Landmine Monitor 2006

Mine Action

This section reviews the major successes and challenges in the planning, implementation and management of programs around the world that are seeking to address contamination from landmines and explosive remnants of war.[39 ]It is based primarily on an analysis of data amassed by Landmine Monitor in the course of research on 101 mine/ERW-affected countries and areas in 2005 and the first half of 2006. Reports on each of these countries describe, as relevant, the mine and ERW problem, the coordination and management of the mine action program, and progress in demining during the reporting period.[40 ]

Particular attention is paid to monitoring the progress of States Parties towards meeting their (time-limited) obligations under Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty. Full and timely compliance with this obligation represents the greatest challenge to the integrity of the treaty over the coming five years. The first Article 5 deadlines for States Parties to complete the clearance of antipersonnel mines in mined areas under their jurisdiction or control are less than three years away―yet financial resources are becoming scarcer. Maximizing effectiveness and efficiency, making the best use of available resources, should be the aim of every mine action program.

Major Achievements of Mine Action Programs

A total of more than 740 square kilometers―an area larger than the entire territory of some countries―was demined by mine action programs in 2005.[41 ]This means that more hazardous and suspected hazardous land was freed from contamination in a single year than at any time since the start of modern demining in the late 1980s.[42 ]This was spearheaded by increased efforts by several mine action programs to achieve more “area reduction” (the identification of land suspected to be contaminated that does not in fact contain either mines or ERW, without resorting to time-consuming and expensive clearance operations). In 2005, just three major mine action programs―Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia and Yemen―reduced the extent of suspected contamination by almost 340 square kilometers. Area reduction in all programs for which figures were available accounted for 55 percent of the total area demined worldwide in 2005.[43 ]

In terms of actual mine clearance, a total of almost 145 square kilometers of mined areas and 190 square kilometers of battlefields were cleared in 2005; however, these figures are likely to include an element of area reduction as some do not appear to disaggregate between the different demining techniques. Over 470,000 landmines―of which the overwhelming majority, around 450,000, were antipersonnel mines―and more than 3.75 million explosive devices were removed and destroyed.[44 ] The table below sets out the achievements of major mine action programs in 2005.

Progress in Demining (km2) in 2005 in Major Mine Action Programs[45]

Country or territory
Total area demined
Area reduction
Mine clearance
Battle area clearance
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Lao People’s Democratic Republic
Sri Lanka

These figures reflect particular successes in a number of programs. Four programs, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Yemen, each released more than 100 square kilometers of land during the year.

In Cambodia, the area cleared by humanitarian demining agencies in 2005 increased by more than 63 percent from the previous year, mainly as a result of the efforts of the Cambodian Mine Action Center, which doubled the area it cleared. Other operators in Cambodia developed a new strategy to accelerate area reduction, recognizing land previously designated as mine-suspected, but which had been put under cultivation by villagers, as low-risk if no mine incidents/casualties had occurred. The government endorsed this strategy in May 2006 and said it wanted operators to focus efforts on clearing the most densely contaminated land. By the end of 2005, HALO Trust had mapped more than 50 square kilometers of land in productive use that the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA) agreed to remove from the database of suspect land. Reform and restructuring in the CMAA in 2005 were also seen by donors as supporting the trend to higher productivity.

Progress by local communities in returning land formerly considered suspect to productive use and the narrow geographic distribution of mine incidents has sharpened debate about how long it will take Cambodia to be free from the impact of mines. HALO Trust believes that priority areas identified by affected communities may be cleared within five years―but only if clearance resources are concentrated in those areas. Furthermore, a study undertaken for the CMAA on explosive remnants of war, which was completed in 2006, projected a sharp decline in mine casualties in future years and emphasized the need to tackle the residual long-term threat from ERW as well as mines.

In Afghanistan, the pace of demining also accelerated during 2005: the total area demined increased by more than one-third (compared with 2004) to almost 140 square kilometers, according to the UN Mine Action Center for Afghanistan (UNMACA). Notably, this increase was achieved despite the greater constraints imposed by deteriorating security.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, systematic survey released an impressive 147 square kilometers of suspected hazardous land in 2005, albeit less than the annual target set by the strategic plan (170 square kilometers). Systematic survey is a non-technical general assessment involving comparative analysis of data collected by the mine action center over more than 10 years, the design of polygons (the more precise mapping of the perimeters of mined areas) and the production of precise geographical data on contaminated areas, thereby reducing suspected land.

In Yemen, by April 2006, survey and clearance operations had eliminated mines and ERW from 12 out of 14 high-impact communities, 62 out of 86 medium-impact communities and 107 low-impact communities, out of the total 594 identified by the landmine impact survey in 2000 and subsequent surveys. Demining in 2005 released more than 100 square kilometers of land—a record for the country.

Guatemala and Suriname also reported important achievements in 2005–the completion of clearance of all mined areas containing antipersonnel mines in accordance with Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty (see below). They join the only two States Parties to have previously and unequivocally declared to have met their Article 5 obligations: Costa Rica and Honduras.[46 ]

Other notable achievements during 2005 and early 2006 were reported in:

  • Abkhazia - the amount of land cleared and reduced by HALO Trust, more than 2.5 square kilometers, was a record for its program there; during 2005, HALO declared the Gali region and the Gumista river valley near Sokhumi mine impact-free.
  • China - a project to clear landmines from its border with Vietnam was launched in 2005.
  • Jordan - to accelerate mine clearance, the national mine action authority brought in an international demining NGO, Norwegian People’s Aid, in October 2005.
  • Laos - the national operator UXO Lao reported a sharp increase in productivity in 2005, demining 15.7 square kilometers of land, 25 percent more than the previous year.
  • Libya - a national program for demining and land reclamation was started in April 2005.
  • Peru and Ecuador - initiated clearance operations in the Chira river area in April 2006.
  • Rwanda - after several years of inactivity, the demining program was given a kick-start by the training and equipping of 140 deminers in early 2006, and deployment of three technical advisors from an international NGO, Mines Awareness Trust.
  • South Korea - troops started clearance of three minefields in the Civilian Control Zone and seven military bases.
  • Sri Lanka - operators demined 19.5 square kilometers, more than five times as much as in 2004, as a result of increased area reduction efforts and increased manual and mechanical clearance capacity.
  • Taiwan – a law was enacted in June 2006 with a seven-year deadline for completing clearance of all landmines from Kinmen and Matsu islands.
  • Thailand - the mine action center initiated area reduction in 2005 in a bid to accelerate demining, and the area released (5.9 square kilometers) nearly tripled compared to 2004. Rapid acceleration in clearance of land was also reported in the first quarter of 2006, mostly through area reduction―4.3 square kilometers was area-reduced in the first three months, almost as much as in the whole of 2005.
  • Ukraine - an interagency working group to prepare a national mine action program was formed in January 2006.

Major Challenges for Mine Action Programs

Despite the achievements of many mine action programs, major challenges confront all programs. Three of these challenges are: responding effectively to the needs of affected communities; fulfilling the requirements of Article 5; and ensuring national ownership and good governance of the mine action program. These challenges are outlined below.

Responding Effectively to Community Needs

Assessing the Mine Problem: Identifying the nature and extent of mine and ERW contamination and its impact on the civilian population is a pre-requisite for an effective national mine action response. If the relevant actors do not agree on this, they are unlikely to adopt coordinated and effective responses. Some states have been more adept than others at accurately determining the problem to be addressed.

