The year 2022 marks 25 years since the adoption and opening for signature of the Mine Ban Treaty and 30 years since the creation of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL). Since then, the treaty has established a strong international framework for the elimination of antipersonnel landmines and has contributed to remarkable results in protecting lives and livelihoods. Landmine Monitor 2022 tracks the progress made and remaining challenges in achieving the treaty’s ultimate objective of a mine-free world.
Despite no states joining in the past five years, 164 countries are bound by and are working towards the implementation of the treaty’s obligations, with most of the 33 countries that are not yet party nonetheless abiding by its key provisions.
One of the greatest challenges to the norm against antipersonnel landmines is new use of the weapon. During the reporting period, the Monitor identified new use by states not party Myanmar and Russia, as well as by non-state armed groups (NSAGs) in at least five countries.
Casualties from landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) have been disturbingly high for the past seven years, following more than a decade of historic reductions. The year 2021 was no exception. This trend is largely the result of increased conflict and contamination by improvised mines observed since 2015. Civilians represented most of the victims recorded, half of whom were children.
As efforts continue to clear mine-contaminated land, much remains to be done, in particular in addressing slow or lack of clearance in many States Parties, as well as in guaranteeing that the needs of landmine survivors and affected communities are adequately met.
In the past two decades, countries both within and outside the treaty have contributed significant resources toward mine action activities. This demonstrates the strong transformational power of partnership that this humanitarian disarmament treaty embodies. Yet, the ever-growing number of global crises and rising demand for other expenditures make the situation more precarious. This has led to decreased mine action support in recent years. Addressing this reality will require greater coordination among donors and substantial investment to fill the gaps in national capacities.
From mid-2021 through October 2022, Landmine Monitor has confirmed new use of antipersonnel mines by Myanmar and Russia, which are not party to the Mine Ban Treaty.
- At least seven types of antipersonnel mines have been used by Russian forces in Ukraine since Russia invaded the country on 24 February 2022.
- Government forces in Myanmar have extensively used antipersonnel landmines during the reporting period, including around infrastructure such as mobile phone towers, extractive enterprises, and pipelines.
NSAGs used antipersonnel mines in at least five countries during the reporting period: the Central African Republic (CAR), Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), India, and Myanmar.
Stockpile Destruction and Mines Retained
States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty have destroyed more than 55 million stockpiled antipersonnel mines.
- Sri Lanka is the last State Party to have completed destruction of its landmine stockpile, in 2021, bringing the total number of countries to have declared completion of stockpile destruction to 94.
- States Parties Ukraine and Greece possess a combined total of approximately 3.6 million antipersonnel mines remaining to be destroyed. Both countries are in violation of the treaty, as both have missed their deadlines to complete destruction of their stockpiles.
- No declared stockpiled mines were destroyed by either Greece or Ukraine during 2021.
A total of 69 States Parties have reported that they retain a combined total of more than 130,000 antipersonnel mines for training and research purposes, of which 28 retain more than 1,000 mines each.
The Monitor identifies 11 states as producers of antipersonnel mines: China, Cuba, India, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, and Vietnam.
- This is one country fewer than reported in Landmine Monitor 2021, following the change in United States (US) policy which realigned it with most of the core provisions of the treaty, including the prohibition of the production or acquisition of antipersonnel mines.
- The most likely states to be actively producing antipersonnel mines are India, Iran, Myanmar, Pakistan, and Russia.
- Russia has developed and produced new antipersonnel mines, with markings indicating their manufacture in 2019 and 2021.
- The first of 700,000 of a new type of antipersonnel blast mines were delivered to the military in India in December 2021.
In 2021, at least 5,544 casualties of mines/ERW were recorded: 2,182 people were killed and 3,355 people were injured, while the survival status was unknown for seven casualties.
- More than three-quarters of recorded mine/ERW casualties were civilians where their status was known (4,200).
- Children accounted for half of all civilian casualties where the age was known (1,696).
