Afghanistan

Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Last updated: 21 July 2016

Summary: State Party Afghanistan ratified the convention on 8 September 2011. Draft legislation is being prepared to enforce its implementation of the convention. Afghanistan has participated in all of the convention’s meetings and voted in favor of a UN resolution on the convention in December 2015. It has promoted universalization of the convention and condemned new use of cluster munitions.

In its initial transparency report for the convention provided in 2012, Afghanistan confirmed it has not used, produced, or transferred cluster munitions. The national armed forces do not stockpile cluster munitions, but Afghanistan regularly reports the discovery and destruction of abandoned weapons including cluster munitions.

Policy

The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 3 December 2008, ratified on 8 September 2011, and became a State Party on 1 March 2012.

Afghanistan reported in April 2016 that the Ministry of Justice is preparing draft implementation legislation for the convention.[1] Previously, in April 2015, it reported that the Ministry of Justice was considering how to amend existing legislation to enforce the provisions of the convention.[2] A 2012 legislative review advised that existing law should be amended, while a technical committee has provided support to the process of preparing the draft.[3]

Afghanistan submitted its initial Article 7 transparency report for the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 30 August 2012 and has provided updated annual reports since, most recently on 25 April 2016.[4]

Afghanistan participated in most meetings of the Oslo Process that created the Convention on Cluster Munitions, but despite actively supporting the ban objective it did not endorse the Wellington Declaration that would have committed it to participating fully in the formal negotiations of the convention. It also did not attend the negotiations in Dublin in May 2008, not even as an observer.[5] Afghanistan attended the convention’s Oslo Signing Conference in December 2008 as an observer, but unexpectedly signed the convention near the end of the conference after the representative announced that he had received instructions and authorization to do so.[6]

Afghanistan plays a positive and active role in the work of the Convention on Cluster Munitions. It participated in the convention’s First Review Conference in Dubrovnik, Croatia in September 2015. In an address to the high-level segment of the meeting, Afghanistan described the convention as “one of the success stories in disarmament” and affirmed the need to “send out a strong message through this conference against cluster munitions and reaffirm our collective commitments for a world free of cluster munitions in the near future.”[7]

Afghanistan has attended all of the convention’s Meetings of States Parties as well as intersessional meetings in Geneva in 2011–2015.

On 7 December 2015, Afghanistan voted in favor of a UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution on the Convention on Cluster Munitions, which urges states outside the convention to “join as soon as possible.”[8] Afghanistan has proposed that South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) member states discuss cluster munitions.[9]

Afghanistan has condemned the use of cluster munitions and voted in favor of UNGA resolutions condemning the use of cluster munitions in Syria.[10] At the First Review Conference, Afghanistan expressed strong support for draft outcome documents that condemned any cluster munition use by any actor and commented that “States Parties should join hands to end all suffering caused by these indiscriminate and inhumane weapons.”[11]

Afghanistan is a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty. It signed the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) in April 1981, but has not ratified.

Interpretive issues

Afghanistan has not elaborated its views on several important issues relating to interpretation and implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, but United States (US) Department of State cables made public by Wikileaks in 2011 have outlined US interpretation of the convention as it relates to Afghanistan (see section on Foreign stockpiling). In a December 2008 State Department cable, the US outlined its concern over how Afghanistan would interpret the convention’s prohibition on transit and foreign stockpiling, as well as Article 21 on “interoperability” or joint military operations with states not party to the convention.[12]

Use, production, and transfer

In its initial Article 7 report, Afghanistan declared that it has no “production industry” for manufacturing cluster munitions.[13] In September 2011, Afghanistan stated that it “does not use, produce, or transfer Cluster Munitions in the country.”[14]

The Monitor is not aware of any use of cluster munitions in Afghanistan since 2002. US aircraft dropped 1,228 cluster bombs containing 248,056 submunitions in 232 strikes on locations throughout the country between October 2001 and early 2002.[15] Soviet forces also used air-dropped and rocket-delivered cluster munitions during their invasion and occupation of Afghanistan from 1979–1989, while a non-state armed group used rocket-delivered cluster munitions during the civil war in the 1990s.[16]

Stockpiling and destruction

In September 2013, Afghanistan informed States Parties that it “destroyed all its cluster munitions stocks before” the convention entered into force and therefore complies with its obligations under Article 3 of the Convention on Cluster Munitions.[17] In October 2013, it stated that concerning cluster munitions, “Afghanistan is pleased to have destroyed all weaponry of this kind within its military stockpile.”[18]

Afghanistan “has not officially announced” the completion of its stockpiled cluster munitions, but reports that “the Ministry of Defence verbally confirms that there is not any stockpile of cluster munitions left with Afghan National Forces.”[19] This would appear to indicate that there are not any stocks under the jurisdiction and control of national forces, but additional stocks abandoned in the past by the government may continue to be discovered.

Afghanistan’s Article 7 reports have contained information under stockpile destruction indicating significant destruction during 2005–2011 and further destruction in 2012–2015.[20] In April 2016, Afghanistan reported that HALO Trust weapons and ammunition destruction teams destroyed 165 “cluster munitions” during 2015 under the supervision of the Ministry of Defence.[21] Given the government’s statements that there are no longer any stocks, these destroyed items were likely cluster munitions abandoned by other combatants in the past (and recently discovered) and/or cluster munition remnants destroyed in mine action and clearance operations. These are all considered cluster munition remnants under the Convention on Cluster Munitions and not stockpiled cluster munitions.

In 2008, Jane’s Information Group listed Afghanistan as possessing KMG-U dispensers and RBK-250-275 cluster bombs.[22] Standard international reference sources have listed Afghanistan as possessing Grad 122mm and Uragan 220mm surface-to-surface rockets, but it is not known if these included versions with submunition payloads.[23]

Foreign stockpiling

According to a December 2008 State Department cable released by Wikileaks, “The United States currently has a very small stockpile of cluster munitions in Afghanistan.”[24] In February 2011, an Afghan human rights group called on the US government and NATO to reveal if it they had stockpiled or used cluster munitions in Afghanistan since the 2002 conflict.[25]



[3] A joint technical committee is working to prepare draft implementing legislation for both the Mine Ban Treaty and the Convention on Cluster Munitions and includes the government’s Department of Mine Clearance, Mine Action Coordination Center of Afghanistan (MACCA), the Mine Dog Center, Afghan Landmine Survivors’ Organization (ALSO), and the ICRC. Statement of Afghanistan, Convention on Cluster Munitions Third Meeting of States Parties, 13 September 2012. See also Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form A, 30 August 2012.

[4] Afghanistan’s initial Article 7 report covered calendar year 2011, while the 19 May 2013 covered calendar year 2012, the 27 April 2014 update was for calendar year 2013, the 28 April 2015 update covered calendar year 2014, and the 25 April 2016 update covered calendar year 2015.

[5] For details on Afghanistan’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. 27–28.

[6] Two United States (US) Department of State cables subsequently made public by Wikileaks have shown how US officials had sought assurances from the highest levels of the Afghan government that Afghanistan would not join the convention; however, during the Oslo Signing Conference President Karzai decided that Afghanistan should sign the convention. “Afghan views on cluster munitions and Oslo process,” US Department of State cable 08KABUL346 dated 12 February 2008, released by Wikileaks on 20 May 2011.

[7] Statement of Afghanistan, Convention on Cluster Munitions First Review Conference, Dubrovnik, 9 September 2015.

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

[9] Statement of Afghanistan, Convention on Cluster Munitions Fifth Meeting of States Parties, San Jose, 3 September 2014.

[10]Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic,” UNGA Resolution 69/189, 18 December 2014.

[11] Statement of Afghanistan, Convention on Cluster Munitions First Review Conference, Dubrovnik, 9 September 2015.

[12] According to the cable, the US has interpreted the convention as allowing “U.S. forces to store, transfer, and use U.S. cluster munitions in the territory of a State Party.” The cable states that “the United States reads the phrase ‘military cooperation and operations’ in Article 21 to include all preparations for future military operations, transit of cluster munitions through the territory of a State Party, and storage and use of cluster munitions on the territory of a State Party.” “Demarche to Afghanistan on cluster munitions,” US Department of State cable 08STATE134777 dated 29 December 2008, released by Wikileaks on 1 December 2010.

[14] Statement by Dr. Zia Nezam, Senior Advisor, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Convention on Cluster Munitions Second Meeting of States Parties, Beirut, 14 September 2011.

[15] Human Rights Watch (HRW), “Fatally Flawed: Cluster Bombs and their Use by the United States in Afghanistan,” Vol. 14, No. 7 (G), December 2002.

[16] CMC Fact Sheet prepared by (HRW), “Cluster Munitions in the Asia-Pacific Region,” October 2008.

[17] Statement of Afghanistan, Convention on Cluster Munitions Fourth Meeting of States Parties, Lusaka, 10 September 2013. In April 2014, Afghanistan again stated that it destroyed all stockpiles of cluster munitions before the convention entered into force and no longer has a stockpile. Statement of Afghanistan, Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 8 April 2014. Notes by the CMC.

[18] Statement of Afghanistan, UNGA First Committee on Disarmament and International Security, New York, 14 October 2013.

[20] Afghanistan’s initial Article 7 report detailed the destruction between 2005 and 2011 of over 402,000 submunitions of various types. Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form B, 30 August 2012. The subsequent Article 7 reports detail the destruction of 761 additional munitions and submunitions discovered in 2012 and 2013 and also provide an updated accounting of the various submunitions destroyed between 2005 and 2011, listing five types of munitions not included in the initial report. Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form B, Part II, 27 April 2014; and Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form B, 19 May 2013.

[21] Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form B, Part II, para. 3 (a), 25 April 2016. Note that Afghanistan stated in its 2015 Article 7 Report that 187 “cluster munitions” were destroyed in 2014. See, Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form B, Part II, para. 3 (c), 28 April 2015.

[22] Colin King, ed., Jane’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal 2008, CD-edition, 15 January 2008 (Surrey, UK: Jane’s Information Group Limited, 2008).

[23] Ibid.; and International Institute for Strategic Studies, The Military Balance 2005–2006 (London: Routledge, 2005), p. 233.

[24]Demarche to Afghanistan on cluster munitions,” US Department of State cable 08STATE134777 dated 29 December 2008, released by Wikileaks on 1 December 2010.

[25] Afghanistan Rights Monitor, “Annual Report: Civilian Casualties of War, January–December 2010,” p. 15.

Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 18 October 2017

Policy

The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty on 11 September 2002, becoming a State Party on 1 March 2003.

Afghanistan has not adopted national implementation legislation.[1] A draft regulation prohibiting the use, stockpiling, production, and transfer of mines and cluster munitions was prepared in 2013. In August 2016, a representative of the Ministry of Justice stated to an NGO forum that the legal process of the legislation for the convention was now included in the priorities of the ministry, which hoped to finish the legal process by March 2017.[2] In its Article 7 report submitted in 2017, Afghanistan reported the regulation remains at the Ministry of Justice awaiting final approval.[3]

Afghanistan submitted its annual Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report covering calendar year 2016.[4]

Over the past decade, Afghanistan has participated in every Meeting of States Parties, including the convention’s Fifteenth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in November–December 2016. Afghanistan has participated in all intersessional meetings of the Mine Ban Treaty, except in May 2016. It also attended the Mine Ban Treaty’s First Review Conference in Nairobi in 2004 and its Second Review Conference in Cartagena in 2009, however its delegation to the Third Review Conference in Maputo in June 2014 was denied a transit visa en-route.

Use

There have been no reports of antipersonnel mine use by coalition or Afghan national forces. However, use of victim-activated improvised mines and other improvised explosive devices (IEDs) by armed groups continued in 2016 and 2017, resulting in further casualties.

