Landmine report finds global casualties at 10-year high while clearance funding hits 10-year low; but progress toward a mine-free world continues

OTTAWA, Nov. 22, 2016 /CNW/ - New use of antipersonnel mines by states is extremely rare due to the ongoing success of a ban treaty encompassing more than 80% of all countries. However, according to Landmine Monitor 2016, armed conflict in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Ukraine, and Yemen created harsher conditions for the victims and contributed to a spike in the number of people killed and injured in 2015 by mines, including improvised devices that are triggered in the same way, and other explosive remnants of war (ERW). This latest annual report of the Nobel Prize-winning International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) was released today

"The decade-high number of new casualties caused by landmines and unexploded ordnance, and the continued suffering of civilians proves again that these indiscriminate weapons should never be used by anyone," said Loren Persi, casualties and victim assistance editor of Landmine Monitor.

For 2015, the Monitor recorded 6,461 mine/ERW casualties, marking a 75% increase from the number of casualties recorded for 2014 and the highest recorded total since 2006 (6,573). The increase is mainly attributed to more casualties recorded in armed conflicts in Libya, Syria, Ukraine, and Yemen. The increase also reflects greater availability of casualty data. The majority of recorded landmine/ERW casualties were civilians (78%). Despite the overall increase, declining casualty rates were recorded in more states and areas (34) than were increases (31).

Thirty-five donors contributed $340.1 million in international support for mine action to 41 states—the first time since 2005 that international support fell below $400 million. Canadian funding increased C$2,985,063 or 35%. Canada's total funding of C$11,447,904 moves it back into the top ten donors to mine action, but is far short of the C$49.2 million in 2007.

New use of antipersonnel mines by states remains a relatively rare phenomenon, with Myanmar, North Korea, and Syria—all states not party to the Mine Ban Treaty—again having the only government forces actively planting the weapons during the past year. Over that time, non-state armed groups used antipersonnel mines in at least 10 countries: Afghanistan, Colombia, Iraq, Libya, Myanmar, Nigeria Pakistan, Syria, Ukraine, and Yemen.

The Ottawa Treaty bans the use of mines that detonate due to human contact, also known as "victim-activated," and thereby encompasses improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that act as antipersonnel mines, also called improvised mines.

In 2015, countries continued to make previously mined areas safe for use, reporting at least about 171 km2 of land cleared of landmines among the 60 countries. The largest clearance of mined areas in 2015 was achieved in Afghanistan, Cambodia, and Croatia.

For the full press release please see: http://minesactioncanada.nationbuilder.com/landmine_monitor_2016_released

 

SOURCE Mines Action Canada

For further information: or to schedule an interview, contact: Erin Hunt, Program Coordinator, Mines Action Canada, Mobile +1-613-302-3088; Office +1-613-241-3777; Email: erin@minesactioncanada.org

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