

1*

2,566

0

6

Nosiri Khusrav

Khatlon

4

22,117

38

0

FSD

Tavildara

Central region

1

19,255

1

10

MoD

Vanj

GBAO

1

71,473

3

81

Vanj

GBAO

2*

3,997

82

4

Nosiri Khusrav

Khatlon

2

1,884

0

0

Total

 

 

23

245,351

394

121

Note: AP = antipersonnel.
* Clearance suspended and not yet completed. 

Nosiri Khusrav district, in the southwestern corner of Khatlon district, was declared mine-free in 2015, following completion of NPA survey and clearance operations over four tasks.[68]

Compared to 2014, far fewer mines were found and destroyed during land release operations in 2015. According to TNMAC this is due to a lower number of clearance operations taking place in Khatlon province—the most heavily mined—owing to the security situation on the Afghan border, along with the lack of opportunity to deploy demining machines.[69]

TNMAC reported that better use is being made of technical survey to collect direct evidence of contamination, and to ensure CHAs do indeed contain mines.[70] NPA reported that despite deploying half the number of teams in 2015 compared to 2014, its output of land released was not less, due to better use of land release techniques over SHAs and CHAs in the Central region and increased cancelation of non-contaminated land.[71]

Due to increased security in northern parts of Afghanistan (along the Tajik border), the Border Forces denied permission for clearance operations in the Khatlon border region—an area that contains nearly three-quarters of all mine contamination in Tajikistan.[72] The Border Forces only permitted NTS operations in Shuroobod district of Khatlon province, to survey some of the 101 previously unrecorded minefields. As such, two additional survey teams were established.[73] As of August 2016, TNMAC was negotiating with the Border Forces for the opportunity to start mine clearance operations in Khatlon region.[74]

Due to the restricted access to the border areas with Afghanistan, operators were instead tasked mainly to tackle remaining contamination in the Central region. However, there is a shorter demining window in this region, due to adverse weather conditions.[75]

Progress in 2016 (mines)

TNMAC was aiming to survey 50 SHAs in the 101 previously unrecorded minefields in 2016.[76] As of September 2016, the number of un-surveyed minefields was believed to have been reduced through NTS to 79.[77]

As security issues in the Khatlon region have persisted into 2016, TNMAC has instead focused all its demining capacity in the Central region, and expected to complete mine clearance in two districts.[78] Furthermore, as a result of the lack of access to clearance tasks, TNMAC is also concentrating more on release of SHAs by reduction of mined area using technical survey and cancelation of non-contaminated land using NTS.

Land Release (Cluster Munition Remnants)

In 2015, a SHA was surveyed, and 446,260m2 of cluster munition-contaminated area was subsequently released by clearance.[79]

Survey in 2015 (cluster munition remnants)

In 2014, based on information provided by a member of the local Sagirdasht community, the quality assurance (QA)/quality control (QC) team from TNMAC found one AO-2.5RT submunition in Darvoz district. The QA/QC team subsequently found other submunitions, covering a total area they estimated at 400,000m2.[80] This estimate was subsequently revised downwards by NPA to 150,000m2, following a field visit in July 2015.[81] However, the revision was subsequently found to be incorrect, due to the imprecise orientation of the SHA polygon, and the estimated size of the SHA, based on the available information, remained at 400,000m2.[82] 

Clearance in 2015 (cluster munition remnants)

In 2015, NPA released 446,260m2 of cluster munition-contaminated land through clearance conducted in July and August (335,181m2 manually cleared and 111,079m2 visually searched). This was the area discovered in 2014 and surveyed in 2015. During clearance, 84 AO-2.5RT submunitions and three pieces of UXO (RPG-7) were destroyed, and four cluster bomb containers were discovered.[83] 

The onset of winter and adverse weather conditions at the high-altitude location of the contaminated site prevented further investigation of this area in 2015. However, NPA planned to conduct an assessment in 2016, in order to confirm or eliminate the possibility of further cluster munition contamination.[84] 

Deminer safety

One mine accident was reported in 2015, which involved a PMN (antipersonnel blast) mine being accidentally detonated during excavation. The accident resulted in an NPA task supervisor losing his eyesight as well as a finger.[85] As a result of the subsequent accident investigation, NPA reviewed and changed its operational structure and equipment.[86]

Mine Ban Treaty Article 5 Compliance

Under Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty (and in accordance with the 10-year extension granted by States Parties in 2009), Tajikistan is required to destroy all antipersonnel mines in mined areas under its jurisdiction or control as soon as possible, but not later than 1 April 2020. It is not on track to meet its deadline.

The first quarter of each calendar year is typically not conducive for clearance operations, so in order to meet the deadline, clearance would need to be completed by the end of 2019.[87] Current land release output, continued insecurity along its border with Afghanistan, and the inaccessibility and/or operational difficulty of some mined areas, means that Tajikistan will not finish in time.

