Status of the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty
There are 164 States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty and one signatory, the Marshall Islands, which has yet to ratify.
For the third consecutive year, 169 states, including 11 non-signatories, voted in favor of the annual United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolution calling for the universalization and full implementation of the treaty.
- No country voted against the resolution, while 17 states abstained, including States Parties Palau and Zimbabwe.
From mid-2020 through October 2021, 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 are indications that new use of antipersonnel mines occurred during the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh in late 2020, but it was not possible to either confirm new use or attribute responsibility to a specific combatant force.
Non-state armed groups (NSAGs) used antipersonnel mines in at least six countries during the reporting period: Afghanistan, Colombia, India, Myanmar, Nigeria, and Pakistan.
- There were unverified reports of sporadic mine use by NSAGs in Cameroon, Egypt, Niger, the Philippines, Thailand, Tunisia, and Venezuela.
Stockpile Destruction and Mines Retained
States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty have destroyed more than 55 million stockpiled antipersonnel mines, including more than 106,500 destroyed in 2020.
- Sri Lanka completed the destruction of its landmine stockpile in 2021, bringing the total number of countries to have declared completion of stockpile destruction to 94.
- Greece and Ukraine remain in violation of the treaty, as both have missed their deadlines to complete destruction of their stockpiles (2008 and 2010 respectively).
- Two States Parties possess approximately 3.6 million antipersonnel mines remaining to be destroyed: Ukraine (3.3 million) and Greece (343,413).
A total of 63 States Parties have reported that they retain a combined total of more than 135,000 antipersonnel mines for training and research purposes, of which 30 retain more than 1,000 mines each.
- Chile destroyed its remaining retained mines during the reporting period.
- Seven States Parties have never reported consuming any mines retained for the permitted purposes since the treaty entered into force for them: Burundi, Cape Verde, Djibouti, Nigeria, Oman, Senegal, and Togo.
The Monitor identifies 12 states as producers of antipersonnel mines: China, Cuba, India, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, the United States (US), and Vietnam. This represents no change from last year’s report.
- Russia and the US are both developing and testing new landmine systems. Though focused on antivehicle mines, these may include victim-activated elements.
- Russia also revealed a new type of antipersonnel mine that has been in development since at least 2015, the POM-3, which is seismically-activated.
2020 was the sixth year in a row with high numbers of recorded casualties due to mines, including improvised types, as well as cluster munition remnants and other explosive remnants of war (ERW). The continuing high casualty total recorded is mostly the result of increased conflict and contamination observed since 2015.
- In 2020, at least 7,073 casualties of mines/ERW were recorded: 2,492 people were killed and 4,561 people were injured, while the survival status was unknown for 20 casualties.
- The 2020 total represents an increase from the 5,853 casualties recorded in 2019, and is more than double the lowest annual recorded total (3,456 in 2013).
- The vast majority of recorded mine/ERW casualties were civilians (80%) where their status was known.
- In 2020, children accounted for half of all civilian casualties where the age was known (1,872).
- As in previous years, in 2020, men and boys made up the majority of all casualties (85%) for which the sex was known.
Casualties in 2020 were identified in 54 states and other areas, of which 38 are States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty.
- Non-signatory Syria recorded the highest number of annual casualties (2,729) for the first time since the Monitor began its reporting in 1999.
- States Parties with over 100 recorded casualties in 2020 were: Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Colombia, Iraq, Mali, Nigeria, Ukraine, and Yemen.
At least 60 states and other areas are contaminated by antipersonnel mines, as of October 2021. This includes 33 States Parties that have declared clearance obligations under Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty, as well as 22 states not party and five other areas.
- Three States Parties that previously declared themselves free of antipersonnel mines have since reported further contamination and submitted new clearance extension requests under Article 5: Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, and Nigeria.
- In addition, four States Parties are suspected or known to have residual contamination (Algeria, Kuwait, Mozambique, and Nicaragua), while five States Parties need to provide information regarding suspected or known contamination by improvised mines (Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Mali, Tunisia, and Venezuela).
Massive antipersonnel mine contamination (defined by the Monitor as more than 100km2) is reported to exist in nine States Parties: Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Cambodia, Croatia, Ethiopia, Iraq, Turkey, Ukraine, and Yemen.
- The extent of contamination in at least two of these countries—Ethiopia and Ukraine—is likely to be considerably less once survey is conducted.
States Parties reported clearance of at least 146km² of contaminated land and the destruction of more than 135,500 antipersonnel mines in 2020. In comparison, 156km² was reported cleared and some 122,000 mines were destroyed in 2019.
