Landmine Monitor 2018, the 20th annual Landmine Monitor publication examining progress toward a mine-free world, continues to find that the Mine Ban Treaty regime is a resounding success. After two new states acceded in late 2017, 164 countries are now bound by and dutifully implementing the treaty’s provisions. The stigma against landmines remains strong. Only a small number of non-state armed groups use the banned weapons, often in the form of improvised mines. These have again resulted in a high number of casualties in 2017, with the majority of victims being civilians, nearly half of whom were children. As countries continue to work to clear mine-contaminated land, the Monitor identifies much that remains to be done, including to support the needs of landmine survivors and their communities. Countries both inside and outside the regime are contributing record high resources toward mine clearance and other mine action activities, affirming the impact that this first humanitarian disarmament treaty continues to have after 20 years.
There are 164 States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty and one signatory—Marshall Islands—that has yet to ratify.
- Two countries joined the treaty in 2017, both in December: Sri Lanka acceded on 13 December, while the State of Palestine acceded on 29 December.
From October 2017 through October 2018, Landmine Monitor has confirmed new use of antipersonnel mines by the government forces of one country—Myanmar, which is not party to the Mine Ban Treaty.
- There have been no allegations of the use of antipersonnel mines by States Parties to the treaty in the reporting period.
- Landmine Monitor has not documented or confirmed any use of antipersonnel mines by Syrian government forces during this reporting period.
Non-state armed groups (NSAGs) used antipersonnel mines in at least eight countries: Afghanistan, Colombia, India, Myanmar, Nigeria, Pakistan, Thailand, and Yemen.
- Forces of the Islamic State likely continued to use improvised landmines in Iraq and Syria, but the lack of access to affected areas by independent sources makes it difficult to confirm new use in the reporting period.
- Landmine Monitor was unable to confirm allegations of new antipersonnel mine use by NSAGs in Cameroon, Iraq, Mali, Libya, Philippines, Tunisia, and Ukraine in the reporting period.
2017 was the third year in a row with exceptionally high numbers of recorded casualties due to landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW)—including improvised types that act as antipersonnel mines (also called improvised mines), cluster munition remnants, and other ERW.
- In 2017, the Monitor recorded 7,239 casualties by landmines/ERW—2,793 people were killed, 4,431 people were injured, and for 15 casualties the survival status was unknown.
- The continuing high total was influenced by casualties recorded in countries facing armed conflict and large-scale violence, particularly Afghanistan and Syria, as well as Ukraine, Iraq, Pakistan, Nigeria, Myanmar, Libya, and Yemen. Accurate data gathering for active conflicts, however, remains challenging.
- The casualty count for 2017 was a decrease on that of 2016, which had marked the highest number of annual recorded casualties in Monitor data since 1999, but the total remained far higher than the annual casualty rate of five-years ago.
- For a second year in a row, the highest numbers in Monitor history were recorded for annual casualties caused by improvised mines (2,716) and for child casualties (2,452).
Casualties in 2017 were identified in 49 countries, of which 35 are States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty, and in four other areas.
- The vast majority of recorded landmine/ERW casualties were civilians (87%) where their status was known, an even higher ratio than in recent years.
- In 2017, children accounted for 47% of all civilian casualties where the age was known, an increase of 5 percentage points from the 2016 annual total.
- Women and girls made up 13% of all casualties where the sex was known.
- The Monitor has recorded more than 122,000 mine/ERW casualties since its global tracking began in 1999, including some 86,000 survivors.
Support for Mine Action
Donors and affected states contributed approximately US$771.5 million in combined international and national support for mine action in 2017, an increase of $203.6 million (36%) compared to 2016.
- This represents the highest combined total of international and national mine action funding ever reported in Monitor data, going back to 1996.
In 2017, international donors contributed $673.2 million to mine action in 38 states and three other areas, an increase of $190.3 million (39%) compared with 2016.
- This represents the highest level of international support ever recorded by the Monitor.
- The top five mine action donors—the United States (US), Germany, the European Union (EU), Norway, and Japan—contributed 79% of all international funding, with a combined total of $435.4 million.
- The record 2017 total was primarily the result of massive increases in the contributions of the US ($309.0 million total, a $156.6 million increase) and Germany ($84.4 million total, a $47.1 million increase).
- Mine action in five states—Iraq, Syria, Colombia, Afghanistan, and Lao PDR—received $435.4 million, or 65% of all international support in 2017.
- The largest increases were for activities in Iraq and Syria, receiving respectively $120 million ($207.0 million total) and $70.8 million ($89.4 million total) more than in 2016.
- Donor support explicitly dedicated to victim assistance remains low and difficult to track, representing only 2% of identifiable international support in 2017.
Ten affected states reported providing $98.3 million in national support for their own mine action programs, an increase of $13.3 million (16%) compared with 2016.
Contamination and Clearance
Sixty states and areas are contaminated by antipersonnel mines as of November 2018.
- This includes 34 States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty, 22 states not party, and four other areas.
- Mauritania completed clearance in December 2017. Mozambique, which had declared completion in 2015 but subsequently found previously unidentified antipersonnel mine contamination in 2016 and 2017, completed clearance in May 2017.
