The Mine Ban Treaty and Mine Action
The Mine Ban Treaty is more than simply a ban on antipersonnel landmines. It obligates each state party to clear all mined areas within its jurisdiction or control within a ten-year period. A mined area is defined as “an area which is dangerous due to the presence or the suspected presence of mines.” This definition includes areas which are suspected of being mined. This is an important provision, because the mere suspicion that an area is mined can often have the same effect as if it actually were mined, rendering it useless. Recognizing that it is likely not possible to clear the worst affected areas within this period, the treaty contains a provision that parties may apply for an extension of up to ten years, and renewals if necessary.
Article 6 on International Cooperation and Assistance states the right of each party to seek and receive assistance to the extent possible. It obligates states parties to share and exchange knowledge, equipment and technology, and those with the means to do so, are called upon to provide assistance for mine clearance and other mine action programs. This article implies a responsibility of the international community to provide funding and support for mine action programs in mine-affected countries with limited resources. The implementation of Article 6 will thus be crucial for the success of the Mine Ban Treaty, as it is through this mechanism that funds for Mine Action will be secured.
By providing an action-oriented, scheduled, legal framework for international co-operation on Mine Action, the Mine Ban Treaty represents a breakthrough in the struggle against landmines. Apart from the many obvious operational challenges that remain in removing the mines from the ground, the implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty is the main challenge for the mine action community in the coming years. From a mine-action-perspective, implementation and follow-up to the Treaty present an opportunity to bring the landmine crisis under control during the next decade, a major step towards the realization of a mine-free world.
At the same time, implicit in the challenge is the pull between providing humanitarian assistance while at the same time supporting the Treaty. When governments violate their Treaty obligations, what impact – morally if not legally – does this violation have in regard to Article 6? Does the international community provide mine action assistance, in effect sanctioning the violation of the Treaty, or does it withhold Article 6 assistance from treaty violators and thus penalize the civilian population? Obviously, this is a dilemma the international community must address.
The Numbers Issue
Landmines are a global problem, but the exact magnitude of the problem is difficult to measure. Nobody knows how many mines are in the ground, nor how many people are mine-affected, nor how large the areas are that could be considered “mine infested.” At the same time, there has been a misconception that baseline data on the scope, impact and size of the problem is available to develop rational, concerted demining efforts. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
Over the last four decades, large numbers of mines have been used in various conflicts in much of the world. The majority of these mines were randomly laid, with limited tactical rationale, and often deployed simply to terrorize and demoralize local populations. In such circumstances, mines can be found everywhere; in fields, in urban areas, along rivers, in orchards, surrounding villages and on transport routes. Contrary to common belief, mines are as often as not found in no predictable patterns, minefield maps are mostly non-existent or too old or inaccurate to use, and local awareness of the location of minefields is often poor.
This knowledge gap has resulted in debate over the number of landmines in the ground, with estimates varying from 60 million to 200 million mines. These numbers, in official government and United Nations documents, were an early attempt to try to put contours on a situation many were just beginning to grapple with. These “facts” repeated and reprinted became “reality,” but now the international community is making a concerted effort to collect more accurate information to reshape the picture.
From the perspective of mine action, the actual number of mines in the ground is not as important as, for example, the number minefields and size and type of areas affected, and the number of people affected. In this context, debate over the number of mines in the ground is not all that relevant to the demining task at hand. At the same time, some concept of a total figure is important to give contours to the problem, and therefore, is useful to address. What is certain is that nobody knows an exact number of mines in the ground, and that uncertainty is actually a part of the problem.
A point of departure for any analysis of the number of mines in the ground is to recognize that the numbers will never be anything but estimates. With the expansion of mine action programs in mine affected areas around the world, along with more comprehensive survey methods, it is likely that these estimates will become more accurate over time. Until now the best working estimate can be found in the U.S. State Department’s 1998 report, Hidden Killers. Case studies of 12 heavily affected countries, and updated information, led to a revised estimate of number of mines in the ground for each of the 12 countries (both a high and low estimate). From that number, a percentage was calculated to show the difference between the UN estimates and those in Hidden Killers. This formula gives a low estimate of approximately 59.7 million mines and a high estimate of approximately 69.4 million mines in the ground.