Landmine Monitor research indicates that 78 states and eight other areas are affected by mined areas. There are an additional 14 states and areas primarily affected by explosive remnants of war; some may also have a residual level of mine contamination.[47]

The Global Landmine Problem in 2005-2006

Central Asia
Middle East/
North Africa
Democratic Republic of Congo Republic of Congo
Korea, North
Korea, South
Burma (Myanmar)
Sri Lanka
Bosnia and Herzegovina
France (Djibouti)
FYR Macedonia
Serbia & Montenegro
UK (Falklands)
Western Sahara

Bold: States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty; italics: areas not recognized as states by the UN.

Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty requires each State Party to make “every effort” to identify all areas under its jurisdiction or control that contain antipersonnel mines, prior to and in preparation for clearance.[48 ]This implies that a State Party should carry out an appropriate survey of suspected mined areas. Until recently, the most widely used form of “needs assessment” was the Landmine Impact Survey (LIS), as promoted by the Survey Working Group. It appears that the LIS is falling out of favor with some mine action programs.[49 ]This is due to a number of factors, including accuracy, cost, time and resources used. Many Landmine Impact Surveys have led to excessive estimates of the extent of contaminated land.

In Mozambique, for example, the accuracy of the 2001 LIS was questioned from the outset. It produced an estimate of the area affected, 562 square kilometers, that several key operators considered exaggerated. A new estimate of 149 square kilometers was produced by the National Demining Institute, based on the LIS results and taking into account subsequent re-surveys and mine clearance, at the end of 2005. Mine clearance since the LIS accounted for only a small portion of this decrease. The new estimate may still significantly overstate the extent of contamination. Extrapolation from re-surveys by three clearance operators indicated that the actual extent of affected areas is far lower. According to a UN Development Programme (UNDP) official in Mozambique, “given that since 2001, of the 423 square kilometers visited by operators in the 1,047 LIS-identified areas, only 17.5 square kilometers of land needed clearance, it can be assumed, with caution, that the remaining 149 square kilometers which need clearance may turn out to be only six square kilometers.”

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, similarly, official claims based on the 2003 LIS are that the total area potentially contaminated by mines and UXO is about 2,100 square kilometers. However, in November 2005, the deputy director of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Mine Action Center referred to the need to clear only some 400 square kilometers. Confirmation that the contaminated area had been significantly overestimated also came from a study of survey and a UNDP mid-term review, which noted that systematic survey has reduced the size and number of suspected hazardous areas by 50 percent in the Federation entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina.[50 ]

In Angola, also, a LIS ongoing since 2004 and uncompleted has estimated that there are approximately 2,900 suspected hazardous areas covering some 1,300 to 1,400 square kilometers. However, according to UNDP, this estimated can be significantly reduced by technical survey and area reduction.

The effectiveness of a LIS may be greatly increased by combining it with existing survey data. In Afghanistan, the LIS incorporated survey data that operators had amassed over the years, thereby confirming or discrediting data from the LIS preliminary opinion collection. This resulted in a significant reduction, from 1,350 to 715 square kilometers, in the estimate of contaminated land. The more focused impact survey also found that Afghanistan’s mine and ERW contamination is more geographically concentrated than previously thought. All but one of the 32 provinces are mine-affected, but three-quarters of suspected hazardous areas and of recent casualties are in only 12 provinces; half the suspected hazardous areas are in six provinces and nearly half the recent casualties are in three provinces. Survey information such as this has obvious and significant implications for the targeting of demining resources.

However, not every excessive estimate of contamination can be ascribed to an impact survey. Mauritania, for example, has previously claimed that one quarter of its territory is mine-suspected, although none of the areas have been mapped. Mauritania expects a forthcoming impact survey, focusing only on communities in the north suspected to be mine-affected, to provide a more realistic estimate of the extent of the problem and specifics of the locations and nature of the mine contamination.

Kosovo is an example of initial overestimation of the mine problem and, possibly, later underestimation. Estimates in 2000 of contamination covering 360 square kilometers were reduced greatly, although demining operations accounted for only 41 square kilometers of the reduction from 1999 to the end of 2005. As to the extent of the remaining mine problem, the UN and a major mine action operator continue to disagree forcefully: the UN describes this as “residual” on the level of western European countries, while HALO Trust is convinced that there are many more than the 15 known dangerous areas and 51 suspect areas at the end of 2005.

Village Demining: A second component in efforts to respond effectively to the needs of affected communities is resource allocation, including the targeting of demining resources. So-called “village,” or “spontaneous” demining continues to receive a great deal of attention, especially in southeast Asia. Previously, mine action programs have tended to eschew formal recognition of such initiatives. That is beginning to change. There may be formal recognition of voluntary efforts by villagers to clear mines from land needed for local sustainability, with the provision of some training, equipment and oversight. At a minimum, there is a growing appreciation that such intentional risk-taking is a reasoned and economically-driven response by communities who do not expect that professional deminers will assist them in the near future. This re-emphasizes the need to target resources effectively.

In Cambodia in 2005, HALO Trust deployed three survey teams for two months to investigate local land reclamation initiatives in three districts of two provinces. They found that farmers had reclaimed 34.53 square kilometers of land, cleared 3,371 mines and 2,222 pieces of UXO, sustaining only one injury. HALO concluded, “This initiative was equivalent to tens of millions of dollars worth of clearance work by demining operators, and therefore deserves serious attention.”

Marking and Fencing: One frequently overlooked requirement of Article 5 is that, prior to clearance operations, each affected State Party should ensure, as soon as possible, that mined areas are “perimeter-marked, monitored and protected by fencing or other means, to ensure the effective exclusion of civilians, until all anti-personnel mines contained there-in have been destroyed.”

Few if any mine-affected States Parties are known to have fulfilled this obligation comprehensively, and few have reported adequately in Article 7 reports on their efforts to meet this treaty obligation. Denmark, France (in respect of its base on Djibouti), and the United Kingdom (Falklands) appear to have taken adequate measures to ensure the exclusion of civilians from mined areas under their jurisdiction or control.

Fulfilling the Requirments of Article 5

Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty requires the destruction of all antipersonnel mines in mined areas within the jurisdiction or control of a State Party as soon as possible, and no later than 10 years from entry of force of the treaty for each State Party.

Landmine Monitor research indicates that at least 29 States Parties with Article 5 deadlines in 2009 (24 States Parties) or 2010 (five States Parties) have mined areas containing antipersonnel mines under their jurisdiction or control: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Chad, Croatia, Denmark, Djibouti, Ecuador, France (a French military base in Djibouti), Jordan, FYR Macedonia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nicaragua, Niger, Peru, the Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Uganda, the United Kingdom (Falkland Islands),[51 ]Venezuela, Yemen and Zimbabwe.

States Parties likely to be able to meet their Article 5 deadlines include: Albania, Djibouti, France, Jordan, FYR Macedonia, Malawi, Namibia, Nicaragua, Rwanda, Swaziland, Tunisia, Uganda and Venezuela. Also, Ecuador and Peru have publicly affirmed their determination to meet their respective deadlines.