- Massive antipersonnel mine contamination (more than 100 km2 total per country) is believed to exist in Afghanistan, Angola, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Cambodia, Chad, Croatia, Iraq, Thailand, Turkey, Yemen, and other area Western Sahara.
About 128 km2 of land was reported to be cleared of landmines in 2017, less than the 145km2 revised total reported for 2016.
- In 2017, more than 168,000 antipersonnel mines and some 7,500 antivehicle mines were destroyed. This represented a significant decrease from the 2016 results. However, this is an underestimation as some actors do not systematically report clearance results.
- In 2017, clearance was reported in two-thirds of the contaminated states and areas: 29 States Parties, eight states not party, and three other areas.
- The largest total clearance of mined areas in 2017 was achieved in Afghanistan, Croatia, Iraq, and Cambodia (the same countries as 2016), which together accounted for more than 80% of recorded clearance.
- In 2017, three States Parties used non-technical and technical survey to release significant amounts of land—more than 30km2—thus greatly decreasing their estimate of remaining contamination: Angola, Cambodia, and Thailand.
- Over the past five years (2013–2017), approximately 832km2 of mined areas have been cleared. Some 1.1 million antipersonnel mines and more than 66,000 antivehicle mines have been destroyed in the context of mine and battle area clearance.
Twenty-nine States Parties, one state not party, and one other area have completed clearance of all mined areas on their territory since the Mine Ban Treaty entered into force in 1999.
- Jordan and Nigeria, where antipersonnel mine contamination is found, should declare that they have obligations under Article 5 and request a new deadline to complete clearance.
- Five States Parties were granted extended clearance deadlines at the Sixteenth Meeting of States Parties in 2017: Angola, Ecuador, Iraq, Thailand, and Zimbabwe. Seven States Parties requested extended deadlines for approval at the Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties in November 2018: BiH, Croatia, Cyprus, Serbia, Sudan, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.
- Only four States Parties appear to be on track to meet their treaty-mandated clearance deadlines: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Peru, Sri Lanka, and Zimbabwe.
- The political declaration adopted at the Mine Ban Treaty’s Third Review Conference in 2014 includes a commitment to fulfill treaty obligations to the fullest extent possible by 2025. Although most countries are not on track with their respective Article 5 clearance deadlines, the majority should reach the 2025 clearance goal, with sufficient funds and commitment, and where security conditions permit.
- Almost all States Parties with mine contamination have a national mine action program or institutions that are assigned to fulfill the state’s clearance obligations. In stark contrast, fewer than half of the states not party with landmine contamination have functioning mine action programs.
In 2017–2018, most States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty with significant numbers of mine victims lacked suitable resources and practices to fulfill the commitments they have made in the 2014–2019 Maputo Action Plan. Findings below relate to 33 States Parties with significant numbers of mine victims. The needs for assisting victims remain great, including in the newest States Parties Palestine and Sri Lanka.
- In most States Parties, some efforts to improve the quality and quantity of health and physical rehabilitation programs for survivors were undertaken.
- Nevertheless, following reductions in resources in recent years, many countries saw near-stagnation in the remaining core assistance services for mine/ERW victims. Survivor networks also struggled to maintain their operations as they faced decreased resources.
- Services remained largely centralized, preventing many mine/ERW survivors who live in remote and rural areas from accessing those services. Shortages of raw materials and financial resources were an obstacle to improvements in the physical rehabilitation sector in several countries.
- Only 14 of the 33 States Parties had victim assistance or relevant disability plans in place to address recognized needs and gaps in assistance.
- Approximately two-thirds of the States Parties had active coordination mechanisms, and survivors’ representatives participated in 18 of the coordinating processes among those 21 States Parties. State initiatives for capacity-building toward increased participation of mine victims were almost never reported.
- Significant gaps remain in access to employment, training, and other income-generation support activities in many of the States Parties where opportunities for livelihoods were most needed.
Stockpile Destruction, Production, and Transfer
States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty have destroyed more than 54 million stockpiled antipersonnel mines, including more than 500,000 destroyed in 2017.
- Greece and Ukraine remain in violation of the convention having missed their four-year deadline to complete destruction of their stockpiles.
- Two States Parties possess more than five million antipersonnel mines remaining to be destroyed: Ukraine (4.4 million) and Greece (643,267). Oman (7,630) plans to destroy its stocks by February 2019.
In 1999, all states collectively (both treaty signatories and non-signatories) stockpiled about 160 million antipersonnel mines, but today the global total may be less than 50 million.
Forty-one states have ceased production of antipersonnel mines, including four that are not party to the Mine Ban Treaty: Egypt, Israel, Nepal, and the US.
- The Monitor lists 11 states as landmine producers because they have yet to disavow future production, unchanged from the previous report: China, Cuba, India, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, and Vietnam.
- Those most likely to be actively producing are India, Myanmar, Pakistan, and South Korea.
- NSAGs produce improvised landmines in Afghanistan, Iraq, Myanmar, Nigeria, Pakistan, Syria, and Yemen.
- Houthi forces in Yemen were “mass producing” landmines, including victim-activated IEDs (improvised mines).
At least nine states not party to the ban have formal moratoriums on the export of antipersonnel mines: China, India, Israel, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, and the US.