Armenia

Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Last updated: 02 August 2017

Summary: Non-signatory Armenia says it cannot accede to the convention unless Azerbaijan also joins it and until a settlement is reached on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Armenia has participated in three meetings of the convention, most recently in 2014.

Armenia reported in 2012 that it does not produce, export, stockpile, or use cluster munitions, and does not intend to do so. There is credible evidence that cluster munitions were used in Nagorno-Karabakh in April 2016. Armenia and Azerbaijan accused each other of using cluster munitions, but both denied it.

Policy

The Republic of Armenia has not acceded to the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Armenia has consistently stated that it cannot join unless Azerbaijan does so and until a settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is reached.[1]

In 2014, Armenia told States Parties that it hopes to join the convention, but not at this time due to the security situation in the southern Caucasus and the “war-like attitude of Azerbaijan.”[2] In 2013, a representative stated, “Armenia fully supports the aims of the Convention and hopes that the circumstances will change sometime soon and a positive decision will be taken.”[3]

In December 2016, Armenia abstained from the vote on a UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution that calls on states outside the Convention on Cluster Munitions to “join as soon as possible.” [4] Armenia abstained from the vote on the first UNGA resolution on cluster munitions in December 2015.[5]

Armenia did not participate in the Oslo Process that created the Convention on Cluster Munitions.[6]

Armenia participated as an observer in the convention’s Meetings of States Parties in 2011–2012, and 2014, as well as intersessional meetings in 2013.

In September 2014, Armenia expressed concern over new use of cluster munitions in various conflicts, describing this as “a grave violation” of international humanitarian law.[7]

Armenia has not joined the Mine Ban Treaty and is not party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.

Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling

Since 2012, Armenia has stated several times that it does not produce, export, stockpile, or use cluster munitions, and does not intend to do so.[8] Armenia has also said that it has not “encountered remnants of cluster munitions on the territory of Armenia.”[9]

Cluster munition contamination has been identified in Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory claimed by Azerbaijan but under the control of a breakaway governing authority since the 1988–1994 conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia.[10] There are also reports of contamination in other parts of occupied Azerbaijan, adjacent to Nagorno-Karabakh, which are under the control of Armenian forces.[11]

There is evidence that at least two types of ground-fired cluster munition rockets were used in Nagorno-Karabakh during the first week of April 2016, during fighting across the line of contact separating local Armenian-backed separatists and Azerbaijani forces.

On 6 April 2016, a spokesperson from Armenia’s Ministry of Defense issued photographs showing the remnants of Smerch rockets that he claimed Azerbaijan fired into Nagorno-Karabakh. According to the article, Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh “do not possess weaponry of this kind.”[12] (See the separate entry on Nagorno-Karabakh.)

Cluster Munition Monitor was not able to conduct an independent investigation to make a conclusive determination about responsibility for this cluster munition use.



[1] Letter No. 19/06300 from Armen Yedigarian, Director, Department of Arms Control and International Security, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 29 April 2010; and Letter No. 13/15938 from Arman Kirakosian, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to the CMC, 5 November 2008. Both letters assert that Azerbaijan “still stores a significant quantity and uses the Cluster Munitions.” As of June 2013, the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia stated, “Azerbaijan is a country which still stores a significant quantity of cluster munitions.”

[2] Statement of Armenia, Convention on Cluster Munitions Fifth Meeting of States Parties, San Jose, 3 September 2014. Notes by the CMC.

[3] Statement of Armenia, Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 16 April 2013.

[4]Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution 71/45, 5 December 2016.

[5]Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution 70/54, 7 December 2015. Armenia also abstained during the first round of voting on the draft resolution at UNGA First Committee on Disarmament and International Security on 4 November 2015. “Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution AC.1/70/L.49/Rev.1, 4 November 2015.

[6] For details on Armenia’s policy and practice regarding cluster munitions through early 2010, see ICBL, Cluster Munition Monitor 2010 (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, October 2010), pp. 193–194.