While TNMAC has claimed that Tajikistan is on track to meet its obligations and complete its Article 5 obligations by the end of 2019,[88] it has acknowledged that this is contingent on sufficient funding, as well as the security situation at the Tajik-Afghan border, both of which could affect its ability to meet the deadline.[89] Moreover, Tajikistan is in the process of finalizing an Article 5 completion plan for 2016–2020 in which it outlines its plans to address only accessible and executable CHAs. “Inaccessible” and “non-executable” areas have been excluded from land release activities during the Article 5 completion period, and will be defined as “residual threat.”[90] This is not compliant with Tajikistan’s Article 5 survey and clearance obligations.

In the Tajik-Afghan border region, after deducting 23 “inaccessible” and “non-executable” areas, 60 CHAs covering some 2.67km2 remain to be addressed under TNMAC’s draft completion plan,[91] while in the Central region, 10 CHAs remain to be addressed, covering 1.74km2. TNMAC predicts that the proportion of land manually cleared and reduced by technical survey will remain the same as the average of the last six years, namely 40% and 33% accordingly. Therefore, it predicts that from the 5.72km2 of total CHA, only 3.83km2 will be subjected to full clearance.[92]

In addition, of the estimated 3.6km2 within the 101 un-surveyed minefield records along the Tajik-Afghan border (as of end 2015), it is assumed that about 20% of mined areas will not be accessible or executable for land release operations, and about 10% will be canceled through NTS.[93] Therefore, it is predicted that 2.52km2 (70%) will be confirmed for survey and clearance, of which 33% (0.82km2) will be reduced by technical survey and the remaining 67% (1.69km2) through full clearance.[94]

If the security situation on the Tajik-Afghan border does not allow for clearance along the border itself, Tajikistan will try to operate in areas at least 1km from the border line. Depending on weather conditions, land release operations in the Khatlon region of the border usually start in February/March; the GBAO part of the border only becomes accessible from May until October; and the Central region from June until September.[95]

In its draft Article 5 completion plan for 2016–2020, Tajikistan estimates that to clear 5.52km2 of CHA (and excluding the 101 un-surveyed minefield records on the Tajik-Afghan border, and “inaccessible” and “non-executable” areas) by the end of 2019, would require about 24 manual clearance teams annually clearing an average total each year of 1.4km2. Alternatively, a lesser, but still increased, capacity of 14 manual clearance team could take approximately seven years (2015–2023), based on current clearance rates.[96]

In the last five years, Tajikistan has cleared a total of 5.59km2 of mined area (see table below), with annual clearance in 2015 at the lowest level yet during this period. This was due to restricted access for clearance in the Afghanistan border region owing to a heightened security situation in Kunduz and other areas in northeast Afghanistan. This resulted in clearance operations originally scheduled for January 2016 being delayed until May. It also saw clearance focusing on the mountainous Central region, where adverse weather means the demining window is much shorter, with additional challenges posed by the need to access remote locations and to ensure medical evacuation.[97]

Mine clearance in 2011–2015[98]

Year

Area cleared (km2)

2015

0.25

2014

0.65

2013

1.99

2012

1.10

2011

1.60

Total

5.59

 

The government of Tajikistan supported TNMAC coordination activities with some US$38,000 in 2015–2016; a decrease compared to the US$52,000 provided in 2014. In addition, the government provides in-kind and technical support to the program that it equates to some US$700,000 annually, which has remained constant.[99]

 

The Monitor gratefully acknowledges the contributions of the Mine Action Review supported and published by Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA), which conducted mine action research in 2016 and shared it with the Monitor. The Monitor is responsible for the findings presented online and in its print publications.



[1] Statement of Tajikistan, Mine Ban Treaty 14th Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 1 December 2015; and Tajikistan National Mine Acton Center (TNMAC), Draft Article 5 Completion Plan 2016–2020, 4 October 2016.

[2] Statement of Tajikistan, Mine Ban Treaty 14th Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 1 December 2015.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.; and TNMAC, Draft Article 5 Completion Plan 2016–2020, 4 October 2016. The figures are not consistent with TNMAC’s statement at the Mine Ban Treaty intersessional meetings in May 2016, when it reported contamination as at December 2015 of some 10.3km2, in addition to 2.3km2 of battle area.

[5] Email from Aubrey Sutherland-Pillai, Country Director, NPA, 10 August 2016.

[6] Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 31 March 2009, p. 1; and Tajikistan Mine Action Centre (TMAC), “Scope of the Problem,” undated.

[7] TNMAC, Draft Article 5 Completion Plan 2016–2020, 4 October 2016.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Emails from Parviz Mavlonkulov, TMAC, 12 March 2014; and from Muhabbat Ibrohimzoda, TMAC, 19 March 2014; and TNMAC, Draft Article 5 Completion Plan 2016–2020, 4 October 2016.

[10] Email from Aubrey Sutherland-Pillai, NPA, 18 October 2016.