- As in previous years, men and boys made up the majority (81%) of all casualties for which the sex was known (2,675).
Casualties in 2021 were identified in 50 states and other areas, of which 36 are States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty.
- Non-signatory Syria recorded the highest number of annual casualties (1,227) for the second year in a row; closely followed by State Party Afghanistan (1,074) which has had over a thousand annual casualties for more than a decade.
- Other States Parties with over 100 recorded casualties in 2021 were: Colombia, Iraq, Mali, Nigeria, and Yemen.
At least 60 states and other areas are contaminated by antipersonnel mines.
- This includes 33 States Parties that have declared clearance obligations under Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty, 22 states not party, and five other areas.
- An additional seven States Parties need to provide information regarding suspected or known contamination by improvised mines: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, the CAR, Mali, the Philippines, Tunisia, and Venezuela.
States Parties reported clearance of at least 132.52km² of contaminated land and the destruction of more than 117,000 antipersonnel mines in 2021.
- In comparison, 146.04km² was reported cleared and some 135,000 mines were destroyed in 2020.
- Cambodia and Croatia reported the largest total clearance of mined areas in 2021, clearing a combined total of more than 78km2 and destroying more than 7,500 antipersonnel mines.
- Land release progress has been negligible in many States Parties in 2021, with 11 clearing less than 1km2 and eight reporting no antipersonnel landmine clearance.
Twenty-three States Parties have deadlines to meet their Article 5 clearance obligations before or no later than 2025, while nine States Parties have deadlines after 2025. Very few appear on track to meet these deadlines.
- Only Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe appear to be on target to meet their clearance deadlines.
- Eritrea remains in violation of the treaty by virtue of its failure to meet its clearance deadline and submit an extension request.
Risk education to populations affected by antipersonnel mine contamination was conducted in at least 30 States Parties in 2021.
- Thirteen States Parties reported having a prioritization mechanism in place in 2021, for targeting risk education activities.
- Only two of the eight States Parties that submitted a request to extend their clearance deadlines in 2022 included costed and detailed multiyear plans for risk education.
The provision of risk education continued to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in some States Parties, as restrictions limited in-person activities—such as face-to-face sessions and large campaigns—and schools remained closed. Mass media and digital methods were used in more than half of States Parties to deliver risk education messages.
In 2021, healthcare and rehabilitation activities remained under-funded and faced increasing and numerous challenges in many countries including in accessibility, coordination, expertise, and supply of materials.
- Only 14 of the 34 States Parties with a recognized responsibility for mine/ERW victims had victim assistance or relevant disability plans in place to address needs and gaps in assistance. At least 10 still need to create or adopt a draft national 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, COVID-19 measures disrupted such processes and restricted their level of participation.
- In several States Parties, healthcare systems were stretched to the verge of collapse due to crises and conflict, while rehabilitation systems often required greater support than before the pandemic.
- Significant gaps remain in access to economic opportunities for survivors and other persons with disabilities in many of the affected States Parties, particularly in remote areas where livelihood opportunities were most needed.
Support for Mine Action
In 2021, global support for mine action decreased by 7% (US$44.6 million), with donors and affected states contributing a total of US$598.9 million in international and national support for mine action.
- Thirteen affected states provided a combined total of $55.4 million in national support.
- Thirty-two donors contributed a total of $543.5 million in international support to mine action (a 4% decrease from 2020).
The donor base and the group of countries receiving the most international mine action assistance has remained largely unchanged over the past two decades, with no shift towards greater diversification.
- The 15 largest donors accounted for a majority of all international support in 2021, providing a combined total of $524.5 million (97%). The reliance on a small number of donors represents a serious risk to the sustainability of mine action activities.
- International support for victim assistance reached its lowest level recorded since 2016 ($25.6 million). In 2021, 27 States Parties with significant numbers of survivors did not receive any direct victim assistance funding.
- States Parties with smaller landmine contamination continue to receive less financial support. Nine mine-affected States Parties did not receive external support to carry out clearance and/or risk education projects in 2021.