Last Updated: 31 October 2011

Mine Ban Policy

Commitment to the Mine Ban Treaty

Mine Ban Treaty status

State Party

National implementation measures

Reported that it is in the process of enacting legislation, but has also cited elements of existing law

Transparency reporting

24 May 2010


The State of Kuwait acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty on 30 July 2007, becoming a State Party on 1 January 2008. 

As of October 2011, Kuwait has not submitted its annual Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report, which was due 30 April 2011. In its last report, dated 24 May 2010, Kuwait indicated that efforts were “in progress to enact the required legislation to meet the elements of this convention,” but provided no further detail.[1] It indicated the same thing in its report dated May 2009.[2] In July 2009, Kuwait stated that government “has submitted a draft Military Law to the Parliament in Kuwait to prohibit the possession of conventional weapons for those not authorized….”[3]

Kuwait has also cited elements of its existing law as serving to implement the Mine Ban Treaty. In a November 2009 letter, Kuwait cited three existing articles, stating that through these “the State of Kuwait enjoys the appropriate legal and administrative measures” in line with Article 9 on national implementation measures.[4]    

Kuwait attended the Tenth Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in November–December 2010 in Geneva where it made statements during the sessions clearance, transparency, and the exchange of information. Kuwait also attended the intersessional Standing Committee meetings in June 2011.

Kuwait is not party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.

Stockpiling, destruction, production, transfer, and use

Kuwait is not known to have produced or exported antipersonnel mines. It did not declare any production facilities in its Article 7 reports.[5] Officials from the Ministry of Defense told the Monitor in 2002 that Kuwaiti forces have never used mines.[6]

In its initial Article 7 report of May 2008, Kuwait declared a stockpile of 91,432 antipersonnel mines, composed of six types.[7] In a July 2009 letter, Kuwait informed States Parties that it had destroyed its stockpile.[8] This was accomplished far in advance of its treaty-mandated deadline of 1 January 2012. The letter did not provide any details on the destruction process, such as the location and method of destruction, the numbers or types of mines destroyed, or the dates of initiation and completion of destruction. Kuwait’s Article 7 reports submitted in May 2009 and May 2010 do not report specifically on the destruction of the mines, nor do they report any mines transferred for the purpose of destruction. Both reports list “non” on the form for stockpiled mines.[9] In a statement at the Tenth Meeting of States Parties Kuwait affirmed that the destruction process was finished in June 2008.[10]

Kuwait has stated that it does not retain any mines for training purposes, and has not indicated in previous Article 7 reports that it retains mines.[11]


[1] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form A, 24 May 2010. The report is dated 24 May 2010, but was received by the UN on 29 April 2010.

[2] Ibid, 24 May 2009.

[3] Letter M 134/2009 from the Permanent Mission of Kuwait to the UN to the Implementation Support Unit (ISU), Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD), 9 July 2009. 

[4] Letter M 236/2009 from the Permanent Mission of Kuwait to the UN to the ISU, GICHD, 11 November 2009. The letter refers to Articles 1 and 3 of Act 35 of 1985, and Article 171 of Act 16 of 1960. Kuwait also wrote in its Article 7 reports submitted in 2009 and 2010 that “recent panel [sic] code for the state of Kuwait” is applied, which has “prohibited such acts mentioned in the convention” Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form A, 24 May 2009; and Article 7 Report, Form A, 24 May 2010.

[5] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Reports, Form E, 24 May 2010, 24 May 2009, and 28 May 2008.

[6] Information provided by the Kuwaiti Ministry of Defense, 10 April 2002.

[7] This total quantity of mines was inconsistent with the quantity listed next to each of the six mine types, which added to 87,582. These included: 12,151 P-40 bounding fragmentation mines (apparently with fuze assemblies, produced by Italy); 6,848 TS-50 blast mines (apparently without fuzes, provided by Egypt); 2,765 NR-409 blast mines (produced by Belgium); 64,033 C3A1 Elsie blast mines (produced by Canada); 446 M14 blast mines (origin not specified); and 1,339 of an unknown type of high explosive mine with, presumably, a tripwire. Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form B, 28 May 2008.