[7] Statement of Armenia, Convention on Cluster Munitions Fifth Meeting of States Parties, San Jose, 3 September 2014. Notes by the CMC.

[8] Letter from Samvel Mkrtchian, Department of Arms Control and International Security, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 13 March 2012; statement of Armenia, Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 16 April 2013; and statement of Armenia, Convention on Cluster Munitions Fifth Meeting of States Parties, San Jose, 3 September 2014. Notes by the CMC.

[9] Letter from Samvel Mkrtchian, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 13 March 2012; and statement of Armenia, Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 16 April 2013.

[10] Nagorno-Karabakh is not recognized by any UN member state. Prior to the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the parliament of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Province voted in 1988 to secede from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) and join the Armenian SSR, which resulted in armed conflict from 1988–1994. The region declared independence as the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic in 1991.

[11] There are reports of contamination in the Fizuli, Terter, and Tovuz districts. Azerbaijan Campaign to Ban Landmines, “Cluster Munitions in Azerbaijan,” undated.

[12] “Armenian MOD provides factual proof of prohibited cluster missile use by Azerbaijani army,” ArmenPress, 6 April 2016.

Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 23 October 2017

Policy

The Republic of Armenia has not acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty. In a letter to Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor in April 2010, Armenia stated that it “cannot become a member of the Mine Ban Treaty at this moment,” but “supports the Treaty and values the idea of transparency and confidence-building measures.”[1] Armenia has not submitted a voluntary Article 7 transparency report.

In its April 2010 letter, Armenia did not mention consideration of the “possibility of accession,” as it did in a letter in 2009.[2]  The 2010 letter reiterated that “Armenia makes it clear that it cannot sign the Treaty unless Azerbaijan agrees to do so.”[3] Armenia still views mines along the border with Azerbaijan as essential to its defense, and officials have stated that the mines will not be removed until peace is established.[4]

Officials have often said that Armenia cannot join the treaty until the territorial dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh has been solved. According to its 2010 letter, “Armenia believes that once an agreement on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is reached, a complete and safe demining of the areas affected by the conflict will become possible in cooperation with all parties concerned.”[5]

Armenia did not participate as an observer at the 2014 Mine Ban Treaty Review Conference in Maputo, or at the 15th Meeting of States Parties in Santiago in November–December 2016.

It voted in favor of UN General Assembly Resolution 71/34 on the Implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction.

Armenia is not party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.  

Production, transfer, stockpile destruction, use

The disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh is contaminated by landmines and remnants of war from the Nagorno-Karabakh War fought from 1992-1994 between Armenia and Azerbaijan. On 1 September 2017, an Armenian soldier was killed in Nagorno-Karabakh after the explosion of a landmine.[6]

Officials have said that Armenia last used antipersonnel mines in April 1994.[7] In April 2010, Armenia repeated past statements that it has never produced or exported antipersonnel mines.[8] It inherited a stockpile of mines from the Soviet Union, but its size and composition is not known. Armenia stated that stockpile information is sensitive and that “the issue to provide this kind of data is contingent on a similar level of political commitment by other parties in the region to present the same information.”[9]



[1] Letter from Armen Yedigarian, Head, Department of Arms Control and International Security, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 29 April 2010. 

[2] Letter from Armen Yedigarian, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 9 June 2009.  

[3] Ibid., 29 April 2010. 

[4] Interview with Col. Vostanik Adoyan, Head, Engineering Corps, Minitsry of Defense, Yerevan, 25 February 2004.

[5] Letter from Armen Yedigarian, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 29 April 2010.

[7] Letter from Armen Yedigarian, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 9 June 2009; and email from Arman Akopian, Director for Arms Control and International Security, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 24 August 2005. See also, Landmine Monitor Report 2005, pp. 658–659. Azerbaijan accused Armenian armed forces of continuing to use antipersonnel mines in 2007 and 2008, but it did not provide any evidence to substantiate the claims. See, Landmine Monitor Report 2009, p. 873. 

[8] Letter from Armen Yedigarian, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 29 April 2010.