However, at least 13 of the 29 States Parties with Article 5 deadlines in 2009/2010 are not currently on course to meet their treaty obligation. Collectively, greater efforts are required to fulfill the commitment made by States Parties at the First Review Conference to “strive to ensure that few, if any, States Parties will feel compelled to request an extension in accordance with the procedure set out in Article 5, paragraphs 3-6 of the Convention.”[52]

Article 5 Status of Mine-Affected States Parties with 2009-2010 Deadlines[53]

Declared compliance/completion of clearance
Compliance/ completion of clearance
Indications currently on-track to meet deadline (or clear statements of intent to do so)
Indications not on-track to meet deadline (or no clear statement of intent to do so)
Costa Rica
Bosnia and Herzegovina
France (Djibouti)
FYR Macedonia
UK(Falkland Islands)


Initiating and Completing Demining Operations As Soon As Possible: Article 5 requires each State to make “every effort” to identify areas under its jurisdiction or control that contain antipersonnel mines and to destroy all the antipersonnel mines in any such areas as soon as possible. Thus, immediately upon entry into force of the treaty, Article 5 obligations are formally engaged for any State Party for which it is known, or suspected, that areas under its jurisdiction or control may contain antipersonnel mines.

It appears that not all States Parties have accepted that they have mined areas under their jurisdiction or control that contain antipersonnel mines, despite prima facie evidence. For example:

The Philippines has denied that that there are mined areas on its territory, but occasional reports suggest otherwise.

Bangladesh has claimed in its Article 7 reports that there are no known or suspected mined areas on its territory. However, there are believed to be mines on its 208-kilometer border with Burma (Myanmar) and in the Chittagong Hill tracts. The Bangladeshi Army, commenting in 2005 on earlier Landmine Monitor findings, said it had also “learned that mines were laid by the Na Sa Ka [Burmese border security forces] but they [the Na Sa Ka] denied the existence of any landmines along the border.” Bangladesh has an Article 5 deadline of March 2011.

Moldova reported that it had completed the destruction of all antipersonnel mines in mined areas by August 2000. However, people in some communities remain skeptical about the results of past demining operations and still avoid entering certain suspected areas. For example, there are claims by the head of Dubasari district that mines remain in a number of wooded areas that Moldovan deminers did not find. There are also suspicions that other areas, not subject to earlier clearance, are also contaminated. Moldova also has an Article 5 deadline of March 2011.

Republic of Congo has not stated unequivocally that it has mined areas. Its Article 7 reports stated that “no mined area has yet been identified” but then indicated the location of a possible mined area, which UN information confirms. Republic of Congo has an Article 5 deadline of November 2011.

There are, in the view of Landmine Monitor, some notable cases where States Parties have accepted that they have obligations under Article 5, but have not acted “as soon as possible” to plan and conduct a demining program. These States Parties include Denmark, France, Niger, Swaziland, Venezuela and the United Kingdom.

Denmark’s deadline for clearance of its mined areas is 1 March 2009. Although its first Article 7 report in August 1999 stated that the mined area on Skallingen peninsula was being mapped and a plan for clearance would be developed, no action was reported until 2005. Significant progress was made in late 2005. Denmark announced at the Sixth Meeting of States Parties that it had allocated more than $14.5 million for clearance activities in 2006-2008. However, in a statement on compliance with Article 5 to the Standing Committee meetings in May 2006, Denmark did not indicate its intention or ability to meet the 2009 deadline.

France has an Article 5 responsibility with respect to antipersonnel mines remaining around its ammunition depot close to the town of La Doudah in Djibouti; its deadline for completion of clearance operations is 1 March 2009. Despite two assessment missions, France had not begun to clear antipersonnel mines as of May 2006, more than seven years after becoming a State Party. France announced that it planned to initiate demining in October 2006, but warned that “administrative constraints” could further delay the process.

United Kingdom has an Article 5 responsibility with respect to antipersonnel mines in extensive mined areas on the Falkland Islands; its deadline is 1 March 2009. Since becoming a State Party in 1999, the UK’s progress towards meeting its Article 5 obligations is confined to an agreement in October 2001 with Argentina to carry out a feasibility study, and a joint working group which had met eight times as of May 2006. The feasibility study has not been initiated; a plan and timetable for clearance operations have not been formulated. No mine clearance has been initiated. In its statements to Standing Committee meetings and in its Article 7 reports, the UK has not indicated its intention or capacity to meet the Article 5 deadline.

Niger had not initiated clearance operations as of mid-2006. Since presenting a draft mine action plan to Standing Committee meetings in February 2004, Niger has not reported any preparations for clearance operations nor its intention or ability to meet its Article 5 deadline of 1 September 2009.

Swaziland, similarly, had not initiated clearance operations as of mid-2006. However, in May 2006 it did report to the Standing Committee meetings preparations for clearance operations intended to meet its Article 5 obligation (deadline 1 June 2009).

Venezuela has also not yet begun clearing its mined areas. In July 2005, it provided for the first time a timetable for clearance; in May 2006, Venezuela declared that it would not initiate operations before 2007 due to lack of equipment and training. Its Article 5 deadline is 1 October 2009.

In other cases, States Parties have initiated demining operations but made slow progress, to the extent that completion of operations before the Article 5 deadline appears to be in doubt, or in some cases is questioned by officials.

Thailand’s Foreign Minister warned the Prime Minister in March 2006 that the progress of demining was slow and as a result, Thailand would not meet its Article 5 deadline of 1 May 2009. Reasons given for the slow progress included that mine action had not been a government priority, inadequate financial support, and the military structure of mine action in Thailand.

Successful Completion of Clearance Operations: The goal set by Article 5 for treaty-compliance is the destruction of all antipersonnel mines in mined areas. The Mine Ban Treaty does not make provisions for any lesser degree of clearance, such as “mine-safe” or “impact-free” (where, for example, a mined area which is judged to pose no danger and to have no socioeconomic effect may be fenced and marked but not cleared).

Namibia is not yet in a position to declare fulfillment of its Article 5 obligations. In December 2005, the Chief of Mine Action of the Ministry of Defense stated that he will make sure that all suspected areas are visited before declaring the country mine-free. In March 2006, he added that “Namibia does not want to rush to the declaration. It will do so when the time is ripe to do so,” meaning after the completion of an ongoing survey.

Similarly, some other States Parties which have completed clearance operations may not yet be in a position to declare with confidence that they have complied with Article 5.

Djibouti made several statements about completion of mine clearance and fulfillment of its Article 5 obligations, including declaring itself “mine-safe” (but not “mine-free”). Details of mined areas, survey and clearance operations have not been reported fully in Djibouti’s Article 7 reports. There is some evidence that mines may remain in the north and possibly also the south of the country.

The treaty does not specify how a State Party should make known its completion of clearance operations and Article 5 compliance (other than through transparency reporting under Article 7), nor what information States Parties collectively should require in this respect. The ICBL recommends that all States Parties make a formal declaration of full compliance to an annual Meeting of States Parties or to a review conference, so that its compliance can be assessed.

Suriname’s clearance operation was reported to the Standing Committee meetings in June 2005 by the Organization of American States (OAS). It reported that on 4 April 2005, clearance operations and quality control of the remaining mined area in Suriname were completed: “It is our view that the mine clearance was conducted using appropriate technologies and methodologies and in accordance with accepted International Mine Action Standards (IMAS) such that the results conform to the requirements of Article 5 of the Convention.”

The OAS recommended that the government of Suriname “use a declaration format similar to those employed by Costa Rica and Honduras (and under consideration by Guatemala) to communicate compliance with the Convention. That format would declare that all known or suspected mine areas and minefields had been cleared; that the National Plan/Program had been successfully concluded; that a residual national capacity was in place to respond to any unforeseen circumstances related to mine clearance.”[54 ]In November 2005, in a document sent to the Implementation Support Unit for the Mine Ban Treaty, Suriname claimed that it had fulfilled its obligations under Article 5.

