The International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) considers the 1997Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production, and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and On Their Destruction (“Mine Ban Treaty”) the only viable comprehensive framework for achieving a mine-free world. The ICBL believes that the only real measure of the Mine Ban Treaty’s success will be the concrete impact that it has on the global antipersonnel mine problem. As with the four previous annual reports, Landmine Monitor Report 2003 provides a means of measuring that impact. As the five-year Review Conference for the Mine Ban Treaty in 2004 approaches, it is especially important that governments and non-governmental organizations realistically assess progress made and challenges remaining.
The positive trends that have been documented in previous years have continued in this most recent Landmine Monitor reporting period. More than three-quarters of the world’s nations have now embraced the Mine Ban Treaty. Notably, Afghanistan, one of the world’s most heavily mined countries, has joined the ranks. Many governments that are not party to the Mine Ban Treaty are taking steps consistent with the treaty, as are an increasing number of rebel groups, demonstrating the power of the international norm that is taking hold.
New use of the weapon continues to decline. There was confirmed use of antipersonnel mines by just six governments in the reporting period, and as of July 2003, only two governments—Myanmar and Russia—were using antipersonnel mines on a regular basis. There were no confirmed instances of antipersonnel mine transfers, as the de facto global ban on trade held tight. Some four million stockpiled antipersonnel mines were destroyed in the reporting period, bringing the total to more than 50 million in recent years. The reported landmine casualty rate declined in 2002 in the majority of mine-affected countries. The number of mine-affected countries reporting organized mine clearance operations increased in 2002, and there were substantial increases in the amount of land cleared in many countries.
Landmine Monitor has identified about US$1.7 billion in mine action contributions since 1992. For 2002, Landmine Monitor has identified $309 million in mine action funding by more than 23 donors. This represents a very significant increase of about $72 million, or 30 percent, from the previous year. This is particularly welcome in that last year, Landmine Monitor reported that funding in 2001 had for the first time stagnated rather than increasing.
It is evident that great strides are being made in the effort to eradicate antipersonnel mines, but the mine problem is far from solved. It is likely that there are between 15,000 and 20,000 new landmine casualties each year. In 2002 and through June 2003, there were new landmine casualties reported in 65 countries. The number of survivors requiring assistance continues to increase, but in the majority of mine-affected countries the assistance available to mine survivors is inadequate to meet their needs for physical rehabilitation and socio-economic reintegration. At current levels of mine action funding and demining, many mine-affected States Parties will have difficulty meeting the ten-year deadline for completion of mine clearance. Forty-seven countries, with a combined stockpile of some 200 million antipersonnel mines, remain outside of the Mine Ban Treaty. Armed rebel forces are using mines in at least eleven countries. The promise of the Mine Ban Treaty will not be fulfilled without sustained and increased commitment from governments and non-governmental organizations.
About Landmine Monitor
Four previous annual reports have been released since 1999, each presented to the annual meetings of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty: in May 1999 in Maputo, Mozambique; in September 2000 in Geneva, Switzerland; in September 2001 in Managua, Nicaragua; and in September 2002 in Geneva.
The Landmine Monitor system features a global reporting network and an annual report.A network of 110 Landmine Monitor researchers from 90 countries gathered information to prepare this report. The researchers come from the ICBL’s campaigning coalition and also from other elements of civil society, including journalists, academics and research institutions. In 2003, the functions of the Landmine Monitor's central database were transferred to the Landmine Monitor website. The website has developed into a sophisticated and user-friendly database in its own right, equipped with a powerful search engine that can comprehensively search every Landmine Monitor annual report and its other research products.
Landmine Monitor is not a technical verification system or a formal inspection regime. It is an attempt by civil society to hold governments accountable to the obligations they have taken on with respect to antipersonnel mines. This is done through extensive collection, analysis and distribution of publicly available information. Though in some cases it does entail investigative missions, Landmine Monitor is not designed to send researchers into harm’s way and does not include hot war-zone reporting.
Landmine Monitor is designed to complement the States Parties transparency reporting required under Article 7 of the Mine Ban Treaty. It reflects the shared view that transparency, trust and mutual collaboration are crucial elements to the successful eradication of antipersonnel mines. Landmine Monitor was also established in recognition of the need for independent reporting and evaluation.
Landmine Monitor and its annual reports aim to promote and advance discussion on mine-related issues, and to seek clarifications, in order to help reach the goal of a mine-free world. Landmine Monitor works in good faith to provide factual information about issues it is monitoring, in order to benefit the international community as a whole.
Landmine Monitor Report 2003 contains information on every country of the world with respect to landmine ban policy, use, production, transfer, stockpiling, mine action funding, mine clearance, mine risk education, landmine casualties, and survivor assistance. It does not only report on States Parties and their treaty obligations, but looks at signatory states and non-signatories as well. All countries are included in this report in the belief it will provide an important means to measure global effectiveness on mine action and banning the weapon. Appendices with information from key players in mine action, such as UN agencies and the International Committee of the Red Cross, are also included.
As was the case in previous years, Landmine Monitor acknowledges that this ambitious report has its shortcomings and should be viewed as a work in progress. The Landmine Monitor is a system that is continuously updated, corrected and improved. Comments, clarifications, and corrections from governments and others are sought, in the spirit of dialogue and in the common search for accurate and reliable information on a difficult subject.
Landmine Monitor 2003 Process
In June 1998, the ICBL formally agreed to create Landmine Monitor as an ICBL initiative. A Core Group was established to develop and coordinate the Landmine Monitor system, which consists of five organizations: Human Rights Watch, Handicap International Belgium, Kenya Coalition Against Landmines, Mines Action Canada, and Norwegian People’s Aid. Human Rights Watch serves as the lead agency. The Core Group assumes overall responsibility for, and decision-making on, the Landmine Monitor system.
Research grants for Landmine Monitor Report 2003 were awarded in October 2002, following a meeting of the Core Group in Geneva in September 2002. Members of the global research network met in four regional meetings between November 2002 and February 2003 to discuss preliminary findings, exchange information, assess what research and data gathering had already taken place, identify gaps, and ensure common research methods and reporting mechanisms for the Monitor. In February and March 2003, draft research reports were submitted to the Landmine Monitor research coordinators for review and comment. From 7-9 April 2003, the research network met in Rome, Italy to discuss final reports and major findings with the research coordinators, as well as to engage in ICBL workshops and advocacy discussions. Throughout April, May, June and July 2003, Landmine Monitor’s team of regional and thematic coordinators verified sources and edited country reports, with a team at Human Rights Watch taking responsibility for final fact-checking, editing and assembly of the entire report. This report was printed during August and presented to the Fifth Meeting of States Parties to the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty in Bangkok, Thailand in September 2003.
The ICBL generally uses the short title, Mine Ban Treaty, although other short titles are common as well, including Ottawa Treaty, Ottawa Convention and Mine Ban Convention.
 The reporting period for Landmine Monitor Report 2003 is May 2002 to May 2003. Editors have where possible added important information that arrived in June and July 2003. Statistics for mine action and landmine casualties are usually given for calendar year 2002.