UNICEF is currently undertaking mine action programmes in 17 countries world-wide and seeks to utilise the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) as the framework for developing a ‘rights based approach’ to programming. Programmes supported by the agency are based on sustainable, long-term local capacity building initiatives. In dealing with the problem of landmines, UNICEF continues to integrate all mine-related issues into its regular programming. This is especially the case in the areas of advocacy, mine awareness education, and somewhat with victim assistance.
UNICEF, together with the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) and International Committee of the Red Cross has been working towards the universalisation of the Ottawa Convention. In order to strengthen and renew these efforts, UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy recently sent letters to the Heads of State of all signatories to the Ottawa Convention, urging them to ratify the Convention as soon as possible. As a follow-up, additional efforts will be re-initiated through UNICEF's regional and country offices and updated ratification kits are being provided to support them in their efforts.
In addition, UNICEF has been supporting ICBL’s Goodwill Ambassador in South-East Asia, to raise awareness of the Ottawa Convention. In 2000-2001, UNICEF and the ICBL will co-host senior level Regional Conferences advocating against the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of mines and urging further ratifications.
UNICEF has participated in all relevant meetings including the First Meeting of States Parties to the Ottawa Convention and its Standing Committee of Experts, the Annual Meeting of the Convention on Conventional Weapons, and the ICBL’s Landmine Monitor Meeting.
Mine Awareness Education
Together with the ICBL, UN and the ICRC, UNICEF was instrumental in developing the International Guidelines for Landmine and Unexploded Ordnance Awareness Education,which was launched at the First Meeting of States Parties to the Ottawa Treatyin Mozambique, in May 1999.These Guidelines serve to guide the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of all UN mine awareness programmes.
Following the publication of the International Guidelines, UNICEF was tasked by the United Nations to develop International Training Modules on Mine Awareness Education. In 1999, two international workshops were held on the subject and two modules have been created, one to serve Programme Managers and the other Mine Awareness Facilitators. Field testingof the training modules was undertaken in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia in April 2000. Participants included UNICEF, UN, Red Cross and NGO staff working in CEE/CIS countries on mine awareness education. The modules will be revised based on the findings from the field tests and will be launched at the Second Meeting of States Parties to the Ottawa Treaty in September 2000.
In March, 2000, at the Standing Committee of Experts on Victim Assistance, Socio-Economic Reintegration and Mine Awareness, the international community called upon UNICEF to take the lead in developing International Guidelines for the Monitoring and Evaluation of Mine Awareness Programmes. These guidelines will ensure that Programme Managers will undertake monitoring and evaluation of their mine awareness programmes. In developing these International Guidelines expertise will be sought from UN agencies, mine action centres, and operational NGOs and International Organisations, and an opportunity given to all partners to provide input to, and comment on the Guidelines as they are being developed. A first meeting will take place in the fall of 2000. Consequently, a first draft of the Guidelines will be circulated for initial review, which will be followed by a large-scale technical consultation in early 2001.
UNICEF has also been mandated to develop International Standards for Landmine and UXO Awareness Programmes and will initiate this process during 2000. Moreover, UNICEF will contribute regional inputs to a global baseline review and inventory of mine awareness training/learning materials, of best practices and of technical partner/agency expertise. Further, UNICEF will increase the capacity of its Regional Offices to develop and undertake programmes in the area of mine action.
UNICEF has participated in all the UNMAS-lead Inter-Agency Assessment Missions to mine-affected countries, and in cooperation with its NGO partners, has prepared and developed additional mine awareness programmes based on these assessments.
UNICEF will work closely with the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) to develop modalities of cooperation in data gathering and data dissemination for planning its mine awareness and victim assistance strategies
UNICEF will continue to cooperate closely with its UN and NGO partners to support the physical and psychosocial rehabilitation of mine survivors and their reintegration within the communities. UNICEF continues to provide support for the development of low-cost, locally produced prosthetics, orthotics and other assistive devices. Additionally, economic and social rehabilitation for the disabled is still being undertaken through psychosocial counselling, referrals to prosthetic workshops, physiotherapy, community-based rehabilitation, vocational training, and the provision of grants or loans to start up small businesses. This programme also ensures that disabled children go to school and encourages the creation of self-help groups of disabled persons. In collaboration with the appropriate Ministries of Health, UNICEF continues to support the construction of Rural Health Centres in selected areas.
UNICEF together with the WHO, ICRC, Swiss Government and relevant NGOs has been working towards the development of a Public Health Approach to dealing with mine victim assistance. This approach avoids programmes that narrowly target a specific group thereby creating a “privileged class” of disabled, but instead focuses on improving the quality and availability of health services in the specialities and the geographic areas most likely to impact upon those affected by conflict. Additionally, this approach is encompassed within the chapeau of a child-rights framework.
Currently, specific programmes for victim assistance have been established in Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Cambodia, Guatemala, Macedonia and Mozambique. UNICEF is looking into the possibility of establishing new programmes in Uganda and Lao PDR. In 1999, UNICEF’s newly created Guatemala programme also undertook Workshops/Seminars on Prosthetic Post-Surgical Treatment, the development of Health Information Systems on Disability, and on consensus building to review five Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) Training Guides in the country.