Guatemala’s Article 7 report for 2005 declared that clearance of all known antipersonnel mines and ERW had been completed, and that no mined areas remained on its territory.[55 ] Guatemala also made a statement of full compliance to the Standing Committee meetings in May 2006. Costa Rica had announced the completion of the mine clearance program at intersessional Standing Committee meetings in February 2003.

The final report of the First Review Conference of the Mine Ban Treaty noted simply that Honduras had reported completion of clearance operations, but does not refer to a formal statement of compliance. According to the OAS, clearance operations were completed in October 2004.

Article 5 requires the identification of “known or suspected” mined areas and destruction of all antipersonnel mines within those areas. However, it may be that identification and clearance operations are carried out effectively, but further mined areas or scattered antipersonnel mines are discovered at some future date. In that eventuality, it is consistent with the treaty that those mines are destroyed promptly and details reported fully in the State Party’s next Article 7 annual update report.

In case there are new discoveries of emplaced antipersonnel mines, several States Parties have taken steps to maintain a “residual” clearance capacity. This prudent measure can be recommended to all affected States Parties. In Guatemala, a mobile demining unit was created in December 2005 to respond to reports of residual mines and explosive remnants of war. Similarly, the OAS recommended to Suriname that a residual national capacity be in place to respond to any unforeseen circumstances related to mine clearance.

Granting Extensions to the Article 5 Deadline: The treaty contains a specific set of conditions and a procedure for the possible granting of an extension to the Article 5 deadline for States Parties that are unable to complete clearance within 10 years.

The ICBL supports the appropriate granting of an extension period for a heavily mine-affected State Party following careful consideration of the particular circumstances that have prevented it from completing the destruction of all antipersonnel mines in mined areas under its jurisdiction or control, as well as a detailed plan on how it will ensure completion of destruction of antipersonnel mines within a new timeframe.

However, the ICBL calls on States Parties not to accord a blanket extension to any State Party. It is consistent with Article 5 that each extension granted by States Parties should be for the shortest possible time period and should be subject to the requirements for regular reporting by the requesting State Party and the achievement of reasonable milestones within that time period. Moreover, the obligation to complete clearance of antipersonnel mines in mined areas “as soon as possible” demands that demining planning and operations have been initiated in a timely fashion and carried out expeditiously. A situation in which a State Party has delayed the start of clearance operations until close to the Article 5 deadline, or otherwise has made little progress within the initial 10-year period, does not accord with the provisions of Article 5, which states, “If a State Party believes that it will be unable to...” (emphasis added). The wording of Article 5 does not provide the option of applying for an extension to States Parties that have simply not addressed the clearance obligation in a timely manner.

National Ownership and Good Governance of Mine Action

The primary responsibility for implementing Article 5 rests with the affected State Party, according to Article 5. In seeking to address mine contamination and comply with the treaty, each affected State Party should assume effective responsibility for the mine action program.

As regards good governance, every mine action program is only as good as its management.

Funding: Central to national ownership and good governance of mine action is ensuring that adequate resources, national and international, are mobilized by the affected State Party to sustain the mine action program at a reasonable level. Article 6 of the treaty, however, requires other States Parties in a position to do so to support the efforts of each affected State Party. It therefore calls on donors to continue providing sufficient support for the implementation of effective mine action programs.

Several programs were threatened by lack of funding during the reporting period:

  • In Afghanistan, mine clearance operations ran into severe funding shortfalls in mid-2006, causing UNMACA to announce the lay-off of 1,130 demining personnel in July and to plan to cut 2,800 more jobs in August and September.
  • Croatia declared in May 2006 that its “likelihood of meeting the 2009 Convention deadline for demining is, indeed, very, very slim.” Parliamentarians called on the government to earmark more funds to the mine action program. Croatia already self-funds some 57 percent of its mine action program.
  • In Guinea-Bissau, a funding crisis in the mine action program in April 2006 forced one of the two national demining NGOs to cease operations for two months. A shortage of long-term resources threatens the chances of Guinea-Bissau completing its Article 5 requirements within the treaty deadline.
  • In Iraq, 15 explosive ordnance disposal teams operated by MineTech International under contract to the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS) were disbanded in mid-2005 when the contract was terminated because of lack of funds.[56 ]
  • In Mauritania, mine clearance was suspended for the whole of 2005 due to lack of funds, resuming in 2006.
  • In Tajikistan, shortfalls in donor support and the non-arrival of pledged funds jeopardized plans to achieve higher productivity in 2006. Tajikistan warned that international assistance “is needed now if we are to meet our obligations to the treaty.”

Greater efforts are needed from many States Parties, both affected and non mine-affected, in order to comply with their obligations under Articles 5 and 6 of the Mine Ban Treaty. The ICBL urges all States Parties with Article 5 obligations to do everything possible to ensure that they meet the treaty deadlines, and urges other States Parties to provide assistance to the best of their abilities.

Civilian Control of Mine Action: In seeking to ensure good governance of mine action, some programs believe they will be more productive, transparent and attract more international funding if they are under civilian rather than military management.

  • Lebanon’s National Demining Office initiated a medium-term project in 2005 to formalize the involvement of a broader representation of national and local institutions into planning and coordination of mine action, thereby allowing greater oversight from civilian institutions. This aimed to give “mine action in Lebanon the robust structure and documentation set necessary to fulfill mine action requirements in a transparent and cost-effective manner.”
  • In Mauritania in 2006, discussions were initiated within the ministries of national defense and economic affairs and development to transfer the National Humanitarian Demining Office to the control of a civilian ministry.
  • Rwanda’s National Demining Office remains under the auspices of the Ministry of Defense, despite a 2003 assessment which recommended that it should be headed by a civilian, to attract international donors.
  • Thailand Mine Action Center proposed to the cabinet in 2005 that it should convert from a military organization to become a civilian organization. A high-level review in January 2006 endorsed this suggestion and requested a formal proposal for a transfer to the jurisdiction of the Prime Minister’s Office.

Integration into Development: A number of donors believe that integration of mine action into development will help to mobilize resources and maximize the effectiveness of the sector. Examples of efforts, some more and some less successful, to undertake such integration include:

  • Angola claims to have integrated mine action into its development plan. Mine action is identified as a specific goal in its Strategy to Combat Poverty 2004-2006. One of the Strategy’s goals is to “guarantee basic physical security through demining, disarmament and the upholding of law and order throughout the country.”
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Mid-Term Development Strategy 2004-2007 included mine action as a priority sector; however, only a few development sectors included mine action as a priority. Revision in mid-2006 was said to embrace mine action as a priority for more strategic development sectors, and increase access for mine action to financial resources allocated to development programs.
  • Guinea-Bissau’s Public Sector Reform Program was revised in September 2005 and factored into mine action planning; these documents were due to be presented to a donor roundtable at the end of 2006.
  • Iraqi Kurdistan Mine Action Center reported that as casualties in northern Iraq fall its clearance priorities were changing from purely humanitarian tasks towards projects that support economic growth.
  • Jordan’s National Mine Action Plan 2005-2009, drafted over a 10-month period of consultation with government, civil society, mine-affected communities and the private sector, was said to conform to the goals of the government’s Social Economic Transformation Plan and Millennium Development Goals.
  • Mozambique’s second Poverty Reduction Strategy, approved in May 2006 by the Council of Ministers, included mine action both as a crosscutting issue and as a sectoral issue. It was claimed that the incorporation of mine action into the Strategy will encourage all development projects to include a demining component.
  • Zambia announced at the Sixth Meeting of States Parties that it had incorporated mine clearance strategies into its new five-year national development plan 2006-2010. The objective is for development needs to drive humanitarian demining.