[8] The letter states that Kuwait “would like to communicate that the Competent Authorities in the State of Kuwait (Ministry of Defence) have destroyed the stockpile of Anti-Personnel Mines as mentioned in the State of Kuwait’s report on transparency measures (7.1b) reporting period 1st June 2008 – 30 March 2009,” Letter M 134/2009 from the Permanent Mission of Kuwait to the UN to the ISU, GICHD, 9 July 2009. The reference to the Article 7 report presumably applies to Kuwait’s initial report dated 28 May 2008, which erroneously lists the reporting period as 1 June 2008 to 30 March 2009. 

[9] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Reports, Forms B, D, F, and G, 24 May 2009, and 24 May 2010.

[10] Statement by Kuwait, Tenth Meeting of States Parties, Mine Ban Treaty, 2 December 2010.

[11] Ibid. Also Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Reports, Form D, 24 May 2010, 24 May 2009, and 28 May 2008.

Last Updated: 16 July 2013

Cluster Munition Ban Policy

The State of Kuwait has not acceded to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

The current status of Kuwait’s views on joining the ban convention is not known. Kuwait first publicly articulated its views on cluster munitions in September 2011 in a statement to States Parties that said the convention “includes important humanitarian, social, economic dimensions that oblige the international community to put forward suitable solution [sic] to end future use of this weapon.” Kuwait said that it is committed to meeting its obligations as a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty as swiftly as possible.[1]

A government representative informed the Monitor in September 2011 that Kuwait fully supports the humanitarian aspects of the convention and relevant authorities were studying the convention and the positions of neighboring countries.[2]

In 2009 and 2010, Kuwait has said that it supports the humanitarian aspects of the convention and is studying the implications of joining.[3]

Kuwait participated in the Oslo Process to develop the convention, including as an observer in the Dublin negotiations in May 2008.[4]

Kuwait has continued to participate in meetings related to the Convention on Cluster Munitions. It participated as an observer in the convention’s First Meeting of States Parties in Vientiane, Lao PDR in November 2010 and the Second Meeting of States Parties in Beirut, Lebanon in September 2011, but did not attend the convention’s Third Meeting of States Parties in Oslo in September 2012. Kuwait attended the convention’s intersessional meetings in Geneva in April 2012 and 2013.

Kuwait has not made a national statement to express concern at Syria’s cluster munition use, but it voted in favor of a UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution on 15 May 2013 that strongly condemned “the use by the Syrian authorities of...cluster munitions.”[5]

Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling

While Kuwait is not known to have used, produced, or exported cluster munitions, it has a stockpile. In 1995, Kuwait was the first export customer for the Russian-produced Smerch 300mm multiple launch rocket system fitted with dual-purpose and sensor-fuzed submunitions, buying 27 launch units.[6] Additionally, Jane’s Information Group lists Kuwait as possessing the Hydra-70 air-to-surface unguided rocket system, but it is not known if this stockpile includes the M261 multipurpose submunition variant.[7]

The United States (US) may stockpile clusters munitions in Kuwait, according to a US diplomatic cable dated May 2007.[8]


[1] Statement of Kuwait, Convention on Cluster Munitions Second Meeting of States Parties, Beirut, 14 September 2011, www.clusterconvention.org/files/2011/09/statement_kuwait.pdf.

[2] Interview with Zeyad al-Mashan, Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Kuwait to the UN in Geneva, in Beirut, 14 September 2011. Of Kuwait’s neighbors, Iraq is a State Party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, while Iran and Saudi Arabia have not joined the convention.

[3] CMC meeting with the Kuwaiti delegation to the Convention on Cluster Munitions First Meeting of States Parties, Vientiane, 9 November 2010; ICBL meeting with the Kuwaiti delegation to the Mine Ban Treaty Second Review Conference, Cartagena, 30 November–4 December 2009.