UNICEF, together with ICBL, UNDP and other relevant partners, is also developing child-focussed Guidelines for reintegration of survivors of mines with special emphasis on psychosocial trauma counselling, life skills training etc.
In cooperation with the WHO, GICHD and other partners, UNICEF will refine the data collection system targeting child survivors of mine accidents.
Regionally, UNICEF will undertake a baseline review and qualitative assessment of rehabilitation services and programmes as the basis for identifying best practices gaps and potential UNICEF partnerships.
UNICEF Country Programmes
UNICEF plans to undertake a range of activities in 2000 in the following 17 countries:
As a follow up to the National Mine Awareness Campaign launched during the Kosovo emergency, UNICEF continues its role as lead agency for mine awareness in Albania with further sensitisation of public opinion and policy-makers on landmine/UXO/weapons-related dangers. A needs assessment survey and evaluation will be carried out through the Albanian Youth Council network and partner NGOs to determine a national strategy for the year 2000, including the impact and sustainability of interventions. Mine/weapons awareness will be incorporated into the school curriculum after undertaking a training of trainers and testing in pilot schools. Technical support will be provided to the Albanian Mine Action Executive (AMAE) and marking signs delivered for the remarking of minefields. In the area of Mine Victims Assistance, UNICEF will promote the Mine Victims' Association and the social reintegration of mine victims, and will support workshops producing walking aids for mine victims. UNICEF will continue to promote and closely monitor the implementation of the Ottawa Convention, recently ratified by the Albanian Parliament.
In Angola, UNICEF and its partner organisations have carried out a number of effective programs in 1999. All of these share the underlying goal of building sustainable community capacity and the capability to live safely with the presence of mines. Mine awareness messages have been communicated through provincial theatre groups using locally appropriate communications techniques such as poster, puppet shows, traditional song, dance and plays. These campaigns have reached approximately 400,000 people. Training seminars in mine awareness techniques were conducted for about 1,120 teachers who have incorporated the messages into daily lessons, further reaffirming mine awareness strategies. Over 55,500 students have already been sensitised to the dangers of mines. Moreover, the Teacher Emergency Packages (TEP) programme which distributes pedagogical materials to teachers active in non-formal education settings continues to be supported. UNICEF has also provided support for a number of advocacy efforts in Angola including the observance of the second anniversary of Ottawa Convention, a theatre night, sport activities for disabled people, and a children’s festival called “Song against Landmines”. In collaboration with CIET International, an evaluation of UNICEF’s mine awareness programmes is currently being completed.
In 2000, UNICEF will continue to enhance the level of community-based mine awareness, especially among vulnerable groups. In order to reach displaced communities with maximum effect, UNICEF will support project activities centred around IDP communities and host populations in Huambo, Kuito, Huila and Bengo. Working through four local NGOs, UNICEF will continue to deliver mines awareness messages at the community level. Further, the agency will assist in training teachers in mine awareness, to reinforce messages through the Angolan school system and the Teacher Emergency Package. An evaluation of UNICEF’s current pilot project in the primary schools will also be undertaken. UNICEF will continue to support the production of a quarterly mine bulletin by INAROEE.
Over the next year, UNICEF Angola intends to direct its energy toward what it believes will be the most effective areas of social benefit. Recognising the probability of operating in an insecure environment, project orientation will seek to build upon current concrete successes. Other areas of continuing and growing emphasis will be mine awareness activities toward community behavioural modification; the development and maintenance of a mine incident surveillance system; continuation of mine advocacy through workshops and local popular media; and increasing the capacity for INAROEE and provincial delegations.
UNICEF will initiate a Mine Awareness Programme in Azerbaijan, training teachers and health personnel in mine awareness education. In addition, training materials for teachers and students will be developed and included within the formal school curricula, utilising both child-to-child and child-to-mother techniques. The local population will also be provided mine awareness through public education materials such as posters, pamphlets, brochures and TV spots. An integrated approach will be developed within the mine awareness system where IDP movement and feedback will be obtained to provide information to the Azerbaijan National Strategic Corporate Plan for Mine Action. The database of mine victims will be analysed for trends and problems. UNICEF will also participate in a needs assessment mission in the year 2000.
Bosnia & Herzegovina
UNICEF will continue to develop mine awareness education kits for training teachers and educators and undertake monitoring and evaluation of UN and NGO activities. Mine awareness training programmes through football clubs will be organised in order to disseminate mine awareness information after coaching sessions and school competitions with drawings, essays, poems around the theme of mine awareness. The use of theatre, radio and TV will augment programmes and technical support for implementation of mine awareness education.
