© Sean Sutton/MAG, May 2014This Valmara bounding fragmentation landmine will be destroyed in-situ in Iraq.
Landmine Monitor 2015 details continued progress toward the goal of a mine-free world, but also finds challenges with non-state armed groups using landmines in more countries and a one-year rise in global casualties. While the Monitor reports an increase in clearing mine-affected areas in 2014, many states remain behind on their clearance plans and global funding for mine action declined for a second year in a row.
There are 162 States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty and one signatory—Marshall Islands—that has yet to ratify.
From October 2014 through October 2015, the government forces of Myanmar, North Korea, and Syria—all states not party to the Mine Ban Treaty—used antipersonnel landmines.
- North Korea denied emplacing new landmines along a South Korean patrol route in the demilitarized zone between the two countries, but a UN Command Military Armistice Commission investigation concluded otherwise in an August 2015 report.
- Recent Syrian government use was first documented in 2011, whereas use by the government of Myanmar (formerly Burma) has been documented annually by the Monitor since 1999. However, available information indicates that new mine use in Myanmar has been at a significantly lower level over the past several years.
Non-state armed groups used antipersonnel mines or victim-activated improvised explosive devices acting as antipersonnel mines in 10 countries: Afghanistan, Colombia, Iraq, Libya, Myanmar, Pakistan, Syria, Tunisia, Ukraine, and Yemen, a significant increase.
- The last time the Monitor reported 10 or more countries in which non-state armed groups used antipersonnel mines or victim-activated improvised explosive devices was 2006.
There was no confirmed new use of antipersonnel landmines by a State Party during the reporting period. The Treaty’s new Committee on Cooperative Compliance met with representatives of States Parties Sudan, Ukraine, Turkey, and Yemen to engage each in a cooperative dialogue regarding allegations of past use of antipersonnel mines, in some cases dating back to 2008.
In 2014, recorded casualties caused by mines, victim-activated improvised explosive devices that act as antipersonnel mines, cluster munition remnants, and other explosive remnants of war (ERW) rose compared to 2013, but was the second lowest annual total since the Monitor started recording casualties in 1999.
- In 2014, a global total of 3,678 casualties were recorded, a 12% increase compared with the total of 3,308 in 2013.
- The incidence rate of 10 casualties per day for 2014 is about 40% of that reported in 1999, when there were approximately 25 casualties each day.
- In many states and areas, numerous casualties go unrecorded, especially in conflict settings; therefore, the true casualty figure is anticipated to be much higher. Nevertheless, the decrease in casualties recorded since the entry of the Mine Ban Treaty is even more significant because of improvements in recording over time.
Casualties were identified in 54 states and four other areas in 2014, of which 37 are States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty.
- The vast majority of recorded landmine/ERW casualties were civilians (80%) where their status was known, which is nearly identical to 2013.
- In 2014, children accounted for 39% of all civilian casualties where the age was known.
- Women and girls made up 12% of all casualties where the sex was known, the same as in 2012 and 2013.
- Seventy percent of recorded global casualties occurred in States Parties.
- Afghanistan experienced the greatest single rise in casualties, with 1,296 recorded in 2014 compared to 1,050 in 2013. The bulk of the increase was due to victim-activated improvised explosive devices, with 809 recorded in 2014 compared to 567 in 2013.
- In 2014, factory-made antipersonnel mines and victim-activated improvised explosive devices acting as antipersonnel mines caused the majority of all casualties (49% combined).
- The proportion of casualties caused by victim-activated improvised explosive devices increased significantly (to 31%, up from 22% in 2013), with the casualties in Afghanistan accounting for the majority of the increase.
Contamination and Land Release
Fifty-seven states and four other areas have an identified threat of antipersonnel mine contamination as of October 2015, including 33 States Parties and 24 states not party. A further five States Parties have either suspected or residual mine contamination. At least 200km2 of land was reported to be cleared of landmines in 2014, an increase from an estimated 185km2 in 2013—destroying more than 230,000 antipersonnel and 11,500 antivehicle mines
- As in 2013, the largest total clearance of mined areas in 2014 was achieved in Afghanistan, Cambodia, and Croatia, which together accounted for 75% of recorded clearance.
- Over the past five years, approximately 976km2 of mined areas have been cleared and nearly 1.48 million antipersonnel mines and more than 82,000 antivehicle mines have been destroyed.
In 2014, Burundi completed clearance of its suspected mined areas and Mozambique declared itself free of landmines in September 2015.
- As of November 2015, 29 states and one other area have declared themselves cleared of mines since the treaty entered into force in 1999.
- Oman declared for the first time that it has areas suspected of being contaminated with antipersonnel mines in its initial Article 7 transparency report, and therefore has been added to the list of contaminated States Parties. New antipersonnel contamination arising in Ukraine has resulted in it being added to the list of contaminated States Parties.
