The objective of the Mine Ban Treaty is to alleviate human suffering, and progress has been made since the Mine Ban Treaty entered into force. The number of reported new mine casualties has dropped significantly in some heavily mine-affected countries. From 1999 to September 2004, Landmine Monitor has recorded more than 42,500 new landmine and unexploded ordnance (UXO) casualties from incidents in at least 75 countries. However, many casualties go unreported and the full number of casualties is certainly much higher, probably in the range of 15,000 to 20,000 new casualties a year. For 2003, Landmine Monitor identified over 8,065 new casualties, of which 23 percent were children. Landmine Monitor has also identified another 25 countries with casualties caused only by UXO. Landmine Monitor has identified more than 230,000 mine survivors recorded in 97 countries and nine areas; some are from incidents dating back to the end of the Second World War, but the vast majority of survivors are from the mid-1970s onwards. Given the high number of casualties that likely have never been recorded, it is reasonable to assume that there are somewhere between 300,000 and 400,000 mine survivors in the world today. Since 1999, greater attention has been placed on the importance of accurate and up-to-date data on mine casualties and mine survivors to better understand their needs and to ensure that limited resources are used most effectively where the needs are greatest.
Many countries with no new reported landmine casualties nevertheless have landmine survivors that continue to require assistance. Consequently, around two-thirds of the countries in the world – at least 121 countries – are affected to some extent by the landmine/UXO problem and the issue of survivors. In 53 of the 66 countries with new mine casualties in 2003, Landmine Monitor identified one or more aspects of survivor assistance that are reportedly inadequate to meet the needs of mine survivors and other persons with disabilities. Even when services exist, they are often long distances from mine-affected areas, making them inaccessible to many survivors, are too expensive for survivors to afford, or are bureaucratically off-limits to one group or another. Assistance in the area that has been identified as the top priority for many mine survivors – socio-economic reintegration – continues to be lacking in the majority of countries.
From the research undertaken by Landmine Monitor, it can be concluded that since 1999 through the efforts of States Parties, the ICBL, the ICRC and NGOs in the field, the Mine Ban Treaty has had an impact in raising awareness of the rights and needs of mine survivors and has enabled mine survivors themselves to advocate for services to address their needs. New programs have been implemented in many mine-affected countries, and the survivors that have access to these and other pre-existing services report an improved quality of life. Nevertheless, significant gaps remain in areas such as geographic coverage, affordability, and quality of available facilities. While more is known about the numbers of mine survivors receiving assistance, the extent to which landmine survivors’ needs are not being met is generally still unknown. Furthermore, a lack of resources to implement or maintain programs continues to limit activities.
The Nairobi Summit on a Mine-Free World in November/December 2004 marks an important milestone in global efforts to alleviate the suffering caused by antipersonnel landmines. Mine-affected States Parties, through the Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration, have shown a greater willingness in the past few years to acknowledge their responsibilities and to make their needs known through the presentation of their plans, priorities, progress and problems in providing for the rehabilitation and reintegration of mine survivors. At least 22 mine-affected States are now taking, or have taken, steps to develop a plan of action to address the needs of mine survivors, or more generally to improve services for all persons with disabilities. Some donor States are also acknowledging their responsibilities to provide resources to assist mine-affected States in fulfilling their obligations. The draft Nairobi Action Plan for the period 2005-2009 gives hope to mine survivors that the promise implied by the Mine Ban Treaty for their “care and rehabilitation, and social and economic reintegration,” can be realized.
It is without doubt that many mine survivors have benefited from the increased attention given to the issue of victim assistance by States Parties since 1999. There is a greater understanding of the extent of the problem, and the knowledge that existing programs are far from meeting the needs. Progress has been made since 1999, but challenges remain to ensure that mine survivor assistance programs are adequate, appropriate and sustainable and that limited resources are used to most effectively match services with needs so that all mine survivors can benefit from the increased attention generated by the Mine Ban Treaty.
New Casualties in 2003-2004
The number of landmine survivors continues to grow as new casualties are reported in every region of the world. In 2003 and through September 2004, Landmine Monitor finds that there were new landmine/UXO casualties reported in 66 countries, one more than the number reported in Landmine Monitor Report 2003. Landmine Monitor also registered mine casualties in seven areas that it monitors because of a significant landmine problem. In calendar year 2003, new landmine casualties were recorded in 65 countries and all seven areas. In early 2004, new mine casualties were also recorded in Ecuador.
New Landmine Casualties January 2003-September 2004
Bosnia & Herzegovina
Serbia & Montenegro
Bold: States not Party to the Mine Ban Treaty
Compared to last year’s Landmine Monitor Report, there are four new countries with reported casualties from mine-related incidents: Armenia, Bolivia, Cyprus, and Liberia. There are three countries that had reported landmine casualties previously, but not since the end of 2002: Belarus, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and Tunisia. Between 1999 and 2001, new landmine casualties were also reported in Bangladesh, Cuba, Djibouti, Israel, Morocco, and Tanzania, making a total of 75 countries reporting new landmine casualties since 1999. No tangible evidence has been found of new mine casualties in Libya since 1999; however, given the high numbers of mine casualties reported in the past it is highly likely that there have been new mine casualties in the past five years.
Since 1999, Landmine Monitor has also identified another 25 countries with no new landmine casualties, but with casualties caused by unexploded ordnance (UXO) left over from earlier conflicts. This includes 14 countries with new casualties in 2003-2004: Austria, Bangladesh, Belarus, Republic of Congo, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Panamá, Poland, Slovenia, Timor Leste, and Venezuela. Other countries reporting UXO casualties since 1999 are Argentina, Belgium, Czech Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Latvia, Mongolia, Nigeria, Oman, Sierra Leone, and Slovakia.
Scale of the Problem
Progress has been made since the Mine Ban Treaty entered into force. In 1999, it was estimated that landmines claimed 26,000 new casualties every year. The number of reported new mine casualties has dropped significantly in some heavily mine-affected countries. While acknowledging that it is not possible to know with absolute certainty, it is now likely that there are between 15,000 and 20,000 new landmine casualties each year. Nevertheless, landmines continue to claim too many new casualties in too many countries. Based on the information gathered for Landmine Monitor Report 2004, it is clear that:
- Landmines continue to pose a significant, lasting and non-discriminatory threat;
- Civilians account for the vast majority of new landmine casualties, since less than 14 percent of reported casualties in 2004 were identified as military personnel;
- Not only mine-affected countries have a problem with landmines; nationals from 26 countries (including 11 mine-free countries) were killed or injured by landmines while outside their own borders in 2003-2004. Since 1999, nationals from a total of 53 countries (including 25 mine-free countries) were affected.
In 2003-2004, as shown in the table, mine casualties were still occurring in every region of the world: in 21 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, in 16 countries in Europe and Central Asia, in 14 Asia-Pacific countries, in nine countries in the Middle East and North Africa, and in six countries in the Americas. Ongoing conflict is a significant problem in some of these countries, but Landmine Monitor finds that 40 of the 66 countries that suffered new mine casualties in 2003-2004 had not experienced any active armed conflict during the research period. In many cases, the conflict had ended a decade or more ago; for example, casualties occurred in Cambodia, Nicaragua and Vietnam. For the four countries added to the list in 2003-2004, the reason for inclusion was that new incidents of casualties were reported, rather than the onset of a new conflict.
