The Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production, and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction (“Mine Ban Treaty”) entered into force on 1 March 1999. Signed by 121 governments in Ottawa, Canada in December 1997, the Mine Ban Treaty now has 143 States Parties. An additional nine states have signed but not yet ratified. A total of 42 states remain outside the treaty. States Parties, observer states, and other participants will meet for the treaty’s First Review Conference in Nairobi (the “Nairobi Summit on a Mine-Free World”) from 29 November to 3 December 2004 to review the progress and problems of the past five years, to assess the remaining challenges and to plan for the future.
The International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) considers the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty the only viable comprehensive framework for achieving a mine-free world. The treaty and the global effort to eradicate antipersonnel mines have yielded impressive results. A new international norm has emerged, as many governments not party to the Mine Ban Treaty are taking steps consistent with the treaty, and an increasing number of armed non-state actors are also embracing a ban. New use of antipersonnel mines continues to decline, with compelling evidence of new use by just four governments in this Landmine Monitor reporting period (since May 2003). 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, bringing the global total to about 62 million in recent years. New survey and clearance operations were initiated in a significant number of countries, and there were substantial increases in the amount of land cleared in many countries. The number of reported new mine casualties dropped significantly in some heavily mine-affected countries. The Mine Ban Treaty has had an impact in raising awareness of the rights and needs of mine survivors, and new survivor assistance programs have been implemented in many mine-affected countries.
However, daunting challenges remain to universalize the Mine Ban Treaty and strengthen the norm of banning antipersonnel mines, to clear mines from the ground, to destroy stockpiled antipersonnel mines and to assist mine survivors. 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 five previous annual reports, Landmine Monitor Report 2004 provides a means of measuring that impact.
In anticipation of the five-year Review Conference, each detailed country report contained in this edition of Landmine Monitor Report includes a summary of key developments since 1999. This introductory chapter provides a global overview of both the current Landmine Monitor reporting period and the period since 1999. A section on banning antipersonnel mines is followed by sections on humanitarian mine action (including mine risk education) and on landmine casualties and survivor assistance.
About Landmine Monitor
This is the sixth Landmine Monitor Report, the annual product of an unprecedented initiative by the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) to monitor and report on implementation of and compliance with the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, and more generally, to assess the international community’s response to the humanitarian crisis caused by landmines. For the first time in history, non-governmental organizations have come together in a coordinated, systematic and sustained way to monitor a humanitarian law or disarmament treaty, and to regularly document progress and problems, thereby successfully putting into practice the concept of civil society-based verification.
Five 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; in September 2002 in Geneva; and in Bangkok, Thailand in September 2003.
The Landmine Monitor system features a global reporting network and an annual report.A network of 110 Landmine Monitor researchers from 93 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.
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. Although 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 of 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 2004 contains information on every country in 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. 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. 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 2004 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, 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 2004 were awarded in November 2003, following a meeting of the Core Group in Washington, DC in October 2003. Members of the global research network met in six regional meetings between November 2003 and March 2004 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 March and April 2004, draft research reports were submitted to the Landmine Monitor research coordinators for review and comment. In May 2004, the global research network met in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina to discuss final reports and major findings with the research coordinators, as well as to engage in ICBL workshops and advocacy discussions. From May to September 2004, 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 October and presented to the First Review Conference of States Parties to the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty in Nairobi, Kenya from 29 November to 3 December 2004.