Landmine Monitor 2000


Landmine Monitor is an unprecedented initiative by the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) to monitor implementation of and compliance with the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, and more generally to assess the efforts of the international community to resolve the landmines crisis. It is the first time that non-governmental organizations are coming together in a coordinated, systematic and sustained way to monitor a humanitarian law or disarmament treaty, and to regularly document progress and problems.

The main elements of the Landmine Monitor system are a global reporting network, a central database, and an annual report. Landmine Monitor Report 2000: Toward a Mine-Free World is the second such annual report. The first annual report was released in May 1999 at the First Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in Maputo, Mozambique. To prepare this report, Landmine Monitor had 115 researchers from 95 countries gathering information. The report is largely based on in-country research, collected by in-country researchers. Landmine Monitor has utilized the ICBL campaigning network, but has also drawn in other elements of civil society to help monitor and report, including journalists, academics and research institutions.

It should be understood that Landmine Monitor is not a technical verification system or a formal inspection regime. It is an effort by civil society to hold governments accountable to the obligations that they have taken on with regard to antipersonnel mines; this is done through extensive collection, analysis and distribution of information that is publicly available. Though in some cases it does entail investigative missions, Landmine Monitor is not designed to send researchers into harm’s way and does not include hot war-zone reporting.

Landmine Monitor is meant to complement the States Parties reporting required under Article 7 of the Mine Ban Treaty. It was created in the spirit of Article 7 and reflects the shared view that transparency and cooperation are essential elements to the successful elimination of antipersonnel mines. But it is also a recognition that there is a need for independent reporting and evaluation.

Landmine Monitor and its annual report aim to promote and facilitate 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. It seeks to be critical but constructive in its analysis.

Landmine Monitor Report 2000 contains information on every country of the world with respect to landmine ban policy, use, production, transfer, stockpiling, mine clearance, mine awareness, and survivor assistance. Thus, the Monitor does not only report on States Parties and their treaty obligations, it also looks at signatory states and non-signatories as well. All countries—as well as information on key players in mine action and victim assistance in the mine-affected countries—are included in this report in the belief it will provide an important means to gauge global effectiveness on mine action and banning the weapon.

As was the case in our first year, Landmine Monitor acknowledges that this ambitious report has its shortcomings. It is to be viewed as a work in progress, a system that will be continuously updated, corrected and improved. We welcome comments, clarifications, and corrections from governments and others, in the spirit of dialogue and in the search for accurate and reliable information on a difficult subject.

Landmine Monitor 2000 Process

In June 1998, the ICBL formally agreed to create Landmine Monitor as an ICBL initiative. A Core Group was established to develop and coordinate the Landmine Monitor system. The Core Group consists of Human Rights Watch, Handicap International, Kenya Coalition Against Landmines, Mines Action Canada, and Norwegian People’s Aid. Overall responsibility for, and decision-making on, the Landmine Monitor system rests with the Core Group.

Research grants for Landmine Monitor 2000 were awarded in September 1999. The global research network met in Brussels, Belgium 31 January-2 February 2000 to discuss initial findings, exchange information, assess what research and data gathering had already taken place, identify gaps, and ensure common research methods and reporting mechanisms for the Monitor. In mid-March draft research reports were submitted to the Landmine Monitor Core Group for review and comment. On 15-17 May the members of the research network met again in Noordwijkerhout, the Netherlands to present their final reports and discuss their main findings through a peer review process. Throughout May, June and July the Core Group regional and thematic coordinators verified sources and edited country reports, with a team at Human Rights Watch taking responsibility for final fact-checking, editing and assembly of the entire report. Landmine Monitor Report 2000 also includes appendices with reports from major actors in the mine ban movement, such as key governments, UN agencies and the ICRC. This report was printed during August and presented to the Second Meeting of States Parties to the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty in Geneva, Switzerland in September 2000.

About the Treaty

The Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production, and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and On Their Destruction (“Mine Ban Treaty”)[1] was opened for signature on 3 December 1997. It entered into force on 1 March 1999.

The International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) has often been called the “engine” that has driven the antipersonnel mine ban movement that resulted in the Mine Ban Treaty, and the ICBL received the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize for its contribution. But the ICBL has insisted that, as significant an accomplishment as the treaty is, the only real measure of success will be the concrete impact that it has on the global mine problem – in terms of fewer mine victims, more land demined, reduced use of the weapon, diminished production and export, increased destruction of stockpiled antipersonnel mines, a growing number of governments joining and fully implementing the treaty, and greater adherence by non-state actors (armed rebel groups) to the norm against any possession or use of the weapon.

This Landmine Monitor Report 2000 is intended to help measure that impact.[2] Some two and one-half years after the Mine Ban Treaty opened for signature, and just over one year since it entered into force, it is apparent that the treaty, and the ban movement more generally, are already making a significant difference. While antipersonnel mines continue to be laid and to take far too many victims, great strides have been made in nearly all aspects of eradicating the weapon. The pace is not as fast as the ICBL would like, and major problems remain, but progress is striking all the same. The world is embracing the new, emerging international norm against the antipersonnel mine.

It appears that use of antipersonnel mines is on the wane globally, production has dropped dramatically, trade has halted almost completely, stockpiles are being rapidly destroyed, funding for mine action programs is on the rise, while the number of mine casualties in some of the most affected states has fallen greatly. And very importantly, even non-States Parties and non-signatories to the Mine Ban Treaty are taking some important steps toward eliminating antipersonnel mines and joining the ban treaty.

It should also be emphasized that there is no credible, verifiable evidence of any State Party violating the core prohibitions in the Mine Ban Treaty, those banning use, production, and trade. Among the notable developments since Landmine Monitor Report 1999 is the establishment of the Intersessional Standing Committee of Experts work program to promote full and effective implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty.

On the other hand, among the most deplorable developments since Landmine Monitor Report 1999 are: (1) extensive use of antipersonnel mines in the conflicts in Chechnya and Kosovo, especially by Russian and Yugoslav forces, and (2) continued use of antipersonnel mines by treaty signatory Angola, and likely use of antipersonnel mines by treaty signatories Burundi and Sudan. In this reporting period, there was use of antipersonnel mines in three additional conflicts: Chechnya/Dagestan; Kashmir; and the Philippines.

Concerns remain that insufficient resources are devoted to mine action programs, including mine clearance, mine awareness, and victim assistance activities. At a time when there is a danger of the international community turning its attention elsewhere, to deal with the next “hot” issue, there is instead a need for a re-doubling of efforts to get mines out of the ground more rapidly and to better address the needs of mine victims and mine-affected communities.


<Abbreviations and Acronyms | Banning Antipersonnel Mines>


[1] The ICBL generally uses the short title, Mine Ban Treaty, although other short titles are common as well, including Ottawa Convention and Ottawa Treaty.
[2] The reporting period for the first Landmine Monitor annual report was December 1997 to February 1999. The reporting period for this second annual report is March 1999 to May 2000. Editors have where possible added important information that arrived in June and July 2000.