In 2003-2004, mine/UXO casualties also included nationals from 26 countries killed or injured while abroad engaged in military or demining operations, peacekeeping, or other activities. These countries include: Afghanistan, Algeria, Burundi, Canada, France, Germany, Georgia, Iran, Italy, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Morocco, Netherlands, Pakistan, Perú, Poland, Russia, Serbia and Montenegro, Somalia, Syria, Tanzania, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, and Uzbekistan.
Since 1999, nationals from another 27 countries have also been killed or injured while abroad: Albania, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Cambodia, Croatia, Denmark, Fiji, The Gambia, Honduras, India, Iraq, Jordan, Mozambique, Namibia, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, South Africa, Switzerland, Turkey, and Zimbabwe.
In 2003 and through July 2004, mine accidents during clearance operations or in training exercises caused casualties among deminers and soldiers in Abkhazia, Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Austria, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Chad, Croatia, DR Congo, Georgia, India, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Mozambique, Perú, Philippines, Russia (Chechnya), Serbia and Montenegro, Sri Lanka, Thailand, the United States, Vietnam, Yemen, and Zimbabwe. There were also unconfirmed reports of demining casualties in other countries.
Since 1999, mine accidents during clearance operations or in training exercises were also reported in Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Colombia, Cyprus, Greece, Iran, Israel, Kosovo, Kuwait, Nicaragua, Republic of Korea, and Slovenia.
Casualty Data Collection
Comprehensive data on landmine/UXO casualties is difficult to obtain, particularly in countries experiencing ongoing conflict, or with minefields in remote areas, or with limited resources to monitor public health services. The sources used to identify new casualties include databases, government records, hospital records, media reports, surveys, assessments, and interviews.
Landmine Monitor identified over 8,065 new landmine/UXO casualties in calendar year 2003, including at least 1,833 children (23 percent) and 258 women (3 percent). Less than 14 percent of reported casualties were identified as military personnel. It is important to remember, however, that the 8,065 figure represents only the reported casualties and does not take into account the many casualties that are believed to go unreported, as innocent civilians are killed or injured in remote areas away from any form of assistance or means of communication, and others are not reported for military or political reasons. Since 1999, Landmine Monitor has recorded more than 42,540 new mine/UXO casualties.
Since 1999, greater attention has been placed on the importance of accurate and up-to-date data on mine casualties and mine survivors to better understand the needs and to ensure that limited resources are used most effectively where the needs are greatest. In 1999, reports of new mine casualties, albeit limited, were only available for 42 countries. By 2004, new mine casualties have been identified in 75 countries. In several mine-affected countries, mine incident and casualty data is now collected and stored using the Information Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA) or other comparable databases. Of the 66 countries and seven areas reporting new mine casualties in 2003-2004, only 36 countries and six areas report using IMSMA, or other comparable databases, to record casualty data. Of those, only 22 countries and three areas were able to provide Landmine Monitor with full year data or data collected in all mine-affected regions. Even with a functioning data collection system in place it is believed that not all mine casualties are reported. IMSMA has the capacity to record mine casualty data; however, a reported lack of human and financial resources sometimes prevents this system from being used effectively. The principal collectors of mine casualty data are mine action centers, the ICRC, UNICEF, and some NGOs.
The number of reported new casualties declined in 2003 from 2002 in the majority of mine-affected countries; in some cases significantly, such as in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Lebanon, Senegal, and Sri Lanka. In some cases, significant decreases in reported new casualties would appear to be the result of a lack of resources to undertake comprehensive data collection, as in Chad and Somaliland. In the case of Chechnya, the number of reported new casualties has decreased significantly as a result of further analysis of previously reported statistics.
Where an increase was reported in 2003 this generally appears to be due to a new or expanded conflict, as in Iraq and Turkey. In other mine-affected countries, the increase appears to be largely the result of improved data collection: Azerbaijan, Burundi, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe. In Burma, Colombia, DR Congo, Nepal, and Uganda both factors contributed to significantly higher numbers of reported mine casualties in 2003.
Although Landmine Monitor considers that in some instances reported casualty figures are incomplete and understated, a sampling of the findings for calendar year 2003 from countries and areas with mine casualty databases gives an indication of downward or upward trends in reported mine casualties. The following list is in order of highest recorded casualties.
- In Afghanistan, 847 casualties recorded, down from 1,460 recorded by ICRC in 2002. It is still, however, estimated that there are around 100 new casualties each month;
- In Cambodia, 772 casualties recorded, down from 847 in 2002.
- In Colombia, 668 casualties recorded, up from 626 in 2002.
- In Angola, 226 casualties recorded, down from 287 in 2002; since 1999, at least 2,998 new casualties reported.
- In Chechnya, 218 civilian mine/UXO casualties recorded, down from 383 in 2002. The figure of 5,695 casualties reported by the Chechen Ministry of Health in 2002 included all war-related injuries and not only casualties caused by landmines and UXO.
- In Burundi, 174 civilian casualties recorded, up from 114 in 2002.
- In DR Congo, 152 casualties recorded, up from 115 in 2002; since 1999, 780 new casualties reported.
- In Laos, 118 casualties recorded, up from 99 in 2002.
- In Sri Lanka, 99 casualties recorded, down from 142 in 2002.
- In Eritrea, 62 casualties recorded by UNMEE MAC, down from 78 in 2002; however, 87 casualties recorded by Landmine Impact Survey, down from 116 in 2002. Since 2000, 428 new casualties recorded.
- In Sudan, 79 new casualties recorded, up from 46 recorded in 2002, but the data is incomplete; since 1999, 666 new casualties recorded.
- In Bosnia and Herzegovina, 54 casualties recorded, down from 72 in 2002.
- In Somaliland, 50 casualties recorded between July and December, down from 129 in 2002, but data collection severely limited by a lack of funding; since 2000, 459 new casualties recorded.
- In Azerbaijan, 39 casualties recorded, up from 17 in 2002, since 2000, 172 new casualties recorded.
- In Ethiopia, 39 casualties reported by RaDO, down from 67 in 2002 (data is only available for the Tigray and Afar regions); since 1999, at least 530 new casualties in Tigray and Afar. The Landmine Impact Survey reports significantly higher casualty figures than previously available with 297 casualties recorded for 2003.
- In Thailand, 29 casualties recorded in four provinces, down from 36 in 2002; since 2000, 217 new casualties reported.
- In Lebanon, 26 casualties recorded, down from 49 in 2002; since 2000, 291 new casualties recorded.
- In Zimbabwe, 26 casualties recorded, up from nine in 2002; since 1999, 57 new casualties reported.
- In Nagorno-Karabakh, 21 casualties recorded, up from 17 in 2002.
- In Kosovo, 19 casualties recorded, up from 15 in 2002; since June 1999, 512 new casualties recorded.
- In Senegal, 19 casualties recorded, down from 48 in 2002; since 1999, 286 casualties recorded.
- In Chad, only 18 casualties recorded, down from 200 reported in 2002, due to lack of data collection mechanism; since 2000, 314 casualties reported.
- In Yemen, 18 casualties recorded, down from 19 in 2002; since 2000, 75 new casualties recorded.
- In Croatia, 14 casualties recorded, down from 27 in 2002.
- In Mozambique, 14 casualties recorded, down from 47 in 2002.
- In Guinea-Bissau, 12 casualties recorded, down from 33 in 2002.
- In Nicaragua, six casualties recorded, down from 15 in 2002; since 1999, 71 new casualties recorded.
