Largely as a result of the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, in 2012 Landmine Monitor recorded the lowest number of new casualties ever, the largest amount of contaminated land released ever, and the highest level of global funding for mine action ever.
There are 161 States Parties and one signatory to the Mine Ban Treaty.
- Poland ratified the Mine Ban Treaty on 27 December 2012; now all 28 European Union member states are States Parties.
- The United States stated in December 2012 that a decision on the US landmine policy review and the matter of accession to the Mine Ban Treaty would be announced “soon.”
Antipersonnel landmines were laid in large numbers, apparently by government forces, in Yemen at two locations in 2011: Bani Jarmooz and the Ministry of Trade and Industry compound in the capital, Sana’a. Yemen, as a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty, is obligated to quickly and thoroughly investigate the use, determine who was responsible, hold those responsible accountable, and report on these activities to States Parties.
- Additionally, lingering and new allegations of antipersonnel mine use in States Parties South Sudan, Sudan, and Turkey warrant further investigation.
Government forces in Syria and Myanmar used antipersonnel mines in 2012 and 2013. Both states remain outside the Mine Ban Treaty.
- Forces in the internationally unrecognized breakaway area of Nagorno-Karabakh emplaced new antipersonnel mines in 2013.
Non-state armed groups used antipersonnel mines or victim-activated improvised explosive devices in Afghanistan, Colombia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Syria, Thailand, Tunisia, and Yemen.
- With the addition of Syria and Tunisia, the number of countries where non-state armed groups have used mines has reached its highest level in five years.
Collectively, 87 States Parties of the Mine Ban Treaty have destroyed more than 47 million stockpiled antipersonnel mines, including more than 250,000 destroyed in 2012.
- Nearly 11 million antipersonnel mines await destruction by eight States Parties.
- Belarus, Greece, and Ukraine remain in violation of the treaty after having failed to complete the destruction of their stockpiles by their four-year deadline. Belarus and Greece had a deadline of 1 March 2008, while Ukraine had a deadline of 1 June 2010.
Transfer and Production
For the past decade, the global trade in antipersonnel mines has consisted of a low-level of illicit and unacknowledged transfers, but the abrupt appearance of mines in Sudan and Yemen indicates that some form of market for, and trade in, antipersonnel mines exists.
Down from a total of more than 50 states before the Mine Ban Treaty’s existence, currently only 12 states are identified as potential producers of antipersonnel mines: China, Cuba, India, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, the United States, and Vietnam. This list has not changed in recent years.
In 2012, recorded casualties caused by mines, victim-activated improvised explosive devices, cluster munition remnants, and other explosive remnants of war (ERW) decreased to the lowest level since the Monitor started recording casualties in 1999.
- In 2012, a global total of 3,628 casualties were recorded, a 19% decline compared with 4,474 in 2011.
- The incidence rate of 10 casualties per day for 2012 is a 60% decrease from what was reported for 1999, when there were approximately 25 casualties each day.
- In many states and areas, numerous casualties go unrecorded; therefore, the true casualty figure is likely significantly higher. Nevertheless, the decrease in casualties is likely even more significant because of improvements in recording over time.
Casualties were identified in 62 states and other areas in 2012, of which 42 are States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty.
The vast majority of recorded landmine/ERW casualties were civilians; the proportion of civilian casualties as compared with military casualties increased to 78% in 2012, five percentage points higher than in 2011.
- In 2012, child casualties increased as a proportion of civilian casualties (to 47%, four percentage points higher than in 2011); and female casualties increased as a proportion of all casualties (to 13%, three percentage points higher than in 2011).
- Seventy percent of recorded global casualties occurred in States Parties.
- Steady declines in annual casualty totals continued in the three States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty that have regularly recorded the highest number of annual casualties over the past 14 years: Afghanistan, Cambodia, and Colombia.
Contamination and Land Release
Some 59 states and four other areas were confirmed to be mine-affected as of October 2013. A further eight states have either suspected or residual mine contamination.
A record high of at least 281km2 of mined areas were released through clearance or survey by 40 mine action programs in 2012—up from at least 190km2 in 2011—destroying almost 240,000 antipersonnel mines and 9,300 antivehicle mines.
- The largest total clearance of mined areas in 2012 was achieved in Afghanistan, Cambodia, Croatia, and Sri Lanka, which together accounted for 62% of recorded clearance.
- Over the past decade, almost 1,981km2 has been released through clearance or survey; more than 3.3 million mines were removed from the ground.
In addition, some 245km2 of battle areas were cleared in 2012 including 78km2 of area contaminated by cluster munitions and destroying just over 300,000 items of unexploded ordnance.
In 2012, five States Parties formally declared fulfillment of their Article 5 obligations to clear all known mined areas: Republic of Congo, Denmark, Gambia, Jordan, and Uganda.
- A total of 24 States Parties have officially reported completion of their obligation to clear all known or suspected areas containing antipersonnel mines in territory under their jurisdiction or control since the Mine Ban Treaty came into force in 1999.
- Of the 35 States Parties that have confirmed outstanding mine clearance obligations, 29 (83%) have been granted at least one extension period, more than half of which are deemed to either not be on track with their extension requests or their progress is unclear.
Since 2009, significant progress has been made in victim assistance as measured against the commitments States Parties made that year through the Cartagena Action Plan.
Progress was recorded in:
- Improving the understanding of mine/ERW victims’ needs;
- Coordinating and planning measures to better address those needs;
- Linking victim assistance coordination with multisectoral coordination mechanisms, such as those for disability and development;
- Informing mine/ERW victims about existing programs and services and, in some cases, facilitating their access to available services; and
- Strengthening legal frameworks to promote the rights of victims, including by advancing the right to physical accessibility for persons with disabilities.
Challenges remain in:
- Increasing the availability and sustainability of relevant programs and services, especially to survivors in remote areas;
- Ensuring that all mine/ERW victims have access to programs that meet their specific needs, particularly in employment and livelihoods as well as psychological support; and
- Ensuring that all victims, along with other people with similar needs, have equal access to age and gender appropriate services.
Support for Mine Action
Donors and affected states contributed approximately US$681 million in international and national support for mine action in 2012, the largest combined total ever recorded and $19 million more than in 2011.
International assistance in 2012 was a record $497 million, an increase of $30 million as compared with 2011.
- A total of 52 states and four other areas received $439 million from 39 donors in 2012. A further $58 million was provided without a designated recipient state or other area. Seven states and the EU contributed 80% of this funding.
- Afghanistan received more funding than any other country for the tenth consecutive year. The largest increases among recipients were in Mali, Myanmar, and Somalia, with $41.2 million combined in 2012 compared with $4.7 million in 2011.
- Of the six new recipients in 2012, Mali received the most support with $7.7 million. The other five new recipients—the Philippines, Syria, India, Senegal, and Zimbabwe—received a total of $9.2 million.
Twenty-eight affected states provided $184 million in national support for their own mine action programs, a decrease of $11 million compared with 2011.
In addition to the support detailed above, appropriations from the UN General Assembly for mine action within nine peacekeeping operations provided more than $113 million in 2012—a 25% increase compared with 2011.