Improving Program Performance: A number of evaluations of mine action projects and programs have been conducted during the reporting period, with the intention of improving the performance of mine action programs.

In Abkhazia, the mine action center and the HALO program were evaluated twice in 2005 by representatives from the US Department of State. The evaluations found that, “The program was considered to be efficient, well-run and on course to declare Abkhazia mine-safe during 2007.”

In Azerbaijan, an evaluation in late 2005 of the Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Action (ANAMA) was prepared by the World Bank at the request of the Cabinet of Ministers. According to ANAMA, the evaluation found that the organization was “an efficiently structured and well-functioning organization operating in accordance with international standards for demining activities... ANAMA can reasonably be expected to achieve the objectives of the current Mine Action Plan, namely certifying by the end of 2008 that all land in the ‘liberated territories’ is mine-free, provided the necessary funding is provided during the next three years.”

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) conducted a mid-term evaluation in June 2006 of the UNDP Integrated Mine Action Program and concluded that, overall, the program has been successful in supporting the emergence of national capacities for planning and coordinating the mine action program.

In Chad, a joint UNDP/UNOPS mine action assessment was conducted in June 2005 in order to review UN efforts to develop mine action managerial and technical capacities, to determine the need for more donor support and how this could be achieved, and to advise how the UN program could be improved. The mission recommended a review of the National Demining Office’s human resources to ensure that staff are properly qualified for their positions, and a comprehensive training plan for national staff. The mission stated, “further reorganization, reduction and simplification of structures are required to improve efficiency and rationalize costs.”

In Laos, two one-year pilot projects undertaken by Norwegian People’s Aid were due for completion in June 2006. They attracted attention as providing a basis for improving deminer efficiency and productivity. UXO Lao said the reviews could lead it “to completely modify its approach to its humanitarian mandate.” NPA’s studies included an “enhanced” technical survey study, intended to improve task assessment and planning, and to set guidelines for area reduction, enabling UXO Lao to achieve greater efficiency and productivity.

In Mozambique, the GICHD undertook a comprehensive review of the mine action program. Its main recommendations included the need to better quantify the remaining humanitarian and development challenges (through re-survey and improvements in IMSMA updates and accuracy) and to make stronger links between mine action on the one hand, and development and reconstruction on the other. As of the end of April 2006, IND still had to discuss the review’s recommendations made in October 2005 and to plan for their implementation.

In Sri Lanka, UNDP commissioned an independent evaluation of its role and operations in 2006.

In Yemen, an evaluation of UNDP support to the mine action program in April 2005 was conducted by the GICHD. The report concluded, “significant progress had been achieved in mine action and that the YEMAC [the Yemen Mine Action Center] has an organizational structure capable of addressing all components of a mine action program.” It also highlighted several gaps such as the lack of training, lack of munitions destruction facilities and the need to enhance post-clearance community rehabilitation. In March 2006, YEMAC and the GICHD started a socioeconomic and livelihood study to assess the overall socioeconomic returns from mine clearance investment.

Ensuring Safety of Deminers: Landmine Monitor has recorded more than 100 casualties among deminers in accidents during clearance operations in 2005. Afghanistan and Cambodia together account for more than half of the total recorded casualties. (Details of deminer casualties are given in the section on Landmine Casualties).

Some mine action programs have responded to concerns about HIV/AIDS among deminers. In Mozambique, a 10-year review by the GICHD reported that high rates of long-term illnesses among demining teams give cause for concern. It found that a significant percentage of the staff of some operators were unable to work because of illnesses often associated with AIDS, citing two operators as having lost eight percent of operational capacity to what was believed to be AIDS-related diseases in 2003. The review concluded that, “there is every reason to fear that deminers serve as a vector of transmission, both to communities in mine-affected areas and to their wives or sexual partners at home.”[57 ] More research needs to be conducted in this area.

Mine Risk Education

The UN’s Inter-Agency Mine Action Strategy 2006-2010 declares, “More effective tools to reduce risk have contributed to steadily declining casualty levels.” Mine risk education (MRE) is one of the tools to mitigate risk from landmines and explosive remnants of war. MRE is defined as activities that seek to “reduce the risk of injury from mines/UXO by raising awareness and promoting behavioral change; including public information dissemination, education and training, and community mine action liaison.”

MRE is an integrated component of mine action, needed to provide warnings and advice on safe behavior, but also to mobilize the community to report on dangerous areas and unexploded or abandoned ordnance. MRE can promote the sharing of information between mine action operators and local people. MRE teams are often involved in data collection for mine action, and can help to identify mine survivors and their needs, as well as provide relevant information to survivors. MRE is also a good tool to advocate for a ban on landmines.

A particularly encouraging development in 2005-2006 has been the increased promotion of community-based MRE. As noted by one expert, “Community-based approaches involve local people in the provision of MRE messages to their own communities, an approach that can be cost effective, ensure good coverage, build competencies and create some expectation of sustainability.”[58 ]

In another welcome development, an increasing number of MRE programs have established links with survey, marking and clearance efforts, and worked within the framework of official school curricula. Stand-alone MRE projects are decreasing.

The biggest challenge to MRE providers is intentional risk-taking behavior. The most frequently noted example is collection of mines and explosive remnants of war as lucrative scrap metal, but intentional risk-taking also entails daily livelihood activities such as knowingly entering dangerous areas to collect firewood, to farm, to graze animals or for other economic activities.[59 ]To address this, MRE operators have developed comprehensive risk reduction approaches involving local stakeholders to identify concrete alternatives to risk-taking behavior. These include incorporating geographically-specific messages into MRE sessions to explain where safe areas are located, constructing safe play-areas for children, and specific projects targeting scrap metal collectors and dealers.

MRE Programs

Landmine Monitor recorded MRE programs or activities in 60 countries in 2005 and the first half of 2006, one less country than recorded in last year’s report.[60 ]Thirty-nine of the countries are States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty.[61 ]Twenty-one are not party to the treaty.[62 ]There were also MRE programs or activities in eight of the nine non-state areas covered by Landmine Monitor.[63 ]

The total number of direct MRE recipients increased to 6.4 million people in 2005, from 6.25 million in 2004.[64 ] As in past years, the global total is only an estimate based on many sources providing information to Landmine Monitor. The total of 6.25 million does not include recipients of MRE delivered by mass media, but many could be individuals receiving MRE from multiple sources. Five countries accounted for over four million of the recipients: Afghanistan, Angola, Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Thailand.[65 ]However, MRE operators stress that the number of people reached with MRE is less important than the quality and impact of MRE.

The Mine Ban Treaty requires that States Parties report on measures taken “to provide an immediate and effective warning to the population” of mined areas. As of June 2006, 23 States Parties had reported on MRE in their 2005 Article 7 reports, considerably less than the 33 noted last year.[66 ]A number of States Parties that either do have or should have MRE activities did not make use of Form I of the Article 7 reporting format to identify MRE activities (Belarus, Cambodia, Honduras, Latvia, Namibia, Ukraine and Zambia). Some other States Parties that either do or should have MRE activities stated in Form I that the topic is not applicable to them (Bangladesh, Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire and Moldova).