In other mine-affected countries, very limited data on landmine/UXO casualties is collected from government ministries and agencies, international agencies and NGOs, hospitals, media reports, surveys, and country campaigns of the ICBL. In some cases, available data is well below the estimates of the number of people killed or injured by landmines each year.
- In Iraq, 2,189 casualties reported; however, data does not cover the whole country or full year. In northern Iraq, 1,796 casualties reported, up from 457 in 2002. Between 1999 and the end of December 2003, at least 3,333 new mine and UXO casualties recorded in northern Iraq.
- In India, 270 casualties reported, down from 523 in 2002.
- In Vietnam, 220 casualties reported, up from 166 in 2002; true figure estimated to be considerably higher.
- In Burma (Myanmar), 192 casualties reported, up from 114 reported in 2002; true figure estimated to be considerably higher.
- In Pakistan, 138 casualties reported, up from 136 in 2002; since 2000, 460 new casualties reported.
- In Nepal, 76 new mine casualties reported in a two-month period.
- In Somalia, 75 casualties reported, up from 53 in 2002; since 2000, 686 new casualties reported.
- In Turkey, 67 casualties reported, up from 40 in 2002; since 2000, 170 new casualties reported.
- In Iran, 66 casualties reported, up from 32 in 2002; since 2001, 304 new casualties reported.
- In Uganda, 64 casualties reported, up from seven reported in 2002; since 1999, 244 new casualties reported.
- In Georgia, 50 casualties reported, down from 97 in 2002.
- In Palestine, 23 casualties reported, down from 57 in 2002.
- In Namibia, 12 casualties reported, down from 19 in 2002; since 1999, 598 casualties reported with a significant reduction in the number of new casualties since 2001.
- In Macedonia (FYR), eight casualties reported, up from four in 2002; since 1999, 90 new casualties reported.
- In Jordan, six casualties reported, down from 15 in 2002; since 2000, 46 new casualties reported.
- In the Republic of Korea, five casualties reported, down from 17 in 2002; since 1999, 47 new casualties reported.
In 2004, landmine/UXO casualties continue to be reported (with increasing frequency in some countries such as Cambodia, Guinea-Bissau, Laos, and Mozambique) in every region of the world, including:
- In Afghanistan, 423 new casualties reported to 30 June; since 1999, 7,197 new casualties recorded by ICRC.
- In Bosnia and Herzegovina, 28 new casualties reported to September; since 1999, 436 new casualties recorded.
- In Burundi, 46 new casualties recorded to April; since 2000, 454 new casualties reported.
- In Cambodia, casualties increased significantly in the first few months of 2004 to 671 new casualties recorded by the end of August; since 1999, 5,129 new casualties recorded.
- In Chechnya, 81 new civilian casualties recorded to September; since 1999, 2,421 new civilian casualties recorded.
- In Colombia, 421 new casualties recorded to September; since 1999, 2,174 new casualties recorded.
- In Guinea-Bissau casualties increased significantly in 2003 with 29 new casualties to July; since June 1998, 331 new casualties recorded.
- In Laos, casualties increased significantly with 117 new casualties to June; since 1999, 661 new casualties recorded.
- In Mozambique, casualties increased significantly to 24 to July; since 2000, 343 new casualties recorded.
- In Nagorno-Karabakh, casualties increased significantly to 30 to end of June; since 1999, 131 new casualties recorded.
- In Nepal, at least 132 new mine casualties reported to June.
- In Sri Lanka, 33 new casualties recorded to June; since 1999, more than 724 new casualties recorded.
- In Vietnam, 114 new casualties reported to end of April; since 2000, 752 new casualties reported from a limited number of sources.
The number of new casualties is only a small indicator of the landmine problem; more important is the number of mine survivors that need and have a right to assistance. It must be remembered that while the number of reported new landmine casualties is dropping in many mine-affected countries the number of landmine survivors continues to increase. The exact number of mine survivors is unknown. Through Landmine Impact Surveys and increased data collection, more information is becoming available. For example, in Afghanistan a limited survey of 75,688 persons with disabilities identified 13,624 mine survivors. In Bosnia and Herzegovina the database records 3,905 people injured since 1992, and in Cambodia the database records 41,010 people injured since 1979. Survivors identified by Landmine Impact Surveys include 2,233 survivors in Eritrea, 7,275 survivors in Ethiopia, 1,971 survivors in Thailand, and 2,344 survivors in Yemen. In northern Iraq, 9,121 mine/UXO survivors were recorded between 1991 and December 2003. In Vietnam more than 66,000 mine/UXO survivors have been recorded and more than 5,600 in Laos.
Landmine Monitor has identified more than 230,100 mine survivors recorded in 97 countries and nine areas; some are from incidents dating back to the end of the Second World War, but the vast majority of survivors are from the mid-1970s onwards. It should be noted that this figure does not include estimates of up to 100,000 or more mine survivors in Afghanistan, or of foreign soldiers injured during the Vietnam War in the 1970s, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s, or the first Gulf War in 1990. It is unknown how many of these recorded survivors are still living, but it is clear, given the high number of casualties that likely have never been recorded, it is reasonable to assume that there are somewhere between 300,000 and 400,000 mine survivors in the world today.
In addition to the 97 countries where mine incidents took place, Landmine Monitor has identified another 24 countries with mine survivors: 20 with nationals injured abroad in mine incidents and accidents since 1999; two with nationals injured prior to 1999; and two with known survivors but no available statistics. In other words, many countries with no new reported landmine casualties nevertheless have landmine survivors that continue to require assistance. Consequently, around two-thirds of the countries in the world – 121 countries – are affected to some extent by the landmine/UXO problem and the issue of survivors.
Addressing the Needs of Survivors
A landmine incident can cause various injuries to an individual including the loss of limbs, abdominal, chest and spinal injuries, blindness, and deafness, as well as less visible, psychological trauma not only to the person injured in the incident, but to the families of those killed or injured.
The Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration promotes a comprehensive integrated approach to victim assistance that rests on a three-tiered definition of a landmine victim. This means that a “mine 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 2004 the term “survivor assistance” is used in the country reports to describe activities aimed at the individuals directly affected by a landmine incident. The use of the term “survivor” is intended to emphasize this distinction.
The Mine Ban Treaty requires, in Article 6, Paragraph 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....” In many mine-affected countries the assistance available to address the needs of survivors is inadequate, and it would appear that additional outside assistance is needed in providing for the care and rehabilitation of mine survivors.
Since 1999, in part because of the work of Landmine Monitor in compiling information, a great deal more is now known about facilities and programs that assist mine survivors, and some of the problems they faced. Most landmine survivors do not have access to some of the most basic needs: food security, access to water, adequate housing, roads, a way to earn an income, healthcare, and access to the lifelong rehabilitation services many require. It is understood that mine survivors and other persons with disabilities are among the most impoverished group in every society.
It is without doubt that many mine survivors have benefited from the increased attention given to the issue of victim assistance by States Parties since 1999. Several new programs for physical rehabilitation and socio-economic reintegration have been implemented. Nevertheless, many mine survivors are still not able to access the facilities needed for their complete rehabilitation and reintegration, and many local and international NGOs report that a lack of funding, especially long-term funding, is limiting their operations and the sustainability of programs. From the research, there is a greater understanding about the extent of the problem, and the knowledge that existing programs are far from meeting the needs. For example, in Afghanistan, for every one person with a disability that receives assistance through existing programs, 100 more reportedly do not receive assistance.