[11] Statement of Tajikistan, Mine Ban Treaty 14th Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 1 December 2015.

[12] Interview with Muhabbat Ibrohimzoda, TNMAC, and Sebastian Kasack, UN Development Programme (UNDP), in Geneva, 23 June 2015.

[13] TNMAC, Draft Article 5 Completion Plan 2016–2020, 4 October 2016.

[14] Statement of Tajikistan, Mine Ban Treaty 14th Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 1 December 2015; and TNMAC, Draft Article 5 Completion Plan 2016–2020, 4 October 2016.

[15] Email from Muhabbat Ibrohimzoda, TNMAC, 30 September 2015.

[16] TNMAC, Draft Article 5 Completion Plan 2016–2020, 4 October 2016.

[17] Ibid.

[18] Email from Muhabbat Ibrohimzoda, TNMAC, 19 August 2016; Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 31 March 2009, p. 1; and email from Aubrey Sutherland-Pillai, NPA, 10 August 2016.

[19] Email from Aubrey Sutherland-Pillai, NPA, 10 August 2016.

[20] Emails from Aubrey Sutherland-Pillai, NPA, 6 April 2016; and from Muhabbat Ibrohimzoda, TNMAC, 19 May 2016.

[21] Email from Muhabbat Ibrohimzoda, TNMAC, 12 May 2015; and interview in Geneva, 18 February 2016; and email from Aubrey Sutherland-Pillai, NPA, 6 April 2016.

[22] Email from Aubrey Sutherland-Pillai, NPA, 6 April 2016.

[23] Email from Sasa Jelicic, Operations Manager, NPA, 16 June 2016.

[24] Statement of Tajikistan, Mine Ban Treaty 14th Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 1 December 2015.

[25] Response to Cluster Munition Monitor questionnaire by Abdulmain Karimov, TMAC, 11 June 2013.

[26] Email from Muhabbat Ibrohimzoda, TNMAC, 12 May 2015.

[27] Email from Daler Mirzoaliev, NPA, 14 July 2015.

[28] Mine Ban Treaty Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 31 March 2009, p. 4.

[29] Email from Muhabbat Ibrohimzoda, TNMAC, 12 May 2015.

[30] Ministry of Defense, “Strategic Plan on Humanitarian Demining 2013–2016,” Dushanbe, 17 July 2013; and response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Luka Buhin, Mine Action Office, OSCE Office in Tajikistan, 8 April 2014.

[31] TNMAC, Draft Article 5 Completion Plan 2016–2020, 4 October 2016.

[32] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Luka Buhin, OSCE Office in Tajikistan, 8 April 2014.

[33] Email from Muhabbat Ibrohimzoda, TNMAC, 19 August 2016.

[34] Ibid.; and from Aubrey Sutherland-Pillai, NPA, 10 August 2016.

[35] Email from Muhabbat Ibrohimzoda, TNMAC, 19 August 2016.

[36] Email from Aubrey Sutherland-Pillai, NPA, 10 August 2016.

[37] Ibid.

[38] Interview with Muhabbat Ibrohimzoda, TNMAC, and Ahad Mahmoudov, UNDP, in Geneva, 23 June 2015.

[39] Email from Aubrey Sutherland-Pillai, NPA, 2 September 2016.

[40] Email from Parviz Mavlonkulov, UNDP, 4 October 2016.

[41] TNMAC, Draft Article 5 Completion Plan 2016–2020, 4 October 2016.

[42] Ibid.

[43] Ibid.

[44] Ibid.

[45] Ibid.

[46] Ibid.

[47] Email from Muhabbat Ibrohimzoda, TNMAC, 19 May 2016.

[48] Email from Aubrey Sutherland-Pillai, NPA, 18 October 2016.

[49] Email from Muhabbat Ibrohimzoda, TNMAC, 19 August 2016.

[50] Email from Aubrey Sutherland-Pillai, NPA, 18 October 2016.

[51] Interview with Muhabbat Ibrohimzoda, TNMAC, in Geneva, 18 February 2016; and email 19 August 2016.

[52] Interview with Muhabbat Ibrohimzoda, TNMAC, in Geneva, 18 February 2016.

[53] Emails from Aubrey Sutherland-Pillai, NPA, 10 August 2016, and 18 October 2016.

[54] FSD, “Annual Report 2015,” undated but 2016.

[55] Ibid.

[56] Email from Muhabbat Ibrohimzoda, TNMAC, 12 May 2015.

[57] Statement of Tajikistan, Mine Ban Treaty Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 19 May 2016; and TNMAC, Draft Article 5 Completion Plan 2016–2020, 4 October 2016.

[58] Email from Muhabbat Ibrohimzoda, TNMAC, 19 August 2016.

[59] Ibid., 17 February 2015; statement of Tajikistan, Mine Ban Treaty Intersessional Meetings, Committee on Article 5 Implementation, Geneva, 25 June 2015; and TNMAC, Draft Article 5 Completion Plan 2016–2020, 4 October 2016.