[9] Ibid.

Mine Action

Last updated: 13 December 2017

Contaminated by: antipersonnel mines (light contamination), antivehicle mines, and explosive remnants of war (ERW).

As of April 2017, the Republic of Armenia had 9.6km2 of confirmed and suspected mined area containing antipersonnel mines, antivehicle mines, or a combination of both with unexploded ordnance (UXO). Just over 2.9km2 of this contained confirmed antipersonnel mine contamination. This is a decrease from the 24km2 of confirmed and suspected mine contamination at the end of 2015, mainly as a result of the cancelation of 14km2 by non-technical survey in 2016. In 2015, 0.02km2 was cleared, with the destruction of two antipersonnel mines.

Recommendations for action

  • Armenia should clarify the extent of remaining mine contamination, including in military restricted zones, and mobilize the necessary resources to finish clearance.
  • Armenia should finalize its national mine action strategy and set a deadline for completion of mine clearance operations.

Contamination

As of April 2017, Armenia had more than 5.7km2 of confirmed mined area and a further 3.8km2 or suspected mined area, as set out in the table below. The mined areas contain antipersonnel mines, antivehicle mines, or a combination of both, as well as UXO.[1]

Of 97 confirmed hazardous areas (CHAs), 56 contain antipersonnel mines, totaling just over 2.9km2. Three of the six suspected hazardous (SHAs), totaling just over 0.1km2, may also be contaminated by antipersonnel mines. The breakdown of contamination by type is detailed in the table below.[2]

Contamination (as at April 2017)[3]

Type of contamination

CHAs

Area (m2)

SHAs

Area (m2)

AP mines

42

2,222,857

2

105,123

AV mines

41

2,812,916

3

3,728,442

AP and AV mines

11

706,046

0

0

AP mines and UXO

2

12,828

1

377

AP and AV mines and UXO

1

4,842

0

0

Total

97

5,759,489

6

3,833,942

Note: AP = antipersonnel; AV = antivehicle.

Four of Armenia’s 11 provinces still contain CHAs or SHAs. Three are contaminated with both antipersonnel and antivehicle mines, while the fourth is contaminated solely with antivehicle mines, as set out in the table below.[4]

Contamination by province (as at April 2017)[5]

Province

Type of contamination

CHAs

Area (m2)

SHAs

Area (m2)

Gegharqunik

AP mines

3

584,022

2

105,123

AV mines

5

2,428,128

3

3,728,442

Syunik

AP mines

33

1,471,284

0

0

AV mines

23

299,733

0

0

AP and AV mines

8

676,617

0

0

AP mines and UXO

2

12,828

1

377

AP and AV mines and UXO

1

4,842

0

0

Tavush

AP mines

6

167,551

0

0

AV mines

10

15,603

0

0

AP and AV mines

3

29,429

0

0

Vayots Dzor

AVMs

3

67,452

0

0

Total

 

97

5,757,489

6

3,833,942

Note: AP = antipersonnel; AV = antivehicle.


In addition, 14 CHAs and six SHAs contain only UXO. These areas, which total 1.4km2 and 6.4km2, respectively, are located in the provinces of Gegharqunik, Syunik, and Tavush.[6]

This compares to 6.7km2 of confirmed mined area and a further 17.3km2 of suspected mined area, as of the end of 2015.[7] The significant decrease in SHA is because more than 14km2 was canceled by non-technical survey in 2016.[8]

According to the Armenian Center for Humanitarian Demining and Expertise (ACHDE), mine contamination in Armenia is typically not dense and does not follow set patterns.[9] The ACHDE reports that 34,523 people, all in rural communities, are impacted by remaining mine and ERW contamination.[10] Mine contamination in Armenia impacts a range of development activities, including agriculture and tourism.[11] Priority for clearance is given to agricultural land.[12]