Non-state armed groups

The use of victim-activated improvised mines by armed groups, mainly the Taliban, and Daesh/Islamic State Khorasan Province, continued in 2017. In June, Afghanistan informed States Parties that new use of pressure plate improvised mines, which are causing approximately 60 deaths a month, was adding to their clearance burden and making it hard to meet their Article 5 obligations.[5] The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) reported that anti-government forces used victim-activated improvised mines throughout 2016 and the first half of 2017. Victim-activated (pressure plate) improvised mines were responsible for more than half of all casualties attributed to indiscriminate explosive weapons during 2016, an increase of 4% from 2015.[6] In 2017, UNAMA reported that use of pressure-plate IEDs in civilian-populated areas substantially contributed to the increases in both women and child casualties during the first half of the year.[7] UNAMA documented a 42% increase in civilian deaths by victim activated IEDs compared to the same period in 2016.[8] UNAMA shares the view of Mine Ban Treaty States Parties that victim-activated IEDs function as antipersonnel mines and are prohibited by the Mine Ban Treaty, while command-detonated IEDs are not banned.[9]

Previously, in September 2015, Afghan officials were quoted as stating that the Taliban had emplaced landmines and booby-traps around Kunduz after seizing the city.[10] In December 2015, in Faryab province, officials recovered the body of a soldier that they allege had been booby-trapped with an explosive device by the Taliban.[11] In July 2016, the administrative chief of Andar district of Ghazni province stated that Taliban forces had laid mines in public areas of the district, including near mosques and schools, in their armed conflict with the government.[12]

The Taliban have not made any statement regarding use of victim-activated IEDs since October 2012, when, on the Islamic Emirates of Afghanistan website, the Taliban denied the use of victim-activated explosive devices and said it uses only command-detonated explosive devices.[13] As in previous years, the Taliban have claimed responsibility for an extensive number of attacks against military personnel and vehicles using landmines.[14]

Production, transfer, stockpile destruction, and discoveries

Afghanistan is not known to have ever produced or exported antipersonnel mines. Throughout many years of armed conflict, large numbers of landmines from numerous sources were sent to various fighting forces in Afghanistan. In recent years, there were no confirmed reports of outside supply of antipersonnel mines to non-state armed groups.

Afghanistan reported that it completed its stockpile destruction obligation in October 2007, eight months after its treaty-mandated deadline of 1 March 2007.[15] It reported the destruction of 525,504 stockpiled antipersonnel mines between 2003 and 2007.[16] It is unclear how many stockpiled mines Afghanistan had destroyed at the time it declared completion of the program. It reported that it had destroyed 486,226 stockpiled antipersonnel mines as of April 2007, and later reported that it destroyed 81,595 antipersonnel mines in calendar year 2007.[17]

Afghan security forces regularly recover weapons, sometimes including landmines, in their operations. In October 2016, the National Directorate of Security, the government’s primary intelligence agency, reported to have seized 25 improvised antipersonnel mines, among other weapons, in Takhar province.[18] In May 2016, in Zabul province, the Afghan National Army recovered 48 landmines of an unknown type among other weapons during an offensive.[19]

In 2017, Afghanistan reported that a total of 337 antipersonnel mines were discovered and destroyed during calendar year 2016 from stocks recovered during military operations, surrendered during disarmament programs, and discovered by civilians.[20] Since Afghanistan’s stockpile destruction deadline, it has reported discovery and destruction of 83,632 antipersonnel mines in previously unknown stockpiles.[21]

Mines retained for training and development

Afghanistan does not retain any live mines for training in mine detection, mine clearance, or mine destruction techniques. It has reported that “mine bodies used in these programmes have had their fuzes removed and destroyed and are no longer capable of being used.”[22] In June 2011, the chief of operations of the Mine Action Coordination Centre of Afghanistan (MACCA) confirmed to the Monitor that Afghanistan does not retain any live mines for training or other purposes.[23] All mines retained are fuzeless and are used to train mine detection dogs.[24]



[1] Previously, Afghanistan reported that the Ministry of Defense instructed all military forces “to respect the comprehensive ban on antipersonnel mines and the prohibition on use in any situation by militaries or individuals.” Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2008), Form A. In April 2016, Afghanistan wrote that, “Afghanistan has long time back drafted a law as an instrument for the implementation of Article 9 of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention and Convention on Cluster Munitions. This will supplement an existing law banning the use, acquisition, trading and stockpiling of weapons, ammunition and explosive items without the required legal license. This new law relates specifically to the provisions of the Convention on Cluster Munitions and Ottawa Treaty. The Ministry of Justice has already reviewed this draft and advised that it should be made available as an annex to the existing law than processing it as a new law. This is still in the ministry of justice. H.E. The President is aware of it through DMAC and has promised to put pressure on the Ministry of Justice to take it in the review plan of 1395 (April 2016 – March 2017).” Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form A, April 2016.

[2] Statement by Shah Wali Ataie’s, Director of Planning and Policy, Ministry of Justice, Kabul, 1 August 2016. Meeting organized by Afghan Landmine Survivors’ Organization, Directorate of Mine Action Coordination, Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority, United Nations Mine Action Services, and Mine Detection Center on 1st August 2016, 6th Anniversary of Convention on Cluster Munitions Entry into Force with the theme of “Global Day of Action.” Seventy-five people participated from the government, civil society organizations, and media. The participations requested that the Ministry of Justice finish the legislation process for both the Mine Ban Treaty and Convention on Cluster Munitions. Notes by Islam Mohammadi, Landmine & Cluster Munition Monitor Researcher.

[4] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2016). Previous Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 reports were submitted annually, except in 2011.

[5] Statement on Clearance, Session on Clearance, Mine Ban Treaty Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 8–9 June 2017.

[8] Ibid., p. 36.

[10]Afghan forces struggle to retake Kunduz city from Taliban,” The Express Tribune (AFP), 30 September 2015.

[11]Taliban kill ANA soldier, place bomb beneath his corpse in Faryab,” Pajhwok Afghan News, 26 December 2015.

[12]  “Taliban trying to overrun Andar district, says district chief,” Pajhwok Afghan News, 27 July 2016.

[13] “We clearly want to state that our Mujahideen never place live landmines in any part of the country but each mine is controlled by a remote and detonated on military targets only.” “Reaction of Islamic Emirate regarding accusations of UNAMA about explosive devices,” 22 October 2012.

[15] In April 2007, Afghanistan informed States Parties that while it had destroyed 486,226 stockpiled antipersonnel mines, two depots of antipersonnel mines still remained in Panjsheer province, about 150 kilometers north of Kabul. Provincial authorities did not make the mines available for destruction in a timely fashion. For details on the destruction program and reasons for not meeting the deadline, see, Landmine Monitor Report 2007, pp. 89–90; and Landmine Monitor Report 2008, pp. 79–80.

[16] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2013), Form G. How many stockpiled mines Afghanistan had destroyed at the time it declared completion of the program lacked clarity. See, Landmine Monitor Report 2009, pp. 99–100.

[17] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2007), Form G, 13 May 2008.

[18] Ghanizada, “Taliban terrorist group’s mine making center busted in Takhar: NDS,” Kaama Press, 16 October 2016.

[19] “3 fighters killed, landmines seized in Zabul operation,” Pajhwok Afghan News, 6 May 2016.

[20] Afghanistan’s Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2016), Form B states that 337 antipersonnel mines of Chinese and Russian manufacture were seized or recovered during 2016.

[21] The type and number of mines destroyed in each location, and the dates of destruction, have been recorded in detail. Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2016), Form G.

[22] Reported in Afghanistan’s Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D, each year since 2012.

[23] Email from MACCA, 4 June 2011.

[24] Interview with MACCA, in Geneva, 24 June 2010. The former UN Mine Action Center for Afghanistan Program Director also told the Monitor in June 2008 that all retained mines are fuzeless and that the fuzes were destroyed prior to use in training activities.

Mine Action

Last updated: 11 December 2017

Contaminated by: landmines (massive contamination), cluster munition remnants (medium contamination), and other unexploded ordnance (UXO).

Article 5 deadline: 1 March 2023
(Not on track to meet deadline)

Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 4 deadline: 1 March 2022
(Unclear whether on track to meet deadline)

Summary

The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan contends with a total of nearly 600km2 of known hazardous area, including 225km2 of mined area containing antipersonnel mines, 277km2 of mined area containing antivehicle mines, and 89km2 of other explosive remnants of war (ERW) contamination, which do not include NATO firing ranges or improvised mine contamination. In 2016, 49.2km2 of mine contamination was cleared and 19,007 antipersonnel mines were destroyed.

No release of the 6.86 km2 area confirmed to be contaminated by cluster munition remnants occurred in 2016, partly due to insecurity in affected areas and a downturn in funding. However, 1.88km2 of previously unrecorded cluster munition-contaminated land was cleared in 2016 and 359 submunitions were destroyed. From December 2016 to May 2017, 1.28km2 of confirmed cluster munition-contaminated land was cleared, resulting in the reduction of reported cluster munition contamination to 5.57km2 as of May 2017.

Recommendations for action

  • Afghanistan should finalize and adopt a national mine action law.
  • The Mine Action Coordination Center of Afghanistan (MACCA) should set revised timelines for clearance of cluster munition remnants and landmines reflecting reduced levels of donor funding. It should clarify the implications for fulfilling its extended Mine Ban Treaty Article 5 deadline.
  • Afghanistan should report the extent of improvised mine contamination, and develop policies and strategies to address this contamination, in line with its Article 5 obligations.
  • Afghanistan should amend reporting forms to disaggregate clearance of cluster munition remnants from other UXO in line with the requirements of the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

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

Afghanistan is one of the countries most affected by mines and ERW, mainly the result of the decade-long war of resistance that followed the Soviet invasion of 1979, the 1992–1996 internal armed conflict, and the United States (US)-led coalition intervention in late 2001, which added considerable quantities of UXO.

At the end of 2016, Afghanistan had 225km2 of antipersonnel mine contamination, representing about 38% of total reported hazard from explosive weapons.[1] This is a decrease on the 251km2 of antipersonnel mine contamination reported at the end of 2015. Northeast and central provinces account for more than half Afghanistan’s antipersonnel mine contamination, with Kabul, Logar, Maidan Wardak, Paktia, and Panjshir provinces among the most affected.[2]

Afghanistan also had 277km2 of antivehicle mine contamination at the end of 2016, particularly affecting southern and central provinces, and 89km2 affected by ERW. The estimates, however, do not include areas affected by improvised landmines, or former NATO/International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) firing ranges. Fifty-eight firing ranges covering 125km2 remained to be surveyed and cleared as of April 2017.[3]

Remaining contamination in 2013–2016[4]

Type of contamination

Hazardous areas

Area (km2)

2013

2014

2015

2016

2013

2014

2015

2016

Antipersonnel mines

2,981

2,825

2,765

2,387

240

230.80

251.37

225.16

Antivehicle mines

1,140

1,156

1,243

1,145

236

255.90

274.54

277.16

Improvised mines*

28

19

23

N/R

5

3.54

5.18

N/R

ERW**

179

254

279

310

35

37.80

63.13

89.36

Total

4,328

4,254

4,310

3,842

516

528.04

594.22

591.68

* Abandoned devices only; N/R = not recorded
** Includes 17 areas contaminated by cluster munition remnants (affecting 5.57km2 as of May 2017)

Antipersonnel mine contamination by region as of end 2016[5]

Region

Mined areas

Area (km2)

Communities impacted

Northeast

759

67.95

260

Central

717

47.72

290

South

170

33.80

96

West

64

27.51

41

Southeast

209

19.09

105

North

332

18.74

107

East

136

10.35

36

Total

2,387

225.16

935

 

Improvised mines

The “IED” contamination of 5.18km2 reported by the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS)/Directorate of Mine Action Coordination (DMAC) in 2015 (see top table above) represented only “abandoned” devices and did not reflect the full extent of contamination by victim-activated devices that are prohibited as antipersonnel mines under the Mine Ban Treaty and must be cleared as required by Article 5. A “preliminary survey” conducted in 18 provinces in 2016 at the request of the National Security Council identified 270 newly contaminated areas, mostly contaminated by IEDs and ERW, covering an area of around 420km2,[6] including about 220km2 affected by pressure-plate IEDs (PPIEDs), which are landmines.[7] It was reported in the Mine Action Program of Afghanistan (MAPA) operational work plan for 2017 that the data had not been entered into the International Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA) database and the area required further non-technical survey.[8]

Cluster Munition Contamination

As of May 2017, Afghanistan reported 17 cluster munition-contaminated areas in four provinces covering a total area of 5,572,573m2 (5.57km2). Clearance commenced on one site in late December 2016, resulting in a decrease from 6,855,393m2 (6.86km2), a level which had been unchanged since April 2015. Nearly half of the contamination was in one district of northeastern Takhar province.[9]

Cluster munition contamination (as of November 2016)[10]

Province

Area affected (m2)

Wardak

658,124

Nangahar

1,717,200

Takhar

3,280,069

Paktia

1,200,000

Total

6,855,393

 