[60] Email from Muhabbat Ibrohimzoda, TNMAC, 19 August 2016; and TNMAC, Draft Article 5 Completion Plan 2016–2020, 4 October 2016.

[61] Statement of Tajikistan, Mine Ban Treaty Intersessional Meetings, Committee on Article 5 Implementation, Geneva, 19 May 2016.

[62] Email from Aubrey Sutherland-Pillai, NPA, 6 April 2016.

[63] Emails from Muhabbat Ibrohimzoda, TNMAC, 19 August 2016; and from Aubrey Sutherland-Pillai, NPA, 8 September 2016. NPA figures are recorded, as these were disaggregated by area canceled and area reduced, whereas TNMAC reported only a combined figure.

[64] Emails from Muhabbat Ibrohimzoda, TNMAC, 19 August 2016; and from Aubrey Sutherland-Pillai, NPA, 8 September 2016. NPA figures disaggregated area canceled and area reduced, whereas TNMAC only reported a combined figure. There was also a discrepancy between NPA and TNMAC data regarding survey data for Nosiri Khusrav district, Khatlon province. NPA reported 28,912m2 as canceled and 18,771m2 as reduced (totaling 47,683m2), whereas TNMAC reported a combined total of 38,748m2. Furthermore, TNMAC did not report the 398,000m2 confirmed as contaminated by NPA.

[65] Email from Muhabbat Ibrohimzoda, TNMAC, 19 August 2016.

[66] Ibid., 10 October 2015. There was a discrepancy between cleared data for Khatlon province reported by NPA (424,097m2) and that reported by TNMAC (377,580m2). Email from Resad Junuzagic, NPA, 7 April 2015. There was also a discrepancy between cleared data for Khatlon province reported by FSD (135,550m2) and by TNMAC (125,229m2). In addition, FSD also reported destroying one antipersonnel mine in Vanj, GBAO. Email from Gulnamo Khudobakhshova, Programme Officer, FSD, 12 May 2015.

[67] Email from Muhabbat Ibrohimzoda, TNMAC, 19 August 2016. However, this is inconsistent with what TNMAC reported for the same period at the 14th Meeting of States Parties in December 2015 (1.8km2 released, and 556 mines and 345 ERW destroyed in 2015) and at the May 2016 intersessional meetings (1.77km2 released, destroying 567 antipersonnel mines and 1,183 ERW). The 14th Meeting of States Parties and intersessional figures are thought likely to include BAC, though this does not account for the difference in the number of mines destroyed.

[68] Email from Aubrey Sutherland-Pillai, NPA, 10 August 2016.

[69] Email from Muhabbat Ibrohimzoda, TNMAC, 19 August 2016.

[70] Ibid.

[71] Email from Aubrey Sutherland-Pillai, NPA, 10 August 2016.

[72] Email from Muhabbat Ibrohimzoda, TNMAC, 19 August 2016.

[73] Ibid.

[74] Ibid.

[75] Ibid.; and from Aubrey Sutherland-Pillai, NPA, 10 August 2016; and statement of Tajikistan, Mine Ban Treaty 14th Meeting of States Parties, December 2015.

[76] Email from Muhabbat Ibrohimzoda, TNMAC, 19 August 2016.

[77] Email from Aubrey Sutherland-Pillai, NPA, 18 October 2016.

[78] Email from Muhabbat Ibrohimzoda, TNMAC, 19 August 2016.

[79] Ibid.

[80] Ibid., 3 April 2015.

[81] Email from Daler Mirzoaliev, NPA Tajikistan, 14 July 2015.

[82] Email from Aubrey Sutherland-Pillai, NPA, 12 May 2016.

[83] Ibid., and 6 April 2016; and from Muhabbat Ibrohimzoda, TNMAC, 19 May 2016.

[84] Email from Aubrey Sutherland-Pillai, NPA, 12 May 2016.

[85] Ibid., 10 August 2016; and from Muhabbat Ibrohimzoda, TNMAC, 19 August 2016.

[86] Email from Aubrey Sutherland-Pillai, NPA, 10 August 2016.

[87] TNMAC, Draft Article 5 Completion Plan 2016–2020, 4 October 2016.

[88] Email from Muhabbat Ibrohimzoda, TNMAC, 19 August 2016.

[89] Ibid.

[90] TNMAC, Draft Article 5 Completion Plan 2016–2020, 4 October 2016.

[91] Ibid.

[92] Ibid.

[93] Ibid.

[94] Ibid.

[95] Ibid.

[96] Ibid.

[97] Emails from Muhabbat Ibrohimzoda, TNMAC, 19 August 2016; and from Aubrey Sutherland-Pillai, NPA, 10 August 2016; and statement of Tajikistan, Mine Ban Treaty 14th Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 1 December 2015.

[98] See Mine Action Review and Landmine Monitor reports on clearance in Tajikistan covering 2011–2014.