The Mine Ban Treaty sets no time frame for mine victim assistance, as it does for mine clearance and stockpile destruction. The needs of landmine survivors are long-term, in many instances lasting a lifetime. A landmine survivor will require ongoing medical and rehabilitation services, and services assisting his or her socio-economic reintegration and psychological well-being. For amputees, prostheses wear out, need repairs, and replacement. For many, the poverty brought on or exacerbated by becoming a landmine survivor leads to greater risk of illness and therefore more needs than non-disabled populations for medical care. In addition, medical problems related to amputation often resurface years after the original incident. Similarly, socio-economic reintegration is not easily achievable or sustainable. Vocational training programs and other methods to facilitate economic reintegration struggle to succeed in economies facing high levels of unemployment in the general population.
The ultimate goal of survivor assistance programs should be the complete rehabilitation of mine survivors and their reintegration into the wider community. To ensure sustainability and to avoid unnecessary segregation of survivors, assistance to landmine survivors should be viewed as a part of a country’s overall public health and social services system. At the same time, within those general systems, deliberate care must be built in to ensure that landmine survivors and other persons with disabilities receive the same opportunities in life – for health care, social services, a life-sustaining income, education, and participation in the community – as every other sector of a society. Sometimes, leveling the playing field requires services or systems particular to people with disabilities. These two approaches – special services when necessary and mainstreaming whenever possible – constitute the “twin track” toward disability espoused by the ICBL Working Group on Victim Assistance and its members. Providing resources to support programs that address the needs of landmine survivors is in effect assisting to build the infrastructure that will benefit all persons with disabilities in a mine-affected country.
Capacities of Affected States to Provide Assistance to Landmine Survivors
The principal actors in landmine victim assistance generally agree that assistance includes the following components:
- Pre-hospital Care (first aid and management of injuries)
- Hospital Care (medical care, surgery, pain management)
- Rehabilitation (physiotherapy, prosthetic appliances and assistive devices, psychological support)
- Social and Economic Reintegration (associations of persons with disabilities, skills and vocational training, income generating projects, sports)
- Disability Policy and Practice (education and public awareness and disability laws)
- Health and Social Welfare Surveillance and Research capacities (data collection, processing, analysis, and reporting)
A detailed analysis of efforts and capacities of mine-affected States to address the needs of landmine survivors, and persons with disabilities in general, is beyond the scope of the research undertaken for Landmine Monitor. Landmine Monitor can, however, conclude that since 1999 through the efforts of States Parties, the ICBL, the ICRC and NGOs in the field, the Mine Ban Treaty has raised awareness of the rights and needs of mine survivors and enabled mine survivors themselves to advocate for services to meet their needs. More programs have been implemented and the survivors that have access to these services report an improved quality of life. Nevertheless, the challenge remains to ensure that programs are adequate, appropriate and sustainable and that the benefits are not limited to a fortunate few.
Based on a purely quantitative analysis of the information available in the Landmine Monitor Report 2004, it would appear that most countries have facilities to address some of the needs of landmine survivors. In a positive development, at least 22 mine-affected States are now taking, or have taken, steps to develop a plan of action to address the needs of mine survivors, or more generally to improve services for all persons with disabilities, although some plans have not been implemented due to a lack of resources.
Landmine Monitor has determined that in 53 of the 66 countries with new mine casualties in 2003, and in all seven areas, one or more aspects of survivor assistance are reportedly inadequate to meet the needs of mine survivors and other persons with disabilities. Even when services exist, they are often long distances from mine-affected areas, making them inaccessible to many survivors, are too expensive for survivors to afford, or are bureaucratically off-limits to one group or another. Assistance in the area that has been identified as the top priority for many mine survivors – socio-economic reintegration – continues to be lacking in the majority of countries.
From the research collected by Landmine Monitor since 1999, several general observations can be made:
- Most services are located in urban centers, but the majority of mine survivors are found in rural areas where the concentration of mine pollution is greatest;
- The majority of resources are directed towards medical and physical rehabilitation;
- The availability of assistance in psychosocial support and economic reintegration is limited;
- Many mine-affected countries suffer from a lack of adequately trained healthcare and rehabilitation providers;
- International organizations, NGOs, and UN agencies play a key role in the delivery of services to mine survivors;
- Local NGOs often lack the financial resources and capacity to continue programs after international organizations have withdrawn;
- On-going conflict and the consequent security concerns, in some mine-affected countries severely limit the ability of the government and international agencies to provide assistance to landmine survivors;
- The economic situation of many mine-affected countries remains an obstacle to the provision of adequate assistance to landmine survivors;
- The development of programs that address the long-term needs of landmine survivors, and other persons with disabilities, is being hampered by the practice of some donors to only fund programs for a limited period of time. A commitment to long-term funding is needed to ensure sustainability and to build local capacities to continue the programs;
The five-year review of survivor assistance activities in Landmine Monitor Report 2004 is not exhaustive, and it is likely that information on the activities of some local and international NGOs providing services and activities undertaken by governmental agencies is not included. Landmine Monitor would welcome more input from governmental and non-governmental agencies and organizations on their survivor assistance activities for future editions of this report. Nevertheless, through the research undertaken, Landmine Monitor has attempted to provide an indication of the progress, or lack of progress, and some of the problems faced in addressing the needs of mine survivors. Following are examples of some of the key findings and developments since 1999.
Emergency and Continuing Medical Care
In 2003, at least 3,054 landmine/UXO casualties were identified in hospital records, including 110 casualties in Africa, one in Americas, 1,851 in Asia/Pacific, 341 in Europe/Central Asia, and 751 in Middle East/North Africa.
- In Afghanistan, 65 percent of the population reportedly does not have access to health facilities.
- In Angola, less than 30 percent of the population has access to healthcare, and few facilities are available for mine survivors and other persons with disabilities.
- In Burundi, in February 2002, the government introduced a “cost recovery” system for medical treatment, which reportedly excludes about 20 percent of the population from access to healthcare.
- In Chechnya, more than half the available hospitals function without running water, proper heating, and sewage systems.
- In DR Congo, in 2002, it was estimated that 37 percent of the population did not have access to any kind of healthcare.
- In Ethiopia, according to the Landmine Impact Survey, 27 percent of survivors identified between 2001 and 2003 reported receiving no care.
- In Iraq, some health facilities lack running water and constant electricity supplies, equipment has not been properly maintained, and there is a lack of well-trained and experienced healthcare workers.
- In Laos, a survey of child mine/UXO survivors found that 70 percent have long-term medical problems.
- In Rwanda, in some areas of the country the population lives more than 1.5 hours walk from the nearest health center.
- In Sudan, in Kassala, 84 percent of recorded mine/UXO casualties were transported more than 50 kilometers to the nearest health facility.
- In Uganda, a 2003 review of health facilities in eastern Uganda found that 53 percent of patients with war-related injuries had received no pre-hospital care.
In 2003, Landmine Monitor identified a total of 118,154 patients or services in the area of physical rehabilitation, including at least 19,006 services for landmine/UXO survivors: 27,458 services (1,365 for survivors) in Africa; 115 services (28 for survivors) in Americas; 82,386 services (14,748 for survivors) in Asia/Pacific; 1,205 services (423 for survivors) in Europe/Central Asia; and 6,990 services (2,442 for survivors) in Middle East/North Africa.
- In Afghanistan, in 2002, it was reported that only 60 out of 330 districts had rehabilitation and socio-economic reintegration facilities for the disabled, and even in those districts the needs were only partially met.