All sites are affected by remnants of the 1,228 cluster munitions containing some 248,056 BLU-97B submunitions dropped by the United States (US) between October 2001 and early 2002.[11] Cluster munition remnants are said to block access to grazing and agricultural land.[12]

Cluster munition contamination, however, is more widespread than the clearly defined US cluster strike sites, as submunitions were found in other areas during 2016. Soviet forces used cluster munitions during the decade-long war of resistance to the Soviet-backed government and demining operators continue to find unexploded submunitions on demining and battle area clearance (BAC) tasks.[13]

Program Management

The Mine Action Programme of Afghanisation (MAPA) is managed by the Directorate of Mine Action Coordination (DMAC), a department of the Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA), reporting to the Office of the Second Vice-President. It receives operational support in planning, priority-setting, and information management from the UN Mine Action Centre for Afghanistan (UNMACA), which changed its name to “UNMAS in support of DMAC” (UNMAS/DMAC) in November 2016.[14]

The present structure is the outcome of a transition from international management of mine action to national ownership. From 2001, this was a project of UNMAS and under international management.[15] In October 2016, UNMAS formally handed leadership of the program over to DMAC. The change has been accompanied by increased attention to mine action by the Office of the President and is expected to raise the profile of mine action in national policy-making.[16]

By the end of 2016, DMAC had 16 staff, but was preparing to expand to 35 in 2017. The staff of UNMAS/DMAC increased in 2016 to 201, of whom six were international staff. By July 2017, all former UNMACA staff, except department heads, were due to transfer to contracts bringing them under DMAC management and reporting directly to DMAC. Department heads were due to continue as UNMAS advisers to DMAC until also coming under DMAC management by the end of 2018.[17]

Legislation

A technical committee comprising concerned ministries and the former UNMACA drafted a mine action law to be included as an annex to a 2005 law on firearms and explosive materials. The draft was approved by the Office of the President and passed to the Ministry of Justice more than two years ago but as of October 2017 it remained stuck in the Ministry of Justice.[18]

Strategic planning

Afghanistan’s Article 5 deadline extension request, submitted in March 2012 and revised in August of that year, set out a plan to clear all known areas contaminated by mines and ERW by March 2023. It consolidated the 4,442 mine and ERW hazards then remaining into 308 projects, an approach intended to facilitate monitoring of progress and resource mobilization. Projects would be tackled according to their priority as determined by their impact, measured against a set of impact indicators.[19] However, donor funding of mine action in Afghanistan has fallen sharply since the extension request was drafted, forcing DMAC to adjust its targets.

A five-year plan for 2016–2020, adopted in January 2016, set four strategic goals:[20]

  • Facilitate development;
  • Engage with other sectors;
  • Reduce the impact of mines and ERW, and mitigate the impact of mine incidents; and
  • Mainstream gender and diversity to ensure participation in, and shared benefits of, mine action.

The plan also set out 33 objectives and 108 associated actions. These included incorporating mine action into Afghanistan’s National Priority Programs and Sustainable Development Goals; integrating mine action into the activities of line ministries, improving fundraising, completing survey, and keeping implementation of Afghanistan’s Article 5 extension on track. A mid-2015 review concluded that the MAPA needed US$391 million to implement the plan, including $353 million for clearance, almost $25 million for “coordination” (quality assurance, planning and prioritization, information management, advocacy, and resource mobilization), $3.6 million for survey, and $5.6 million for risk education.[21]

During 2017 the development of a strategy and operating framework was under discussion to enable clearance of improvised mines without jeopardizing operators’ neutrality, safety, and security. A small number of implementing partners have hitherto conducted only limited clearance of devices that have been “abandoned.”[22]

The MAPA continued to set clearance targets based on what Afghanistan would need to fulfil its 2023 Article 5 clearance deadline rather than on available resources. The operational work plan for 1396 (2016–2017) called for release of 133km2, including 622 mined areas containing antipersonnel mines covering 51km2, 198 areas with antivehicle mines covering 21km2, and 92 BAC tasks covering 57km2, not including firing-range clearance. Those operations would release 32 districts of mines/ERW if no additional hazards were located, but required funding of $110 million, including $94.6 million for land release.[23] However, total funding received in Afghan Year 1395 (2016–2017) amounted to only $40.5 million.[24] (See the Support for Mine Action profile for further details.)

Afghanistan has prepared a number of plans for clearing part or all of its cluster munition hazards, but each time implementation was overtaken by other priorities. At the end of 2016, the government circulated a proposal to donors to complete clearance of all 17 identified sites of cluster munition contamination, at a cost of $1.85 million.[25]

Operators

Clearance of explosive contamination is conducted by five long-established national and two international NGOs. The Afghan NGOs are: Afghan Technical Consultants (ATC), Demining Agency for Afghanistan (DAFA), Mine Clearance Planning Agency (MCPA), Mine Detection and Dog Centre (MDC), and the Organization for Mine Clearance and Afghan Rehabilitation (OMAR). AREA, a national NGO accredited in 2014, became operational at the end of 2016.[26]

Three national operators use community-based demining teams in areas were insecurity inhibit demining by their own teams. By the end of 2016, a total of 38 community-based demining teams were operating, a decrease from 49 the previous year. AREA supported nine teams in Kabul and northeastern Nangahar provinces, while DAFA (13 teams) and MDC (16 teams) deployed them in Helmand and Kandahar provinces.[27]

The most active international NGOs are Danish Demining Group (DDG) and The HALO Trust, while the Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD) has had a small operation near the border with Tajikistan. Janus Demining Afghanistan (previously Sterling International) has been contracted to undertake clearance of firing ranges used by militaries serving with the NATO-led ISAF.[28]

Land Release (mines and ERW)

Although the MAPA received less funding, mine clearance increased, with almost 49.2km2 cleared in 2016, compared to 35km2 in 2015. Three-times as many antipersonnel mines (19,007) were destroyed in 2016 than in the previous year. Operators also released 7.3km2 of battle area in 2016, 40% more than the previous year.[29]

UNMAS/DMAC attributed the upturn to increased operational efficiency, better application of land release methodologies by implementing partners, and greater competitiveness among operators bidding for projects. It reported that clearance costs per square meter dropped from US$0.68 to US$0.58.[30]

Survey in 2016 (mines and ERW)

Afghanistan started a nationwide “Mine and ERW Impact Free Community Survey” (MEIFCS) in May 2012, envisaging it would take two years to complete. In 2017, almost six years later, the MAPA reported the survey had been completed in 285 of 400 districts. In 2017, survey was under way in 10 more districts.[31]

In 2016, HALO operated seven teams conducting survey in Herat and Kandahar provinces and MCPA deployed 12 teams in 14 provinces. The FSD operated two teams in Badakhshan province.

Non-technical survey resulted in the cancelation and reduction of 4km2 in 2016, however the continuing MEIFCS survey also added 87km2 of previously unidentified contamination, of which antipersonnel mined areas accounted for 19.4km2,mined areas with antivehicle mines for 19.8km2, and battle area for 47.8km2.[32]

Cancelation of SHAs and reduction of CHA by non-technical survey in 2016[33]

SHAs canceled

Size of canceled SHAs (m2)

CHA area reduced (m2)

14

2,641,821

1,410,213

Note: SHAs = suspected hazardous areas; CHA = confirmed hazardous area.

 

New suspected or confirmed mined and battle areas identified in 2016[34]

SHAs identified

Estimated total area (m2)

CHAs identified

Estimated total area (m2)

44

16,129,422

434

70,968,848

Note: SHAs = suspected hazardous areas; CHA = confirmed hazardous area.

Among the key factors prolonging the survey was the need to cover far more communities than planned. By March 2017, MEIFICS teams had surveyed 1,297 communities that were known to be affected and 21,454 where the presence of ERW was unknown, but it had also surveyed 26,650 villages that were not listed in the official gazetteer on which the survey was based but that were identified as the survey progressed. Two other key factors were insecurity and lower donor funding.[35]

Clearance in 2016 (mines and ERW)

Clearance covered 49.25km2 of mined area in 2016. Five Afghan implementing partners accounted for most of the increase in land released through clearance in 2016. The five implementing partners[36] cleared 31.4km2,[37] up from less than 20km2 in 2015 and amounting to nearly two-thirds of the 2016 total.[38]

Mine clearance in 2016[39]

Operator

Areas released

Area cleared (m2)

AP mines destroyed

AV mines destroyed

“Abandoned” improvised mines destroyed

UXO destroyed

AREA

8

64,535

6

0

0

1

ATC

158

7,516,879

1,585

39

0

18,454

DAFA

94

9,926,794

5,714

119

0

44,854

DDG

10

332,776

71

1

0

840

FSD

3

328,025

6,518

0

0

25

HALO

313

17,157,895

4,086

139

0

2,036

MCPA

46

2,616,129

142

58

0

45

MDC

65

7,884,273

527

68

10

29,180

OMAR

75

3,421,620

465

4

0

4,886

Total

772

49,248,926

19,114

428

10

100,321

Note: AP = antipersonnel; AV = antivehicle; UXO = unexploded ordnance.

Land Release (cluster munition remnants)

None of the reported 17 cluster munition-contaminated areas were released in 2016, reflecting insecurity in many of the areas as well as competing priorities at a time when the mine action program was dealing with a sharp downturn in funding.[40]

However, HALO destroyed a total of 359 submunitions in the course of conducting a number of different operations in 2016. This included 65 submunitions destroyed in clearance of two battle areas covering 1.88km2 and three submunitions destroyed in mine clearance operations. Explosive ordnance and conventional weapons disposal teams located and destroyed 291 submunitions during 152 call-outs. The submunitions found, with a few exceptions, were from the former Soviet Union.[41] However, data from UNMAS/DMAC did not record destruction of any submunitions in 2016.[42]

Clearance of cluster munition-contaminated areas in 2016[43]

Operator

Areas cleared

Area cleared (m²)

Submunitions destroyed

Antipersonnel mines destroyed

Other UXO destroyed

HALO Trust

2

1,883,850

65

0

78

 

AREA started work on one cluster munition task on 24 December 2016, and by May 2017, 1,282,820m2 had been released.[44]

Deminer safety

In 2016, 16 deminer casualties were recorded by DMAC/UNMAS.[45] Insecurity inflicted a much higher number of casualties in 2015, with nine deminers killed and 10 injured in attacks by armed groups.[46]

In the first six months of 2017, UNAMA said it recorded no conflict-related attacks against humanitarian deminers that resulted in death or injury but anti-government elements abducted four employees of an unspecified demining organization for ransom. They were released two days later after the intervention of community elders.[47]

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 2013), Afghanistan is required to destroy all antipersonnel mines in mined areas under its jurisdiction or control as soon as possible, but not later than 1 March 2023.

Afghanistan submitted an extension request in 2012 providing for clearance not just of antipersonnel mines but all ERW by 2023. Four years into implementation of its request, Afghanistan’s prospects for meeting its deadline are fast disappearing because of a downturn in donor funding, resulting in reduced capacity of the MAPA and slower clearance; new discoveries of contamination; and the impact of continuing conflict.

At the end of 2016, estimated antipersonnel mine contamination was 225km2, just 15km2 less than at the start of the extension period. Moreover, this estimate does not take account of widespread use of victim-activated explosive devices, otherwise known as improvised mines, by armed anti-government groups, which qualify as antipersonnel mines and add to Afghanistan’s clearance obligations under Article 5. UNMAS/DMAC believes the number of devices is far fewer than the number of mass-produced mines but acknowledges that amid Afghanistan’s continuing conflict and narrowing humanitarian space, comprehensive survey of improvised mines is impossible, let alone clearance.[48]

Mine clearance in 2012–2016

Year

Area cleared (km2)

2016

49.25

2015

35.38

2014

62.87

2013

60.11

2012

77.15

Total

284.76

 

Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 4 Compliance

Under Article 4 of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Afghanistan is required to destroy all cluster munition remnants in areas under its jurisdiction or control as soon as possible, but not later than 1 March 2022.