[4] For details on Kuwait’s cluster munition policy and practice up to early 2009, see Human Rights Watch and Landmine Action, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, May 2009), p. 220. In September 2011, Wikileaks released a United States (US) Department of State cable showing that in a 22 May 2007 meeting the US asked Kuwait to “reconsider” its participation in the Lima conference on cluster munitions. Kuwait did not attend the Lima conference, which was held on 23–25 May 2007. “U.S.-Kuwait Gulf Security Dialogue Talks,” US Department of State cable dated 5 June 2007, released by Wikileaks on 1 September 2011, www.cablegatesearch.net/search.php?q=cluster+munitions&qo=13824&qc=0&qto=2010-02-28.

[5] “The situation in the Syrian Arab Republic,” UNGA Resolution A/67/L.63, 15 May 2013, www.un.org/News/Press/docs//2013/ga11372.doc.htm.

[6] “Kuwait to get smart submunitions for Smerch MRL,” Jane’s Defence Weekly, 21 April 1995.

[7] Colin King, ed., Jane’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal, CD-edition, 10 January 2008 (Surrey, UK: Jane’s Information Group Limited, 2008).

[8] The cable contains the text of a message sent from a US military advisor to United Arab Emirates (UAE) authorities concerning a transfer of “ammunition immediately via US Air Force aircraft from Kuwait stockpile to Lebanon.” With respect to the items to be transferred, the cable states: “The United States will not approve any cluster munitions or white phosphorus.” “Follow-up on UAE response to Lebanese request for emergency aid, US Department of State cable 07ABUDHABI876 dated 24 May 2007, released by Wikileaks on 1 September 2011, www.cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=07ABUDHABI876&q=cluster%20munitions.

Last Updated: 17 December 2012

Mine Action

Contamination and Impact


Wide desert and coastal areas of Kuwait were contaminated with mines as a result of the 1990–1991 Gulf War. Despite massive clearance operations that employed foreign contractors following the war, mines remain in some areas, particularly along the natural sand corridors, although the precise extent of residual contamination is not known. In its Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 reports, Kuwait declared no known or suspected mined areas, noting that there are “no mined areas left in Kuwait recently and formally [sic].”[1] Incidents involving mines have, however, continued to occur, most recently in June 2011.[2]

Cluster munition remnants and other explosive remnants of war

There is also a residual problem of unexploded submunitions and other explosive remnants of war (ERW) from the 1990–1991 Gulf War. In December 2010, for example, 3.5 tons of unexploded ordnance, including an unspecified number of unexploded submunitions, were found south of Kuwait city. The area was cleared by Ministry of Defense personnel.[3] On 11 May 2011, six unexploded submunitions were detected close to an agricultural farm in Abdaly near the border with Iraq. A team from the Ministry of the Interior disposed of these munitions, which were believed to be remnants of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990.[4]

Mine Action Program

There is no formal mine action program in Kuwait. The Ministry of Defense is responsible for coordinating all demining operations. The Engineering Corps of the Land Forces deals with mines, cluster munition remnants, and other ERW in desert areas, while the Ministry of Interior deals with ordnance in populated areas. Both bodies respond to calls from public and private organizations.

Land Release

Clearance of contamination is based on responding to reports of items or explosions. Kuwait does not report formally on antipersonnel mines or other ordnance destroyed during these operations.[5]

Compliance with Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty

Under Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty, Kuwait is required to destroy all antipersonnel mines in mined areas under its jurisdiction or control as soon as possible, but not later than 1 January 2018. In December 2009, Kuwait reaffirmed its commitment to tackling the use of antipersonnel mines, which caused serious damage to people and the environment during the 1990–1991 Iraqi occupation of the country and said that it would do its best to clear its territory of antipersonnel mines.[6]


[1] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Reports, Forms C and F, 28 May 2008, 24 May 2009, and 24 May 2010.

[2] Email from Dr. Raafat Misak, Scientific Researcher, Environment and Urban Development Division, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, 2 August 2011.

[3] Ibid., 2 August 2011.

[4] Report in Al Qabas (daily newspaper), 12 May 2011, p. 10.