These estimates represent a striking downward estimate of the global landmine contamination, from 80-110 million to about 60-70 million. One reason for this is more knowledge about the situation in the field, leading to reduced numbers. For example, the estimated number of mines in Kuwait after the Gulf War was approximately 7 million mines. In late 1995, after the termination of the major mine clearance programs, the total turned out to be 1.7 million mines. Egypt has been presented as the most heavily mine infested country in the world, with an estimated 23 million mines. A survey undertaken indicated that apparently all munitions in Egypt had been designated as “mines.” Further analysis of historical records showed that it was possible that around 1.5 million mines had been laid in Egypt’s Western Desert, where the survey was conducted, with another estimated half million mines along Egypt’s eastern borders. This gives a more conservative estimate of about 2 million, not 23 million, mines in Egyptian soil. The accuracy of either assessment cannot be confirmed, but the difference is striking.
Numbers and the Real Impact
As discussed above, the actual number of mines in the ground does not necessarily determine the impact on a population. A far more important question is the number of people affected by the landmine threat in their daily lives. For most people living in mine affected areas, the mere suspicion that an area is mined can render it useless. In 1996 Norwegian People’s Aid cleared a village in Mozambique, after it had been abandoned by the entire population of around 10,000 villagers due to alleged mine infestation. After three months of work, the deminers found four mines. Four mines had denied access to land and caused the migration of 10,000 people
The lives directly affected is also a horrific measure. The Landmine Monitor country reports indicate a decrease in the number of landmine victims in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Cambodia, Croatia, Eritrea, Mozambique and Somaliland over the past years. However, it is too early and data is too inconclusive to conclude that this decrease represents a global trend.
Focusing on mines alone is also an inaccurate indicator because this excludes unexploded ordnance (UXOs). Unexploded munitions, grenades and bombs often are an even larger problem than mines in areas where heavy and continuous fighting has occurred. Probably as many as 10 per cent of explosives used in armed conflicts do not explode, and these UXOs must be handled like mines, complicating the demining process. Demining agencies normally encounter a larger number of UXOs than mines in mine clearance operations and if these weapons were to be included with mines in global estimates, the level of global contamination would be hard to contemplate.
As for land denied by the presence of landmines, because of insufficient surveys of mined areas, there are no global estimates. Based on a recent, comprehensive survey in Afghanistan by the non-governmental organization Mine Clearance Planning Agency, there are around 860 square kilometers of mined areas affecting more than 1,500 villages. Of these mined areas 465 square kilometers have been classified as areas of high priority for clearance. These figures may or may not be exemplary of other mine affected areas. Clearly, surveys comparable to those in Afghanistan must be carried out in other heavily contaminated countries. But an equally more important question is how many people are affected in their daily lives by these mined areas?
Humanitarian Mine Action: Features And Principles
Humanitarian mine action is a comprehensive, structured approach to deal with mine and UXO contamination, including survey assessment, mine clearance, mine awareness, and victim assistance. These activities are carried out to reduce the threat posed by landmines to individuals and communities in mine infested areas, as well as to assist mine victims. Humanitarian mine action should work to create indigenous capacity in mine affected communities, because it is part of their long-term development.
Mine action includes four complementary parts: Different levels of survey, assessments and marking; mine clearance; mine awareness; and victim assistance. These four parts are complementary, but together they constitute both the necessary and sufficient requirements for a successful mine action strategy. A mine action project cycle can be divided into three phases, and all three must be fulfilled to ensure that the overall objectives of the programs are reached. These phases are: Pre-mine-clearance--identifying beneficiaries and clarifying all legal and entitlement aspects; mine clearance which starts after all issues in the first phase are resolved; and finally the post-mine clearance phase to ensure that the initial objectives of the project have been reached.
Mines represent a fundamental obstacle to the development of war torn societies and must be understood in a larger developmental context. In any humanitarian mine clearance operation, questions must be asked such as: What areas should be prioritized in order to help war torn societies on their road to sustainable development? Who will benefit from the mine clearance? What will happen to the cleared areas after demining is completed? For NGOs working in humanitarian mine action, the activities involved are not just about getting the mines out of the ground, but about doing so in a manner which facilitates post-conflict socio-economic development.
