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Table of Contents
Country Reports
LANDMINE/UXO CASUALTIES AND SURVIVOR ASSISTANCE, Executive Summary - Landmine Monitor Report 2001
 
<Mine Action | Casualties and Assistance>

LANDMINE/UXO CASUALTIES AND SURVIVOR ASSISTANCE

New Victims in 2000-2001

Although progress has been made since the entry into force of the Mine Ban Treaty, landmines and unexploded ordnance continue to claim new victims.[27] In 2000 and through May 2001, Landmine Monitor finds that there were new landmine/UXO victims in 73 countries.[28] Landmine Monitor also registered mine casualties in nine regions it monitors because of their significant landmine/UXO problems.[29] In calendar year 2000, new victims were registered in 70 countries and eight regions. In 2001, additional casualties were recorded in Cuba, Ecuador, Indonesia and the Golan Heights. The sources of data included official databases, government records, hospital records, media reports, surveys/assessments, and interviews.

Landmine Monitor has identified approximately 8,000 new landmine/UXO casualties in calendar year 2000. However, this number is far from the actual total of new mine victims. This figure does not include the thousands of casualties that are believed to go unreported as victims are killed or injured in remote areas away from any form of assistance or means of communication. There is no reliable reporting in some heavily-affected countries; for example, the 8,000 figure does not include casualties in Burma (which Landmine Monitor Report 2000 estimated could be some 1,500 per year), or in Vietnam (where the government estimates more than 100,000 mine/UXO casualties since the war’s end).

While it is impossible to arrive at a precise total, it would seem certain that the number of new mine victims is now on the order of 15,000 to 20,000 per year, an encouraging decline from the long-standing and widely used estimate of 26,000 per year.

From January 2000 to the end of May 2001, landmine/UXO casualties were reported in:

Landmine and UXO Casualties In 2000-2001
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe/ Central Asia
Middle East/ North Africa
Angola
Bolivia
Afghanistan
Albania
Algeria
Burundi
Chile
Bangladesh
Armenia
Egypt
Chad
Colombia
Burma (Myanmar)
Azerbaijan
Iran
DR Congo
Cuba
Cambodia
Belarus*
Iraq
Djibouti
Ecuador
China
Belgium*
Israel
Eritrea
El Salvador
India
Bosnia-Herzegovina
Jordan
Ethiopia
Nicaragua
Indonesia
Croatia
Kuwait
Guinea-Bissau
Peru
Korea, RO
Estonia
Lebanon
Kenya

Laos
Georgia
Morocco
Liberia

Mongolia*
Greece
Yemen
Malawi

Nepal
Kyrgyzstan
Golan Heights
Mauritania

Pakistan
Latvia*
Northern Iraq
(Iraqi Kurdistan)
Mozambique

Philippines
Macedonia
Palestine
Namibia

Sri Lanka
Russia
Western Sahara
Rwanda

Thailand
Tajikistan

Senegal

Vietnam
Turkey

Somalia

Ukraine

Sudan

Uzbekistan

Uganda

Yugoslavia, FR

Zimbabwe

Abkhazia

Somaliland

Chechnya

Kosovo

Nagorno-Karabakh

* Casualties identified as being caused by UXO only

Scale of the Problem

Complete data on landmine/UXO casualties is difficult to obtain, particularly in countries experiencing ongoing conflict or with limited communication systems. To address this problem, in several mine-affected countries databases have been set up to systematically collect information on mine victims. In others, NGOs are carrying out surveys to assess the extent of the problem.

In 2000-2001, as shown in the chart, mine/UXO accidents are still occurring in every region of the world: in 20 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, in 19 countries in Europe and Central Asia, in 16 countries in Asia and the Pacific, in 10 countries in the Middle East and North Africa, and in 8 countries in the Americas. While ongoing conflict is a major problem in several mine-affected countries, Landmine Monitor has found that a majority (45) of the 73 countries that suffered new mine/UXO casualties in 2000-2001 had not experienced any active armed conflict during the research period. In many cases, the conflict had ended years or even decades ago.