[99] Email from Muhabbat Ibrohimzoda, TNMAC, 19 August 2016.


Support for Mine Action

Last updated: 06 October 2016

In 2015, international mine action contributions to the Republic of Tajikistan totaled nearly US$3 million, 31% less than in 2014.[1]

Tajikistan has not reported any national financial contributions to its mine action program since 2012, when it provided US$700,000.

International government contributions: 2015[2]

Donor

Sector

Amount (national currency)

Amount ($)

United States

Various

$1,500,000

1,500,000

UNDP

Various

N/A

844,227

Norway

Clearance

NOK5,000,000

619,725

Total

 

 

2,963,952

N/A = not applicable

Since 2011, international support toward mine action activities in Tajikistan has totaled some $23.9 million, and averaged $4.8 million per year.

Summary of contributions: 2011–2015[3]

Year

International contribution ($)

2015

2,963,952

2014

4,298,942

2013

4,562,287

2012

6,636,033

2011

5,448,508

Total

23,909,722

 


[1] UNDP, Mine Action Programming: Tajikistan, February 2016; emails from Ingrid Schoyen, Senior Adviser, Section for Humanitarian Affairs, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 24 May 2016; and from Katherine Baker, Foreign Affairs Officer, Weapons Removal and Abatement, United States Department of State, 12 September 2016.

[2] Average exchange rate for 2015: NOK8.0681=US$1. US Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 4 January 2016.

[3] See previous Monitor reports. 


Casualties and Victim Assistance

Last updated: 16 December 2015

Summary action points based on findings

  • Strengthen the role of the Disability Support Unit (DSU).
  • Improve the quality of physical rehabilitation services through training, restructuring, and decentralization.
  • Expand legislation and coordination for the rights of persons with disabilities.

Victim assistance commitments

The Republic of Tajikistan is responsible for a significant number of survivors of landmines, cluster munitions, and explosive remnants of war (ERW) who are in need. Tajikistan has made commitments to provide victim assistance through the Mine Ban Treaty.

As of 1 September 2015, Tajikistan had not signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

Casualties Overview

All known casualties by end 2014

851 mine/ERW casualties (369 killed; 482 injured)

Casualties in 2014

4 (2011: 1)

2014 casualties by outcome

1 killed; 3 injured (2013: 1 injured)

2014 casualties by device type

3 antipersonnel mine; 1 ERW

Tajikistan reported four mine ERW casualties in 2014; three were clearance personnel injured by antipersonnel mines and one was a civilian killed by ERW. [1] The Tajikistan Mine Action Center (TMAC. Now Tajikistan National Mine Action Centre, TNMAC ) recorded one landmine casualty for 2013. [2] This represented a significant decrease in total casualties from the 12 mine/ERW casualties that the TMAC recorded for 2012; including three casualties among deminers. [3] TMAC also reported three casualties among deminers in 2011. [4]

Tajikistan recorded 851 mine/ERW casualties (369 killed; 482 injured) for the period from 1992 to the end of 2014. Of the total known casualties, almost 30% were children (101 children were killed and another 143 injured) and 88 were women. [5] The total number of mine/ERW casualties is not known, because the needs assessment survey was not country-wide. However, the number of mine/ERW casualties recorded in TMAC data since 2003 was known to be accurate, whereas historical data for 1992–2002 required further survey for verification. [6]

Cluster munition casualties

At least 164 casualties from unexploded submunitions were reported in Tajikistan, through 2007. Most incidents occurred in the Rasht valley area. The exact timeline of incidents is not known. [7] No casualties from cluster munition remnants have been reported in Tajikistan since 2007.

Victim Assistance

The total number of known mine/ERW survivors in Tajikistan is 482.

Victim assistance since 1999 [8]

Since the beginning of Monitor reporting, victim assistance improved in Tajikistan with its inclusion in the national mine action strategy in 2004, the recruitment of the Victim Assistance Officer in 2006, and the subsequent development and implementation of a national victim assistance program through the coordination of the national mine action center. From the beginning of Monitor reporting in 1999 until 2004, there were no dedicated programs assisting mine/ERW survivors in Tajikistan.

A TMAC needs assessment in 2008 identified the needs of the large majority of survivors. The national Victim Assistance Program was adjusted based on these needs.

Improvements in medical care have been reported since 2004 when medication and supply shortages were chronic and most facilities were said to be in poor condition. Particularly in mine/ERW-affected areas, infrastructure remained poor due to under-funding and the mountainous terrain severely hampered access to existing services in the capital.

Between 2005 and 2009, the government gradually took on more responsibility for the State Enterprise Orthopedic Plant (SEOP); [9] it was handed over to full government management at the beginning of 2009. By 2012, there was a gradual deterioration of the quality of services at the SEOP caused by a low level of expertise following the departure of all the formally trained technicians and weak managerial capacity. Although the SEOP had introduced better salaries, staff mostly left for financial reasons. The quality of prosthetics services decreased due to the continuing departure of trained staff. The ICRC Special Fund for the Disabled (SFD) assisted with planned improvements to the rehabilitation structure.

