ALERT – Landmine Monitor 2016 report: New mine casualties double in one year | November 22, 2016

Published today, the Landmine Monitor 2016 report reveals a sharp rise in new casualties of mines and explosive remnants of war in 2015. These weapons killed or injured at least 6,461 people. The Landmine Monitor 2016 report monitors and reports on the implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty which bans the use, production, trade and […]

Published today, the Landmine Monitor 2016 report reveals a sharp rise in new casualties of mines and explosive remnants of war in 2015. These weapons killed or injured at least 6,461 people.

The Landmine Monitor 2016 report monitors and reports on the implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty which bans the use, production, trade and stockpiling of anti-personnel mines*. The report features information for the calendar year 2015, and up to November 2016 when possible.

A few days before the Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty, which takes place in Santiago, Chile from 28 to 1 December, Handicap International is calling on States to apply international humanitarian law and to put pressure on belligerent parties to end the use of these barbaric weapons and to increase funding for the fight against mines and explosive remnants of war.

casualties_largerThe 75% rise compared to 2014 is due to particularly heavy casualty numbers in conflict zones in Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Ukraine and Yemen. The majority of new victims of anti-personnel mines – factory-made or improvised – and explosive remnants of war were reported in Afghanistan (1,310), Libya (1,004), Yemen (988), Syria (864) and Ukraine (589). These five countries alone represent 74% of casualties reported in 2015. Mine casualties were reported in 61 States and territories worldwide.

The government forces of North Korea, Myanmar and Syria continued to use anti-personnel mines. Between October 2015 and October 2016, non-state armed groups used antipersonnel mines or improvised mines in 10 countries: Afghanistan, Colombia, Iraq, Libya, Myanmar, Nigeria, Pakistan, Syria, Ukraine and Yemen. The vast majority of mine/explosive remnants of war casualties were civilians: 78% of casualties were civilians in 2015, of which 38% were children.

Although the number of new casualties has increased along with needs, mine action funding has declined for the third year in a row to its lowest level since 2005 (from $610.8 million in 2014 to $471.3 million in 2015).

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The Landmine Monitor also recorded the highest number of casualties of improvised mines (explosive devices produced by belligerent parties acting as anti-personnel mines) since the publication of the first annual report in 2000, with 1,331 casualties or 21% of casualties reported in 2015. The actual number of casualties is likely to be higher.

 


Handicap International is alarmed at the mass use of these weapons in conflict-affected countries: the use of banned weapons in contravention of international humanitarian law is totally unacceptable. The organisation is calling:

  • on belligerent parties – States and non-State armed groups – to immediately end the use of anti-personnel mines.
  • It is calling on States to strongly and systematically condemn any new use of these weapons and to put pressure on their allies who use them to end this practice.
  • Handicap International is also calling on States to support risk education, weapons clearance and victim assistance programmes absolutely necessary for these countries and territories.

 Read the full report and country profiles here.

 *The Ottawa Treaty bans the acquisition, production, stockpiling and use of anti-personnel mine. It was opened for signature on 3 December 1997. The treaty entered into force on 1 March 1999. A total of 163 States have signed the treaty; 162 are States Parties to the treaty.

 


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