Falkland Islands_Malvinas


Last updated: 04 February 2021

Country Summary

The 1982 conflict between Argentina and the United Kingdom (UK) resulted in many thousands of antipersonnel and antivehicle mines being laid on the Falkland Islands/Islas Malvinas, most laid by Argentina.[1] The Falkland Islands/Islas Malvinas are the subject of a sovereignty dispute between the two countries. The UK was undertaking clearance of the landmine contaminated areas on the Falkland Islands/Islas Malvinas.

In 2009, 122 mined areas were identified. The mined areas also contained some residual unexploded ordnance (UXO) from the conflict, including a number of areas that contained cluster munition remnants. The UK has also found booby-traps on the islands.[2]

The clearance of the Falkland Islands/Islas Malvinas has been conducted in phases, with phases 1 to 4 undertaken between October 2009 and March 2016, and phases 5(a) and 5(b) from November 2016 to November 2020.

At the Eighteenth Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in November 2020, the UK announced that as of 14 November 2020, it had fulfilled its obligations under Article 5 in the Falkland Islands/Islas Malvinas. In total, 122 minefields were cleared, releasing 23km² of land.[3] The final area to be cleared, Yorke Bay beach, was handed over to the population on 14 November 2020.[4]

The Falkland Islands Government has had a Crimes Ordinance in place since 1989, making it a criminal offence for any person to willfully enter a minefield; to cause or attempt to cause a landmine to explode; to cut or remove minefield fencing; to remove, damage or obscure minefield signs or notices; or to drive an animal into a minefield.[5]

No civilians have been reported injured or killed as a result of antipersonnel mines or cluster munition remnants on the Falkland Islands/Islas Malvinas.

Risk education is provided as part of normal health and safety measures.[6]

(See the profiles for Argentina and the UK for further information).

[1] See UK Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form C, 11 April 2006.

[2] UK Mine Ban Treaty Second Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 29 March 2018, p.6.

[3] Statement of the UK, Mine Ban Treaty Eighteenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 16­–20 November 2020.

[4] Presentation by John Hare, SafeLane Global, Mine Ban Treaty Eighteenth Meeting of State Parties, 20 November 2020.

[5] UK Mine Ban Treaty Second Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 29 March 2018, p.10.

[6] Ibid.