In the view of Landmine Monitor, new or additional MRE programs and activities are most needed in Algeria, Burma/Myanmar, Colombia, Egypt, India, Kuwait, Laos, Mozambique, Pakistan, Turkey and Ukraine.

New MRE Activities

In 2005 and 2006, new mine risk education projects and activities were recorded in 28 countries, a notable development that builds on the new MRE recorded in 15 countries last year. For the first time, MRE activities were recorded in China; in other countries, there were new MRE providers, significantly expanded activities, and/or new geographic areas covered.

Of the 28 countries, 18 are States Parties (Afghanistan, Angola, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Chile, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, DR Congo, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Liberia, Peru, Senegal, Sudan, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda and Zimbabwe) and 10 non-States Parties (Armenia, China, Iran, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria and Vietnam). There were also new MRE activities in Palestine and Western Sahara.

Adequate MRE Programs

Twenty-three countries and five areas had adequate MRE programs in place in 2005 and the first half of 2006. “Adequate” means that an MRE program or a sizeable project was in place that was capable of providing MRE in terms of need and quality in relation to the actual mine/ERW threat. In countries or areas with a limited mine/ERW problem, a limited MRE program may be adequate as long as the number of casualties remains very low or zero. However, in most of these countries additional MRE capacity would be justified to achieve a more comprehensive provision of services.

Fifteen countries with adequate MRE programs are States Parties, including Afghanistan, Angola, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Ecuador, Eritrea, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Nicaragua, Senegal, Sudan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Uganda and Yemen.

Eight non-States Parties have adequate MRE programs, including Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Nepal, South Korea and Sri Lanka. The five areas with adequate MRE programs are Abkhazia, Chechnya, Falkland Islands, Kosovo and Somaliland.

Inadequate MRE Activities

Landmine Monitor recorded inadequate MRE activities in 37 countries in 2005-2006. “Inadequate” means that the MRE approach taken was too basic, or that MRE was on a too limited scale or did not reach some geographical areas in need.[67 ]This included 24 States Parties (Albania, Belarus, Burundi, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, DR Congo, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Jordan, Liberia, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Peru, Philippines, Rwanda, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, Zambia and Zimbabwe) and 13 non-States Parties (Armenia, Burma/Myanmar, China, Georgia, India, Israel, Laos, Pakistan, Poland, Russia, Somalia, Syria and Vietnam). Inadequate MRE activities were also recorded in Nagorno-Karabakh, Palestine and Western Sahara.

No MRE Activities

In 2005 and 2006, no mine risk education was recorded in 30 countries affected by mines or explosive remnants of war. In some of these countries, an initial mine/ERW assessment has not been undertaken to allow for a proper judgment of whether risk education is needed; in some, formal risk education may not be necessary. Of the 30 countries, 20 are States Parties: Algeria, Bangladesh, Republic of Congo, Cyprus, Denmark, Djibouti, Estonia, Greece, Honduras, Kenya, Latvia, FYR Macedonia, Malawi, Moldova, Niger, Panama, Serbia and Montenegro, Sierra Leone, Swaziland and Venezuela. Ten are not States Parties: Cuba, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Libya, Mongolia, Morocco, North Korea, Oman and Uzbekistan. In addition, no MRE activities were recorded in Taiwan.[68 ]

Key Actors

Thousands of community volunteers—including those from Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies, children from Child Clubs, and “student-teachers” (child-to-child and child-to-parents approach)—and tens of thousands of teachers in primary and secondary schools are the key actors undertaking MRE within their own communities, including in camps for refugees and internally displaced people.

The staff of national mine action centers and security forces (including army personnel, border guards, police and firefighters) provide warnings to the population; in some countries they have been trained to provide quality MRE as an integral component of the national mine action program.

A total of 121 national NGOs conducted MRE in 30 countries and three areas during the reporting period.[69 ] National NGOs often work with mobile teams of MRE educators to reach mine-affected communities and to train and monitor community-based volunteers and teachers.

Internationally, the principal MRE operators are the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), UNICEF, Handicap International, Mines Advisory Group, DanChurchAid, Danish Demining Group, INTERSOS, HALO Trust and Norwegian People’s Aid. Other international NGOs involved in substantial MRE activities include the International Save the Children Alliance (Save the Children Sweden, UK and US), World Vision, AVSI (Associazione Volontari peril Sevizio Internazionale), World Education, World Rehabilitation Fund, Islamic Relief and Mines Awareness Trust.

International NGOs—predominantly the mine action NGOs listed above—carried out MRE in 25 countries and four areas in 2005-2006.[70 ]The International Committee of the Red Cross and the national Red Cross/Red Crescent societies conducted MRE programs in about 27 countries.[71 ]In 2005, ICRC developed a framework for its future preventive mine action operations, seeking to integrate mine action, including MRE, across all appropriate ICRC departments.

Within the UN, UNICEF retains a primary role in the areas of MRE, survivor assistance and advocacy. In 2005 and 2006, UNICEF provided financial and technical support for mine action in 30 countries and two areas. This support was directed predominantly to MRE and advocacy, but also to data collection and survivor assistance.[72 ]As noted in Landmine Monitor Report 2005, the UN launched a revised inter-agency policy on mine action in 2005, and decisions related to the activities of UNICEF and other UN agencies have been decentralized to UN in-country teams.[73]

The UNDP, UNMAS and OAS help integrate risk education into mine action, and provide regular landmine and ERW safety briefings.[74 ]Commercial demining companies normally do not engage in MRE or in community liaison, except for RONCO which has taken on MRE in Sudan.

At-Risk Groups

People most at risk from landmines, unexploded and abandoned ordnance vary by country and region, but in general the majority are male, either adolescents or of working age, and very often rural inhabitants. Returnees, both refugees and internally displaced people, are also at great risk, especially those who are unfamiliar with the local threat (as seen in Afghanistan, Angola, Burundi, Colombia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, and elsewhere). Casualty data show that children are more at risk from UXO than adults, while adults are more likely to fall victim to landmines. Nomads and semi-nomads are a specific at-risk group in various countries.

In Afghanistan, males are particularly at risk. In Albania, mine incidents are decreasing but casualties due to explosive remnants of war are on the rise. In Croatia, hunters continue to be particularly at risk; they were targeted with specific MRE activities in a joint effort by the Croatian Red Cross and the Croatian Hunting Association.

In Lebanon, the major at-risk groups are males and those older than 20 years (72 percent of casualties were aged 21 to 50 years). In Nepal, unexploded IEDs are the most common cause of incidents; children represented 56 percent of total civilian casualties in 2005. In Sri Lanka, risk is affected by seasonality. Risk is greatest in September when the cycle of planting and harvesting begins, and a mine action week is organized prior to the harvest season. In Yemen, women and children are most vulnerable while doing their daily chores (herding, collecting wood and fetching water), even if they are aware of the risks.

MRE in Areas of Conflict

In a number of places where humanitarian clearance cannot be undertaken, due to ongoing conflict or other reasons, MRE is still carried out and is often instrumental in reducing casualties. In 2005 and 2006, emergency MRE was undertaken in Chad, Sri Lanka and Guinea-Bissau/Senegal after renewed fighting that at times involved the use of landmines.