[5] See, for example, Article 7 Reports, Form G, 24 May 2009 and 24 May 2010.

[6] See, for example, “Kuwait signs Cartagena declaration on fighting use of landmines,” Kuwait News Agency (Kuwait), 6 December 2009, www.kuna.net.kw.

Last Updated: 29 October 2014

Casualties and Victim Assistance


Casualties overview

All known casualties by end 2013

1,406 mine/explosive remnants of war (ERW) casualties (86 killed; 1,026 injured from August 1990 to 2002)

Casualties in 2013

1 (2012: 1)

2013 casualties by outcome

1 injured (2012: 1 killed)

2013 casualties by device type

1 antipersonnel mine

At least one antipersonnel landmine casualty was reported in Kuwait in 2013. An Indian shepherd lost both legs and was blinded.[1]

The Monitor also identified one mine casualty in Kuwait 2012, a Bangladeshi shepherd was killed.[2]

Three mine casualties were identified in 2011.[3] The casualty rate has remained low since sharply decreasing in 2008. People most affected by landmines in Kuwait are immigrants, mainly shepherds from south Asia who work in the desert areas of the country and are often unaware of the mine/ERW threat. Landmine casualties continued to be reported in 2014; in April a Sudanese shepherd was killed in the north of the country.[4]

From 1999 to the end of 2012, the Monitor identified 126 mine/ERW casualties in Kuwait (30 killed; 54 injured; 42 unknown).

The Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) recorded 1,405 mine/ERW casualties in Kuwait from August 1990 to 2002, including 85 killed and 1,026 injured by mines, and 119 killed and 175 injured by ERW.[5]

Between 1990 and 2006, at least 198 cluster munition remnants casualties were recorded in Kuwait (61 killed; 137 injured). These casualties were mostly clearance personnel.[6] It was reported that the casualty severely injured in 2013 received support for his care through donations.[7]

Approximately 68% of residents in Kuwait were non-citizens, many from the Indian subcontinent. Societal discrimination against non-citizens was prevalent and occurred in most areas of daily life, including employment, education, housing, and healthcare. In June 2013, the government began segregating public hospital staff and treatment times between citizens and non-citizens, reserving mornings for treatment of citizens exclusively, except in case of non-citizen emergencies.[8]

Kuwait ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on 22 August 2013.


[1]Landmine Explosion in the desert: Shepherd lost his legs,” Kuwait Times (International); and “Help Shankar - Landmine Injury Victim in Kuwait,” Dester Girl Kuwait blog, 8 September 2013.

[2] “Stray Mine Kills Shepherd,” Kuwait Times, 4 June 2012; in 2013, the Monitor, which was last updated on 25 November 2013, had reported an additional person injured in 2012, however media reports had incorrectly dated the incident. See “No end in sight for plight of injured Indian worker – Nearly killed by Iraqi landmine,” Kuwait Times,

[3] “Landmine Blows Apart Shepherd,” Arab Times, 20 January 2011, p. 4, accessed 5 June 2013; and email from Dr. Raafat Misak, Professor, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, quoting information provided by the Ministry of Defence of Kuwait, 16 April 2012.

[4] “Sudanese shepherd killed in landmine explosion Kuwait Times, 13 April 2014, news.kuwaittimes.net/sudanese-shepherd-killed-landmine-explosion/.

[5] ICBL, Landmine Monitor Report 2002: Toward a Mine-Free World (New York: Human Rights Watch, August 2002), www.the-monitor.org, accessed 5 June 2013.

[6] Handicap International, “Circle of Impact: The Fatal Footprint of Cluster Munitions on People and Communities,” Brussels, May 2007, p. 18. There has been a lack of data on civilian casualties.

[7]Landmine victim Jakanshar flies home,” Indiansinkuwait, 29 October 2013. He later received a compensation payment of 30,000 KWD (or approximately $100,000) from Kuwait after returning to India, according to one report. News Video, “Landmine victim gets 30 000 dinar from Kuwait government,” February 2014.

[8] United States Department of State, “2013 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Kuwait,” Washington, DC, 27 February 2014.