Three NGOs -- Handicap International, Mines Advisory Group and Norwegian People’s Aid -- represent a substantial part of the world’s humanitarian demining capacity. These agencies currently employ around 4,000 local experts in mine survey, mine marking, mine clearance and mine risk education programs in 20 heavily affected countries. Together the agencies have formulated a joint statement of principles to guide further work and development of methods related to humanitarian mine action. These principles include the following:
- the need for objective analysis of the requirements of affected communities, and the structuring and conduct of operations to meet these requirements;
- the need to take account of cultural sensitivities;
a need for a responsible approach to the welfare of personnel employed by these agencies involved in mine action;
- a commitment to the continued development of existing methods and to continued improvement of quality;
- a realistic and objective approach to new mine clearance technologies and methods;
- the need to avoid impractical, “quick-fix solutions;” and
- the need to support the principle of transfer of capacity to the affected communities.
In general, from the perspective of these three NGOs, these principles outline the fundamentals of humanitarian mine action. They advocate an approach which emphasizes the appropriate sequencing of assistance to the affected communities, based on the generation of solid baseline data before projects are implemented. The reality is that too often this sequence is not followed. Mine action programs that focus on emergency situations sometimes end up trying to gather basic information for preplanning long after work has already started. Ideally, baseline data should be the result of a level one survey which picks up where an assessment missions ends, and seeks to get an overview of the situation before large scale mine awareness and mine clearance activities are initiated.
Commercial Contracting And Humanitarian Mine Clearance
There is a fundamental distinction between military and humanitarian mine clearance. In principle, military units can clear mines to the same standards as humanitarian mine clearance agencies. However, as one commentator put it, mine clearance can be quick or it can be thorough - it cannot be both. The United Nations international humanitarian standard clearance rate is 99.6 percent of mines cleared. The UN standard was established to facilitate commercial contracting.
Humanitarian mine clearance is a relatively new approach to the problem of landmine infestation that dates from mine clearance operations in Afghanistan and in Kuwait after the Gulf War. Humanitarian mine clearance is evolving with respect to the actors involved and methods and technology used, but remains characterized by its aim of clearing all the mines in a minefield. The 99.6 per cent standard is not sufficient for humanitarian deminers because it leaves four mines in the ground for every one thousand cleared. Humanitarian mine clearance therefore operates with quite different parameters than that of commercial operators and the military, with minefields cleared to humanitarian standards and with security for deminers.
In principle, commercial contractors can work to the same standards as humanitarian agencies. It is a question of priorities: commercial contractors run the risk of making the same priorities as military units, prioritizing time over clearance rate, in order to increase profit. Humanitarian mine clearance agencies acknowledge the current need for commercial contractors, because the humanitarian mine clearance capacity is still not sufficiently developed to undertake mine clearance in many heavily infested areas. Commercial contractors can undertake mine clearance missions in areas where humanitarian agencies do not have capacity to clear specific areas.
What is needed, is a better regime to control and evaluate the quality of commercial mine clearance operations. The standard for the mine action community is described in the International Standards for Humanitarian Mine Clearance and should be adhered to by any organization or contractor involved in such clearance operations. These standards do not include most of the methods used by commercial contractors, such as mechanical mine clearance and the use of dogs. Additional steps to ensure the quality of implementation include the adoption of principles similar to those of MAG, NPA, and HI as stated in UN’s policy document “Mine Action and Effective Coordination.”
In terms of cost-effectiveness in operations, it is instructive to compare the Kuwaiti experience (the most comprehensive commercial demining operation to date) with that of Afghanistan. The cost of mine clearance in Kuwait was $961,538 per square kilometer ($700 million/728Km²). It involved 4,000 expatriate deminers, 84 of whom were killed during the operation.. Uncleared mines were found during quality assurance inspections, and now large areas are being resurveyed and may need to be recleared. The Mine Action Program for Afghanistan (MAPA), currently employs around 4,000 individuals. The vast majority are local staff, which means that a considerable indigenous mine action capacity has been developed. Approximately $90.1 million has been spent for mine clearance in Afghanistan since the start of the program in 1990. Around 145 square kilometers have been cleared in this period or $621,889 per square kilometer, or $339,649 less per Km² than in Kuwait.
Funding For Humanitarian Mine Action
The issue of funding for humanitarian mine action is complex, but one thing is certain; humanitarian mine action programs are underfunded, and often funding choices do not support the long-term integrated approach needed in sustainable humanitarian mine action. Some major donors, like the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, favor private and commercial enterprises in their contracting of humanitarian projects, either for political reasons or for alleged higher cost-efficiency. Already some key mine action NGOs, like the British MAG, are reporting the possible closure of programs due to lack of funds. Others are facing obstacles created by short-term funding priorities of donors, and highly detailed requirements on the use of the funds.