In Iraq, including the central area, local staff continued to provide MRE, reaching at least 85,000 people in 2005. There were ongoing MRE activities in Burma, Chechnya, Colombia and Nepal despite continued conflict, albeit with great limitations in each case. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, MRE was integrated with HIV/AIDS awareness in conflict zones in Northern Katanga and South Kivu. In Tajikistan, MRE remains the only viable option to mitigate risk from landmines in the contaminated areas bordering Uzbek enclaves, pending negotiations with Uzbekistan that may permit clearance.

Integration of MRE with Other Mine Action Activities

Continuing a positive trend of recent years, MRE was increasingly integrated into other forms of mine action and broader disciplines in 2005-2006, in many countries. The International Mine Action Standards (IMAS) on MRE state that “projects and programmes should be integrated... with other mine action, relief and development activities.” Community liaison teams are a key instrument to promote improved integration. However, one expert has pointed out that they have seldom been used to liaise with development activities.[75]

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, MRE is an integral component of the Community Impact Mine Action Plans guiding the country’s overall mine action strategy. Some MRE operators assist in erecting mine warning signs. In South Lebanon, community liaison has helped ensure that clearance proceeds smoothly and given landowners confidence to use cleared land; more generally it has helped build trust among communities. In Somaliland, demining operators provide MRE, and community liaison personnel have convinced locals to hand in mines stored at home.

In Sri Lanka, clearance teams reported that the community liaison role of the MRE teams has helped them to function more effectively. MRE organizations are the main source of information on new dangerous areas and isolated UXO. For instance, in the LTTE-controlled areas of Vanni and Jaffna, local MRE NGOs provided 86 percent of the 158 dangerous areas reports sent to the district mine action office in Jaffna in 2005.

Community-based MRE

Community-based approaches involve local people in the provision of MRE messages to their own communities. Most often, professional MRE operators identify and train local volunteers, and at times provide incentives or compensation for expenditures. Twenty-two countries and four areas implemented some type of community-based MRE during the reporting period.[76 ]School-based MRE is not included in this number as teachers usually receive a salary, but it can be considered a subset of community-based MRE as most teachers are members of the community. There are two serious challenges to the community-based approach: keeping volunteers motivated over a long period of time, particularly if the mine risk is fairly low, and ensuring the quality and consistency of messages.

In Afghanistan, ICRC and the Afghan Red Cross Society have identified and trained more than 100 community volunteers from villages in 10 provinces to conduct MRE. In Angola, 318 MRE community committees or community networks (typically 12 community leaders and volunteers each) have been formed. They provide MRE to newcomers and returnees, share information about dangerous areas and incidents, link with mine action operators and local governmental and NGO bodies, and support mine survivors. In Azerbaijan, 59 MRE committees with 512 members have been established. The committees are tasked with determining at-risk groups in their localities and providing MRE.

In Cambodia, volunteers in 422 community-based mine risk reduction networks use participatory techniques to identify how mines and UXO affect villages, and then use this information as a basis for prioritizing clearance plans and requests for development resources. In Kosovo, the local Red Cross Society held regular meetings with MRE volunteers to gather information about areas affected by mines and UXO. It had seven field offices covering 26 of the 30 municipalities, and 60 to 65 volunteers who served as a link between communities and the field offices.

In Kyrgyzstan, local NGOs, community leaders, civil society actors and teachers were targeted for training of trainers workshops. The trainings included 39 staff members from 26 NGOs and 13 community/village leaders from affected villages. In Sri Lanka, to reach out-of-school children, UNICEF established some 130 children’s clubs with an average of 60 members in Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Ampara districts in 2004 and 2005. In 2005, 2,605 community liaison MRE activities were conducted in support of mine action.

Evaluations and Learning

In 2005-2006, evaluations, Knowledge, Attitudes, Practices (KAP) surveys and learning opportunities on aspects of the mine or UXO problem were recorded in Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Chad, Colombia, Laos, Liberia, Mauritania, Nepal, Pakistan and Uganda.

The IMAS MRE Best Practice Guidebooks, prepared by the UN and the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining, were released in November 2005. These draw on best practices from MRE programs globally to identify a series of possible indicators of impact, relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability. The 10 guidebooks cover the following topics: an introduction to MRE; data collection and needs assessment; planning; public information dissemination; education and training; community mine action liaison; monitoring; evaluation; emergency mine risk education; and coordination.

In March 2006, the Mine Action Program Afghanistan published a comprehensive MRE impact monitoring study, presenting and analyzing two surveys undertaken in 2004-2005. The surveys showed that the MRE knowledge level among boys and young men was higher than among women and girls, yet the large majority of mine/UXO incidents involve boys and young men, demonstrating that MRE as a stand-alone activity is not sufficient to change dangerous behavior: “Economic necessity leads to this subconscious ignoring of danger.”

In Albania, a study showed that the country faces a serious problem from explosive remnants of war that has not been addressed by its mine action program, which is focused on the mine-affected Kukës region while ignoring other areas suffering from ERW. Countries that recently started developing a new MRE strategy like Jordan are taking this ERW factor into account.

In Angola, Handicap International undertook an external evaluation of its MRE project in Huambo in 2005. Some of the main findings were that volunteers need close monitoring, supervision and refresher training to stay motivated, and that unless MRE was seen as a long-term requirement, other approaches may be more suitable and less time-consuming than a community-based approach. Training for agents in participatory methods was recommended.[77 ]

In Laos, UNICEF and GICHD published a study on the impact of the scrap metal economy on children, in response to an increase in the number of reported casualties. They concluded that lucrative prices on the scrap metal market make it difficult to identify alternative income sources; safety messages could be improved; and, greater emphasis should be placed on supporting communities to manage these risks for themselves.[78 ] UNICEF and GICHD also released an evaluation of UNICEF’s UXO risk education projects in Laos.[79]

In Cambodia, a study published in December 2005 summarized the strengths and weaknesses of community-based approaches. It concluded that “mine action and development agencies have their own mandate and agenda and are not always responsive to community generated requests for assistance.” It said that the Mines Advisory Group’s approach improved understanding between mine action teams and local populations, but noted that community liaison could be “a relatively transitory approach which does not last beyond the demining operations; can be time consuming... [and] is a consultation process rather than a process to build local competencies.” The Cambodian Mine Action Center’s approach was low cost, allowed large areas to be covered, developed local competencies and promoted local decision making; however, it constituted little more than basic information gathering and basic community liaison, and required intensive training of district focal points.[80]


[39] Under Protocol V to the Convention on Conventional Weapons, explosive remnants of war (ERW) are defined as unexploded ordnance (UXO) and abandoned explosive ordnance (AXO). Mines are explicitly excluded from the definition.

[40] This overview summarizes detailed information in country reports in this edition of Landmine Monitor. Unless otherwise indicated, see the relevant country report for sources of information.

[41] In accordance with the definition laid down by the International Mine Action Standards (IMAS), the area demined includes that released by survey as well as through mine and battle area clearance.

[42] Moreover, the figure of 740 square kilometers does not fully reflect the extent of demining as Iran, one of the world’s largest demining programs, declined to provide statistics for 2005, as did some others.

[43] “Demining” refers collectively to the activities of survey, assessment, area reduction, marking and fencing and all other activities preparatory to “clearance,” as well as post-clearance survey. Mine “clearance” refers to the destruction of mines in situ, or their removal from the ground and subsequent destruction elsewhere.

[44] This total combines UXO and AXO but does not include, where known, pieces of small arms ammunition, which would increase the total significantly.

[45] The figures given in Table 1 have been disaggregated based on the available evidence and input from operators.
The figures presented are those given by the operators where they differ from the mine action center. In the case of Ethiopia, the figures are those provided by the Ethiopian Mine Action Centre.