- In Angola, in 2001, the Ministry of Health implemented a five-year national program to rehabilitate persons with disabilities.
- In Cambodia, the number of physical rehabilitation centers has decreased from 15 in 1999 to eleven in 2004; the principal reason for the decrease is reduced funding, cost, quality control, and sustainability.
- In Chad, according to the Landmine Impact Survey, of 217 mine survivors identified in incidents between 1998 and 2001, none reported receiving rehabilitation assistance.
- In DR Congo, in 2002, a new three-year program was implemented to strengthen the capacity of the Rehabilitation Center for the Physically Handicapped and improve the quality of services.
- In Eritrea, according to the Landmine Impact Survey, only three percent of survivors identified in incidents between 2001 and 2003 reported receiving rehabilitation assistance.
- In Ethiopia, according to the Landmine Impact Survey, only seven percent of survivors identified in incidents between 2001 and 2003 reported receiving rehabilitation assistance.
- In Iraq, in November 2003, the UNOPS Victim Assistance Program in northern Iraq was handed over to the Coalition Provisional Authority.
- In Kosovo, in 2002, the Ministry of Health appointed an officer for physical medicine and rehabilitation to strengthen the rehabilitation sector.
- In Rwanda, in October 2002, a national plan for the rehabilitation of persons with disabilities was drafted, but the plan has not been implemented due to a lack of resources.
- In Somaliland, the Landmine Impact Survey found that of 179 mine survivors identified in incidents in 2001 and 2002, only four had received rehabilitation; 47 were amputees.
- In Vietnam, the government-sponsored Community Based Rehabilitation Program has expanded its coverage from 40 provinces in 2001 to 46 of 61 provinces by 2003.
- In Yemen, in 2000, the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs reorganized its Community Based Rehabilitation Program to be more responsive to the needs of mine survivors.
Over the past five years there has been limited improvement in the area of physical rehabilitation, particularly in the production of prostheses and other assistive devices, through the training of technicians and better infrastructure at some facilities.
In 2003, ICRC-supported prosthetic/orthotic centers produced 20,837 prostheses (10,549 for landmine survivors), 14,232 orthoses (94 for mine survivors), 38,560 crutches, and 2,147 wheelchairs. Between 1999 and the end of 2003, ICRC prosthetic/orthotic centers produced 92,873 prostheses (50,197 for landmine survivors), 59,694 orthoses (162 for mine survivors), 164,645 crutches, and 6,756 wheelchairs.
Based on limited data collected by Landmine Monitor for 2003, NGOs and other agencies working in mine-affected countries also produced or distributed at least 18,532 prostheses, 5,047 orthoses, 14,046 crutches, 4,715 wheelchairs or tricycles, and 6,747 other assistive devices and components, and repaired 4,906 orthopedic devices; at least 7,890 devices were for mine survivors.
In total, Landmine Monitor identified 129,769 prostheses, orthoses, walking aids or other assistive devices produced, distributed, or repaired in 2003, including at least 18,533 for mine survivors: 33,817 orthopedic devices (2,725 for mine survivors) in Africa; 877 (249 for mine survivors) in Americas; 76,792 (11,329 for mine survivors) in Asia/Pacific; 7,903 (1,569 for mine survivors) in Europe/Central Asia); and 10,380 (2,661 for mine survivors) in Middle East/North Africa.
- In Chechnya, in January 2003, the Grozny Prosthetic/Orthotic Center started production.
- In China, in December 2003, the ICRC in cooperation with the Red Cross Society of China established a prosthetic center in Kunming.
- In Georgia, the Tbilisi Orthopedic Center had 458 amputees on its waiting list for services as at the end of December 2002.
- In Nicaragua, at the end of 2003, 490 amputees were on the waiting list for prostheses at the national orthopedic center in Managua.
- In Sudan, in June 2003, an orthopedic workshop opened in Kassala.
- In Uganda, of 1,183 amputees identified to May 2003 in northern Uganda, only 629 (54 percent) had been fitted with prostheses.
- In Yemen, in 2003, a new orthopedic center opened in Mukalla in the remote Hadramont governorate.
Landmine Monitor recorded 8,620 people that received psychosocial support, including at least 1,939 survivors: 4,506 people (574 mine/UXO survivors) in Africa; 536 (280 survivors) in Americas; 2,046 (225 survivors) in Asia/Pacific; 1,244 (839 survivors) in Europe/Central Asia; and 288 (21 survivors) in Middle East/North Africa.
- Several mine survivors participated in the Paralympic Games in Athens in September 2004.
- In Azerbaijan, in 2004, the Azerbaijan Landmine Victims Association was established; only 78 (20 percent) of 382 mine survivors interviewed in a recent survey reported receiving psychological support.
- In Chechnya, in July 2003 the first meeting of the Mine Survivors Club was organized in Gudermes.
- In Croatia, in 2001, the Croatian Mine Victims Association was established. In April 2004, reconstruction work began on a new psychosocial support center in Rovinj.
- In Lebanon, in September 2003, the first Arab summer camp for mine survivors from Jordan, Lebanon, Sudan and Syria was held.
- In Perú, in 2003, the Association of Victims and Survivors of Landmines, was created by former National Police members injured during mine clearance or mine-laying activities.
- In the Republic of Korea, in September 2003, the Association of Mine Victims was established.
- In Russia, in April 2003, the St. Petersburg Elks participated in the first World Standing Amputee Ice Hockey Championships in Helsinki; seven mine survivors are on the team.
- In Uganda, in August 2002, the Lira Landmine Survivors Association was established to support women mine survivors and other persons with disabilities.
Vocational Training and Economic Reintegration
Although many mine survivors and actors in survivor assistance regard economic integration through employment and income generation opportunities as a top priority, there is little evidence to show significant progress in this area. Numerous small programs have been implemented in several countries since 1999; however, the number of survivors benefiting from these programs appears to be small.
Landmine Monitor recorded 7,858 people assisted with vocational training and/or economic reintegration, including at least 2,304 survivors: 846 people in Africa, at least 553 survivors; 452 in Americas, at least 36 survivors; 4,450 in Asia/Pacific, at least 1,280 survivors; 1,875 in Europe/Central Asia, at least 242 survivors; and 235 in Middle East/North Africa, at least 193 mine survivors.
- In the Landmine Impact Surveys for Azerbaijan, Chad, Ethiopia, Somaliland, Thailand and Yemen, no recent mine survivors reported receiving vocational training since being injured.
- In Afghanistan, one NGO reports a three-year waiting list to join its socio-economic reintegration program.
- In Albania, in 2003, a new income generation project started in the mine-affected districts.
- In Bosnia and Herzegovina, 85 percent of mine survivors are reportedly concerned about the lack of employment opportunities and economic reintegration.
- In Cambodia, mine survivors elaborated a twelve-point plan that identifies their needs and those of their communities. Priorities include adequate shelter, enough food to eat, a job or the possibility to generate an income, a school for their children, and a chance for adults to learn a new skill.
- In Sri Lanka, in 2003, the UNDP Disability Assistance Project started in Jaffna to promote the economic reintegration of mine survivors and other persons with physical disabilities.
- In Vietnam, a 2003 survey found that the top priority for over 75 percent of mine survivors was assistance in socio-economic reintegration.