- Cambodia and Croatia reported the largest total clearance of mined areas in 2020, with each reporting clearance of more than 45km2 and destroying a combined total of more than 15,000 antipersonnel mines.
- Chile and the United Kingdom (UK) declared completion of clearance of their mined areas in 2020. Argentina was mine-affected by virtue of its assertion of sovereignty over the Falkland Islands/Islas Malvinas but has not yet acknowledged completion.
- In 2020, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Yemen all continued landmine clearance despite ongoing conflict or insecurity.
- Five States Parties reported no clearance in 2020: Cyprus, Ecuador, Mauritania, Peru, and Senegal.
- The COVID-19 pandemic presented challenges to demining operations in several States Parties, leading to the temporary suspension of clearance work in Angola, Chad, Ethiopia, Serbia, South Sudan, and Zimbabwe.
As of October 2021, 24 States Parties have deadlines to meet their Article 5 clearance obligations before or no later than 2025, while seven States Parties have deadlines after 2025.
- Seven countries requested extensions to their clearance deadlines in 2021 which will be considered at the Nineteenth Meeting of States Parties in November: Cyprus, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, Nigeria, Somalia, and Turkey. Some of these requests lack costed and detailed multiyear workplans with annual projections for clearance and survey.
- Eritrea was expected to submit a clearance extension request but has yet to do so, and has been in violation of the treaty since its Article 5 deadline expired in December 2020.
- Only Croatia, Oman, Palestine, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand, and Zimbabwe appear to be on target to meet their clearance deadlines. For the other 16 States Parties with clearance deadlines, land release projections are behind target or progress is unclear.
In 2020, 26 States Parties were known to have provided risk education to populations affected by antipersonnel mine contamination.
- Fifteen States Parties had mechanisms for the coordination of risk education, either through specific technical working group meetings or through inclusion in mine action coordination meetings of the United Nations (UN) Mine Action Sub-Cluster.
- None of the States Parties that submitted a request to extend their clearance deadlines in 2021 included costed and detailed multiyear plans for risk education.
Risk education has been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, as physical distancing and other restrictions limited activities that are usually conducted to reach affected communities and to promote behavioral change, such as face-to-face sessions.
- States Parties and operators adapted to the changing circumstances by implementing and expanding online methods to deliver risk education, including through mass media, mobile phone apps, and social media platforms. Local networks of community volunteers also continued to provide safety messages when risk education teams were unable to do so.
The following findings relate to 34 States Parties with significant numbers of mine victims.
- In 2020, healthcare and rehabilitation activities, previously the most supported sector of victim assistance, faced increasing and numerous challenges in many countries including in accessibility, coordination of services, and supply of materials.
- Only 14 of the 34 States Parties had victim assistance or relevant disability plans in place to address recognized needs and gaps in assistance. At least 10 of the States Parties still need to complete the revision or adoption of a draft national disability strategy relevant to the implementation of victim assistance.
- At least 22 of the States Parties had ‘active’ coordination mechanisms, while survivors’ representatives participated in coordination processes in two-thirds of those States Parties. However, there was little evidence that their input was considered or acted upon.
- Significant gaps remain in access to economic opportunities for survivors and other persons with disabilities in many of the States Parties where livelihood opportunities were most needed.
The Oslo Action Plan includes a commitment on the protection of victims in situations of risk, including situations of armed conflict, humanitarian emergencies, and natural disasters. This action has become particularly important in the context of COVID-19, to continue implementing victim assistance while addressing additional constraints caused by pandemic-related restrictions.
Support for Mine Action
Donors and affected states contributed US$643.5 million in combined international and national support for mine action in 2020.
The level of international support for mine action provided by donors plateaued at $565.2 million in 2020, compared to $561.3 million in 2019.
- The majority of the funding came from just a few donors, with the top five donors—the US, the European Union (EU), Germany, Japan, and Norway—contributing 75% of all international funding for 2020 ($426.1 million).
- The top five recipient states—Iraq, Lao PDR, Afghanistan, Colombia, and Croatia—received a combined total of $252.8 million, representing 45% of all international support.
- International funding was distributed among the following sectors: clearance and risk education (68% of all funding), victim assistance (6%), capacity-building (4%), and advocacy (1%). The remaining 21% was either not disaggregated by donors or was unearmarked.
- In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic increased the impetus for greater flexibility and responsiveness from donors to ensure that operations could continue wherever possible.
The Monitor identified 14 affected states that reported providing a combined total of $78.3 million in national support for their own mine action programs in 2020: Angola, BiH, Cambodia, Colombia, Croatia, Lao PDR, Lebanon, Niger, Peru, Serbia, Sudan, Tajikistan, Thailand, and Turkey.