Mine and ERW contamination in Armenia is primarily the consequence of armed conflict with Azerbaijan from 1988–1994, which saw both sides use mines. The heaviest contamination is along the borders and confrontation lines with Azerbaijan. Armenia’s border with Georgia has been cleared of mines, whereas the border with Turkey, also mined during the Soviet era, is still contaminated.[13] While non-technical survey in 2012–2013 by the Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD) did not find evidence of mines outside the buffer zones in Ararat province, which borders Turkey, certain areas on that border remain unsurveyed because they are controlled by Russian border troops.[14]

However, non-technical survey conducted by FSD in November 2012 to May 2013 was mandated by the government of Armenia to survey impacted communities only outside the military restricted zone. Therefore, 50 SHAs that fall inside the military perimeter were not included in the survey, which was conducted only within the internationally recognized boundaries of Armenia.[15]

Territory seized from Azerbaijan during the conflict is believed to be significantly contaminated by mines and ERW, including unexploded submunitions.[16] (See the Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh profiles for details.)

Program Management

The ACHDE is Armenia’s national mine action center.[17] It is a civilian, non-commercial state organization responsible for conducting survey and clearance, and identifying contaminated areas. It can negotiate with international demining organizations, accept international funding, sign contracts, and receive international assistance.[18] The ACHDE has an advisory board, composed of representatives from the ministries of defense, emergency situations, territorial administration, and justice.[19]

Strategic planning

Armenia does not yet have a formally constituted national mine action program or strategy.[20]

Alongside development of the draft mine action law (see below), and with the support of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in Yerevan, the ACHDE has been setting up a national mine action program, which will benefit from national funding, guided by a national strategy for mine action and mine action plan.[21] As of April 2017, the draft national strategic plan on mine action was in the final stages of editing, and reportedly includes strategic direction and coordination for mine action, guidance on principles and objectives, an outline of operations and planning, and allocation of financial means.[22]

In 2014, the ACHDE launched an initiative to help improve efficiency in coordinating and directing mine action operations, and ensure a “realistic” land release policy.[23] Criteria used to prioritize clearance tasks include the distance of hazardous areas from local communities, the intended use of land post-clearance, and the potential for development projects on cleared land. To optimize efficient deployment of resources, clearance plans are typically drawn up on a community-by-community basis.[24]

Legislation and standards

The ACHDE reported that with support from the OSCE office in Yerevan, it began drafting national mine action legislation in 2015.[25] As of April 2017, ACHDE reported that the draft law was in “being edited” prior to submission for government approval.[26]

As of April 2017, amendments to the National Mine Action Standards (NMAS) on the use of mine detection dogs (MDDs) were being elaborated, which the ACHDE expected to be submitted for governmental approval in the second half of 2017.[27]

The ACHDE will further develop its standard operation procedures once the draft law on mine action has been adopted.[28]

Operators

Since HALO Trust stopped conducting operations in Armenia in October 2015, only a national capacity for technical survey and clearance remains. In 2016, the Armenian Peacekeeping Engineering Brigade (PKEB), under the Ministry of Defense, deployed two six-strong manual clearance teams from mid-July to October 2016. In addition, the ACHDE had one three-strong non-technical survey team.[29] This represented a considerable decrease in capacity compared to 2015, as no international clearance organization undertook demining operations in Armenia in 2016.[30]

Six MDDs were also introduced in Armenia for the first time in 2016, for use in PKEB’s technical survey. The MDD project is funded by the United States (US) Department of State and private donations from US citizens with support from ITF Enhancing Human Security and the Marshall Legacy Institute.[31] As part of the project, Bosnian Mine Detection Dog Center (MDDC) trainers were leading a dog-handler integration course with PKEB dog handlers.[32] The MDDs were scheduled to undergo final tests and accreditation by ACHDE in the summer of 2017, and if successful, will join the PKEB manual teams in technical survey.[33]

Although HALO Trust no longer conducts mine clearance operations in Armenia, it continues to provide advice and training to ACHDE, as and when required.[34] HALO Trust has also undertaken work to build national capacity in Armenia through a training program, and supervised deminers from the PKEB to international standards.[35] In 2016, as part of the capacity-building project, HALO Trust provided refresher training for nine PKEB leaders on minefield marking, mapping, reporting, GPS coordinates, and minefield management, prior to deployment. In addition, HALO Trust also provided geographic information system (GIS) training to ACHDE staff on polygon mapping and database management.[36]