In 2003, at least 811 doctors, surgeons, nurses, first aid providers, prosthetic/orthotic technicians and physical therapists received training: 228 local healthcare providers in Africa, twelve in Americas, 336 in Asia/Pacific, 143 in Europe/Central Asia, and 92 in Middle East/North Africa. Since 1999, at least 7,026 doctors, surgeons, nurses, first aid providers, prosthetic/orthotic technicians and physical therapists received training: 4,481 local healthcare providers in Africa, 28 in Americas, 1,505 in Asia/Pacific, 520 in Europe/Central Asia, and more than 492 in Middle East/North Africa.
- In Afghanistan, in 2003, a six-month training course in prosthetics and orthotics was initiated. In 2002, a two-year physiotherapy course started in Jalalabad.
- In Cambodia, in 1999, the Cambodian School of Prosthetics and Orthotics was accredited by the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO), and is one of only four Category II training centers in the world.
- In Eritrea, since October 2002, the UNDP Capacity Building Program in Victim Assistance is working with the government to build national capacity to provide adequate assistance to mine survivors.
- In Ethiopia, in March 2003, the ICRC started teaching Ethiopia’s first prosthetics/orthotics diploma course at a new training center.
- In Kosovo, in 2002 a three-year degree course for physiotherapists was established at the University of Pristina.
- In Slovenia, since 1998, a total of 290 specialists from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, FYR Macedonia and Kosovo have completed rehabilitation training.
- In Zambia, in 2003, the ICRC started a new program to build capacity at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka.
Disability Policy and Practice
Landmine survivor assistance, as with assistance for all persons with disabilities, is more than just a medical and rehabilitation issue; it is also a human rights issue. Until this is recognized and addressed people with a disability will continue to face significant barriers to their social and economic reintegration.
- In Afghanistan, in October 2003, the “Comprehensive National Disability Policy” was created.
- In Algeria, in 2002, new legislation was passed protecting the rights of persons with disabilities.
- In Bangladesh, in 2001, the Parliament adopted the first comprehensive disability legislation.
- In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the “Development Strategy for BiH: PRSP (poverty reduction strategy paper) and Social Protection of People with Disabilities” includes a proposal for a law on the protection of people with disabilities, without distinction to the cause of disability.
- In Cambodia, in 2000, a draft “Law on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities” was prepared, but as of September 2004, the Ministry of Social Affairs had not submitted the legislation to the Council of Ministries for approval.
- In Croatia, in 2002, the Parliament adopted a new national strategy aimed at improving the quality of life of persons with disabilities, without distinction to the cause of disability.
- In the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, in June 2003, the Supreme People’s Assembly of DPRK adopted a new law to protect the rights of persons with disabilities.
- In DR Congo, in 2002, a social fund for military war-injured, including mine survivors, was created at the level of the Presidency.
- In Honduras, in May 2004, a new national policy on disability was approved.
- In India, in 2002, the government announced that compensation would be paid to the casualties of military-related explosions.
- In Kenya, on 31 December 2003, the new “Persons with Disabilities Act 2003” received presidential assent.
- In Lebanon, in 2000, a new law called “Access and Rights of the Disabled” was approved by Parliament; however, it has not been fully implemented due to a lack of funding.
- In Mozambique, in June 1999, Parliament enacted a new disability ,law but it has not been fully implemented due to a lack of resources.
- In Namibia, in 2001, the Disability Advisory Office was established within the Prime Minister’s office to provide advice on issues relating to persons with disabilities.
- In Nicaragua, in 2003, it was acknowledged that the existing disability legislation had little impact on the lives of mine survivors.
- In Pakistan, the government is paying compensation to mine survivors and the families of those killed as a result of the conflict on the Pakistan-India border.
- In Sri Lanka, in August 2003, the Cabinet approved the National Disability Policy.
- In Syria, in July 2004, a new national law to protect the rights of persons with disabilities was issued by the President.
- In Uganda, a new disability policy was put in place in 2000, and in February and June 2004, a representative of the Rehabilitation and Disability Prevention Desk of the Ministry of Health participated in the meetings of the Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration in Geneva.
- In Vietnam, in 2001, the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs established the National Coordinating Council on Disabilities.
- In Yemen, in 1999, Act 61 on the Care and Rehabilitation of the Disabled was issued; in January 2002, Presidential Law Number 2 established a care and rehabilitation fund for persons with disabilities.
In mine-affected country reports in Landmine Monitor Report 2004, information is provided on the facilities that have been identified as assisting landmine survivors and other persons with disabilities. Since 2002, many facilities have been asked to report on how many people were assisted in the previous year, and how many were landmine survivors. Landmine Monitor was not always able to get this information and some facilities do not keep records on the cause of injury, as all persons with disabilities are treated equally. Some facilities reported not having the capacity to record any form of data. Nevertheless, while acknowledging that the data is far from complete, it does give an indication of where additional attention may be needed in landmine survivor assistance. It is also recognized that the figures presented in the preceding sections do not represent the total number of individuals assisted, as one person may have accessed several of the services recorded.
- In Afghanistan, data collected on 75,688 persons with disabilities identified 13,624 mine survivors.
- In Cambodia, an external evaluation of the Cambodia Mine/UXO Victim Information System (CMVIS) reported that the system is “unique in the world in terms of coverage and detail,” including details on the type of injuries sustained by survivors.
- In Chechnya, in 2001, UNICEF and local partners started collecting data on civilian mine/UXO casualties.
- In Colombia, in 2001, the OAS AICMA (Comprehensive Action Against Antipersonnel Mines) program supported the implementation of the Antipersonnel Mines Observatory to record and monitor information on mine and UXO casualties and survivors.
- In DR Congo, in 2002, UNMACC started collecting data on mine/UXO casualties for entry into an IMSMA database.
- In Nicaragua, in October 2001, OAS PADCA released the first report from its database on reported mine/UXO casualties in the country since 1980.
- In Rwanda, the National Demining Office has been collecting mine casualty data using IMSMA since June 2001.
- In Sri Lanka, since 2003, the UNDP IMSMA database has become a reliable source of information on mine and UXO casualties.
- In Sudan, in May 2003, the Southern Sudan Mine Action Coordination Office mine casualty data mechanism using IMSMA became operational.
- In Tajikistan, in 2003, the Mine Action Cell started gathering data on mine casualties.
Coordination and Planning
Following the results of an UNMAS consultative process undertaken on behalf of the Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration, coordination and planning by mine-affected States was identified as a key priority to ensure adequate assistance for mine survivors.
- In Albania, in 2003, an integrated victim assistance strategy was implemented.
- In Angola, since September 2001, the Support and Social Reintegration sub-commission of National and Sectorial Commission for Demining and Humanitarian Assistance has coordinated and monitored the activities of victim assistance providers.
- In Azerbaijan, in 2003, the Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Action appointed a victim assistance officer to coordinate activities of the Mine Victim Assistance Working Group and develop a long-term assistance program.
- In Bosnia and Herzegovina, in 2003, the Mine Action Center announced plans to establish a mine victim assistance coordination group to develop a plan of action. In June 2004, the final version of the Landmine Victim Assistance Strategy was released.
- In Cambodia, the Cambodia Mine Action Authority is responsible for the coordination and monitoring of mine victim assistance but has delegated responsibility to the Ministry of Social Affairs, Labor, Vocational Training and Youth Rehabilitation, and the Disability Action Council. In March 2004, CMAA presented a draft strategic plan for 2004-2009.
- In Chad, in 2003, a new department for victim assistance was created within the National High Commission on Demining, with the aim to improve mine victim assistance.