Afghanistan has the knowledge, capacity, and intent to meet this deadline, but achieving it is not a foregone conclusion. Afghanistan’s Mine Ban Treaty Article 5 deadline extension request provided for clearance of all ERW, including unexploded submunitions, by 2020.[49]

UNMAS/DMAC has issued a call to donors to finance clearance of all remaining sites. However, clearance of cluster munition hazards had stalled in 2015 because they are located in areas that were too insecure for operators to access and it is still not clear whether all locations are sufficiently secure to permit clearance.[50] The extent of scattered cluster munition remnants suggests operators will continue to encounter residual contamination beyond the Article 4 clearance deadline, even if Afghanistan were to meet it.

 

The Monitor acknowledges the contributions of the Mine Action Review (www.mineactionreview.org), which has conducted the mine action research in 2017, including on survey and clearance, and shared all its resulting landmine and cluster munition reports with the Monitor. The Monitor is responsible for the findings presented online and in its print publications.


[1] Data provided by the Directorate of Mine Action Coordination (DMAC), 10 May 2017. Afghanistan’s Article 7 transparency report for 2016 (Form F) still reported antipersonnel mine contamination as 251km2.

[2] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for 2016), Form F; and email from MACCA, 27 April 2016.

[3] “MAPA Fast Facts,” Quarterly Update January to March 2017, 19 April 2017.

[4] Data provided by DMAC, 10 May 2017.

[5] Ibid.

[6] MAPA, “Operational Work Plan 1396,” undated but 2017, p. 2.

[7] Interview with Mohammad Shafiq Yosufi, Director, DMAC, in Geneva, 9 February 2017.

[8] MAPA, “Operational Work Plan 1396,” undated but 2017, p. 2.

[9] Emails from Abdul Qudos Ziaee, UNMAS/DMAC, 10 and 15 May 2017.

[10] “Proposal for Complete Removal of the Known Cluster Sub-munitions Contamination in Afghanistan,” undated but 2016, received from DMAC by email, 19 February 2017, p. 18.

[11] Human Rights Watch and Landmine Action, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice (Mines Action Canada, Ottawa, May 2009), p. 27.

[12] Statement of Afghanistan, Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings, Clearance and Risk Education Session, Geneva, 15 April 2013.

[13] Interviews with MACCA Implementing Partners, Kabul, May 2013.

[14] Email from Mohammad Wakil Jamshidi, Chief of Staff, UNMAS/DMAC, 16 May 2017.

[15] For details of the history and structure of mine action in Afghanistan, see Afghanistan’s Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 29 March 2012, pp. 50−68.

[16] Interviews with Mohammad Shafiq Yosufi, DMAC, in Geneva, 9 February 2017; and with Yngvil Foss, Country Programme Manager, UNMAS, in Geneva, 6 February 2017.

[17] Email from Abdul Qudos Ziaee, UNMAS/DMAC, 10 May 2017.

[18] Email from Islam Mohammadi, Afghan Landmine Survivors Organization, 17 October 2017.

[19] Mine Ban Treaty Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 29 March 2012, pp. 167−75.

[20] National Mine Action Strategic Plan, 1395–1399 (2016–2020), State Ministry for Disaster Management and Humanitarian Affairs, undated but 2016, pp. 2–7.

[21] MAPA, “National Mine Action Strategic Plan 1395–1399,” Kabul, undated but 2016, pp. 2–6, 26.

[22] Interview with Mohammad Shafiq Yosufi, DMAC, in Geneva, 9 February 2017; and email from Farid Homayoun, Country Director, HALO Trust, 23 May 2017.

[23] MAPA, “Operational Work Plan 1396,” undated but 2017, pp. 26 and 43.

[24] Email from Abdul Qudos Ziaee, UNMAS/DMAC, 10 May 2017.

[25] “Proposal for Complete Removal of the Known Cluster Sub-munitions Contamination in Afghanistan,” 2016.

[26] Email from Abdul Qudos Ziaee, UNMAS/DMAC, 10 May 2017.

[27] Email from Abdul Qudos Ziaee, UNMAS/DMAC, 10 May 2017.

[28] Email from MACCA, 10 May 2011.

[29] Email from Abdul Qudos Ziaee, UNMAS/DMAC, 10 May 2017.

[30] Ibid.

[31] MAPA, “Operational Work Plan 1396,” undated but 2017, p. 24.

[32] Email from Abdul Qudos Ziaee, UNMAS/DMAC, 10 May 2017.

[33] Ibid.

[34] Ibid.

[35] Ibid.

[36] ATC, DAFA, MCPA, MDC, and OMAR.

[37] Email from Abdul Qudos Ziaee, UNMAS/DMAC, 10 May 2017.

[38] DMAC reporting of results for the Afghan years 1394 (2015–2016) and 1395 (2016–2017) showed a modest increase in area cleared by five national implementing partners, rising from 25.23km2 in 1394 to 25.89km2 in 1395, while funding for these operators dropped from $15.2 million in 1394 to $11.8 million in 1395. Email from Mohammad Shafiq Yosufi, DMAC, 26 September 2017.

[39] Email from Feda Mohammad Oriakhil, Project Officer, DMAC, 30 September 2017.

[40] Email from Mohammed Wakil, Chief of Staff, MACCA, 1 May 2016.

[41] Email from Camille Wallen, Head of Policy and Evaluation, HALO Trust, 19 July 2017.

[42] Email from Abdul Qudos Ziaee, UNMAS/DMAC, 10 May 2017.

[43] Ibid.

[44] Ibid., 15 May 2017.

[45] Email from Habib Khan Zazai, UNMAS, in support of DMAC, 7 May 2017.

[46] Email from Feda Mohammad Oriakhil, DMAC, 30 September 2017.

[47] “Afghanistan: Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, Mid-year Report 2017,” UNAMA, July 2017, p. 21.

[48] “MAPA Operational Work Plan 1396,” undated but 2017, p. 22.

[49] Mine Ban Treaty Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 29 March 2012, p. 194.

[50] Email from Mohammed Wakil, MACCA, 1 May 2016; and Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2015), Form F.

Support for Mine Action

Last updated: 12 November 2017

In 2016, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan received US$57.3 million from 14 donors, an increase of 11% compared to 2015.[1]

The United States (US) provided the largest contribution with $29.6 million, which represents more than half of the total international mine action assistance in Afghanistan for 2016. Two other donors contributed more than $6 million each: Germany ($6.1 million) and Canada ($6 million).

Of the total contribution, 82% ($46.7 million) went toward clearance and risk education activities, 7% ($4.2 million) was for victim assistance, and the remainder ($6.4 million) went to other mine action activities that were not disaggregated by sector.

Victim assistance is integrated within the broader coordination mechanisms of the disability sector.[2] Consequently, overall funding to victim assistance is under-reported. In 2016, victim assistance came from three donors: Germany ($3.5 million), Italy ($553,600), and Norway ($144,753).

The Mine Action Programme of Afghanistan (MAPA) is largely funded through international assistance, although in the past the government of Afghanistan has reported contributing to some specific projects. For instance, in 2015 the government of Afghanistan contributed $1.5 million for clearance operations in Logar Province, while in 2013, Afghanistan contributed $2.6 million for clearance of the Aynak copper mine.[3] No information on any national contribution was available for 2016 and 2014.

International contributions: 2016[4]

Donor

Sector

Amount (national currency)

Amount (US$)

US

Clearance and risk education

$29,566,000

29,566,000

Germany

Clearance and victim assistance

€5,500,000

6,089,600

Canada

Various

C$8,000,000

6,040,927

Japan

Clearance and risk education

¥342,094,387

3,148,301

United Kingdom

Clearance and risk education

£1,652,391

2,239,816

South Korea

Clearance and risk education

N/A

2,000,000

Netherlands

Clearance and risk education

€1,793,422

1,985,677

Sweden

Clearance and risk education

SEK15,000,000

1,753,545

Denmark

Clearance and risk education

DKK9,000,000

1,337,773

Norway

Clearance and victim assistance

NOK11,215,000

1,336,137

Ireland

Clearance and risk education

€850,000

941,120

Italy

Victim assistance

€500,000

553,600

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)

Various

$232,232

232,232

Slovenia

Capacity-building

N/A

32,739

Total

 

 

57,257,467

 

Since 2012, Afghanistan has received more than $310 million in international assistance for mine action. Between 2010–2014, a downward trend had been apparent with a continuous decline in international assistance that dropped from $102 million in 2010 to less than $50 million in 2014.

In September 2015, MAPA noted that “While the APMBT [Mine Ban Treaty] work plan envisages a reduction in the funds required as the plan progresses, the funds received from donors in the past four years have decreased at a more rapid rate. If this trend continues, it is unlikely that Afghanistan will meet its 2023 deadline under the MBT [Mine Ban Treaty].”[5] In order to cope with the recent fall in international assistance, the Mine Action Coordination Centre of Afghanistan (MACCA) reported it has implemented new initiatives as part of its mobilization strategy, notably via the exchange of experience and the provision of trainings. In line with these efforts, the United Arab Emirates provided mine/explosive remnants of war training at its training center in Kabul, which benefited 8,622 Mullah Imams from 18 provinces between April 2014 and March 2015.[6]

Summary of contributions: 2012–2016[7]

Year

Amount (US$)

% change from previous year ($)

2016

57,257,467

+11

2015

51,689,045

+18

2014

43,973,822

-34

2013

66,733,076

-26

2012

90,585,225

-8

Total

310,238,635

 

 



[1] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Ditte Bjerregaard, Head of Section, Stabilization and Security Policy, Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 22 June 2017; Germany, Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) Protocol II Annual Report, Form E, 30 March 2017; Ireland, CCW Protocol II Annual Report, Form E and Annex, 30 March 2017; Italy, Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form I, 20 April 2017; Japan, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form J, 30 April 2017; response to Monitor questionnaire by Olivia Douwes, Policy Officer, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 16 June 2017; email from Ingrid Schoyen, Senior Adviser, Section for Humanitarian Affairs, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 31 May 2017; ITF Enhancing Human Security, “Annual Report 2016,” April 2017, p. 25; South Korea, CCW Protocol II Annual Report, Form B, 26 April 2017; Sweden, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form J, 12 April 2017; United Kingdom, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form J, 30 April 2017; Canada, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form J, 21 July 2017; and email from Steve Costner, Deputy Office Director, Weapons Removal and Abatement, US Department of State, 30 October 2017.

[3] MACCA, “MAPA Annual Report 1394,” September 2016, pp. 40–41; and MACCA, “Fast Facts: Mine Action Coordination Centre of Afghanistan,” December 2013.

[4] Average exchange rate for 2016: C$1.3243=US$1; DKK6.7276=US$1; €1=US$1.1072; ¥108.66=US$1; NOK8.3936=US$1; £1=US$1.3555; SEK8.5541=US$1. US Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 4 January 2017.

[5] MAPA, “Annual Report 1393,” September 2015, p. 40.

[6] Ibid., pp. 18 and 40.

[7] See previous Monitor reports. The total for international support in 2015 has been rectified as a result of revised US funding totals.

Casualties

Last updated: 13 July 2017

Casualties Overview

All known casualties by end 2016

29,662 mine/unexploded remnants of war (ERW) casualties (6,761 killed and 22,901injured) between 1978 and 2016[1]

Casualties in 2016

1,943 (2015: 1,587)

2016 casualties by outcome

780 killed; 1,163 injured (2015: 644 killed; 943 injured)

2016 casualties by device type

137 antipersonnel mine; 46 antivehicle mine; 1,180 improvised mine; 580 ERW

 

The Monitor recorded 1,943 new casualties due to mines, including improvised mines (victim-activated improvised explosive devices, IEDs), and ERW in Afghanistan for 2016.