In January 2014, the Foundation for Demining and Demolition (FDD) was established as a national, civilian, and non-commercial demining organization in Armenia with support from the ACHDE, Geowulf LLC, FSD, and the government of Armenia.[37] Its main tasks are to conduct demining and destroy expired or obsolete arms and ammunition in Armenia.[38] As of April 2017, however, FDD had not conducted any operations since its creation.[39]

Land Release

Less than 0.02km2 of mined area was released by clearance in 2016, compared with 0.07 km2 cleared in 2015. In addition, just under 14.4km2 was canceled by non-technical survey.[40]

Survey in 2016

Through survey in 2016, the ACHDE canceled two huge SHAs totaling almost 13.5km2, and partly canceled a further two CHAs, totaling almost 0.9km2.[41]

Clearance in 2016

In 2016, PKEB teams cleared one mined area totaling 17,310m2, destroying two antipersonnel mines and three items of UXO.[42]

Progress towards completion

One of the objectives of the Armenian Mine Action Strategy 2007–2011 was release through technical survey and clearance of 2.2% (7km2) of the SHAs identified by the LIS and 6.8% of the SHAs outside the restricted military zone.[43] However, scant progress was made towards these targets.[44] Armenia claims that challenges in its mine and ERW clearance include the low level of contamination and the random distribution of mines it is confronting.[45]

Historically, Armenia has not reported systematically on its mine clearance operations, though detailed information was provided for 2014, 2015, and 2016. In the past, demining in Armenia has been slow and productivity rates correspondingly low, with the Ministry of Defense reporting only some 2km2 of mined area cleared from 2002 to the end of 2008.[46] During 2013, only non-technical survey was conducted (by FSD, with the support of ACHDE).[47] In April 2014, clearance operations began again in Armenia, and continued in 2015 and 2016. Humanitarian demining was not carried out prior to this, due to lack of donor funding.[48]

Mine clearance in 2012–2016[49]

Year

Area cleared (km2)

2016

0.02

2015

0.07

2014

0.04

2013

0

2012

0

Total

0.13

 

In October 2015, HALO Trust ceased mine clearance operations in Armenia, leaving only national capacity for survey and clearance provided by the PKEB; and an overall reduction in operational capacity in 2016.

No target data has been set for the completion of mine clearance in Armenia, due to the uncertainty of future funding.[50]

 

 

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] Email from Ruben Arakelyan, Director, Armenian Center for Humanitarian Demining and Expertise (ACHDE), 28 April 2017.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Email from Varsine Miskaryan, Operations Officer, ACHDE, 8 August 2016.

[8] Email from Ruben Arakelyan, ACHDE, 28 April 2017.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Ibid., 19 March 2014, and 28 April 2017; and interview, in Geneva, 1 April 2014.

[14] ACHDE, “FSD non-technical mine action survey,” Yerevan, 2013, p. 9; and emails from Varsine Miskaryan, ACHDE, 8 August 2016; and from Ruben Arakelyan, ACHDE, 28 April 2017.

[15] ACHDE, “FSD non-technical mine action survey,” Yerevan, 2013, pp. 7 and 12.

[16] Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Action (ANAMA), “ANAMA 2017,” undated.

[17] Email from Ruben Arakelyan, ACHDE, 8 June 2015.

[18] Armenian Ministry of Defense, “The New Legal Status of the Humanitarian De-Mining Center,” 13 February 2014.

[19] ACHDE, “About us,” undated.

[20] Email from Ruben Arakelyan, ACHDE, 30 March 2015.

[21] Email from Varsine Miskaryan, ACHDE, 8 August 2016.

[22] Email from Ruben Arakelyan, ACHDE, 28 April 2017.

[23] Ibid., 30 March 2015.