[46] In Honduras in November 2005, however, a mine was reported to have killed a farmer in the municipality of El Paraíso, in an area on the Honduran side of the border with Nicaragua that had previously been demined. It is not known what action has been taken by the Honduran authorities to verify the area is safe, nor whether this was a newly laid mine or one that had been missed by earlier demining operations. El Salvador claims to have freed its territory from mine contamination to international standards in 1994, before becoming a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty.

[47] Belarus, Côte d’Ivoire, El Salvador, Estonia, Indonesia, Kenya, Latvia, Liberia, Mongolia, Panama, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone and the US. A number of other countries also have explosive remnants of war from World Wars I and II.

[48] Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty applies to States Parties regardless of when antipersonnel mines were emplaced, or by whom, and will similarly apply to any antipersonnel mines that may be laid in the future.

[49] For example, Guinea-Bissau and Jordan appear to have eschewed the full LIS in favor of a cheaper and more lightweight impact survey.

[50] Bosnia and Herzegovina is made of two entities, Republika Srpska and the Federation (the larger of the two), and Brcko District.

[51] Argentina also asserts its jurisdiction over the Falklands (Malvinas) and therefore accepts obligations under Article 5.

[52] Nairobi Action Plan, Action #27, “Final Report of the First Review Conference,” APLC/CONF/2004/5, 9
February 2005, p. 99.

[53] This summary of the status of mine-affected States Parties, as of May 2006, is based on results of research conducted for Landmine Monitor Report 2006, including but not restricted to official statements. Clarifications in response to this table are welcomed.

[54] Statement by the OAS on Suriname, Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education and Mine Action Technologies, Geneva, 13 June 2005.

[55] Article 7 Report, Form C, 30 April 2006. The report actually claims that Guatemala is “free of antipersonnel mines.” It does not refer to antivehicle mines, although it has reported finding and destroying antivehicle mines in the past.

[56] Iraq is not a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty, but since 2004 government officials have said that they are favorably inclined to joining the treaty.

[57] GICHD, “A Review of Mine Action in Mozambique,” Final Report, October 2005, p. 25.

[58] Ruth Bottomley, Norwegian People’s Aid, “Community Participation in Mine Action, A Review and Conceptual Framework,” December 2005, p. 4.

[59] A Knowledge, Attitudes, Practices (KAP) study undertaken in Afghanistan asked locals: “Some people take risks and go to dangerous areas. Why do they do so?” The generic reply, “because of economic and financial problems,” received 45 percent, and the three main specific activities mentioned were grazing cattle, collecting firewood and collecting scrap metal. Mine Action Program for Afghanistan (MAPA), “KAP Analysis 2004/2005, Mine Risk Education Impact Monitoring in Afghanistan,” Kabul, 2006, p. 25.

[60] Six countries were dropped from last year’s list because no MRE activities were reported (Bangladesh, Estonia, Latvia, Malawi, Moldova, and Serbia and Montenegro) and five were added due to new activities (China, Côte d’Ivoire, Peru, Tunisia and Ukraine).

[61] States Parties with MRE programs include Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, Cambodia, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, DR Congo, Ecuador, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Jordan, Liberia, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Nicaragua, Peru, Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, Sudan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, Yemen, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

[62] Non-States Parties with MRE programs include Armenia, Azerbaijan, Burma/Myanmar, China, Georgia, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Nepal, Pakistan, Poland, Russia, Somalia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria and Vietnam.

[63] The areas are Abkhazia, Chechnya, Falkland Islands/Malvinas, Kosovo, Nagorno-Karabakh, Palestine, Somaliland and Western Sahara.

[64] Landmine Monitor recorded 8.4 million people in 2003, 4.8 million in 2002, and smaller numbers in previous years.

[65] Sri Lanka and Thailand are new additions to the top five; last year Ethiopia and Laos held those spots.

[66] States Parties reporting on MRE in 2005 included Afghanistan, Albania, Chile, Colombia, DR Congo, Croatia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Jordan, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Peru, Senegal, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Yemen and Zimbabwe.

[67 ] MRE that is too basic does not go beyond lecture-style approaches and in many countries does not include school-based MRE.

[68] Honduras, although self-declared mine-free, had one mine victim in 2005. For this reason it reappears on the list. Suriname, after a mine clearance operation including community liaison, is considered mine-free and was removed from the list.

[69] National NGOs operated in Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burma, Burundi, Cambodia, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Georgia, India, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Nepal, Pakistan, Peru, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine and Yemen, as well as in Chechnya, Somaliland and Western Sahara.

[70] International NGOs operated in Afghanistan, Angola, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, Cambodia, Chad, Croatia, DR Congo, Georgia, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Liberia, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nepal, Pakistan, Senegal, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Thailand, Uganda, and Vietnam, as well as in Abkhazia, Chechnya, Nagorno-Karabakh and Somaliland.

[71] The ICRC stated that it supported preventive mine action activities in 27 countries, but did not list them all. ICRC, “Special Report Mine Action 2006,” Geneva, May 2006, p. 8. Landmine Monitor has information on MRE activities by national societies, usually with technical and financial support from ICRC, and at times by ICRC itself, in 24 countries: Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burma/Myanmar, Cambodia, Colombia, Croatia, Ethiopia, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel/OPT, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Russia (Northern Caucasus), Serbia and Montenegro (Kosovo), Sudan, Syria and Tajikistan.

[72] UNICEF supported mine action activities in: Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, Cambodia, Chad, Colombia, DR Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia/Abkhazia, Indonesia (advocacy), Iraq, Jordan, Laos, Lebanon, Mauritania, Nepal, Nicaragua, Russia (Northern Caucasus), Senegal, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, and Vietnam, as well as Palestine and Somaliland.

[73] See Landmine Monitor Report 2005, p. 40.

[74] Many entities providing security training incorporate landmine and ERW safety into their briefing packages, including military training centers for peacekeeping troops, UN Department of Safety and Security, World Food Program, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and the NGO training organization RedR-IHE.

[75] Joanne Durham, “From Interventions to Integration: Mine Risk Education and Community Liaison,” Journal of Mine Action, Issue 9.2, February 2006.

[76] States Parties with community-based MRE programs include Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, Cambodia, Chad, Colombia, Ethiopia, Mauritania, Nicaragua, Senegal, Sudan, Thailand and Uganda. Non-States Parties with community-based MRE include Azerbaijan, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. There were community-based MRE activities in Chechnya, Kosovo, Palestine and Somaliland.

[77] Ruth Bottomley, “Evaluation Report for Handicap International France, Strengthening and Promoting Associations and Community Networks for Sustainable Mine Risk Education [in Angola],” Lyon, May 2005, p. 6.

[78] UNICEF/GICHD, “A Study of Scrap Metal Collection in Lao PDR,” Geneva, September 2005, pp. 5-6.

[79] UNICEF/GICHD, “An Evaluation of UNICEF-supported UXO Risk Education Projects in Lao PDR,” Geneva, October 2005, p. 5. The four key recommendations were: initiate a multi-province UXO risk education needs assessment; engage in a strategic planning process for the overall program with all relevant stakeholders based on that assessment; establish a national victim surveillance system that fully covers risk education needs; and continue to support development of an MRE coordination mechanism.

[80] Ruth Bottomley, “Community Participation in Mine Action, A Review and Conceptual Framework,” Norwegian People’s Aid, December 2005, pp. 30-35.