Although in many instances Landmine Monitor considers the casualty figures to be incomplete, a sampling of the findings from the Landmine Monitor Report 2001 country reports follows. It should be noted these findings are for calendar year 2000, unless otherwise stated, and that some include casualties only for certain regions of a country.

  • In Angola, 840 casualties were recorded;
  • In Bosnia-Herzegovina, 92 casualties were recorded;
  • In Chad, approximately 300 casualties were reported over the past 24 months;
  • In Colombia, 83 casualties were reported;
  • In the Democratic Republic of Congo, 189 casualties have been reported since 1997;
  • In Eritrea, 49 casualties were reported in May and June 2000;
  • In Georgia, 51 casualties were reported between January and June 2001;
  • In Lebanon, 113 casualties were recorded;
  • In Namibia, 139 casualties were reported;
  • In Somalia, 147 casualties were reported in just two central regions;
  • In Somaliland, 107 casualties were recorded;
  • In Sudan, more than 321 casualties were reported between September 1999 and March 2001;
  • In Tajikistan, 58 casualties were reported between August 2000 and early May 2001;
  • In Thailand, 350 casualties were identified in the Level One Survey over the past 24 months;
  • In Uganda, 602 casualties were identified between 1991 and March 2001.

Several countries reported mine/UXO casualties in 2000 and 2001 that had not done so in 1999: Bolivia, Cuba, El Salvador, Indonesia, Malawi, and Uzbekistan. Only in the cases of Indonesia (Aceh) and Uzbekistan were the new mine/UXO casualties the result of new instances of conflict.

Several countries were dropped from Landmine Monitor’s previous casualty list, due to lack of tangible evidence to indicate new victims, although these countries remain mine-affected: Cyprus, North Korea, Moldova, Niger, Oman, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, and Zambia. It should be noted that although Tanzania has recorded no new casualties in 2000-2001, the country does provide assistance to mine survivors coming over the border from Burundi.

In some of the heavily-affected countries and regions, notably those with established mine casualty databases, it appears that the casualty rate is declining, in some cases quite substantially:

  • In Afghanistan, an average of 88 casualties per month were recorded in 2000, compared to 130 per month in 1999; although it should be noted that MAPA still estimates a true casualty rate of between 150 and 300 per month;
  • In Albania, 35 casualties were recorded in 2000, down from 191 in 1999;
  • In Cambodia, 802 casualties were recorded in 2000, down from 1,049 in 1999;
  • In Croatia, 22 casualties were recorded in 2000, down from 51 in 1999;
  • In Kosovo, 95 casualties were recorded in 2000, down from 342 registered between 16 June (end of conflict) and 31 December 1999;
  • In Nagorno-Karabakh, 15 casualties were recorded in 2000, down from 30 in 1999.

In a number of mine-affected countries and regions the casualty rate appeared to increase in 2000-2001. In some countries the increase is due to new or expanded conflict, or the movement of refugees and IDPs: Colombia, Chechnya, Ethiopia, Lebanon, Namibia, and Tajikistan.  In other countries the increase appears to be a result of improved data collection, for example, Armenia, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.

In 2000/2001, landmine/UXO casualties also include nationals coming from mine-free countries, or other mine-affected countries, killed or injured while abroad engaged in military or demining operations, peacekeeping, tourism, or other activities. These countries include Bhutan, Canada, France, Honduras, Macedonia, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

In addition to the new casualties registered in 2000-2001, Landmine Monitor has previously identified more than 30 other countries with an incidence of landmine survivors from previous years. In other words, countries with no new landmine casualties in 2000-2001, but which nevertheless have landmine survivors from prior years that still require assistance. Consequently, more than half the countries in the world are affected to some extent by the landmine problem and the issue of survivors.