- Of the 33 States Parties that have confirmed outstanding mine clearance obligations, 27 have been granted at least one extension period, but only three States Parties appear to be on track to meet their Article 5 clearance deadlines.
- In 2014, four States Parties submitted extension requests, all of which were approved at the Third Review Conference: Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Yemen, and Zimbabwe. In 2015, four States Parties submitted extension requests: Cyprus, Ethiopia, Mauritania, and Senegal. These are awaiting approval at the Fourteenth Meeting of States Parties to be held 30 November to 4 December 2015.
- Massive antipersonnel mine contamination, defined by the Monitor as more than 100km2, is believed to exist only in Afghanistan, Angola, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Chad, Croatia, Iraq, Thailand, and Turkey, as well as Western Sahara. Increased use of land release methodologies—technical and non-technical surveys—have improved the understanding of the remaining mine contamination in many countries.
Support for Mine Action
Donors and affected states together contributed approximately US$610 million in international and national support for mine action in 2014, a decrease of $30 million (5%) from 2013 and the second year in a row of declining support.
International assistance in 2014 was $417 million, a decrease of $23 million from 2013.
- A total of 42 states and three other areas received support from 33 donors.
- Contributions from the top five mine action donors—the United States, the European Union, Japan, Norway, and the Netherlands—accounted for 72% of all donor funding.
- This is the ninth consecutive year that international contributions for mine action have totaled more than $400 million.
- Support to mine action activities in Afghanistan dropped considerably, from $68 million in 2013 to $49 million in 2014, although it was still 30% higher than funding received by the second largest recipient (Lao PDR: $37 million).
- The top five recipient states—Afghanistan, Lao PDR, Iraq, Angola, and Cambodia—received 45% of all international contributions.
- International funding was distributed among the following sectors: clearance and risk education (68% of all funding), victim assistance (7%), advocacy (5%), capacity-building (4%), and stockpile destruction (less than 1%). The remaining 16% was not disaggregated by the donors.
Thirteen affected states provided $194 million in national support for their own mine action programs, $7 million less than in 2013 (a 4% decrease), when 18 affected countries reported contributing $201 million.
In addition to those contributions, appropriations from the UN General Assembly for mine action within peacekeeping operations provided $166 million in 2014, an increase of 10% compared with 2013.
Most States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty with significant numbers of mine victims made considerable progress in victim assistance under the Cartagena Action Plan (2009–2014) and continued to do so under the Maputo Action Plan Action (2014–2019), but still face many challenges. Findings detailed below relate to the 31 States Parties with significant numbers of mine victims.
- Through survey, understanding of the needs of mine victims continued to improve in more than half of the States Parties.
- Approximately two-thirds of the States Parties had active coordination mechanisms or relevant national plans in place to advance efforts to assist mine victims and uphold their rights. However, expired action plans for assistance in Afghanistan and Sudan had not yet been updated, while several States Parties plans remained inactive or in draft: Algeria, Burundi, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, and Yemen.
- In most of the States Parties, assistance efforts have been integrated into other disability rights and development efforts, through collaborative coordination, combined planning, and survivor participation. However, victim assistance coordination efforts stalled in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Uganda.
- In nearly all the States Parties, survivors were joining in coordination processes that affect their lives, although in many countries their participation must be better supported, especially in decision-making roles.
- More than half of the States Parties had included some information on victim assistance activities and progress in their formal reports covering calendar year 2014.
Collectively, States Parties have destroyed more than 49 million stockpiled antipersonnel mines, including more than 530,000 destroyed in 2014.
- Finland completed destruction of its stockpile of one million mines during the reporting period.
- More than nine million antipersonnel mines await destruction by six States Parties.
- Belarus, Greece, and Ukraine remain in violation of the treaty after having failed to complete the destruction of their stockpiles by their four-year deadline. Belarus and Greece had a deadline of 1 March 2008, while Ukraine had a deadline of 1 June 2010.
Transfer and Production
For the past decade, the global trade in antipersonnel mines has consisted of a low level of illicit and unacknowledged transfers, but the appearance of mines in Sudan, Ukraine, and Yemen indicates that some form of market for, and trade in, antipersonnel mines exists.
- At least nine states not party to the Mine Ban Treaty, including six landmine producers, have enacted formal moratoriums on the export of antipersonnel mines: China, India, Israel, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, and the United States.
Down from a total of more than 50 producing states before the Mine Ban Treaty’s existence, currently only 11 states are identified as potential producers of antipersonnel mines: China, Cuba, India, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, and Vietnam.
- Active production may be ongoing in as few as four countries: India, Myanmar, Pakistan, and South Korea.
Non-state armed groups in Afghanistan, Colombia, Iraq, Myanmar, Pakistan, Syria, and Tunisia produce antipersonnel mines, mostly in the form of victim-activated improvised explosive devices.