Data was provided by the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) in support of the Directorate of Mine Action Coordination (DMAC); until 2016 the responsible agency was the Mine Action Coordination Centre of Afghanistan (MACCA). According to Monitor analysis of the available data for the 2016 total, 1,180 casualties resulted from improvised mines (victim-activated IEDs, specifically pressure-plate IEDs, PP-IEDs).[2] The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) reported that improvised mines constructed as PP-IEDs “function as victim-activated devices, triggered by any person stepping on them—including children—or any vehicle driving over them.” These improvised mines therefore likely fit the Mine Ban Treaty definition of antipersonnel mines.[3]

There has been a trend of increasing mine/ERW casualties in Afghanistan since 2013. While improvised mines continued to cause the greatest number of casualties, casualties increased annually between 2013 and 2016 for several types of explosive devices: antipersonnel mines,[4] antivehicle mines,[5] improvised mines,[6] and ERW.[7]

The number of PP-IED casualties recorded in 2016 by UNAMA as of 17 March 2017, was 1,100. Mine/ERW and IED casualties data in Afghanistan is updated regularly and therefore discrepancies often occur in total numbers of recorded casualties between update periods. UNAMA also uses a strict and exacting methodology for verification of civilian casualties, and acknowledges that this, together with limitations in the operating environment, creates the possibility of under-reporting. UNAMA describes its methodology and limitations on its data as follows: “For verification of each incident involving a civilian casualty, UNAMA requires at least three different and independent types of sources, i.e. victim, witness, medical practitioner, local authorities, confirmation by party to the conflict, community leader or other sources…Where UNAMA is not satisfied with information concerning an incident, it will not consider it as verified. Unverified incidents are not included in this report…UNAMA does not claim that the statistics presented in this report are complete and acknowledges possible under-reporting of civilian casualties given limitations inherent in the operating environment.” [8]

Civilian casualties from pressure-plate or victim-activated IEDs accounted for more than half of civilian casualties from IEDs reported by UNAMA for 2016 in its annual report (1,100 civilian casualties: 473 killed and 627 injured). Whereas improvised mine (specifically PP-IED) casualties increased between 2015 and 2016, UNAMA recorded decreases in civilian deaths and injuries from command-detonated IEDs [9] not prohibited by the Mine Ban Treaty.[10]

The overall total for 2016 was comprised of 1,927 civilian and 16 deminer casualties of mines/ERW. However, UNMAS stated that casualty figures are underreported, as they know of or suspect others that have not been recorded.[11]

The 2016 casualty total represented an increase from 2015, for which UNMAS reported 1,587 new casualties due to mines/ERW in Afghanistan, including 486 casualties of mines/ERW and 1,101 casualties from improvised mines.[12] However, UNAMA reported 1,054 casualties from improvised landmines (victim-activated IEDs) in 2015, as recorded in the Monitor total for that year.[13] Due to the inconsistency of data, which changes significantly with each revision of the database, the exact annual figures may not be reliable over time; however trends appear to be indicative.

An increase in the number of civilian casualties of improvised mines was recorded in Afghanistan in 2016, continuing a growing annual trend. The total number of improvised landmine casualties reported with disaggregated data by UNMAS and/or UNAMA for the years 2012–2016: 2016 (1,180), 2015 (1,101), 2014 (809),[14] 2013 (567), and 2012 (987) was far higher than those identified in the years prior to 2011.[15]

In 2016, 820 children were killed or injured, making up 42% of the total casualties. This is a greater proportion of child casualties reported for 2015 (36%, or 577 casualties). The vast majority of the 2016 casualties were male (85%, or 1,650), and 15% (293) were female. The 2016 casualties total was comprised of 143 girls, 150 women, 677 boys, and 973 men.

In 2016, 16 deminer casualties were recorded by UNMAS. This marked a significant increase from the nine reported for 2015,[16] but was similar to the other recent years, with 16 deminer casualties reported in 2014 and 18 in 2013.

In 2016, 15 casualties were listed with military as their occupation, however, in almost all (13) cases, the incidents occurred while they were engaged in civilian activities and all are recorded as civilian casualties.[17] No other data for military casualties in 2016 was reported by UNMAS/DMAC.

Both the Directorate of Mine Action Coordination (DMAC) of the Government of Afghanistan (previously, MACCA) and UNAMA had expressed concerns about civilian casualties from ERW associated with the closure of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) bases and high-explosive firing ranges. Many of the ranges were not sufficiently cleared of ERW prior to closure.[18] When data was reviewed by UNMAS in 2017, it was found that some data from ground engagements were misreported among firing range casualties; therefore the data was amended. As of June 2017, casualties from bases and ranges were recorded as follows: two in 2009, nine in 2010, 15 in 2011, 49 in 2012, 53 in 2013, 34 in 2014, eight in 2015, and 22 in 2016.[19]

UNMAS/DMAC data has indicated that there have been 29,662 mine/ERW casualties (6,761 killed and 22,901 injured) between 1978 and 2016.[20]

Cluster munition casualties

Since 1980, 756 casualties of cluster munition remnants have been recorded. In addition, at least 26 casualties during cluster munitions strikes have been recorded.[21] MACCA data included 249 unexploded submunition casualties since 1981.[22] No unexploded submunition casualties were reported in 2016; four were reported in 2015.



 [1] Emails from Habib Khan Zazai, Head of Victim Assistance Department, UNMAS, in support of DMAC, 7 May 2017, and 17 June 2017.

[2] Unless otherwise indicated, casualty data for 2015 and 2016 is based on Monitor analysis of data provided by email from Habib Khan Zazai, UNMAS, in support of DMAC, 7 May 2017. Data also includes PP-IED casualties recorded by UNAMA as published in UNAMA’s “Protection of Civilians Annual Report 2016,” February 2017; and email exchange with UNAMA, 17 March and 11 June 2017.

[3] UNAMA “Protection of Civilians Annual Report 2016,” February 2017, pp. 7, 52, 56.

[4] 52 casualties in 2014, 97 in 2015, and 13 in 2016.

[5] 4 casualties in 2014, 28 in 2015, and 44 in 2016.

[6] 809 casualties in 2014, 1,101 in 2015, and 1,180 in 2016.

[7] 430 casualties in 2014, 357 in 2015, and 581 in 2016.

[8] See, UNAMA “Protection of Civilians Annual Report 2016,” February 2017, pp. 1–2.

[9] Including remote-controlled, non-suicide vehicle-borne, and magnetic IEDs.

[10] In 2015 reporting, UNAMA documented 1,058 civilian casualties (465 killed and 593 injured) from PP-IEDs. UNAMA “Protection of Civilians Annual Report 2016,” February 2017, p. 7.

[11] Email from Habib Khan Zazai, UNMAS, in support of DMAC, 5 April 2017.

[12] Ibid., 17 June 2017. The total number of casualties reported for 2015 increased in 2017 from that provided to the Monitor in 2016 and was also revised by UNMAS between April and June 2017.

[13] Updated information provided by Human Rights Unit, UNAMA, 22 February 2016. UNAMA also documented 1,051 civilian PP-IED casualties (459 killed and 592 injured) for 2015 in its annual report for that year. See, UNAMA “Protection of Civilians Annual Report 2015,” February 2016, p. 38.

[14] UNMAS reports 654 improvised mine casualties for 2014. Email from Habib Khan Zazai, UNMAS, in support of DMAC, 17 June 2017.

[15] Data analysis conducted by the Monitor.

[16] Email from Habib Khan Zazai, UNMAS, in support of DMAC, 7 May 2017.

[17] In two cases the activity was also recorded as military. Email provided by UNMAS, 7 May 2017; and email from Habib Khan Zazai, UNMAS, in support of DMAC, 16 May 2017.

[18] UNAMA, “Protection of Civilians 2014 Mid-Year Report,” July 2014.

[19] Email from Habib Khan Zazai, UNMAS, in support of DMAC, 7 May 2017.

[20] Casualty data provided by UNMAS, in support of DMAC, 7 May 2017.

[21] HI, Circle of Impact: The Fatal Footprint of Cluster Munitions on People and Communities (Brussels: HI, May 2007), p. 95. The ICRC recorded 707 casualties occurring during cluster munition use between 1980 and 31 December 2006, to which 47 casualties from 2007 to the end of 2015 recorded by MACCA were added. Due to under-reporting, it is likely that the numbers of casualties during use, as well as those caused by unexploded submunitions, were significantly higher.

[22] Casualty data provided by MACCA, 2 May 2016; and by UNMAS, 5 April 2017.

Victim Assistance

Last updated: 30 October 2017

Summary action points based on findings

  • Expand access to physical rehabilitation needs, particularly in provinces lacking services or where traveling to receive rehabilitation is difficult for survivors.
  • Develop, adopt, and implement a national disability plan that includes objectives that respond to the needs of survivors and recognizes its victim assistance obligations and commitments, together with a monitoring structure.
  • Ensure that meaningful participation of survivors is increased at all levels.
  • Prioritize physical accessibility, particularly for services and for government buildings.
  • Provide psychosocial and psychological support, including peer support in particular to new survivors as well as those who have been traumatized and live in isolation.

Victim assistance commitments

The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is responsible for significant numbers of survivors and victims of landmines, cluster munitions, and other explosive remnants of war (ERW). Afghanistan has made commitments to provide victim assistance through the Mine Ban Treaty and has victim assistance obligations under the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Afghanistan ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) on 18 September 2012.

Victim Assistance

The total number of survivors in Afghanistan is unknown, but in 2006 the number was estimated to be 52,000–60,000.[1]

Victim assistance since 2015

Despite improvements, geographic coverage of healthcare remained insufficient, particularly in terms of physical rehabilitation. Physical rehabilitation services were almost entirely operated by international NGOs and the ICRC under the coordination of the government. The government of Afghanistan was preparing for taking on the responsibility of managing physical rehabilitation services, starting within the local healthcare services level and providing for rehabilitation from the development budget.[2] The ICRC increased its support to medical care, physical rehabilitation, and social reintegration consistently throughout the period, while international NGOs continued to provide the remainder of physical rehabilitation services.[3]

Movement restrictions (due to conflict, lack of accessible roads, and the cost of transport) were persistent obstacles to victim assistance in some parts of the country, which continued through the reporting period.

Handicap International (HI) and the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA) had to hand over physiotherapy services in health facilities according to a Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) policy requirement that physiotherapy services should be provided only as part of the Basic Package of Health Services (BPHS) through district hospitals and health clinics by end of 2015.[4]

Funding challenges continued to impede progress. In 2013, there was an overall decline in the number of projects being implemented and some organizations were unable to fulfill their planned projects and overall mandates due to a decrease in international financial support. Although resources were greatly reduced, there were still some donors who sustained their support for persons with disabilities in ways that included survivors. The Mine Action Coordination Centre of Afghanistan (MACCA) and the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) increased financial support to victim assistance and disability-related projects by registering national and international NGOs, which could then receive specific project funding. By 2017, the MACCA was renamed the Directorate of Mine Action Coordination (DMAC).

Afghanistan reported that, while there was tangible progress on the ground, the scale of victim assistance services was inadequate compared to the need.[5] Funding decreased and many NGOs providing victim assistance and other services for persons with disabilities faced critical financial shortages. Due to the shortage of financial resources some provincial branches of NGOs ceased their victim assistance activities.[6]

Victim assistance in 2016 (or Afghan year 1395)

Since 2014, funding had decreased significantly. As a result, many organizations that provide disability assistance were nearing the point of facing closure, such as the Afghan Landmine Survivors Organization (ALSO), Community Center for Disabled People (CCD), Development and Ability Organization (DAO), and others. Yet the government did not have any plan to provide direct victim assistance, even as the number of survivors was increasing. The lack of funding had a significant negative impact on the probable survival of local NGOs and consequently, on the lives of survivors. The local organizations that had predominately provided service for survivors or persons with disabilities declined although there was not yet a state-led program to serve persons with disabilities that would replace that assistance. Local NGOs reported occasionally being granted small projects, but were unable to compete with the large international NGOs for more sustainable funding. Although the number of survivors continued to increase, disability was not among the priorities of most of donors.[7]

Afghanistan reported that victim assistance, as one of the main pillars of mine action, focused on advocacy, awareness, and prevention activities within the broader context of the disability sector as required by the Mine Ban Treaty.[8] It also stated that the victim assistance sector faced a “critical funding shortfall.” In this context, Afghanistan explained that disability rights and victim assistance agencies “received the least amount of financial support from the international community” and that the limited financial support “endangers” existing capacities and the potential for implementation.[9] Due to the decline in funding, only one prioritized victim assistance project received funding through the mine action center in 2016. The UNMAS/DMAC Victim Assistance Department did not have adequate funding to directly implement projects, but rather maintained a list of prioritized projects to which funds could be allocated.[10] Of the seven projects identified for implementation by UNMAS/DMAC in 2017, only the project for establishing physical rehabilitation centers in Khost and Farah provinces was funded. Six out of nine physical rehabilitation centres supported through the UN Voluntary Trust Fund—including four mobile orthopaedic workshops—faced insecure funding situations.[11]

In 2016, 90% of the population lived more than 100 kilometers from a rehabilitation center and some 20 provinces out of 34 do not have prostheses and orthoses facilities.[12] A lack of female health service providers remained a challenge in rural areas.[13]

Assessing the needs

No specific needs assessment surveys of survivors’ needs were reported in 2016, though many organizations kept their own records on beneficiaries’ needs.