[24] Ibid., 28 April 2017.

[25] Email from Varsine Miskaryan, ACHDE, 8 August 2016.

[26] Email from Ruben Arakelyan, ACHDE, 28 April 2017.

[27] Ibid.

[28] Email from Varsine Miskaryan, ACHDE, 8 August 2016.

[29] Email from Ruben Arakelyan, ACHDE, 28 April 2017.

[30] Ibid.

[31] Email from Varsine Miskaryan, ACHDE, 8 August 2016.

[32] Ibid.

[33] Email from Ruben Arakelyan, ACHDE, 28 April 2017.

[34] Ibid.; and from Ash Boddy, Regional Director, HALO Trust, 31 March 2017.

[35] Interview with Ruben Arakelyan, ACHDE, in Geneva, 1 April 2014; and email from Andrew Moore, HALO Trust, 22 May 2015.

[36] Emails from Ash Boddy, HALO Trust, 31 March 2017; and from Ruben Arakelyan, ACHDE, 28 April 2017.

[37] Email from Ruben Arakelyan, ACHDE, 20 March 2014.

[38] Ibid., 19 March 2014.

[39] Ibid., 28 April 2017.

[40] Ibid.

[41] Ibid.

[42] Ibid.

[43] Armenia, “Armenia Mine Action Strategy 2007–2011,” Yerevan, 2006, p. 36.

[44] See, V. Bohle and N. Weigel, “EC-Funded Mine Actions in the Caucasus and Central Asia,” Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD), 2009, pp. 25–31.

[45] Ibid.; and email from Ruben Arakelyan, ACHDE, 28 April 2017.

[46] Mediamax, “Armenian Minister of Defence visited the Center for Humanitarian Demining and Expertise,” 5 April 2011.

[47] Email from Valeria Fabbroni, FSD, 26 February 2014.

[48] Email from Ruben Arakelyan, ACHDE, 30 March 2015.

[49] See Landmine Monitor and Mine Action Review reports on Armenia in 2011–2014; and ACHDE, “FSD non-technical mine action survey,” Yerevan, 2013, p. 21.

[50] ACHDE, “FSD non-technical mine action survey,” Yerevan, 2013, p. 21.

Support for Mine Action

Last updated: 06 December 2013

In September 2012, the United States (US) awarded a grant of US$391,000 to the Swiss Foundation for Demining (Fondation Suisse de Déminage)to support a resurvey to further reduce the 102 suspected hazardous areas that had been identified in the 2005 Landmine Impact Survey.[1]

 



[1] US Department of State, To Walk the Earth in Safety 2013 (Washington, DC, August 2013), p. 33.

Casualties and Victim Assistance

Last updated: 16 December 2015

Casualty Overview

All known casualties by end 2014

At least 624 mine/explosive remnants of war (ERW) casualties (126 killed; 347 injured; 151 unknown)

Casualties in 2014

24 (2013: 6)

2014 casualties by outcome

3 killed; 21 injured (2013: 3 killed; 3 injured)

2014 casualties by device type

24 antipersonnel mine

 

The Armenian Center for Humanitarian Demining and Expertise identified 24 new mine casualties in 2014, including three people killed. The majority of new casualties were military, police, or deminers, with two killed and 17 injured. Of the five civilian casualties, one was killed and four were injured.[1] In 2013, six new mine casualties were identified.[2] In 2012, no new mine/ERW casualties were identified in the Republic of Armenia, however, in 2011, six mine casualties were recorded.[3] The significant rise in reported casualties in 2014 may be an indication of improved availability of data.

