Landmine Monitor 2009

Major Findings

Major Findings: 1999-2009

  • Government use of antipersonnel mines has greatly decreased over the last decade. In 1999, Landmine Monitor recorded probable use of antipersonnel mines by 15 states, compared to just two since 2007: Myanmar and Russia.
  • Use by non-state armed groups (NSAGs) has also decreased; at least 59 NSAGs across 13 countries have committed to halt use of antipersonnel mines in the last 10 years.
  • One hundred and fifty-six states—more than three-quarters of the world’s states—are party to the Mine Ban Treaty. A total of 39 countries, including China, India, Pakistan, Russia, and the United States, have still to join. Two of these are signatories: the Marshall Islands and Poland.
  • At least 38 former producers of antipersonnel mines have stopped, leaving only 13 states as actual or potential producers.
  • For the past decade, global trade in antipersonnel mines has consisted solely of a low-level of illicit and unacknowledged transfers.
  • The only confirmed serious violations of the treaty have been in stockpile destruction. Belarus, Greece, and Turkey missed their stockpile destruction deadlines of 1 March 2008, and all three remained in serious violation of the treaty as of September 2009.
  • Eighty-six States Parties have completed the destruction of their stockpiles, and four more are in the process. Together, they have destroyed about 44 million antipersonnel mines.
  • Eleven states have cleared all known mined areas from their territory: Bulgaria, Costa Rica, El Salvador, France, Guatemala, Honduras, FYR Macedonia, Malawi, Suriname, Swaziland, and Tunisia.
  • Since 1999, at least 1,100km2 of mined areas and a further 2,100km2 of battle areas, an area twice the size of London, have been cleared in more than 90 states and other areas. Operations have resulted in the destruction of more than 2.2 million emplaced antipersonnel mines, 250,000 antivehicle mines, and 17 million explosive remnants of war (ERW).
  • As of August 2009, more than 70 states were believed to be mine-affected.
  • Mine and ERW risk education (RE) has evolved significantly in the last decade. Many programs have shifted from a purely message-based approach to more engaged efforts to bring about broader behavior change and risk reduction.
  • Clearance, supported by RE, has resulted in a significant reduction in casualties. Casualties are at a level far below earlier estimates of more than 20,000 casualties per year, with recorded casualties down to under 5,200 in 2008.
  • Despite data collection challenges, Landmine Monitor has identified at least 73,576 casualties of landmines, ERW, and victim-activated improvised explosive devices in 119 states and areas in the past 10 years.
  • Total international support for mine action for 1992–2008 was US$4.27 billion.
  • Despite this high level of overall funding, over the past decade victim assistance has made the least progress of all the major sectors of mine action, with funding and action falling far short of what was needed. Most efforts remained focused on medical care and physical rehabilitation, often only when supported by international organizations and funding, rather than on promoting economic self-reliance for survivors, their families, and communities.
  • At the First Review Conference of the treaty, States Parties agreed that 23 States Parties with significant numbers of survivors should make special efforts to meet their needs. Throughout 2005–2009, progress among the now VA26 States Parties has been variable. Progress was most visible in coordination, rather than in implementation of actual services. Progress on activities was often unrelated to the plans the 26 countries set for themselves.
Major Findings: 2008-2009
  • Only two states have used antipersonnel mines in 2008–2009: Myanmar and Russia. NSAGs used antipersonnel mines in at least seven countries, two fewer than the previous year.
  • As few as three countries may have been producing antipersonnel mines in 2008: India, Myanmar, and Pakistan. Landmine Monitor has identified 10 other producing countries, but it is not known if they were actively manufacturing mines in the past year.
  • Belarus, Greece, and Turkey missed their stockpile destruction deadlines of 1 March 2008, and all three remained in serious violation of the treaty as of September 2009.
  • Three countries completed stockpile destruction: Indonesia (November 2008), Ethiopia (April 2009), and Kuwait (declared in July 2009).
  • In December 2008, 94 states signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions, which comprehensively bans the use, production, stockpiling, and transfer of cluster munitions, and requires clearance of contaminated areas and assistance to victims and affected communities. As of September 2009, 17 states had ratified the convention, which required 30 ratifications to trigger entry into force.
  • Mine-affected states are required to clear all antipersonnel mines from mined areas under their jurisdiction or control within 10 years of becoming party to the Mine Ban Treaty. The first deadlines expired on 1 March 2009, but 15 States Parties with 2009 deadlines failed to meet them and were granted extensions: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chad, Croatia, Denmark, Ecuador, Jordan, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Peru, Senegal, Thailand, the United Kingdom, Venezuela, Yemen, and Zimbabwe. All of the requests (which ranged from one to 10 years, the maximum period permitted for any extension period) were granted by the Ninth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in November 2008.
  • In 2009, four more States Parties (Argentina, Cambodia, Tajikistan, and Uganda) formally requested extensions for periods ranging from three to 10 years.
  • In 2008, mine action programs cleared almost 160km2 of mined areas—the size of Brussels—the highest total ever recorded by Landmine Monitor.
  • In May 2009, Tunisia became the eleventh State Party to formally declare completion of clearance obligations under the treaty.
  • There were at least 5,197 casualties caused by mines, ERW, and victim-activated IEDs in 2008, which continued a downward trend of the last few years.
  • In 2008, RE was provided in 57 states and areas, compared to 61 states and areas in 2007. RE activities increased significantly in Yemen and Somaliland, and also increased to some degree in 10 other states. In Palestine, RE decreased in 2008 but rose sharply in response to conflict in Gaza in December 2008–January 2009.
  • In 2008 in at least 26 states and areas, RE programs were still being implemented without comprehensive needs assessments. In Afghanistan, for instance, which has the world’s oldest mine action program, a European Union evaluation in 2008 found that RE was not based on a good understanding of the target audience.
  • For 2008 Landmine Monitor identified a total of US$626 million in funding for mine action worldwide, combining international and national funding. The almost $518 million (some €346 million) of international funding allocated for mine action in 2008 from 23 countries and the European Commission was the highest reported total to date, surpassing the previously highest total—$475 million in 2006.
  • Funding in 2008 was channeled to at least 54 recipient states and other areas. The top five recipients of mine action funding in 2008 were, in descending order: Afghanistan, Sudan, Iraq, Lebanon, and Cambodia.
  • In 2008–2009, there was a continued lack of psychosocial support and economic reintegration for survivors even where there were improvements to national healthcare, physical rehabilitation, or disability laws/policies. Pakistan and Sri Lanka saw deterioration of services nationwide or in certain areas because of conflict and natural disasters. The period also saw the closure of several national NGOs/disabled people’s organizations, continued capacity problems for others, and persistent funding challenges.
  • Other trends included the continuing handover of physical rehabilitation programs to national management and a continued increase of survivor associations and/or their capacities.