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Country Reports
DENMARK, Landmine Monitor Report 1999


Mine Ban Policy

Denmark signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 4 December 1997 and ratified it on 8 June 1998, the fifteenth country to do so. Denmark has not yet passed domestic legislation implementing the treaty.

While there was no national legislation on a mine ban prior to the signing of the Mine Ban Treaty,[1] Denmark was an early supporter of a ban. On 5 September 1995, Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs Niels Helveg Peterson announced Denmark’s support for a comprehensive ban on antipersonnel mines (APMs). He instructed the Danish delegation to the CCW review conference in Vienna to work for a ban.[2]

On 23 May 1996 Denmark decided to renounce the use of AP mines. The Danish Ministry of Defense announced that “Denmark will unilaterally refrain from using AP mines in the Danish defense.”[3] In noting that the result of the CCW review conference had produced “no major break-through towards a ban” and that the next review conference would not take place until 2001, the Danish government “deemed it necessary to take concrete action in order to send a clear and non-ambiguous political signal.”[4]

Denmark participated in all the meetings of the Ottawa Process and endorsed the key UN General Assembly resolutions in 1996, 1997, and 1998.

Denmark signed the CCW and Protocol II on 7 July 1982. The government ratified revised Protocol II on 30 June 1998.

Production and Transfer

Denmark is not currently producing AP mines or mine components to APMs.[5] The government has stated that Denmark has not produced any antipersonnel mines since the 1950s.[6]

Others have alleged that production continued into the 1980s.[7] Companies involved in mine production in the past apparently include the government company, Ammunitionsarsenalet, and private companies ALUTOP Aps, DEMEX Consulting Engineers A/S, HAI Aluksering Horsens A/S – HAI Aluksering Korsør A/S, Korona Plast Aps, Lindys Maskinfabrik A/S and Nea-Lindberg A/S.[8] No information is available from the Ministry of Defense on types and quantities of the mines produced in Denmark.

Denmark has never been an exporter of the weapon.[9] Past production of mines was for the use of the Danish Army only.[10]

The Ministry of Defense indicates that Denmark has not imported APMs since 1990, but does not give any information on the type, quantity, value and date of imports.[11] According to correspondence from the Foreign Ministry, Denmark imported M14 mines (apparently from the US) and DM 31 mines (apparently from Germany) in the 1950s and 1960s, and M18A1 mines (apparently from the US) in the 1980s.[12] U.S. government sources indicate that the U.S. exported 1,576 AP mines to Denmark between 1983 and 1992.[13]

On the issue of the legality of transit of foreign mines through Danish territory, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs gave the following statement: “In accordance with Article 1 of the Ottawa Convention, Denmark cannot transfer to anyone, directly or indirectly, APMs or allow anyone to do so on Danish territory. According to Article 3, physical movement (transfer) of APMs are permitted if the purpose is the development of and training in mine detection, mine clearance, mine destruction techniques or if the purpose is destruction of APMs.”[14]


Denmark started the destruction of its APM stockpiles in December 1997 after the signing of the Mine Ban Treaty.[15] The Ministry of Defense informs that the destruction is now almost completed and that all stocks, excluding the APMs retained for training purposes, will be destroyed by the end of 1999. The stockpile consisted of about 250,000 mines: 98,000 M47; 76,000 M56 (MLE 51-APID 51); 62,000 M58 (NM M14); 13,000 M66 (DM31), 1,000 M80 (M18A1 Claymore).[16] The Claymores will not be destroyed.

The APMs retained for training purposes are 4,962 NM M14s.[17] The Danish Defense Command is responsible for retaining these mines. The Claymore mines, now called “sector charges,” have been rebuilt to ensure that they can be command detonated only.[18]

There are no APMs stockpiled by any other country in Denmark.[19]

Mine Action Funding

Denmark has contributed a sizable amount of money to humanitarian mine action programs throughout the years.

Mine Action Contributions, 1992-1998, in DKK

(Including mine clearance, surveying, training, awareness, survivor assistance, conference contributions.)