Another “numbers issue” in the movement to eliminate landmines is trying to determine exactly how much money has been spent on mine action over the last decade. During the signing of the Mine Ban Treaty in Ottawa in December 1997, a total figure of US$500 million was pledged by various donors for mine action. The pledges were welcome – but they also were broad and unspecified, making them hard to track. There are increasing efforts to clearly map out where funds are going, and how much has been spent, and for what specific purposes. The research for this report is one such attempt, and the ongoing Landmine Monitor process will be an important tool in the years to come. But in attempting to compile – and understand the implications of – the figures, it is very clear that more transparency and standardization of reporting is essential.
One report prepared for the UN Mine Action Support Group showing bilateral donor mine action support as of mid-November 1998 lists donor figures for countries, projects funded and amounts. The total committed adds up to roughly US$430 million for mine action, but since the entries are not time-specific, and some are aggregate figures for several fiscal years, a complete understanding of the funding picture is distorted. Additionally, descriptions of projects funded are broad and unclear and do not provide criteria for any real analysis.
A Canadian Government report notes that ten donor countries have started 98 new mine action programs in 25 countries in the past 12 months, with no more detail. On their website, the UN Voluntary Trust Fund indicates that US$49 million have been pledged and spent for mine action programs for the 4-year period between 1994-1998 The U.S. reports that it alone has gone from $10 million for mine action programs in five countries in 1993 to $92 million for 21 countries in 1998; but as many of the programs are military-to-military demining training it is unclear how much of the money actually goes to lifting mines out of the ground.
In short, the picture is confusing. With no common understanding for transparent reporting on funds for mine action, it is difficult to impossible to monitor the reality of funding for mine action programs. Without transparent reporting it becomes difficult at best to measure progress. As this is an important aspect of the implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty, these issues must be addressed. So that data collected can generate measurable and comparable figures, reporting of funds for mine action should be transparent. At a minimum, such reporting should specify donor country/agency, recipient country, project description, implementing agency, and funding period; reports should also indicate what percentage of the funds actually apply to in-country programs.
There has been an increase in funding for humanitarian mine action programs after the Mine Ban Treaty, more donors are involved, and more funds are provided for the continuation of already existing programs, and for initiating new projects.
However, it is clear that the current funding is still insufficient. One suggestion to increase mine action support is that countries donate one per cent of their defense budgets for mine action projects. Between 1988 and 1998, the global annual average for defense spending was U.S.$74 billion. One percent of that figure would provide U.S.$740 million for mine action annually. With such a commitment, the problem could truly be resolved in years, not decades.
Technology, Research and Development, Funding and Humanitarian Mine Clearance
The technology and methodologies available today for detecting and destroying landmines do not differ much from post-W.W.II reality. Available tools make mine clearance time-consuming and by many measures “inefficient.” With the heightened awareness of the mine problem, many research and development projects have begun to compete for R&D monies pledged. But the “mantra” of humanitarian mine clearers is that any new technology must make demining “safer, faster, cheaper” and currently there are a number of efforts to find the ultimate solution to the problem. To date, none of the proposed hi-tech solutions have found their way into the field, although a few are promising.
There are a number of expensive and imaginative R&D projects which have raised some concerns in the humanitarian mine clearance community as they appear to be driven by interests other than humanitarian concerns. Hi-tech projects and solutions must be evaluated based on humanitarian needs, affordability and sustainability. The wide range of terrain in which mine action takes places makes it very difficult to design equipment in a laboratory or on the basis of limited field trials. It is highly likely that these devices, when ready for the field, will only be useable as an additional asset to the existing “tool box” of manual, mechanical and mine dog detection and clearance.
Humanitarian mine clearance agencies support the development of new technologies as long as these efforts do not divert funds from the ongoing mine action efforts. There should be donor transparency concerning investments in R&D for humanitarian mine action purposes, both in terms of the amounts spent and the guiding principles for their spending. Greater effort at co-ordination is needed to avoid duplication of R&D efforts and to ensure that humanitarian end-user requirements are being considered. In fact, in order to improve the effectiveness of their efforts, the R&D community should actively seek out and listen to the advice of the end users. Above all, the main focus must be on improving current methods in tandem with efforts to further develop and enforce the principles for humanitarian demining.