In 2016, a disability survey consultant conducted an in-country assessment, stakeholder meetings, and completed the preliminary work to develop the implementation plan for the nationwide disability survey.[14] However, in accordance with instructions from the US Agency for International Development (USAID), in March 2017 the National Disability Survey of Afghanistan (NDSA) was put on hold. The survey was subsequently removed from the scope of the US-funded Afghan Civilian Assistance Program (ACAP III).[15] The last national disability survey was carried out in 2005.[16]

A program evaluation by SCA among community-based rehabilitation (CBR) participants confirmed the high proportion of war and mine/ERW survivors among men with disabilities compared to other groups of persons with disabilities. Persons born with impairments had the same gender breakdown, while disease caused a higher proportion of disability among females.[17]

HI conducted small-scale surveys on needs, capacities, issues, and challenges in project sites (small areas) in order to understand the situations faced by mine/ERW survivors and persons with disabilities. A Knowledge, Attitude, and Practices (KAP) survey conducted by HI community mobilizers among 600 community members in Kandahar.[18]

The Afghans Landmine Survivors’ Organization (ALSO) conducted a study and assessment titled Access of Persons with Disabilities to Education in Afghanistan in 2017. Findings of the study were shared with victim assistance and disability organizations in a conference conducted in Kabul and findings were published for wider distribution.[19]

Victim assistance coordination[20]

Government coordinating body/focal point

The Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyrs and the Disabled (MoLSAMD), the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), and the Ministry of Education (MoE) with UNMAS/DMAC Victim Assistance Department technical support; as well as the Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA)

Coordinating mechanisms

Victim Assistance Coordination Meetings, the Disability Stakeholder Coordination Group (DSCG); the Disability and Physical Rehabilitation Taskforce, and several other groups (see below)

Plan

None: The Afghanistan National Disability Action Plan (ANDAP) revision process was pending the adoption of a new disability policy

 

MoLSAMD is the government focal point for victim assistance and regulating the legislation of disability issues overall.[21] A new Deputy Minister for MoLSAMD was appointed, as the victim assistance focal point in 2015.[22] In 2016, an institutional capacity assessment and action plan was developed for MoLSAMD, by an international consultant supported by UNMAS, and shared with the ministry for implementation purposes.[23] Other national and international stakeholders support the government in developing or amending legislation. The MoPH, the MoE, and MoLSAMD are involved in disability services and advocacy activities. The work of these three key ministries is supported by the Victim Assistance Department of UNMAS/DMAC, which works closely with three ministries and which provides technical support to each for annual planning, priority setting, contract development, and quality assurance for UNMAS-funded activities.[24]

The Victim Assistance Department of DMAC/UNMAS supported a capacity-building need assessment for MoLSAMD that began in the first quarter of 2017. A desk-based assessment with the three key ministries found that there was a lack of reliable data and data collection process in the ministries. Based on the assessment, work with Martyrs and Disability Deputy Ministry of MoLSAMD to develop a new database started in March 2017 and 15 ministry personnel were trained on the database, which was planned to be officially launched later in 2017. New beneficiary data collection forms were also designed.[25]

From the beginning of 2016 through the end of the second quarter of 2017, three additional victim assistance/disability organizations were accredited by DMAC/UNMAS and received certification to conduct activities.[26]

The MoPH plan of action consists of the Basic Package of Health Services (BPHS) and the Essential Package of Hospital Services (EPHS); physiotherapy services are included in both, while prosthetic services were only included in the EPHS. The MoPH Strategic Framework 2011–2015 counted improving disability services among its priorities, and the ministry’s focal point for disability, the Disability and Physical Rehabilitation Department (DRD), had an implementation strategy for the framework. The MoPH included disability and physical rehabilitation in a new national health policy originally developed for 2015–2020. The national disability and physical rehabilitation strategic plan for the health sector 2016–2020 was drafted and in the approval stages.[27]

No progress was reported on the process of developing a national plan for persons with disabilities. The National Disability Action Plan remained unrevised since it expired in 2011. A new plan was not to be drafted until the finalization of a comprehensive national disability policy. The Afghanistan National Policy for Persons with Disabilities was in its third draft in 2016 and had been made available in local languages for wider consultation and feedback.[28]

The Mine Action Program of Afghanistan (MAPA) adopted a five-year (2016–2021) strategic plan in 2015 addressing the so-called pillars of mine action. A sub-goal of the plan focuses on victim assistance, and related advocacy. Advocacy efforts are undertaken to ensure that disability and victim assistance are addressed in relevant government strategies, policies, and in departmental budgets.[29]

An action plan for implementation of the newly developed Inclusive and Child Friendly Education Policy, making the National Education Strategic Plan III (NESP III 2016–2020) was significantly more inclusive of victim assistance and disability rights than the previous two plans. With these changes, inclusive education was comprehensively addressed in the third strategic plan.[30] A number of policies in Afghanistan referred to services for persons with disabilities, and although relevant to mine/ERW survivors do not necessarily specifically mention victim assistance. Other than the former Inclusive Education Policy of the MoE, among these was the Health and Nutrition Strategy of the MoPH.[31]

In 2017, ACAP III (April 2015–February 2018), was being implemented by UNMAS to provide “immediate assistance packages including food and non-food items, psychosocial counseling, physical rehabilitation support and economic reintegration packages tailored to individual needs to restore lost livelihoods and assist with recovery.” Activities were anticipated to continue until 2018.[32]

ACAP III is a USAID-funded program through the UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Assistance in Mine Action intended to provide targeted immediate assistance to victims of conflict, mines, and ERW; strengthen existing services; and contribute to the development of government authorities’ capabilities to provide assistance to civilian victims of conflict in Afghanistan. Long-term services are also provided in communities most affected by conflict. Other ACAP III objectives are to link beneficiaries with assistance programs and to improve knowledge of victim assistance services among communities, civil society, and government networks.[33] ACAP III marked a change from the first two ACAP programs, which provided humanitarian assistance only for assistance-eligible incidents to “innocent civilian casualties who have suffered losses resulting from operations between U.S. and coalition military forces and the Taliban or other insurgents.”[34]

Coordination and planning

The coordination group for victim assistance with the participation of key bi-monthly national and international victim assistance and disability organizations and representatives of the line ministries, including the MoPH, MoLSAMD, and the MoE (established by MACCA in 2013), held five meetings in 2016, as it had in 2015; discussion at these meetings focused on ACAP III, assistance to civilian victims of conflict, and mine/ERW and IED civilian victims specifically, as an added value of the victim assistance pillar of the mine action.[35] In 2017, through the end of July, three victim assistance coordination meetings were held to discuss issues of national ownership and the roles of ministries, coordination of activities, and funding raising.[36]

Several other coordination groups regularly held meetings relevant to victim assistance and disability rights, both nationally (from Kabul) and at the regional level. The various coordination group meetings included the following:

  • The Disability Stakeholders Coordination Group (DSCG) (Chaired by the deputy minter of MoLSAMD) conducted 10 meetings in 2016, compared to nine in 2015, with topics including the amending disability law, CRPD reporting, consideration of an independent directorate for disability issues, disability employment within government agencies, and annual events. Another three DSCG meetings through June 2017 focused on amendments to the national disability law.
  • The Disability and Physical Rehabilitation Taskforce (coordinated by the MoPH) held six working group meetings in 2016, compared to five in 2015, an accomplishment being the revision and continued updating of a new disability and physical rehabilitation strategy, disability certification guidelines, and training of physiotherapists and prosthetic technicians. In April 2017, the Physical Rehabilitation Taskforce meeting addressed the annual action plan for Afghan year 1396 (2017–2018).
  • The Advocacy Committee for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (ACPD) includes advocacy meetings and events on a wide range of issues held by diverse actors from the sector. In April 2017, ALSO hosted an ACPD meeting where committee members jointly finalized the committee’s three-year (2017–2020) strategic action and 2017 action plan. Three ACPD meetings were held in 2017 through June, with the focus on nationwide disability survey planning.
  • The Afghan CBR Network (coordinated by the MoPH-DRD) conducted three meetings in 2016, compared to two meetings in 2015, and discussed implementation of the CBR program carried out in 20 out of 34 provinces of Afghanistan.
  • The Inclusive Child Friendly Education-Coordination Working Group (ICFE-CWG); chaired by the MoE held 10 meetings in 2016, 11 meetings in 2015, and 10 in 2014, and discussed implementation of the Inclusive Education policy and other relevant issues.
  • The Inter-ministerial Committee on Disability; chaired by MoLSAMD also holds occasional meetings.[37] More generally national and regional meetings of the UNCHR-led Afghanistan Protection Cluster (APC) were conducted to avoid duplication and coordinate activities concerning protection of the civilians.

In October 2016, the MoLSAMD, with the support of Counterpart International and USAID, held a two-day national conference, the National Conference for Persons with Disabilities, in Kabul with 450 participants, including the representative of Executive of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the first lady, ministers and deputy ministers, representatives of the national and international institutions, and key stakeholders from provinces, including representation by persons with disabilities. The government affirmed its commitment to the rights of persons with disabilities, specifically capacity-building and vocational training. Problems and challenges, as well as probable future obstacles, were discussed.[38] In cooperation with MoLSAMD, the ACAP III technical advisor provided substantive support to MoLSAMD for the 2016 National Disability Conference.[39]

In follow-up to the National Conference for Persons with Disabilities in Afghanistan, in May 2017 a conference entitled the Afghan Disability Rights Conference: From Policy to Programming was held at the Embassy of Afghanistan in Washington, DC, with 150 participants joining panel discussions and sharing of ideas. Mine/ERW survivors were mentioned together with other persons with disabilities and a mine survivor and persons with disabilities participated on panels.[40]

Reporting

Afghanistan provided information on progress in and challenges to victim assistance at the Mine Ban Treaty Fifteenth Meeting of States Parties in Chile and intersessional meetings in 2016. Afghanistan presented victim assistance developments at the Convention on Cluster Munitions Sixth Meeting of States Parties in September 2016.[41] Afghanistan continued to make extensive use of all sections of its Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 report for 2016. Afghanistan also included detailed reporting on victim assistance activities in its Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 reporting for 2016.[42]

Survivor inclusion and participation

Persons with disabilities and their representative organizations were included in decision-making and participated in the various coordination bodies. However, it was reported that their views were not fully taken into account. Survivors and other victims were involved in short-term decisions only, being invited to meetings was seen as a means of pacification.[43] It was reported that survivors involved in planning and coordination presented ideas and had expectations that they would be considered, but the implementing organizations, government, and donors were not able to respond to all the needs survivors presented.[44] With only a few organizations involved in implementation of victim assistance projects, survivors were not adequately included in service provision.[45]

The inclusion of persons with disabilities, survivors—and their representative organizations, if and where they existed—remained totally insufficient. Participation was generally not effectively included as an essential component of activities.[46]

Some NGOs had a proportion of employees who were persons with disabilities. The ICRC Afghan Physical Rehabilitation Program was managed by persons with disabilities. The rehabilitation program maintained a policy of “positive discrimination,” employing and training only persons with disabilities. Service provision was entirely managed by survivors and persons with disabilities, including technical and administrative positions. The ICRC continuously consulted with and involved survivors in the decision-making process as survivors were fully integrated into its operations. The positive discrimination policy also aimed to demonstrate that persons with disabilities are an asset to society, not a burden.[47] HI staff in Afghanistan included 14% of persons with disabilities.[48] At HI rehabilitation centers 19% physical rehabilitation center staff are persons with disabilities, most of them being mine survivors.