1992 13,848,000

1993 12,000,000

1994 14,340,028

1995 16,000,000

1996 50,667,272

1997 33,428,275

1998 34,500,000[20]

In addition to these funds, the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs also spent a total of DKK 90,008,000 (1992-1998) on bilateral contributions to mine clearance and mine related activities. The money allocated from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is mainly channeled through various UN agencies, the ICRC and non-governmental organizations such as DanChurchAid, Danish Refugee Council (Danish Demining Group) and Norwegian People’s Aid.[21]

Landmine Problem

Denmark reported to the UN that it considers itself a landmine-affected country on 16 June 1995. The UN country report for Denmark states that “ landmines and ammunitions are still being cleared [in Denmark] fifty years after the end of WWII.”[22] The peninsula of Skallingen is the most heavily affected area of Denmark and is closed to the public. The German occupying forces mined the area during WWII. It is estimated that less than 10,000 mines are still in the ground (including antitank mines).[23] According to the information on Denmark at the United Nations, the mines found in Denmark are Schultzmine, Holzmine 42, Pansermine, Schultzmine 42, Stockmine, Teller 35 and Teller 42.[24]

When asked about the mined area, an official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs claimed that this area is of no interest to the public and that nobody currently seems to show an interest in using this land. He also doubted that the area would be of much use if cleared.[25]

Mine Awareness

The mine-infested area of Denmark is marked to ensure effective exclusion of civilians. It is currently being discussed whether the marking should be renewed, but no action has yet been taken. The marking of the mined area is the responsibility of the local police, but the mined area is almost fully owned by the Ministry of Transportation.[26] Mine awareness education for Danish citizens is currently not perceived as necessary.[27]

Mine Clearance

All Danish military engineer units receive training in the laying and lifting of mines. There are three demining units in Denmark during peacetime, and thirteen in time of war.[28] According to UN data on Denmark, the total number of square meters (sqm) cleared of mines since the WWII is 14,482,000. However, it is not clear when this report was written, so the number might be outdated. Of the area mentioned in the UN report, 6,086,000 sqm was cleared in Skallingen (1946-49), 140,000 sqm in Henne Strand (1981) and 7,256,000 sqm in Kalvebod (1981-1994). Explosive ordnance experts have cleared these areas.[29]

After the signing of the Mine Ban Treaty, Denmark is obliged to clear all its mine-infested areas. Officials are currently in the process of discussing how this should be done, but no specific plan of action has been made public yet. The cost of clearing all the mine-infested areas in Denmark is estimated to be DKK 300 million.[30]

Specific numbers on landmine casualties in Denmark have not been found. All modern general health and surgical facilities are available in Denmark.


[1]Danny Annan, Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, written answers to LM, 24 March 1999.

[2]International Campaign to Ban Landmines, “Landmine Update,” No. 12, December 1995.

[3]Ministry of Defense, Press Release, 28 June 1996.

[4]“Ban Movement Chronology”, ICBL homepage: www.icbl.org, 22 March 1999.

[5]Major Per Lyse Rasmussen, Danish Ministry of Defense, written answers to LM, 25 March 1999; telephone interview, Niels Munk, Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 23 March 1999.

[6]See, Michael Borg-Hansen, Counsellor, Royal Danish Embassy, Washington, DC, letter to Human Rights Watch, 11 July 1996, in response to ICBL questionnaire.

20See, Tom Vilmer Paamand, “Danish mine-producing companies,” 2[7] April 1995. Peace on the Net: www.fred.dk/peace/danmines.htm. He states that “antipersonnel mines have not been produced in Denmark since the 1970s, but in 1980 some were renovated for the Danish Army. One company produced parts for antipersonnel mines until 1982.”

[8]Tom Vilmer Paamand, “Danish mine-producing companies,” 27 April 1995. Peace on the Net: www.fred.dk/peace/danmines.htm.

[9]Royal Danish Embassy letter to Human Rights Watch, 11 July 1996.

[10]Major Lyse Rasmussen, 25 March 1999.


[12]Royal Danish Embassy letter to Human Rights Watch, 11 July 1996.

[13]U.S. Defense Security Assistance Agency, “U.S. Landmine Sales By Country,” March 1994. It appears these were all M18A1 Claymore mines.

[14]Annan, 24 March 1999.

[15]Munk, 23 March 1999.

[16]Royal Danish Embassy letter to Human Rights Watch, 11 July 1996.

[17]Major Lyse Rasmussen, 25 March 1999.

[18]Major Lyse Rasmussen, 25 March 1999.


[20]See, Tom Vilmer Paamand, “Danish mine-producing companies,” 27 April 1995. Peace on the Net: www.fred.dk/peace/danmines.htm. He states that “antipersonnel mines have not been produced in Denmark since the 1970s, but in 1980 some were renovated for the Danish Army. One company produced parts for antipersonnel mines until 1982.”

[21]Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ”Danish Humanitarian Contributions to Mine Clearance and Mine related Activities from 1992-1998.”

[22]United Nations, “Country Report: Denmark”, United Nations Demining Homepage: www.un.org/Depts/Landmine, 22 March 1999.

[23]Munk, 23 March 1999.

[24]UN Country Report: Denmark.

[25]Munk, 23 March 1999.

[26]Annan, 24 March 1999.


[28]UN Country Report: Denmark.


[30]Munk, 23 March 1999.