At least 624 mine/ERW casualties (126 killed; 347 injured; 151 of unknown status) have been reported in Armenia since 1990.[4] The Armenia Landmine Impact Survey from 2005 identified 394 casualties (110 killed; 284 injured).[5] The subsequent Non-Technical Mine Action Survey conducted by the Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (SFD) between November 2012 and May 2013 with the view to complete the 2005 survey, identified a total of 271 non-recent victims while noting that it was impossible to log all victims during the survey.[6]

Victim Assistance

The Monitor has identified at least 347 mine/ERW survivors in Armenia. Other reports have recorded over 580 “mine victims,” which could include family members of people who have been killed by mines/ERW.[7]

In 2014, the ICRC continued to support the Armenian Red Cross Society (ARCS) in a program of data collection on the needs of mine/ERW survivors. The data collection was completed and awaiting entry into the IMSMA database. This database is managed by the ARCS in close cooperation and collaboration with the Armenian Center for Humanitarian Demining and Expertise.[8]

Armenia has no victim assistance coordination or specific victim assistance strategy. Mine/ERW survivors receive the same services as other persons with disabilities.

The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs is responsible for protecting the rights of persons with disabilities, but it reportedly failed to do that effectively.[9]

In 2014, the International Organization for Migration in Armenia continued a socioeconomic reintegration project for survivors supported by ITF Enhancing Human Security that began in 2009. Project activities included micro-credit, skills training, and enhancing government ownership of victim assistance. This program is part of a three-year project in the South Caucasus region that takes a regional approach to implementation by supporting networking between Armenia and Georgia, assessing barriers and needs, and providing recommendations on improved access to employment for persons with disabilities including mine victims.[10] In 2014, ICRC teams carried out psychological support and economic inclusion programs that included mine victims.[11]

The law prohibits discrimination against persons with any disability; however, discrimination remained a problem. The law and a special government decree mandated accessibility to buildings for persons with disabilities, but very few buildings were accessible. Persons with disabilities experienced problems in virtually all areas of life, including healthcare, social and psychological rehabilitation, education, transportation, communication, access to employment, and social protection. Social acceptance was even more difficult for women with disabilities. According to official data, more than 90% of persons with disabilities who were able to work were unemployed.[12]

Armenia ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) on 22 September 2010.



[1] Email from Buben Arakelyan, Director, Center for Humanitarian Demining and Expertise, 6 March 2015.

[3]Two Young Armenian Boys Injured from Land Mine,” Press.am, 25 January 2011; and United States (US) Department of State, “2011 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Armenia,” Washington, DC, 24 May 2012.

[4] Email from Gayane Armaghanova, Vice-Chair, Armenian National Committee of the ICBL (ANC-ICBL), 22 April 2007; and US Department of State, “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Armenia 2009–2011.” There has been no consistent casualty data collection in Armenia. Prior to 2007, information on military casualties was not available and therefore it is not possible to compare trends over time.

[5] UNDP, “Landmine Impact Survey, Republic of Armenia, 2005,” Yerevan, p. 17.

[7] ANC-ICBL identified 548 survivors through 2007 and 34 injured casualties between 2008 and 2010. Email from Gayane Armaghanova, ANC-ICBL, 22 April 2007. In 2012, ITF Enhancing Human Security reported that there were over 580 mine victims in Armenia. ITF Enhancing Human Security, “Annual Report 2011,” Ljubljana, 2012, p. 68. ITF Enhancing Human Security was formerly known as the International Trust Fund for Demining and Victims Assistance (Slovenia).

[8] Email from Herbi Elmazi, Regional Weapon Contamination Advisor, Regional Delegation for the Russian Federation, ICRC, 9 April 2015; and email from Buben Arakelyan, Center for Humanitarian Demining and Expertise, 6 March 2015.

[9] US Department of State, “2013 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Armenia,” Washington, DC, 27 February 2014, p. 36.

[10] Email from Natasa Ursic, Project Manager, ITF Enhancing Human Security, 3 April 2015; and ITF Enhancing Human Security, “Annual Report 2013,” Ljubljana, 2014, pp. 57–59; “Annual Report 2012,” Ljubljana, 2013, pp. 91–92; and “Annual Report 2011,” Ljubljana, 2012, p. 68.

[11] Email from Buben Arakelyan, Center for Humanitarian Demining and Expertise, 6 March 2015.

[12] US Department of State, “2014 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Armenia,” Washington, DC, 25 June 2015.