Service accessibility and effectiveness

Victim assistance activities

Name of organization

Type of organization

Type of activity

MoLSAMD

Government

Technical support, training, and coordination; providing pensions and allowances, organizing of service for survivors with disabilities and families of persons killed

MoPH

Emergency and continuing medical care, medication, surgery, awareness-raising, counseling (supported by the World Bank, UN, and donors), physical rehabilitation and psychosocial support

MoE

Inclusive education and assistance through education

Afghan Amputee Bicyclists for Rehabilitation and Recreation (AABRAR)

National NGO

Physiotherapy, education, and vocational training; sport and recreation; capacity-building for local civil society organizations (CSOs) and disabled persons’ organizations (DPOs)

Afghan Landmine Survivors Organization (ALSO)

Advocacy workshops and implementing services through local partners; referral of students to education centers from basic to advanced level; research and promoting access to education

Community Center for Disabled People (CCD)

Social and economic inclusion and advocacy; art training for war survivors and job placement

Development and Ability Organization (DAO)

Social inclusion, advocacy, rehabilitation, and income-generating projects

Kabul Orthopedic Organization (KOO)

Physical rehabilitation and vocational training

Rehabilitee Organization for Afghan War Victims (ROAWV)

Economic inclusion training and awareness raising

Empor Organization (EO)

For profit organization

Physical rehabilitation and prosthetics; technical support for advanced technology limbs for ACAP III beneficiaries

Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC)

National organization

Awareness-raising and rights advocacy program for DPOs; monitoring

EMERGENCY

International NGO

Operating surgical centers in Kabul, the Panjshir Valley, and Lashkar-gah and a network of first aid posts and health centers

Handicap International (HI)

Victim assistance, disability advocacy and awareness, capacity-building of disabled persons’ and survivors’ organizations; physical rehabilitation, including prosthetics, rehabilitation training

Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA-RAD)

Health care, CBR, physical rehabilitation, psychosocial support, economic inclusion through revolving loans, inclusive education, advocacy, and capacity-building

ICRC

International organization

Emergency medical care; physical rehabilitation, including physiotherapy, prosthetics, and other mobility devices; economic inclusion and social reintegration, including education, vocational training, micro-finance, and employment for persons with disabilities, including mine/ERW survivors and Ministry of Defense/military casualties; schools for orthopedic technicians and physiotherapists; sport and support to the Paralympic Committee

 

Emergency and continuing medical care

The health sector in Afghanistan was not reaching as many people as needed services and a more inclusive policy and implementation was required. Difficulty with human resources as well as conflict within the national government made the delivery of inclusive public health and affected all Afghans difficult, especially persons with disabilities.[49]

Conflict in Afghanistan resulted in the need for an increase in medical care, while there were fewer resources available. As was the case in recent years, many of the weapon-wounded patients treated at ICRC-supported hospitals were injured by mines or ERW: 679 out of 1,850 (or 37%) in 2016, and 1,065 of the 2,202 (or 48%) reported for 2015.[50] In 2016, more than 1,500 weapon-wounded people reached the hospitals by means of an ICRC-funded transport system of taxis and ICRC vehicles.[51] In 2015, some 2,100 weapon-wounded people reached the hospitals through the system, 1,600 people in 2014, and 1,000 in 2013.[52]

The number of newly registered amputees recorded in the ICRC orthopedic center data demonstrated that the number of survivors and amputees remained constant since 2013:

  • 2014: 1,318 amputees registered, including 538 mine survivors, 51 other war incidents, and 729 persons amputated for other reasons;
  • 2015: 1,261 amputees registered, including 521 mine survivors, 47 other war incidents, and 693 persons amputated for other reasons;
  • 2016: 1,317 amputees registered, including 525 mine survivors, 44 other war incidents, and 748 persons amputated for other reasons; and
  • January–June 2017: 560 amputees registered, including 238 mine survivors, 26 other war incidents, and 296 persons amputated for other reasons.[53]

During 2016 and through July 2017, ACAP III provided some 11,400 war victims with immediate assistance packages of food and non-food items.[54]

Physical rehabilitation, including prosthetics

Physical rehabilitation was not available in all provinces of Afghanistan.Rehabilitation centers were concentrated in 16 of the 34 Afghan provinces and patients were often forced to travel long distances to access services. Six rehabilitation centers faced funding shortages in 2016–2017.[55] DAO reported that the provision of physical rehabilitation was “tremendously reduced” in both its physical rehabilitation centers in Kunar and Uruzgan province due to a severe funding problem. As a result, persons with disabilities in these provinces remained without prosthetic limbs in 2016–2017.[56] Previously, in 2015–2016, DAO had managed to increase coverage and the number of people served by establishing a new fixed and mobile physical rehabilitation center for persons with disabilities, covering all districts of Uruzgan, and nearby districts from Zabul and Daikondi provinces.[57]

A lack of female health service providers especially in the field of physical rehabilitation was a challenge in rural areas, which resulted in women and girls with disabilities having less access to services.[58]

Through ACAP III an additional seven rehabilitation facilities (three static centers and four mobile centers) were established in Khost, Uruzgan, Faryab, Kunduz, Kabul, and Farah provinces. In 2016, UNMAS/DMAC established physical rehabilitation centers in Khost and Farah provinces. The project, implemented by AABRAR, started in September 2016 and was completed by the end of April 2017. The Khost and Farah centers delivered 176 prostheses among the 2,416 direct beneficiaries receiving rehabilitation services. Additionally, disability awareness and advocacy training was provided to 2,917 people at the centers.

Physiotherapists in Afghanistan are mostly employed by NGOs and international organizations. The goal for long-term sustainability of rehabilitation is to gradually shift services into government institutions, as the medical sector is improved and is able to take over the provision of rehabilitation services.[59]

Delivery of prostheses in the seven ICRC centers in 2016 totaled 4,321, 59% (or 2,553) of which were for mine/ERW survivors;[60] in 2015, 4,120 (2,474 of which were for mine/ERW survivors).[61] In the first six months of 2017, 2,072 prostheses were manufactured, 1,227 of them for mine/ERW survivors. Over several years to 2017, the ICRC program has been facing a worrying increase in the number of children affected by cerebral palsy (CP) or who are spinal cord injured (paraplegics and tetraplegics) as these two categories of disability were totally neglected by the health system. New units had to be created, training organized, and qualified staff increased. ICRC requests for an intervention of the MoPH, through its DRD, were not responded to and governmental hospitals were not providing assistance.[62]

In support of the national and local authorities HI began a project to harmonize training curricula for local physiotherapist and orthopedic technicians, opened training centers in seven provinces (in Kandahar, Herat, Nangarhar, Balkh, Takhar, Kapisa, and Kabul), and increased the capacity of the existing rehabilitation facilities. The EU-funded project, Toward Improved Access to Quality Physical Rehabilitation in Afghanistan (TIQRA), launched in December 2015, supports the government of Afghanistan to improve the of delivery of public health services with a special focus on contributing to the expansion of and improved access to quality physical rehabilitation in underserved areas. A consortium of three partners: HI (as lead organization), Norwegian Afghanistan Committee (NAC), and Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA) were implementing the project.[63]

In Lashkar Gah, Helmand province, the planning for the construction of a new ICRC orthopedic center was in progress in 2017. The center was designed to provide Helmand with a permanent and well-equipped rehabilitation center to replace the existing functional but temporary facility.[64] State plans for 2017–2018 included establishing three physical rehabilitation centers in Khost, Farah, and Kunar provinces respectively, funded by Canada through the UN Voluntary Trust Fund.[65] The MoPH maintained a priority list of provinces for future expansion of rehabilitation and prosthetic services under the Essential Package of Hospital Services (EPHS). It was planned to have nine physical rehabilitation centers placed under the supervision of the MoPH over a period of 10 years.[66]

The ICRC reported that, as acknowledged by the MoPH authorities, it would be unrealistic to consider the government capable of ensuring the required rehabilitation services itself. It is anticipated that it will take years before the national authorities have the capacity to fully manage the long-term functioning of services.[67]

ACAP III provided home-based physiotherapy to civilian victims of conflict in all 34 provinces of Afghanistan. Physiotherapists also provided referrals to local facilities and travel assistance. In 2017, ACAP III was providing a limited number of amputees with high-tech electric upper limbs for the first time in Afghanistan, with technical support for UNMAS from the EMPOR Organization.[68]

Social and economic inclusion and psychological support

A lack of dedicated resources severely inhibited capacities to provide employment for persons with disabilities, including mine/ERW survivors.[69] The ICRC secured employment for persons with disabilities[70] and supported vocational training.[71] The ICRC also provided micro-credits for persons with disabilities and their families, distributed stationery kits to students, and supported home tuition for children.[72] From September 2015 through June 2016, the CCD implemented a project to support the war victims in Kunduz province.[73]

The ACAP III project supported 4,300 eligible war victims, including mine/ERW-affected victims, with tools based on their economic reintegration needs.[74]

A lack of psychosocial support, particularly peer support, has remained one of the largest gaps in the government-coordinated victim assistance and disability programs, although some national and international NGOs provided these services. Psychosocial counseling services were provided to civilian conflict victims nationwide through ACAP III.[75] During 2016 through July 2017, a total of 12,500 eligible war victims received psychological support and counseling through ACAP III.[76]

Overall there were very limited opportunities for sports for persons with disabilities throughout the country. The ICRC offered persons with disabilities social inclusion opportunities and also continued to promote a wide range of sporting activities.[77] The Afghanistan men’s and women’s wheelchair basketball national teams were sponsored to travel abroad to compete in international tournaments.[78]

In 2016, UNMAS could not financially support inclusive education training due to lack of funding. Other stakeholders, including SERVE, SCA, and AAR Japan, continued to provide financial and technical support for inclusive education training of MoE school teachers and enrolment of children with disabilities in general schools (at least 1,600 beneficiaries from 2016 through July 2017).[79] Through August 2017, UMMAS/DMAC only had enough resources available for its victim assistance department to provide technical support for inclusive education activities of the MoE. UNMAS/DMAC continued to seek funding to support inclusive education directly as had been the case until 2014.[80] ALSO held a conference on the results of its study on education needs in 2017. The main objective was to promote access of persons with disabilities to primary, secondary, and higher education.[81]

Gender

Many NGOs, both national and international, provided assistance to women with disabilities in major provinces. However, women with disabilities in remote provinces and districts required more support. The Mine Action Program of Afghanistan (MAPA) Gender Mainstreaming Strategy 2014–2016, including victim assistance, was addressed through coordination and gender mainstreaming officers in NGOs.[82] The Gender Mainstreaming Strategy 2014–2016 stated, “Existing discrimination and bias sometimes mean that women can be hard to reach when implementing surveys and as a result, this means that their priorities–frequently the priorities of their children and of basic community survival–can be excluded. In areas such as victim assistance…gender determines the access to and impact of activities and services, where females often face more restrictions compared to males.”[83] In mid-2016, a gender consultant completed in-country assessment of gender considerations in ACAP III and measures to improve gender awareness in MoLSAMD services.[84]

After it expired, the Gender Mainstreaming Strategy 2014–2016 was replaced with a UNMAS/DMAC gender and diversity policy; as well as being represented in the fourth goal (on gender) of the National Mine Action Strategic Plan. A new Gender Associate with UNMAS/DMAC was recruited in March 2017 to coordinate gender issues, including victim assistance and disability contexts.[85]

Services for women and also for children were not sufficient to reach those in need or to cover all disabled women or children in the country.[86]

Laws and policies

The Law on the Rights and Benefits of Person with Disabilities and the Law on the Rights and Benefits for Relatives of Martyrs and Disappeared Persons remained the key legislative provisions. The Law on the Rights and Benefits of Persons with Disabilities was amended[87] in March 2013. However, the law contained discriminatory provisions and was not in conformity with the principles of the CRPD. In 2015, a working committee for amending the disability law was established.[88] By the end of 2016, Afghanistan stated that “the complete amendment of the Law on the Rights and Benefits of Persons with Disabilities has been initiated to comply with the international human rights obligations, as well as to address problems on its practical implementation.”[89] The process of amending the legislation was completed by May 2017 and the draft submitted to Ministry of Justice. The revised law was subsequently returned to MoLSAMD to be sent to Ministry of Justice for approval and publication in official gazette as “The Law of Persons with Disabilities.” The law was pending approval by the national government in August 2017.[90]

According to legislation, persons with disabilities should comprise 3% of state employees. In 2015, the Independent Joint Anti-Corruption Monitoring and Evaluation Committee reported that many persons interviewed noted that numerous violations of the Law on the Rights and Privileges of Persons employment quota occurred due to bribery and nepotism that resulted in job opportunities being taken away from persons with disabilities.[91]

The constitution prohibits any kind of discrimination and requires the provision of assistance to persons with disabilities, which include healthcare and financial protection.[92] In 2017, it was reported that “in practice, the situation is quite different and many persons with disabilities are deprived of basic rights.”[93]

Except the monthly pension, no other resources were allocated for victims or survivors directly.[94] Pensions are reported to be “totally insufficient” and not all persons with disabilities were eligible to receive them.[95] Discrimination in the allocation and payment of pensions by which only war victims were entitled to benefits persisted.[96]

Although Afghan disability legislation mandates that ministries, government offices, transportation facilities, and all new public construction should include facilities for the persons with disabilities in their design, it was reported that it rarely occurs.[97] In 2016, MoLSAMD, with support of the World Bank, started renovation of the ministries premises in order to improve accessibility for persons with disabilities in line with accessibility guidelines and standards. The renovation was completed in the first quarter of 2017.[98]

It was reported that although Afghanistan had joined the relevant treaties and conventions, the provisions were not implemented.[99]

In 2015–2016, DAO trained some 500 medical practitioners in the application of the CRPD and its obligations to provide adequate medical care to persons with disabilities.[100] One hundred NGO employees in five provinces[101] were also trained in CRPD and disability rights awareness.[102]

In 2016, Afghan DPOs submitted a detailed parallel (alterative, or “shadow”) CRPD report to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.[103]



[1] Handicap International (HI), “Understanding the challenge ahead: National disability survey in Afghanistan 2005,” Kabul, 2006.