- In Colombia, in 2001, the government launched the Program for Mine Accident Prevention and Victim Assistance.
- In Eritrea, in April 2003, the Ministry of Labor and Human Welfare endorsed the victim assistance strategic plan for 2002-2006.
- In Guinea-Bissau, in August 2002, the National Mine Action Center organized its first meeting to elaborate a national plan of action to support mine survivors.
- In Laos, in 2003, the new National Strategic Plan included victim assistance and resources from the UNDP Trust Fund will be available for both physical rehabilitation and socio-economic reintegration.
- In Lebanon, in 2001, the National Demining Office established a National Victim Assistance Committee.
- In Mozambique, the National Demining Institute’s Five Year National Mine Action Plan (2002-2006) affirms its coordinating role in mine victim assistance.
- In Nicaragua, survivor assistance falls within the mandate of the National Demining Commission, which consults with the National Rehabilitation Council to find effective mechanisms to improve the social reintegration of mine survivors.
- In Slovenia, in 2003, the International Trust Fund for Demining and Mine Victims Assistance facilitated a regional study on mine victim assistance in the South-East Europe to identify gaps and promote regional cooperation.
- In Sudan, in 2003, the National Mine Action Office recruited a Victim Assistance Officer to assist in capacity building and develop a plan of action for victim assistance.
- In Thailand, in January 2004, the Public Relations Department of the Royal Thai Government established a “Public Relations Strategic Working Group for Disabled Persons” to devise a strategic plan for persons with disabilities.
- In Yemen, in 2001, the Victim Assistance Department of the National Mine Action Program was established.
- In Zimbabwe, in 2002, a Victims Assistance, Rehabilitation, Reintegration, and Resettlement Office was established as part of the Zimbabwe Mine Action Center.
Challenges in Providing Adequate, Appropriate, and Sustainable Assistance
In May 2004, a workshop bringing together rehabilitation experts implementing programs to assist mine survivors and other persons with disabilities in mine-affected countries was convened by Handicap International (HI). The aim of the workshop was to evaluate progress in the implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty in relation to victim assistance. Some of the key findings of the workshop included:
- There has been little lasting improvement in medical and surgical care.
- Developing physical rehabilitation programs takes a long time.
- Rehabilitation works best when it is comprehensive, holistic, and multi-layered.
- Few physical rehabilitation programs are sustainable as currently constituted.
- All physical rehabilitation stakeholders must coordinate resources, planning and training.
- Collaboration and coordination are essential for program sustainability.
- Psychosocial support plays a critical role in successful rehabilitation.
- Capacity building of local personnel is essential for program sustainability.
- Economic integration is the primary unmet need identified by beneficiaries in every mine-affected country.
Research undertaken by Landmine Monitor, together with the findings of the HI workshop, indicates that while some progress has been made since 1999, there is still much work to be done. Most mine-affected countries are experiencing similar problems, though to varying degrees, and there are several key challenges that need to be addressed to ensure that the growing number of mine survivors receive adequate and appropriate assistance. These include:
- Facilitating access to appropriate healthcare and rehabilitation facilities;
- Addressing the affordability of appropriate healthcare and rehabilitation;
- Improving and upgrading facilities for rehabilitation and psychosocial support;
- Creating opportunities for employment and income generation;
- Capacity building and on-going training of healthcare practitioners, including doctors, surgeons, nurses, physiotherapists and orthopedic technicians;
- Capacity building of personnel within relevant government ministries, and of local associations of persons with disabilities;
- Raising awareness of the rights of persons with disabilities;
- Establishing an effective legal and social welfare system to protect the rights of all persons with disabilities, including mine victims;
- Supporting local NGOs and agencies to ensure the participation of people with disabilities in issues that most concern them and to promote appropriate and sustainable programs;
- Collaboration and coordination of all stakeholders, including local, national and international agencies, in relation to resources, planning and training;
- Obtaining sufficient funding to support programs;
- Coordination of donor support; and
- Engaging the relevant government ministries in mine-affected countries in the planning and implementation of programs.
The Nairobi Summit on a Mine-Free World in November/December 2004 marks an important milestone in global efforts to raise awareness of the rights and needs of mine survivors and other persons with disabilities, and to encourage States to match resources with needs in mine-affected communities to promote the physical rehabilitation and socio-economic reintegration of survivors. The Mine Ban Treaty is the first multilateral disarmament treaty in history to call for assistance to the victims of the banned weapon. States Parties meeting in Nairobi will, in relation to mine victims, identify a number of key challenges to be addressed in the period 2005-2009 to fulfill the promise to mine survivors that the treaty implied.
The draft Nairobi Action Plan for the period 2005-2009 has identified 22 States Parties, with hundreds or thousands of mine survivors, that are deemed to face the most profound challenges in meeting their responsibility to support mine survivors: Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, Cambodia, Chad, Colombia, Croatia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, El Salvador, Eritrea, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Senegal, Serbia and Montenegro, Sudan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Uganda, and Yemen. Providing assistance where necessary to these 22 States Parties will become a more focused challenge for all States Parties over the next five years. The draft Action Plan acknowledges that all States have a responsibility to assist mine survivors. As noted previously, Landmine Monitor has identified 53 States, including non-States Parties to the treaty with thousands of survivors, which also appear to need additional assistance in meeting the needs of mine survivors within their populations.
The Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration (SC-VA) has been, and will continue to be, an integral mechanism in advancing understanding and identifying needs in relation to mine victim assistance among the States Parties. The meetings of the SC-VA have been conducted in what was described as a “spirit of practical cooperation, inclusivity and collegiality.” Mine survivors, the ICBL, the ICRC, and numerous NGOs have worked closely with States Parties to advance the important work of the SC-VA.
The SC-VA has been co-chaired by Australia and Croatia since September 2003. The co-rapporteurs (who are expected to become co-chairs in December 2004) were Nicaragua and Norway. Two intersessional meetings of the SC-VA were held in February and June 2004. Other co-chairs of the SC-VA since 1999 were México and Switzerland (1999/2000), Japan and Nicaragua (2000/2001), Canada and Honduras (2001/2002), and Colombia and France (2002/2003).
One of the early tasks undertaken by the SC-VA was to clarify the terms such as “mine victim” and “victim assistance,” and to identify the key elements of victim assistance that were fundamental to focused discussions on fulfilling the aims of the Mine Ban Treaty. Through the work of the SC-VA, States came to understand that assistance to mine survivors should not be promoted in such a manner as to exclude persons injured or disabled from other causes and must be seen in the broader context of development and underdevelopment. States also now understand that mine victim assistance is more than just a medical or rehabilitation issue – it is also a human rights issue. After the foundations were laid by previous co-chairs, Canada hosted a “Standing Committee Planning Workshop” in Ottawa in October 2001, to promote discussion on establishing a framework for the SC-VA’s future activities and identifying key issues to be addressed. As a result of the workshop, in 2002 UNMAS was invited to undertake a consultative process to identify the priority areas for future discussions within the SC-VA on victim assistance. Five key areas were identified: emergency and continuing medical care; physical rehabilitation / prosthetics; psychological and social support; economic reintegration; and laws, public policies and national planning.