Adequate psychological support was mostly unavailable for survivors through the existing system. In response, the Victim Assistance Program held regular camps to begin to address those needs. Increasingly, economic reintegration projects were carried out and accomplished based on the needs identified in the survivor assessment survey, but the activities were not able to be implemented to the extent planned for most of the period due to funding constraints. The need for sustained funding was highlighted as a key challenge to ensuring that the victim assistance capacity that had been developed continued to benefit survivors.

New disability legislation was adopted at the end of 2010.

From January 2013, the Tajik Victim Assistance Program was “rebranded” as the Disability Support Unit (DSU) to reinforce the understanding that efforts to assist landmine/ERW survivors are part of broader disability and development frameworks. Efforts were continuing to improve the quality of information on the needs of survivors and to integrate assistance into programs and strategies that also address the rights of persons with disabilities.

Assessing victim assistance needs

TNMAC continued gathering detailed information on mine/ERW casualties and service provision in cooperation with ICRC and the Red Crescent Society through a needs assessment survey initiated in 2013. By December 2015, more than 600 people had been surveyed. [10] In cooperation with TMAC, the ICRC organized refresher training for the Red Crescent Society volunteers in March 2014. In 2013, ICRC victim needs assessment forms for the Information System on Mine Action (IMSMA) were adapted by TMAC to match country-specific needs. [11]

Victim assistance coordination [12]

Government coordinating body/focal point

TMAC

Coordinating mechanism

Disability Support Unit (DSU)

Plan

Annual victim assistance workplan, linked to the five-year Mine Action Strategy 2010–2015

TMAC’s victim assistance program was extend for the period 2013–2015. It widened its focus and became more inclusive of all persons with disabilities and transformed into the DSU, which operates as a Nationally-Executed UNDP Project. [13]

DSU Technical Working Group members include: the Ministry of Health (formerly Labor) and Social Protection of the Population (MHSPP); State Enterprise Orthopedic Plant; National Research Institute for Rehabilitation of Disabled People; National Union and Society of Disabled People ( NUDP); ICRC; Tajikistan Red Crescent Society; Handicap International (HI); Tajikistan Centre to Ban Landmines & Cluster Munitions (TCBL&CM); and mine/ERW survivors’ networks. One of the main obstacles to the implementation of the annual plan was limited funding and resources. [14]

The Technical Working Group raised awareness on disability-inclusive development among members to promote sustainability of victim assistance. [15] In 2014, in order to coordinate activities to assist the victims in a wider context of disability and development, planning, and reporting, the Tajik National Center for Mine Action (NTSTMV) with the support of UNDP, organized three coordination meetings of the technical working group (TWG) on assistance to persons with disabilities, including those affected by mines/ERW. [16] In 2013, the DSU also organized three Technical Working Group meetings related to victim assistance within the broader context of disability. [17]

The first joint partnership program to promote the rights of both adults and children with disabilities in Tajikistan supported by the UN Partnership to Promote the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNPRPD) Trust Fund. The two-year program titled Building and Strengthening Alliances for Inclusive Policies and Communities for Persons with Disabilities in Tajikistan 2015–2016 promotes: 1) mainstreaming of disability issues into policies, legislation, and programs; 2) increased awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities; and 3) community-based rehabilitation services for persons with disabilities. A steering committee, including representatives from the government, ombudsperson, UN organizations, and civil society, was established to oversee the program. [18]

Due to the restructuring of ministerial responsibilities at the end of 2013, a new ministry of Health and Social Protection of the Population was formed and was given the mandate of responsibility for the rights of persons with disabilities. [19] One report identified this change as “The current discussion around the structure and services of the newly created Ministry is a window of opportunity for input from the international and local stakeholders."

In March 2014, a meeting titled the “National Stakeholders Dialogue on Victim Assistance and Disability Rights: Promoting the rights of Persons with Disabilities through inclusive policies, systems and services,” was held in Dushanbe. It included government ministries responsible for disability issues, and non-governmental, international, and disabled peoples’ organizations (DPOs), the ICBL, the UN Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights and UN Women. [20] The meeting was organized by the Disability Support Unit of the Tajikistan National Mine Action Centre, with the support of the European Union and the Mine Ban Treaty Implementation Support Unit. [21]

The meeting recognized that the draft State Program on Persons with Disabilities should be amended to reflect changes in government structure and be adopted by the government and parliament. The following recommendations were made:

  • The Programme should be long-term (at least 3–5 years);
  • The title should be changed to the “State Programme for the Promotion of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities” to align it with the rights-based approach articulated in the CRPD. Rights-based terminology such as “inclusion of Persons with Disabilities” rather than “protection of Persons with Disabilities;”
  • A budget estimating the full costs of implementation should be included;
  • Expand the monitoring and evaluation section;
  • Improve linkages between programme goals and the existing situation on the ground;
  • Conduct a comprehensive situation analysis of the current situation with persons with disabilities;
  • Engagement with potential donors for assistance to the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of the Population in order to revise the draft state programme and make it relevant to the new ministerial structure in Tajikistan. [22]

However, the draft state program was not adopted.