Regardless of the difficulties in obtaining complete data, based on the information gathered for Landmine Monitor Report 2001, two points are clear:

  • landmines continue to pose a significant, lasting and non-discriminatory threat; and
  • the majority of new mine victims are civilians.

Landmine Victims: Needs and Assistance

The principal actors in victim assistance generally agree that victim assistance includes the following components:[30]

Pre-hospital Care (first aid and management of injuries): Healthcare and community workers in mine-affected areas should be trained in emergency first aid to respond effectively to landmine and other traumatic injuries.

Hospital Care (medical care, surgery, pain management): Medical facilities should have medical care and supplies that meet basic standards.

Rehabilitation (physiotherapy, prosthetic appliances and assistive devices, psychological support): Rehabilitative services should produce devices that are safe, durable, and can be maintained and repaired locally. Community-based peer support groups can offer cost-effective psychological, social and other benefits.

Social and Economic Reintegration (associations, skills and vocational training, income generating projects, sports): Assistance programs must work to improve the economic status of the disabled population in mine-affected communities through education, economic development and community infrastructure and creation of employment opportunities.

Disability Policy and Practice (education and public awareness and disability laws): National legislation should promote effective treatment, care and protection for all disabled citizens, including landmine survivors.

Health and Social Welfare Surveillance and Research capacities (data collection, processing, analysis, and reporting).

Survivor/Victim Assistance

The Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on Victim Assistance promotes a comprehensive, integrated approach to victim assistance that rests on a three-tiered definition of a landmine victim. This means that a victim includes directly affected individuals, their families, and mine-affected communities. Consequently, victim assistance is viewed as a wide range of activities that benefit individuals, families and communities.

However, throughout the Landmine Monitor Report 2001 the term Survivor Assistance is used in the country reports to describe activities directed at landmine victims. The focus of the research for this report is on the individual directly affected by a mine accident. The use of the term survivor is intended to emphasize this distinction.

Capacities of Affected States to Provide Assistance to Landmine Victims

A detailed analysis of States’ efforts and capacities to adequately address the needs of landmine victims, and the disabled in general, is beyond the scope of the research undertaken for this report.[31] In the Landmine Monitor Report 2000, details on the availability of the various components of survivor assistance in mine-affected countries were presented.[32] Little has changed in the provision of services during this reporting period. Nevertheless, from the research collected some general observations can be made.

  • It is believed that many mine casualties die before reaching medical assistance;
  • In many of the countries reporting new casualties, the assistance provided to mine victims is inadequate to meet their needs;
  • Most services are located in urban centers whereas the majority of mine survivors can be found in rural areas where the concentration of mine pollution is greatest;
  • The majority of resources continue to be directed toward medical and physical rehabilitation;
  • In the majority of countries with mine survivors the demand for new and replacement prostheses exceeds the available supply;
  • Generally, the availability of assistance in psychological support and socio-economic reintegration is limited or non-existent;
  • International Organizations, international and local NGOs, and UN agencies continue to play a key role in the delivery of services to mine survivors;
  • Generally, the care afforded to civilian mine casualties is not as comprehensive as that available to military casualties;
  • The economic situation of many mine-affected countries is an obstacle to the provision of adequate assistance to landmine survivors;
  • On-going conflict, and the consequent security concerns, in some mine-affected countries is severely hampering the ability of the government and international agencies to provide adequate assistance to landmine survivors; and
  • The development of programs that address the needs of landmine survivors, and the disabled population in general, is being hampered by the practice of many donors to only fund individual programs for a limited period of time. A commitment to long-term funding is needed to ensure sustainability and the building of local capacities to carry-on the programs.

Sample of Regional Developments and Key Findings

Global

  • In 2000, the ICRC provided prostheses to 9,882 landmine amputees.[33]
  • Form J, the voluntary victim assistance reporting attachment to the Article 7 Report was submitted by eleven governments up to July 2001: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Japan, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Peru, Sweden, Thailand, and Zimbabwe.