Lack of baseline data
As already discussed, there is too little information on the location of dangerous areas and minefields. For the international community to respond to this crisis in a rapid and cost-effective manner, a primary objective must be to acquire solid baseline data for the planning and implementation of humanitarian mine action. The baseline is normally established through different levels of mine surveys. To date, few of the most affected countries have been adequately surveyed. There are many reasons why this important first step has not been taken. First, many of the agencies involved in humanitarian mine action were initially undertaking emergency demining for refugee repatriation and other short-term objectives. The need for surveys has emerged as operations have entered longer-term commitments. Second, as a demining activity, surveys are not as easily understood or supported by the donors, compared to the very concrete activity of removing landmines.
As the work of humanitarian mine action has developed over the last few years, the need for coordinated surveys has become clear. In 1997, a group of NGOs met in Brussels to share experiences and establish proper methods and survey formats in order to get better baseline data for mine action operations. The result of this meeting was the establishment of the Global Level 1 Survey Working Group. This NGO initiative is one of the most important recent contributions to the future efforts in mine action world wide. (See Global Landmine Survey Program report in the appendices).
Challenges For Humanitarian Mine Action
Mine action is a new field which has had to respond to emergency aid issues, issues of individual rights and the demands of long term development. Great strides have been made, yet despite much forward movement, mine action efforts have come under recent criticism. Questions have been raised about the effectiveness of the resources spent in producing concrete and measurable results in the affected communities. However, the lack of pre-existing data on the scope, size and impact of the problem have made it difficult to establish parameters for the measurement of the effectiveness of mine action. Considerable work remains to be done in order to create generally accepted measures of success; and efforts need to continue to explain to the international community generally, and to the donor community in particular, why mine action is a long-term commitment.
There are a number of reasons for this present shortage of the so called socio-economic indicators. One is the relative youth of co-ordinated mine action efforts and the difficulties of translating how the mine-problem really affects people and communities world-wide into “measurables.” The lack of baseline data has been a major factor and trying to calculate comparable figures across countries make such determinations that much more difficult. Other reasons for the lack of result parameters can be related to the fact that involved actors so far have been reluctant to use economic variables as a measurement of success in fear of putting a price on people’s lives and limbs.
Furthermore; there are significant practical problems in trying to measure effects of demining. Comparisons between various demining operations is particularly difficult. For example, two teams clearing the same amount of square meters, but working under different conditions will inevitably produce different results. For these reasons, several complementary measurements of success should be used when evaluating the effectiveness of humanitarian demining.
In the history of mine action only one study of the socio-economic impact of mine action operations has been made: the Mine Clearance Planning Agency (MCPA) study in Afghanistan from October 1998. In the near future, the mine-action community must take necessary measures for producing more studies like the Afghan study. Donors will require better indicators to measure the effect of mine-action programs, linked more closely to long-term development programs. Establishing fixed variables to serve this purpose is a complex process and should involve social scientists, economists and other academics in co-operation with the mine action community. This process is crucial to maintain future donor support and -interest in humanitarian mine action. Currently there is some activity and co-operation in this field between various NGOs involved in humanitarian work.
Mine awareness involves information programs to reduce the threat of landmines to affected communities. Through various educational mechanisms that focus on changing risk behaviour, and creating knowledge of safety measures, mine awareness seeks to reduce the number of landmine victims. Mine awareness is needed in mine affected areas, prior and parallel to demining programs. In heavily mined countries, demining can take years to complete. The local population must learn how to live their daily lives in mine and UXO infested areas until the threat is removed.
There are some common elements noticeable in mine affected communities throughout the world but more significant are the differences. This means that all mine awareness campaigns have some common elements, but each campaign must be adapted to local needs, culture and traditions. Fieldwork must precede development of any mine awareness campaign, in order to adapt the content and form of messages to the needs of the local population. After conducting fieldwork and gathering information about behavior and victims in a given area, mine awareness messages can be tailored to the area and target group in question. While specific content might vary, universal points in any mine awareness campaign must include knowledge of the threat; means of protecting yourself and others from the threat; and how to react if you unknowingly enter a mined area.
The dominant method for mine awareness is through direct contact with affected communities. This normally means training of local trainers who visit different communities where they conduct courses in refugee camps, villages, schools or in any other place where people can be gathered to participate in training. Normally materials include dummy mines and UXOs, posters with mine awareness messages and illustrations, leaflets, brochures, photographs, audio tapes, videos. Furthermore, mine awareness messages can be incorporated in theater performances, dance or games in which the target group can actively participate. The methods to be used in a specific mine infested area must be decided after fieldwork (needs-assessment), and various approaches should normally be tested on a part of the target group before a full scale mine awareness campaign is implemented.