The “Tajikistan National Mine Action Strategic Plan ( NMASP ) 2010–2015: Protecting Life and Promoting Development” includes an objective for implementing victim assistance, ensuring the rights of survivors, and advocating for Tajikistan to join the CRPD. [23] A mid-term review of the NMASP 2010 – 2015 was conducted in June 2013 with the involvement of all relevant stakeholders, including DPOs and other victim assistance partners. The NMASP’s goals were made inclusive of all persons with disabilities, including landmine survivors. A strategic objective is now framed as: “All persons with disabilities, including mine victims, regardless of their sex and age, have equal and proper access to adequate medical and physical rehabilitation and psychological and psychosocial support as well as to socio-economic and legal assistance and inclusive education.” [24]

Tajikistan provided detailed, updated information on all aspects of victim assistance in reporting at the Mine Ban Treaty Third Review Conference in 2014, its report to the Session on Victim Assistance of Protocol V of the Convention on Conventional Weapons in April 2015, and in Form J of its Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report for 2014. [25]

Survivor inclusion and participation

Survivors’ organizations and networks and DPOs were included in national and local government coordinating groups. The society of persons with disabilities “Imkoniyat” and several key DPOs were involved in CRPD working group planning meetings. Landmine survivor NGO “Society of landmine survivors” in Sugd oblast was included in the local planning. [26]

Service accessibility and effectiveness

Victim assistance activities [27]

Name of organization

Type of organization

Type of activity

TMAC

Governmental/UNDP

Coordination, economic inclusion projects; advocacy; and psychosocial support—including summer rehabilitation camps; awareness-raising; resource mobilization

National Research Institute for Rehabilitation of Disabled People (NRIRDP)

Governmental

Rehabilitation assistance for persons with disabilities, including mine/ERW survivors

SEOP

Governmental

Physical rehabilitation services; free transportation, accommodation, and meals and repairs at satellite workshops in Khorugh, Khujand, and Kulob

National University

Governmental

Psychological support and social inclusion

NUDP

National NGO

Economic reintegration; social inclusion; advocacy

TCBL&CM

National NGO

Advocacy; economic inclusion; awareness-raising and peer support

Tajikistan Red Crescent Society

National NGO linked to international organization

Economic reintegration projects and first-aid training

Takdir

National NGO

Survivor run: awareness-raising on rights of persons with disabilities; provision of support to mine survivors; based in Dushanbe

Union of survivors of Mines and other Explosives

National NGO

Legal, psychological support; awareness-raising through mass media, including campaign on mines problem; administrative support to survivors to apply for disability pensions; based in Sugd region with regional coverage

ICRC/ICRC SFD

International Organization

Economic inclusion through a Micro Economic Initiatives (MEI) program; support to the SEOP

Emergency medical care

The three deminer survivors in 2014 were reported to have received immediate medical attention in Tajik state hospitals. [28] The boy injured in 2013 received treatment in the surgery department of the Dushanbe city hospital. [29]

Physical rehabilitation, including prosthetics

There was only one rehabilitation center capable of providing prosthetics services in the entire country (SEOP in Dushanbe). The satellite center of Khujand only made repairs on existing devices. Remoteness and poor road conditions mean that some regions, including Sugd and Gorno-Badakhshan, are isolated for several months during the winter. A lack of financial resources to reach the capital for services remained an obstacle to accessing rehabilitation. About 7% of prosthesis were for mine/ERW survivors. [30]

In 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) Tajikistan in partnership with Ministry of Health and Social Protection of the Population continued the development of a national rehabilitation policy, system, and services with a focus on community-based rehabilitation (CBR) and human resource development for physical rehabilitation. [31] In 2015, CBR programs were initiated in 10 districts and conducted in collaboration with local NGOs and the Tajikistan CBR network. [32]

Economic and social reintegration

The ICRC provided micro-grants for economic inclusion activities through its micro-economic initiatives (MEI) program, to families identified through the mine/ERW survivor survey. Survivors and families also received follow-up assistance with individual rehabilitation plans.