Africa

  • In Angola, national authorities have adopted a new five-year plan for physical rehabilitation.
  • In Mozambique, the recently created Council for Action on Disability will work closely with NGOs and international agencies to build capacity internally and move toward long-term sustainability of programs for the disabled.
  • In Uganda, a new disability policy has been put in place.

Americas

  • In Colombia, the government has launched a new Program for Mine Accident Prevention and Victim Assistance.
  • In Guatemala, the Center for International Rehabilitation is designing a specific victim assistance and rehabilitation program that will be replicated throughout the country in coordination with the Ministry of Health.
  • In Nicaragua, the government, through the CND and together with NGOs and international organizations, is in the process of developing a national policy on victim assistance that will take into account rehabilitation and economic reintegration.

Asia-Pacific

  • In Afghanistan, due to a budget shortfall in 2000, UNOPS/CDAP had to reduce its community rehabilitation program from 64 to 46 districts.
  • In Cambodia, the Disability Action Council, together with affiliated members and relevant government ministries, issued the Cambodian Plan of Action, which provides an orientation strategy for the disability and rehabilitation sector.
  • In China, the CCW Amended Protocol II Article 13 report included for the first time a section on Rehabilitation and Relief of Civilians Accidentally Injured by Landmines.

Europe/Central Asia

  • In Albania, an agreement was signed between the Albanian Mine Action Center and the Slovenian International Trust Fund to provide forty mine survivors with prostheses up to June 2001.
  • In Armenia, in October 2000 the Yerevan Prosthetic and Orthotic Center stopped providing medical assistance due to a lack of funding. Operations were resumed in February 2001.
  • In Azerbaijan, the Victim Assistance component of the National Mine Action Plan, budgeted to cost $150,000, has not been implemented due to the absence of donor funding.
  • In Chechnya, UNICEF with the support of a local NGO, Voice of the Mountains, is developing a database on mine casualties. Women and children were reported as suffering 34 percent of all landmine and UXO injuries, which account for 67 percent of all casualties related to hostilities.
  • In Georgia, the Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs is developing a special program for the care and rehabilitation of the disabled.
  • In Ukraine, the government fulfilled its budget obligations and financed the activities of the orthopedic centers in full. A series of state decrees relating to the disabled, including mine victims, have been accepted.

Middle East/North Africa

  • In Algeria, the Ministry of National Solidarity and Handicap International signed a partnership agreement to establish a program to provide assistance to the disabled.
  • In Egypt, the Minister of Social Affairs signed a year 2000 budget for $27,000 for the compensation of mine/UXO victims.
  • In Iraq, the ICRC reports that an estimated 3,000 patients per year receive ICRC prostheses, of whom over 50 percent are mine survivors.
  • In Lebanon, the Ministry of Health stopped providing prosthetic services due to a lack of funding. In May 2000, a new disability law was passed by the Parliament.
  • In Yemen, the Ministry of Insurance, Social Affairs, and Labor (MOISA) and the Ministry of Public Health, in partnership with Handicap International (Belgium) established a rehabilitation center in Aden. MOISA has reorganized its community based rehabilitation program to be more responsive to the needs of landmine survivors.

Addressing the Needs of Survivors

Added to the number of new casualties each year are the survivors from previous years, estimated in Landmine Monitor Report 1999 to number 300,000. Consequently, the number of survivors requiring assistance continues to grow every year. In many mine-affected countries, the assistance provided to mine survivors remains inadequate to meet their needs.

In contrast to mine clearance activities, which potentially have an end point, the needs of landmine survivors are long-term. A landmine survivor will require ongoing medical and rehabilitation services, and services assisting in socio-economic reintegration and psychological support. For amputees, prostheses will require repair and replacement. To ensure sustainability, assistance to landmine survivors should be viewed as a part of a country’s overall public health and social services system. Landmine survivors should not be viewed as a group separate from other war victims or persons with disabilities. In providing resources to support programs that address the needs of landmine survivors, the international community is in effect assisting to build the infrastructure that will benefit all people with disabilities in a mine-affected country. Ideally, victim assistance programs should be open to all persons with disabilities, but with clear benefits and explicit inclusion of landmine victims. It is essential that support from the international community focuses on local capacity-building and that each element of victim assistance be seen as a step towards the complete rehabilitation of survivors, and other persons with disabilities, into the wider community.

