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Increase of use of landmines driven by Russia, Myanmar and non-state armed groups

Explosive weapons
International

The Landmine Monitor 2022 reports a high number of casualties caused by landmines - including improvised mines and explosive remnants of war - for the seventh year in a row. The Monitor recorded 5,544 casualties in 2021. 75% of them were civilians. This high figure is mainly the result of increased armed conflicts and contamination with improvised mines since 2015. The use of landmines by the Russian and Myanmar armies, as well as by non-state armed groups in five countries, are the main factors of a sharp global increase of the use of these weapons in 2022.

States will gather in Geneva from November 21th to 25th for the 20th annual Mine Ban Treaty conference. As we celebrate the 25 years of the Ottawa Treaty, HI urges States to pressure parties to conflict to end the use of these barbaric weapons and to support the funding of victims assistance that is shrinking despite growing needs and high casualty rates in recent years.

Read the full report.

High number of casualties for seven consecutive years

  • The Landmine Monitor 2022 report measures the impact of the Ottawa Treaty, which bans the use, production, transfer and stockpiling of anti-personnel mines for the 2021 calendar year, with information included through October 2022 when possible.
  • The Landmine Monitor 2022 reports that at least 5,544 casualties of mines and explosive remnants of war were recorded in 2021: 2,182 people were killed and 3,355 people were injured (status remains unknown for seven casualties).
  • More than 75% of recorded casualties were civilians where their status was known (4,200). Children accounted for nearly half of all civilian casualties where the age was known (1,696).

New reported use of mines

  • The Landmine Monitor 2022 documents new use by two states that are not parties to the Ottawa Treaty, Russia and Myanmar, as well as by non-state armed groups in at least five countries: Central African Republic, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, India, and Myanmar.
  • The Monitor highlights that Russia, not state party to the Ottawa Treaty, is using antipersonnel-mines in Ukraine: At least eight types of landmines have been used by Russian forces in Ukraine since February 2022. There is confirmed evidence that Russian forces also emplaced booby-traps and improvised explosive devices at numerous locations. This is an unprecedented situation in which a country that is not party to the Mine Ban Treaty is using the weapon on the territory of a state party to the treaty (Ukraine).
  • Ukraine is also using landmines in this conflict, but the non-banned antivehicle mines. Human Right Watch reported last May that “Both Russian and Ukrainian forces have extensively used anti-vehicle mines (also called anti-tank mines) in at least six regions: Donetsk, Chernihiv, Kharkiv, Kyiv, Odesa, Sumy, and Zaporizhzhia.”

 

Conflicts areas contaminated with improvised mines

  • The majority of the 5,544 casualties recoded by the Landmine Monitor 2022 occurred in conflict-affected countries contaminated with improvised mines.
  • In 2021, landmines, including improvised mines and explosive remnants of war injured and killed people in 50 states and other areas.
  • Syria recorded the highest number of annual casualties (1,227) for the third year in a row, closely followed by Afghanistan (1,074), which has had over a thousand annual casualties for more than a decade.
  • Other States Parties with over 100 recorded casualties in 2021 were Colombia, Iraq, Mali, Nigeria, and Yemen.

Contamination

  • At least 60 states and other areas are contaminated by antipersonnel mines.
  • This includes 33 States Parties that have declared clearance obligations under Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty, 22 states not party, and five other areas.
  • An additional seven States Parties need to provide information regarding suspected or known contamination by improvised mines: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Mali, the Philippines, Tunisia, and Venezuela.

 

Progress of the Treaty

  • To date, 94 States Parties have destroyed more than 55 million stockpiled landmines. Sri Lanka is the last State Party to have completed destruction of its landmine stockpile in 2021, bringing the total number of countries to have declared completion of stockpile destruction to 94.
  • 69 States Parties have reported that they retain more than 130,000 antipersonnel mines for training and research purposes, of which 28 retain more than 1,000 mines each.
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