Most mine/ERW survivors had no business experience and lacked skills in animal breeding. A charity approach to assistance also remained prevalent and was a barrier to sustainability. In response, TMAC revised its approach to providing training in business and agriculture access to market for persons with disabilities, including mine/ERW survivors. [33]

Psychological assistance

In 2014, training of medical personnel to provide psychological first aid to mine survivors and other persons with disabilities continued in mine/ERW-contaminated areas. Four-day training sessions were organized in five regional centers and also in Dushanbe from August through September 2014. [34] Peer support capacity was developed for persons with disabilities throughout 2013 in five three-day training workshops conducted in four regional centers (Khorog, Khujand, Garm, and Kurgan-Tube) and in Dushanbe. About half of some 80 participants were female. All participants were trained and provided with mobile phones. About 160 persons with disabilities with recent injury or trauma were referred to, or received psychological support. Regional cooperation and exchanges between Afghanistan and Tajikistan built capacity in psychological and peer support . [35]

Laws and policies

The December 2010 Law on Social Protection of Persons with Disabilities, which includes standards similar to those of the CRPD, [36] guarantees the physical accessibility of infrastructure for social life and to public transportation. Any planning, construction, or reconstruction that does not follow the law is prohibited and penalties can be applied. [37]

In 2015, it was recommended that the 2010 Law on Social Protection of Persons with Disabilities be amended and expanded, and secondary legislation adopted. [38]

FSD supported the improvement of physical accessibility at two pilot sites, the Dushanbe Child out-patient Clinic No12 and the Haji Yaqob Mosque. Awareness training for users was conducted by a national DPO. [39]

Tajikistan had not signed the CRPD as of 1 September 2015.



[1] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2014), Form J.

[2] Email from Reykhan Muminova, Disability Support Unit Officer, TMAC, Dushanbe, 11 February 2014.

[3] Ibid., 1 May 2013, and 17 July 2013.

[4] Data provided by Reykhan Muminova, (then) Victim Assistance Officer, TMAC, in Geneva, 22 May 2012.

[5] Statement of Tajikistan, Mine Ban Treaty, Third Review Conference, Maputo, 24 June 2014 ; and email from Reykhan Muminova, TMAC, 11 February 2014.

[6] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Reykhan Muminova, TMAC, 11 April 2014.

[7] Handicap International (HI), Circle of Impact: The Fatal Footprint of Cluster Munitions on People and Communities (Brussels: HI, May 2007), p. 90; and email from Reykhan Muminova, TMAC, 30 October 2012.

[8] See previous country reports and profiles on the Monitor website; and HI, Voices from the Ground: Landmine and Explosive Remnants of War Survivors Speak Out on Victim Assistance (Brussels, HI, September 2009), p. 193.

[9] The SEOP was previously called the National Orthopedic Center (NOC).

[10] Statement of Tajikistan, Mine Ban Treaty Fourteenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 2 December 2015.

[11] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Reykhan Muminova, TMAC, 11 April 2014.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Ibid.; and response to Monitor questionnaire by Reykhan Muminova, TMAC, 1 May 2013; and statement of Tajikistan, Mine Ban Treaty Twelfth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 4 December 2012.

[14] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Reykhan Muminova, TMAC, 1 May 2013.

[15] Statement of Tajikistan, Mine Ban Treaty Thirteenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 3 December 2013.

[16] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2014), Form J.

[17] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Reykhan Muminova, TMAC, 11 April 2014.

[19] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Reykhan Muminova, TMAC, 11 April 2014.

[21] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Reykhan Muminova, TMAC, 11 April 2014.

[22] Ibid.

[23] UNDP, “International Consultant on situational assessment of disability issues and development of PwD agenda for UNDP Tajikistan” (Individual Consultant Procurement Notice), 23 April 2012; and presentation by Reykhan Muminova, TMAC, 24 May 2011.

[24] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Reykhan Muminova, TMAC, 11 April 2014.

[25] Statement of Tajikistan, Mine Ban Treaty Third Review Conference, Maputo, June 2014; and Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2014), Form J.

[26] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Reykhan Muminova, TMAC, 11 April 2014.

[27] Ibid.; statement of Tajikistan, Mine Ban Treaty Twelfth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 4 December 2012; statement of Tajikistan, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration, Geneva, 29 May 2013; and ICRC SFD, “Annual Report 2012,” Geneva, 2013, pp. 31–32.

[28] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2014), Form J.

[29] Email from Reykhan Muminova, TMAC, 11 February 2014.

[30] ICRC Special Fund for the Disabled (SFD), “Annual Report 2014,” Geneva, May 2015 pp. 23–24.

[31] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Reykhan Muminova, TMAC, 11 April 2014.

[33] Statement of Tajikistan, Mine Ban Treaty Thirteenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 3 December 2013.

[34] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2014), Form J.

[35] Statement of Tajikistan, Mine Ban Treaty Thirteenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 3 December 2013.

[36] Tajikistan, “Law on Social Protection of Persons with Disabilities” (in Tajik); and telephone interview with Esanboy Vohidov, Head, UNDP, 25 March 2011.

[37] Tajikistan, “Law on Social Protection of Persons with Disabilities,” Article 25.

[38] Statement of Tajikistan, Mine Ban Treaty Fourteenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 2 December 2015.

[39] Statement of Tajikistan, Mine Ban Treaty Thirteenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 3 December 2013.