States and Victim Assistance

The Mine Ban Treaty requires, in Article 6.3, that “Each State in a position to do so shall provide assistance for the care and rehabilitation, and social and economic reintegration, of mine victims and for mine awareness programs.”

As with the number of new victims, precise, comprehensive and comparable figures for victim assistance funding are difficult to obtain as some governments do not provide specific amounts for victim assistance, but rather consider victim assistance as an integrated part of humanitarian mine action. In other instances, some countries, for example the United Kingdom, do not specify amounts for victim assistance although assistance is provided through bilateral development cooperation. Another problem is differences in reporting periods (fiscal years) in donor countries. In addition, many victim assistance programs are carried out by NGOs who receive funding from private donors. Therefore, information provided by Landmine Monitor should not be taken as fully representative of the total global funding for victim assistance programs in a given year.

From information provided in country reports, donors to mine victim assistance in 2000-2001 included:[34]

Australia $1.88 million

Austria $233,105

Belgium $716,172

Canada $1.34 million

Finland $147,000

France $213,980

Germany $1 million

Ireland $341,743

Italy $1.32 million

Japan $1.14 million

Netherlands $2.41 million

New Zealand $93,842

Norway $4.48 million

United States of America up to $11 million

Member countries of the European Union also contribute to EU mine action programs. The EU contributed to victim assistance programs in 2000 through various departments, including the European Commission Humanitarian Office (ECHO). In 2000, 20% percent of overall contributions from the European Commission and the Member States was allocated to Victim Assistance programs.[35]

In 2000, 11 countries, the European Union, and 12 organizations and companies contributed about $29 million to the Slovenian International Trust Fund for Demining and Victim Assistance. (See Slovenia country report). However, only $1.4 million went to victim assistance programs, well below the ITF’s target of 15 percent. The fund has reportedly been unable to attract donors to support victim assistance.

The ICRC Special Appeal for Mine Action, which focuses on mine awareness and victim assistance continued to attract donors including South Africa and Sweden. It should be noted that in some cases amounts listed above against specific countries include a component of funding to the ICRC Special Appeal.

As more donor countries complete the voluntary Form J attachment to the Article 7 report, it is envisaged that it will be possible to provide a clearer picture of victim assistance programs and the funding available.

The Intersessional Standing Committee

The Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on Victim Assistance, Socio-Economic Reintegration and Mine Awareness (SC-VA) continued its work in 2000-2001. Since September 2000 the SC-VA has been co-chaired by Japan and Nicaragua, having taken over this role from Mexico and Switzerland. The co-rapporteurs are Canada and Honduras (who will become co-chairs in September 2001).

Building on previous outcomes, important work was accomplished during two intersessional meetings, held in December 2000 and May 2001, in Geneva, Switzerland. The meetings continued in what has been described as a “spirit of practical cooperation, inclusivity and collegiality.” Both meetings were also well attended by numerous international and non-governmental organizations, including the ICBL. The meetings continued with six main themes: raising the voices of landmine survivors; linking resources with needs; implementing lessons learned relating to coordination of victim assistance; guidelines, information dissemination and information management; social and economic reintegration; and mine awareness.

At the May 2001 meeting, participants were introduced to eight landmine survivors from the Americas who are involved in the first phase of the “raising the voices” initiative. The “survivor advocates” will be trained to enhance their capacity to represent, organize and advocate on behalf of landmine survivors and other disabled persons in their home countries, and to actively participate in SC-VA meetings and other meetings of the Mine Ban Treaty process.