Although the above mentioned steps remain the core activities, access to mass media is in most cases crucial for dispersing mine awareness messages. One way of doing this is by using posters with mine awareness messages along major transportation routes or handing out mine awareness brochures or leaflets to mine affected communities. Television and radio spots can also be used with success. Mass media has the advantage of reaching out to a vast number of people, at relatively low costs, but none of the mass media approaches combined can replace direct mine awareness courses in content and output with respect to learning. Mass media can best function as a support to a community based approach.
Several indicators can be used to measure the success of a mine awareness campaign. As is the case for mine clearance, the factors involved are normally efficiency of the mine awareness campaign in the disposition of funds and how they are spent, planning, training of instructors and implementation of information strategies. Information on program implementation is often gathered and submitted as a measure of success. More critical measures should be to what extent have people changed behavior patterns as a result of mine awareness, i.e., are target groups avoiding high-risk behavior, incorporating mine awareness messages they have learned in their daily lives, fluctuations in accident and injury rates. For accuracy in monitoring and evaluation, it is important to take into account other factors which may contribute to fluctuations in casualty statistics. The movement of refugees and internally displaced persons, security initiatives, ongoing demining, and the need for people to work the land during planting or harvest seasons influence mine accident rates, as does the level of mine awareness achieved by a population regardless of the presence or absence of an awareness program. If examined carefully and objectively, casualty rates can particularly provide important evidence of the overall effectiveness of a program.
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U.S. Department of State, Hidden Killers: the Global Demining Crisis, (Washington D.C.: U.S. Department of State Publication 190575, 1998); see also UN Landmine Database: www.un.org/Depts/Landmines/
The percentage was arrived at by taking the difference, in turn, between the UN estimate and the Hidden Killers 1998 low and high estimates, then averaging the sum of these two and taking the result as a percentage of the UN estimate. The Hidden Killers derived a 30 percent reduction in the number of landmines from the UN estimate, by averaging the percentage difference for the 12 countries. It should be noted that this flat 30 percent factor is hardly a factor that is accepted in the mine action community.
Eddie Banks, Brassey’s Essential Guide to Anti Personnel Landmines, (London: Brassey’s,1997), p. 6.
Colin King, (ed.) Jane’s Mines and Mine Clearance,(Surrey: Jane’s Information Group Limited, Third edition, 1998-99),p. 13.
Handicap International, Mines Advisory Group and Norwegian People’s Aid, Portfolio of Mine-related Projects 1998-.
Mike Croll, The History of Landmines (Great Britain: Leo Cooper Barnsley, 1998), p. 92.
Don Hubert, “The Challenge of Humanitarian Demining”, in Cameron, Maxwell A. et al To Walk Without Fear. The Global Movement to Ban Landmines, (Toronto:Oxford University Press, 1998), p. 315.
Patrick Blagden, “The Evolution of Mine Clearance Operations Since 1991,” in Barlow, Dennis et al., Humanitarian Demining Information Center. James Madison University, Sustainable Humanitarian Demining: Trends, Techniques & Technologies, (Verona, Virginia: Mid Valley Press, 1997).
United Nations International Standards for Humanitarian Mine Clearance Operations, (New York: Mine Clearance Policy Unit, DHA, United Nations).
Ibid, pp. 320-21.
Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, One Year Later: Is the Ottawa Convention Making a Difference?, Ottawa, Canada, 2 December 1998, p. 2.
See SIPRI Yearbook 1998.
“It’s Not a Pretty Picture,” Newsweek, International Issue, 8. March 1999.
United Nations Mine Action Program for Afghanistan, Socio-Economic Impact Study of Mine Action Operations Afghanistan, Interim Report by Mine Clearance Planning Agency, October 1998.
An important point of departure for a mine awareness program, is to define the most common causes of mine accidents in the area in question. For a comprehensive list, see UNICEF, International Guidelines for Mine Awareness Education, Final Draft, 26 January 1999. This much-needed initiative by UNICEF seeks to explore some common elements that need to be addressed in order to do a mine awareness campaign. A problem has been that mine awareness campaigns have often been poorly structured and ad hoc, not involving mine affected communities themselves in the awareness process. See also the UNICEF activity report in the appendix.