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 122 governments in Ottawa, Canada in December 1997, the Mine Ban Treaty had 151 States Parties as of 1 July 2006.[1 ]An additional three states have signed but not yet ratified. A total of 40 states remain outside the treaty.
The International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) considers the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty the only viable comprehensive framework for achieving a mine-free world.[2 ]The treaty and the global effort to eradicate antipersonnel mines have yielded impressive results. A new international norm is emerging, as many governments not party to the Mine Ban Treaty are taking steps consistent with the treaty, and an increasing number of non-state armed groups are also embracing a ban. New use of antipersonnel mines continues to decline. There was compelling evidence of new use by just three governments in this Landmine Monitor reporting period (since May 2005), as well as use by non-state armed groups in 10 countries. There were no confirmed instances of antipersonnel mine transfers. However, in May 2006, the UN arms embargo monitoring group on Somalia reported that the government of Eritrea had delivered 1,000 antipersonnel mines to militant fundamentalists in Somalia; Eritrea strongly denied the charge. Four more States Parties completed destruction of their stockpiled antipersonnel mines, bringing the total to 74; only 13 States Parties still have stocks to destroy.
Over 740 square kilometers of land was demined by mine action programs in 2005― more than in any other year since the start of modern demining in the late 1980s. This was due largely to efforts in some major mine-affected countries to better identify which mine-suspected land is not in fact mined, and to improve targeting of resources and increase efficiency of clearance operations. Over 470,000 landmines (450,000 were antipersonnel mines) and 3.75 million explosive devices were removed and destroyed. Two more mine-affected countries, Guatemala and Suriname, declared fulfillment of their Article 5 obligations by completing clearance of all antipersonnel mines in mined areas. Some 15 other States Parties reported good progress towards achieving clearance before their Article 5 deadlines; however, there were indications that some dozen others are not on track to do so. Several major mine action programs were threatened by lack of funding in 2005. Mine risk education took place in 60 countries, reaching some 6.4 million people directly, in addition to mass media. MRE became increasingly integrated with other mine action activities, and there were more community-based programs. Landmine Monitor identified at least 7,328 new casualties in 2005, an increase of 11 percent from 2004.
Mine casualties occurred in every region of the world―there were new casualties in 58 countries and seven non-state territories in 2005. Efforts to improve the assistance given to mine survivors made progress in six of the 24 States Parties identified as having the most survivors and the greatest need to improve survivor assistance. However, in 2005 existing programs were far from meeting the needs of mine survivors and faced the same problems as in previous years.
The trend for year-on-year increases in mine action funding halted in 2005; this was the first significant decrease since 1992, due mainly to cuts by the two biggest donors.
Progress has been made, therefore, yet daunting challenges remain to universalize the Mine Ban Treaty and strengthen the norm of banning antipersonnel mines, to fully implement the treaty, 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 seven previous annual reports, Landmine Monitor Report 2006 provides a means of measuring that impact.
This introductory chapter provides a global overview of the current Landmine Monitor reporting period since May 2005. It contains sections on banning antipersonnel mines (universalization, treaty implementation, use, production, trade and stockpiling), on mine action (including mine risk education), and on landmine casualties and survivor assistance.
About Landmine Monitor
This is the eighth 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.
Seven 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; in Bangkok, Thailand in September 2003; in November-December 2004 at the First Review Conference in Nairobi, Kenya; and in November-December 2005 in Zagreb, Croatia.
The Landmine Monitor system features a global reporting network and an annual report. A network of 71 Landmine Monitor researchers from 62 countries gathered information to prepare this report. The researchers come from the ICBL’s campaigning coalition and 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 for 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 2006 contains information on 126 countries and areas with respect to landmine ban policy, use, production, transfer, stockpiling, mine action funding, mine clearance, mine risk education, landmine casualties, and survivor assistance. Landmine Monitor Report 2006 focuses on mine-affected countries, States Parties with major outstanding treaty implementation obligations, and non-States Parties. Information on mine action donor countries is included in a funding overview.
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 2006 Process
In June 1998, the ICBL formally agreed to create Landmine Monitor as an ICBL initiative. A four-member Editorial Board coordinates the Landmine Monitor system: Mines Action Canada, Handicap International, Human Rights Watch, and Norwegian People’s Aid. Mines Action Canada serves as the lead agency. The Editorial Board assumes overall responsibility for, and decision-making on, the Landmine Monitor system.
Research grants for Landmine Monitor Report 2006 were awarded in December 2005, following a meeting of the Editorial Board in Zagreb, Croatia from 3-4 December 2005. Thematic Research Coordinators met in Ottawa, Canada from 9-10 February 2006 to exchange information, assess what research and data gathering had already taken place, identify gaps, and ensure common research methods and reporting mechanisms for Landmine Monitor. In March and April 2006, draft research reports were submitted to Thematic Research Coordinators for review and comment.
From 2-4 April 2006 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, over sixty researchers and Thematic Research Coordinators met for the 2006 Landmine Monitor Global Research Meeting to discuss research findings, further build capacity in research and mine ban advocacy, and participate in exposure visits to Cambodian mine action field projects. The meeting was an integral part of the Landmine Monitor process and provided the only face-to-face opportunity for researchers to discuss their research findings with Thematic Research Coordinators.
In May 2006, Thematic Research Coordinators and a small group of researchers participated in the intersessional Standing Committee meetings in Geneva, Switzerland, to conduct interviews and discuss final reports and major findings. From April to July, Landmine Monitor’s team of Thematic Research Coordinators verified sources and edited country reports, with a team at Mines Action Canada taking responsibility for final fact-checking, editing, and assembly of the entire report. This report was printed during August and presented to the Seventh Meeting of States Parties to the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty in Geneva, Switzerland from 18 to 22 September 2006.
Last, but never least, we extend our gratitude to Landmine Monitor donors and supporters. Landmine Monitor’s contributors are in no way responsible for, and do not necessarily endorse, the material contained in this report. It was only possible to carry out this work with the aid of grants from:
- Government of Australia
- Government of Austria
- Government of Belgium
- Government of Canada
- Government of Cyprus
- Government of Denmark
- Government of France
- Government of Germany
- Government of Ireland
- Government of Luxembourg
- Government of the Netherlands
- Government of New Zealand
- Government of Norway
- Government of Sweden
- Government of Switzerland
- Government of the United Kingdom
- European Commission
- UN Development Programme
We also thank the donors who have contributed to the individual members of the Landmine Monitor Editorial Board and other participating organizations.