The SC-VA was successful in encouraging States Parties to accept, and complete, the new, voluntary Article 7 Form J for reporting on victim assistance activities and other matters. Discussions have continued on the need to further develop and use the various indicators available in order to obtain a more comprehensive view on the level of need as it pertains to victim assistance. The Co-Chairs encouraged the ICBL Working Group on Victim Assistance and other relevant actors to pursue their work in this area. The challenges faced in providing adequate victim assistance were also discussed. The first Portfolio of Victim Assistance Programs, another SC-VA initiative, listing a selection of victim assistance projects worldwide was released in September 2000. A second edition is due for release in September 2001.

The need for coordination of victim assistance at a national level was reiterated. At least two studies will be undertaken in 2001 to address this issue. The GICHD, in cooperation with UNMAS, is undertaking a study on the role of mine action in assistance to mine and UXO victims. The results of the study are due for release in the last quarter of 2001. The second study involves a workshop organized by Handicap International in Southeast Asia in November 2001. The workshop’s main objective is to exchange views on the methods used to meet the challenges defined in country action plans.

Following a commitment made in December 2000, the Co-Chairs released a compilation of guidelines entitled Providing assistance to landmine victims: A collection of guidelines, best practices and methodologies. The text will also be available in French and Spanish by the Third Meeting of States Parties in September 2001.

The focus of discussions on social and economic reintegration centered on vocational and psycho-social rehabilitation. In terms of vocational rehabilitation states and relevant organizations were encouraged to work toward reducing vulnerability and promoting self-reliance.

The SC received an update from international organizations and NGOs concerning the development of preventive education efforts in mine-affected countries. The need for more time to discuss mine awareness within the Standing Committee framework was raised. It was reiterated that the Standing Committee on Mine Clearance and Related Technologies would be a more appropriate forum in which to discuss mine awareness.

Finally, participants were reminded that the purpose of the SC-VA is to identify practical means of ensuring implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty. The Co-Chairs encouraged all participants to consider mechanisms for ensuring that the profusion of information, advice and suggestions presented to the SC-VA are converted into concrete actions that benefit landmine victims.

<Mine Action | Casualties and Assistance>


[27] For the purposes of Landmine Monitor research casualties include victims of antipersonnel mines, antivehicle mines, UXO, and in some instances improvised explosive devices that function as AP mines. From the information available in many countries it is not always possible to determine with certainty the type of weapon that caused the incident.
[28] In the 2000/2001 period, Landmine Monitor researchers definitively recorded new mine/UXO casualties in 71 countries; in another two countries, casualties were not formally reported, but evidence points to the strong likelihood of new victims, based on the scope of the landmine problem and reports of victims in earlier years.
[29] These include Abkhazia, Chechnya, Golan Heights, Kosovo, Nagorno-Karabakh, northern Iraq (Iraqi Kurdistan), Palestine, Somaliland, and Western Sahara.
[30] For further information see Guidelines for the Care and Rehabilitation of Survivors, ICBL Working Group on Victim Assistance. See also Providing assistance to landmine victims: A collection of guidelines, best practices and methodologies, compiled by the Co-Chairs of the Standing Committee on Victim Assistance, Socio-Economic Reintegration and Mine Awareness, May 2001.
[31] A more detailed study on this important area is compiled by Handicap International. The second edition of the report, entitled Landmine Victim Assistance: World Report 2001, due for release in December 2001 examines a wide range of indicators to determine a state’s capacity to adequately address the needs of the disabled, including landmine victims.
[32] For details see Landmine Monitor Report 2000, pp. 27-31.
[33] ICRC Annual Report 2000, p. 20.
[34] All amounts are expressed in US dollars.
[35] Email from Veronica Borghini, Assistant to Daniella Dicorrado, Chair of the Mine Action Coordination Group, European Commission External Relations Directorate General (Directorate CFSP Security Policy), to Annalisa Formiconi, Handicap International (Belgium), 26 July 2001.