[2] Response to Monitor questionnaire by UNMAS/DMAC, 8 August 2017.

[3] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Alberto Cairo, ICRC, 29 July 2017.

[4] For example, HI reported that there are 15 district health clinics in Kandahar province, but none of them provide rehabilitation services. Response to Monitor questionnaire by Juliette Coatrieux, HI, 26 April 2015; and SCA, “SCA Initiates National Physical Rehabilitation Workshop,” 29 December 2014. See also SCA, “Commitment for Change: Strategic plan 2014–2017,” undated.

[5] Statement of Afghanistan, Mine Ban Treaty Third Review Conference, Maputo, 24 June 2014.

[6] Response to Monitor questionnaire by MACCA (consolidated questionnaire including information from MoE, MoLSAMD, and MoPH), April 2015.

[7] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Islam Mohammadi, Executive Director, ALSO, 30 July 2017.

[8] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2016), Form J.

[9] Statement of Afghanistan, Mine Ban Treaty Fifteenth Meeting of States Parties, Santiago, 29 November 2016.

[10] Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2016), Form H.

[11] Response to Monitor questionnaire by UNMAS/DMAC, 8 August 2017.

[12] “Financial Access to Rehabilitation Services in Afghanistan in 2016,” cited in response to Monitor questionnaire by UNMAS/DMAC, 8 August 2017.

[13] Response to Monitor questionnaire by UNMAS/DMAC, 8 August 2017.

[14] UNMAS and USAID, “Monthly Status Update – July 2016 Afghan Civilian Assistance Program (ACAP III),” August 2016.

[15] UNMAS and USAID, “Monthly Status Update – April 2017 Afghan Civilian Assistance Program (ACAP III),” May 2017; and UNMAS and USAID, “Monthly Status Update – March 2017 Afghan Civilian Assistance Program (ACAP III),” April 2017.

[18] In Daman, Dand, and Arghandab districts.

[19] Response to Monitor questionnaire by UNMAS/DMAC, 8 August 2017.

[20] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2015), Form J; and Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2015), Form H.

[21] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2016), Form J; and response to Monitor questionnaire by MACCA (consolidated questionnaire, including information from MoE, MoLSAMD, and MoPH), April 2015.

[22] Email from MACCA (consolidated questionnaire, including information from MoE, MoLSAMD, and MoPH), 7 April 2016.

[23] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2016), Form J.

[24] Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2016), Form H.

[25] Response to Monitor questionnaire by UNMAS/DMAC, 8 August 2017.

[26] Ibid.

[27] Email from MACCA (consolidated questionnaire, including information from MoE, MoLSAMD, and MoPH), 7 April 2016; and Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2016), Form J.

[28] Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2016), Form H.

[29] Email from MACCA (consolidated questionnaire, including information from MoE, MoLSAMD, and MoPH), 7 April 2016.

[30] Ibid.; and Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2016), Form H.

[31] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Juliette Coatrieux, HI, 26 April 2015.

[32] Response to Monitor questionnaire by UNMAS/DMAC, 8 August 2017.

[34] USAID, “Afghan Civilian Assistance Program II (ACAP II),” Fact sheet, 11 August 2014.

[35] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2016), Form J; and email from MACCA (consolidated questionnaire, including information from MoE, MoLSAMD, and MoPH), 7 April 2016.

[36] Response to Monitor questionnaire by UNMAS/DMAC, 8 August 2017.

[37] Ibid.

[39] UNMAS and USAID, “Monthly Status Update – October 2016 Afghan Civilian Assistance Program (ACAP III),” November 2016.

[40] The conference was held in partnership with the US International Council on Disabilities, the US-Afghan Women’s Council, Georgetown University’s Center for Child and Human Development, Counterpart International, and Trivision. Embassy of Afghanistan, “Final Report Afghan Disability Rights Conference: From Policy to Programming May 23 and 24, 2017 Washington, DC,” undated, but 2017.

[41] Statements of Afghanistan, Mine Ban Treaty Third Review Conference, Maputo, 24 June 2014; Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings, 9 April 2014; Convention on Cluster Munitions Fifth Meeting of States Parties, San Jose, 4 September 2014; and Thirteenth Meeting of States Parties, Mine Ban Treaty, Geneva, 3 December 2013.

[42] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2016), Form J; and Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2016), Form H.

[43] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Alberto Cairo, ICRC, 29 July 2017.

[44] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Islam Mohammadi, ALSO, 30 July 2017.

[45] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Mohammad Shafaq, CCD, 1 August 2017.

[46] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Alberto Cairo, ICRC, 14 April 2016, and 14 April 2015; and by Omara Khann Muneeb, Director, DAO, 5 April 2016.

[47] ICRC, “The ICRC's physical rehabilitation work in Afghanistan,” Fact sheet, June 2016.

[49] The conference was held in partnership with the US International Council on Disabilities, the US-Afghan Women’s Council, Georgetown University’s Center for Child and Human Development, Counterpart International, and Trivision. Embassy of Afghanistan, “Final Report Afghan Disability Rights Conference: From Policy to Programming May 23 and 24, 2017 Washington, DC,” undated, but 2017.

[50] ICRC, “Annual Report 2015,” Geneva, 2016, p. 336. The hospitals treated 1,827 weapon-wounded patients in 2014 (a similar number of beneficiaries compared to 2,023 in 2013); 42% (861) were injured by mines/ERW (compared to 47%, 950 in 2014). ICRC, “Annual Report 2014,” Geneva, 2015, p. 282; and ICRC, “Annual Report 2013,” Geneva, 2014, p. 282.

[51] ICRC, “Annual Report 2016,” Geneva, 2017, p. 317.

[52] ICRC, “Annual Report 2014,” Geneva, 2015, p. 279; and ICRC, “Annual Report 2013,” Geneva, 2014, p. 281.

[53] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Alberto Cairo, ICRC, 29 July 2017.

[54] Response to Monitor questionnaire by UNMAS/DMAC, 8 August 2017.

[55] Ibid.

[56] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Bismillah Safi, Admin/Finance Manager, DAO, 30 July 2017.

[57] Daichopan, Zabul and Kijran, Daikondi are closer to Uruzgan. Response to Monitor questionnaire by Omara Khann Muneeb, DAO, 5 April 2016.

[58] Response to Monitor questionnaire by UNMAS/DMAC, 8 August 2017.

[59] AAPT, “PT Services in Afghanistan,” undated.

[60] ICRC, “Annual Report 2016,” Geneva, 2017, p. 319.

[61] ICRC, “Annual Report 2015,” Geneva, 2016, p. 336.

[62] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Alberto Cairo, ICRC, 29 July 2017.

[63] HI, “Federal Information – Country Card Afghanistan,” August 2016; and response to Monitor questionnaire by Taimur Ahmed, HI, 7 June 2016.

[64] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Alberto Cairo, ICRC, 29 July 2017.

[65] Response to Monitor questionnaire by UNMAS/DMAC, 8 August 2017.

[66] These were Kunduz (regional center), Farah, Bamyan, Paktia, Badghis, Baghlan, and Zabul. Response to Monitor questionnaire by UNMAS/DMAC, 8 August 2017.

[67] ICRC Physical Rehabilitation Programme (PRP), “Annual Report 2014,” Geneva, 2015; and response to Monitor questionnaire by Alberto Cairo, ICRC, 29 July 2017.

[68] Response to Monitor questionnaire by UNMAS/DMAC, 8 August 2017.

[70] More than 40 people gained employment.

[71] Some 390 people attended vocational training.

[72] ICRC, “Annual Report 2016,” Geneva, 2017, p. 316.

[73] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Mohammad Shafaq, CCD, 1 August 2017.

[74] Response to Monitor questionnaire by UNMAS/DMAC, 8 August 2017.

[75] UNMAS, “Portfolio of Mine Action Projects: ACAP III,” undated; and UNMAS and USAID, “ACAP III Monthly Status Updates,” for 2016 and 2017.

[76] Email from ACAP III Data Monitoring Associate, to DMAC, 7 August 2017, cited in response to Monitor questionnaire by UNMAS/DMAC, 8 August 2017.

[77] ICRC, “Annual Report 2016,” Geneva, 2017, p. 319; and response to Monitor questionnaire by Alberto Cairo, ICRC, 14 April 2016.

[78] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Alberto Cairo, ICRC, 29 July 2017.

[79] SCA provided training to 1,400 teachers, SERVE for 100 teachers, and AAR Japan trained 30 child protection officers in two school of Parwan province that resulted in the enrollment of 56 children with hearing, visual, and mental impairments. Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2016), Form H; and response to Monitor questionnaire by UNMAS/DMAC, 8 August 2017.

[80] Response to Monitor questionnaire by UNMAS/DMAC, 8 August 2017.

[81] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Islam Mohammadi, ALSO, 30 July 2017.

[82] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Juliette Coatrieux, HI, 26 April 2015; and by Mohammad Naseem, ABRAAR, 22 April 2015.

[84] UNMAS and USAID, “Monthly Status Update – July 2016 Afghan Civilian Assistance Program (ACAP III),” August 2016.

[85] Response to Monitor questionnaire by UNMAS/DMAC, 8 August 2017.

[86] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Ali Mohabati, Coordinator for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, AIHRC, 9 April 2016.

[87] Articles 4,8, 19, and 24 of the law were amended.

[88] Email from MACCA (consolidated questionnaire, including information from MoE, MoLSAMD, and MoPH), 7 April 2016.

[89] Statement of Afghanistan, Mine Ban Treaty Fifteenth Meeting of States Parties, Santiago, 29 November 2016.

[90] Response to Monitor questionnaire by UNMAS/DMAC, 8 August 2017.

[91] Independent Joint Anti-Corruption Monitoring and Evaluation Committee Vulnerability to Corruption, “Assessment of the Payment System for Martyrs and Persons Disabled by Conflict,” 3 June 2015, p. 5.

[92] US Department of State, “2016 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Afghanistan,” Washington, DC, 13 April 2017.

[93] The conference was held in partnership with the US International Council on Disabilities, the US-Afghan Women’s Council, Georgetown University’s Center for Child and Human Development, Counterpart International, and Trivision. Embassy of Afghanistan, “Final Report Afghan Disability Rights Conference: From Policy to Programming May 23 and 24, 2017 Washington, DC,” undated, but 2017.

[94] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Islam Mohammadi, ALSO, 30 July 2017.

[95] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Alberto Cairo, ICRC, 29 July 2017.

[96] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Bismillah Safi, DAO, 30 July 2017.

[97] Farid Tanha, “Afghanistan: Fighting for Disability RightsDisabled people say they face social prejudice and government inaction,” The Institute for War & Peace Reporting, 6 April 2017.

[98] Statement of Afghanistan, Fifteenth Meeting of States Parties, Santiago, 29 November 2016; and response to Monitor questionnaire by UNMAS/DMAC, 8 August 2017.

[99] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Alberto Cairo, ICRC, 14 April 2016.

[100] The CRPD trainings were conducted in Laghman, Ghazni, Hirat, Kandahar, Takhar, Badakhsahn, Bamyan, Paktia, and Logar.

[101] The provinces were Ningarhar, Kabul, Hirat, Balkh, and Zabul.

[102] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Omara Khann Muneeb, DAO, 5 April 2016.