In 2004, the SC-VA continued to identify practical means to assist States Parties in meeting their obligations under the Mine Ban Treaty in relation to mine victim assistance, through an increased emphasis on hearing concrete plans of action from mine-affected States, based on the priorities established by the consultative process, for the care and rehabilitation of landmine survivors. In 2003 and 2004, a total of 32 mine-affected States Parties presented to the SC-VA their plans, progress and priorities for mine victim assistance, and their problems in meeting the needs. In 2004, presentations were made by: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, Cambodia, Colombia, Croatia, El Salvador, Eritrea, Guinea-Bissau, Jordan, Mozambique, Namibia, Nicaragua, Perú, Rwanda, Senegal, Serbia and Montenegro, Sudan, Thailand, Uganda, Yemen, and Zimbabwe. In 2003, presentations were also made by Chad, DR Congo, Djibouti, Tajikistan, Turkey and Zambia.
Eleven States Parties reported on their policies and initiatives to support mine-affected States in providing funding and other assistance to mine victims in 2004: Canada, Denmark, Germany, Holy See, Japan, México, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, and Sweden. In 2003, presentations were also made by Australia, Austria, France, Hungary, Luxembourg, and the United Kingdom.
In February 2004, the SC-VA welcomed 14 mine survivors from Europe and the Caucasus, taking part in the Raising the Voices initiative. At the June meetings, eight Raising the Voices participants from the Middle East participated and, as has become the standard practice, made focused and substantive interventions. Since 2000, a total of 62 mine survivors from 37 countries/areas participated in the Raising the Voices program: Abkhazia (one), Afghanistan (two), Albania (two), Angola (two), Azerbaijan (one), Belarus (one), Bosnia and Herzegovina (two), Cambodia (two), Chad (two), Chechnya (one), Chile (one), Colombia (two), Croatia (two), Ecuador (one), El Salvador (one), Eritrea (two), Ethiopia (one), Georgia (two), India (two), Jordan (two), Laos (two), Lebanon (two), Mozambique (two), Nepal (two), Nicaragua (three), Pakistan (two), Russia (one), Rwanda (one), Senegal (one), South Africa (one), Sri Lanka (two), Sudan (one), Syria (two), Thailand (four), Uganda (one), Ukraine (one), and Yemen (two).
The ICBL’s Working Group on Victim Assistance (WGVA) continued to participate actively in the SC-VA 2004 meetings. The co-chairs (Landmine Survivors Network and Ugandan landmine survivor Margaret Arach Orech) and the Landmine Monitor thematic research coordinator on victim assistance worked together on presentations to inform participants on aspects of progress and problems in the implementation of Article 6.3. In September 2003 and June 2004, representatives of the WGVA met with several NGOs working in prosthetics and orthotics to continue development of a joint strategy and specific plans to strengthen coordination, collaboration, and long-term planning in mine-affected countries.
Since the voluntary Form J of the Article 7 transparency report, developed by the SC-VA, was endorsed at the Second Meeting of States Parties in September 2000, its use has increased significantly. As of 31 August 2004, a total of 34 States Parties had submitted the Form J with their Article 7 reports for 2003 to report on victim assistance activities or mine action funding more generally: 18 mine-affected States Parties (Albania, Angola, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, DR Congo, Ecuador, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Malawi, Mozambique, Perú, Tajikistan, Thailand, and Zimbabwe), and 16 non-affected States Parties (Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, México, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, and Sweden). In addition, three mine-affected States Parties (Bangladesh, Senegal and Yemen) provided casualty and victim assistance information in Form I of their Article 7 reports.
In December 2001, the United Nations General Assembly agreed to establish an Ad Hoc Committee to consider proposals for an international convention to “promote and protect the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities.” The Ad Hoc Committee first met from 29 July to 9 August 2002 and again from 16-27 June 2003, where it agreed to establish a Working Group to prepare and present a draft text for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Working Group is comprised of 27 governmental representatives and 12 NGO representatives, particularly organizations of, and for, persons with disabilities. The Working Group met for ten days from 5-16 January 2004 to prepare the draft text, which was then discussed at the Third Session of the Ad Hoc Committee from 24 May to 4 June 2004. The Fourth Session was held from 23 August to 3 September 2004.
In addition to governments, participants in the Ad Hoc Committee meetings included representatives from NGOs, academic institutions, legal experts, specialists in disabilities, and people with disabilities, including those representing mine survivors. In a scenario reminiscent of negotiations for the Mine Ban Treaty, the active participation of civil society, and people with disabilities themselves, has made a significant contribution to the progress achieved so far.
 For more details on Victim Assistance funding see Landmine Monitor Report 2004: Executive Summary.
 For the purposes of Landmine Monitor research, casualties include the individuals killed or injured as a result of an incident involving antipersonnel mines, antivehicle mines, improvised explosive devices, dud cluster munitions, and other unexploded ordnance. From the information available in many countries it is not always possible to determine with certainty the type of weapon that caused the incident. Where this level of detail is available, information is included in the country report. If only incidents caused by UXO are identified in a particular country, then that country is not included in the table.
 These include Abkhazia, Chechnya, Kosovo, Nagorno-Karabakh, Palestine, Somaliland, and Western Sahara.
 The reported new casualties should be viewed as a minimum as some heavily mine-affected countries were not able to provided statistics for the full year, for example, Iraq. Some reports refer to several people killed or injured without a specific figure being given; no estimates are included in the total. Furthermore, the figures for mine casualties involving women and children should be also be viewed as a minimum; in many instances this level of detail was not made available to Landmine Monitor.
 In 2002, more than 8,333 new mine/UXO casualties were reported, in 2001 more than 8,417, and in 2000 more than 8,378. The total figure since 1999 includes almost 3,000 new casualties identified over various time periods in 2004.
 In addition to the mine-affected countries, Landmine Monitor has identified mine and UXO survivors in: Bolivia, Bulgaria, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Estonia, Hungary, Kenya, Indonesia, Latvia, Lithuania, Mongolia, Nigeria, Panamá, Tanzania, and Timor Leste.
 Rahul Chandran, Director, Comprehensive Disabled Afghans Program, presentation to the Opening Ceremony of the Asia-Pacific Landmine Monitor Researcher’s Meeting, Kabul, 27 March 2004.
 For further information, see ICBL Working Group on Victim Assistance, Guidelines for the Care and Rehabilitation of Survivors; 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.
 More detailed information was compiled by Handicap International in Landmine Victim Assistance: World Report 2002, which examines a wide range of indicators to determine a State’s capacity to adequately address the needs of persons with disabilities, including landmine survivors.
 For the full report see Handicap International, “Lessons Learned Workshop: A Review of Assistance Programs for War Wounded and other Persons Living in Mine-Affected Countries,” Paris, 25-28 May 2004, available at www.handicap-international.org.
 See also Handicap International, “Landmine Victim Assistance in South East Europe,” Brussels, September 2003, available at www.handicapinternational.be/downloads/ITFVAStudyfinalreport.pdf, accessed 14 October 2004.
 More information on the SC-VA, including texts of presentations, is available at www.gichd.ch.
 Fourteen States Parties submitted the Form J with their Article 7 Report in 2001: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Honduras, Japan, Mozambique, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Perú, Philippines, Sweden, Thailand, and Zimbabwe.
 In addition nine States Parties, (Benin, Chad, Chile, Malta, Romania, Rwanda, Slovakia, Tanzania, and Uruguay), submitted the Form J to report on other issues. Poland, though not a State Party, also submitted an Article 7 Report with the Form J to report on its support for mine action.
 UNGA Resolution 56/168.
 For more information see www.un.org/esa/socdev/enable/rights; see also www.rightsforall.com .