In 1999, over 2,000 children with disability benefited from socio-economic reintegration and community based rehabilitation. Approximately 3,000 persons, 80% women and children, received a mobility device. Child-centred mine awareness programmes will continue to be undertaken in 2000 in cooperation with the Mines Advisory Group (MAG) and the Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) and activities such as surveys, permanent marking, awareness and selective limited clearance will be undertaken with community participation. In the course of the year mine awareness for children will progressively be transferred to the Ministry of Education for school activities. UNICEF will continue to support the CMAC Integrated Database and the CRC Mine Incident Database to collect comprehensive information on mine incidents and to improve the planning, monitoring and evaluation of mine action activities. Prosthetics, orthotics and other assistive devises will be provided in support of programmes in cooperation with Handicap International (HI), Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF) and the Ministry of Health. A joint initiative of the Disability Action Council and the Ministry of Education will continue to promote access to education for children with disabilities. UNICEF, with its partners will continue to lobby for the implementation of the Ottawa Treaty.
UNICEF will participate in a needs assessment mission to Chad and will assist with drafting a national mine awareness communication strategy for the country.
UNICEF and the Colombian Red Cross have undertaken mine awareness education over the past three years in the country. Mine signs have been posted in minefields in 15 municipalities; approximately 1,000 young brigade members were trained; mine awareness materials were disseminated to 200 primary and secondary schools in Colombia. In 1999, UNICEF in partnership with the Ministry of Communications, the Scouts Association of Colombia and the Dream Foundation of the Kiwanis Club initiated a new project including Education, Prevention and Social Integration of Victims of Accidents caused by Antipersonnel Mines. Activities included the education of children, training of scouts, training on production and broadcast of radio programmes, and the preparation of a video documentary for T.V. Furthermore, the preparation of a national census of the mine-affected population was initiated. In 2000, educational materials, such as posters, pamphlets, flyers, TV spots and radio programmes will be prepared, adapted and distributed, and child-to-child and child-to-mother methods will be utilised in the schools.
UNICEF will continue to develop appropriate mine awareness materials targeting the most vulnerable sections of the population in order to alter risk-taking behaviour. Mine awareness and teacher training will continue in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, the Police Academy, the Ministry of the Interior and national NGOs.
In 1999, UNICEF undertook a needs assessment mission to Ethiopia and based on the findings of the mission developed an interim mine awareness education strategy for the country. Together with Rehabilitation and Development Organisation (RaDO), UNICEF undertook a training of trainers (“ToT”) for 30 local community leaders. In 2000, UNICEF with its local partners, will train affected communities in the production and dissemination of mine awareness messages.
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Kosovo)
UNICEF played a lead role in coordinating efforts and providing mine awareness education for Kosovar refugees in Macedonia, Albania and Montenegro. The agency developed a mine awareness strategy for the returning refugees which included developing a Teacher’s Manual and undertaking a “ToT” for teachers in the refugee camps, working with local NGOs and Red Cross Societies to assist those living with host families, training and supporting mobile mine awareness theatre groups, developing 6 public service announcements and 2 TV spots for regular broadcast, and disseminating over 1 million posters and leaflets throughout the refugee camps and at border crossings. UNICEF will continue to raise awareness amongst all sectors of society about the dangers of mines/UXO. UNICEF will support a mass media and information campaign that will be conducted using TV, radio, posters and newspapers. Mine/UXO awareness will be incorporated into the school curriculum, using child-centred techniques, and teachers will be trained in use of the curriculum. UNICEF will ensure coordination and standardisation of all mine/UXO awareness activities through close cooperation with UNMIK/UNMACC and technical awareness guidance will be provided to organisations working in Kosovo. UNICEF will also support child mine victims in Kosovo.
UNICEF continues to support victims assistance projects being undertaken by the NGO Physicians Against Landmines (PALM). Specialised courses were undertaken on Prosthetic Post Surgical Treatment, and in coordination with PAHO, 35 professionals were trained in Health Information Systems. Additionally, a consensus building workshop to review 5 Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) training guidelines was carried out, and a CBR study developed in Esquintla.
In 2000, a survey and the development of a national database and registry of rehabilitation resources will be initiated in Guatemala. Training will be provided in prosthetics/orthotics, occupational and physical therapy, psychosocial counselling and rehabilitative equipment will be provided for mine victims. Community-based education, information and communication programmes will also be developed.
UNICEF will undertake a comprehensive evaluation of the mine/UXO awareness programme and will adapt the programme based on its findings. UNICEF will continue community awareness with particular focus on extending messages to children and ethnic minority groups in areas not previously reached by community awareness. An increase is planned in the technical capacity at field level with emphasis on support for material development, production, and assistance to strengthen community awareness management. In addition, on-the-job training is planned. The capacity of UXO LAO will be strengthened and monitoring and evaluation components will be further refined.
Under the coordination of the National Demining Institute, UNICEF will continue to support the implementation of the National Demining Institute's data gathering system for mine accidents. School teachers, social and health workers will be trained on mine awareness education and mine awareness activities will be undertaken in schools and communities. Assistance will continued to be provided for physical and psychosocial rehabilitation through orthopaedic workshops and trauma counselling, in addition to training of school teachers, social and health workers in mine awareness education. Monitoring and evaluation of local and community level mine awareness programmes will be on-going.
Mine awareness training activities reached a total of 5,473 persons and prevention workshops were carried out in the most affected areas. Coordination with the Nicaraguan Army's prevention team was consolidated and children and adolescents were trained to undertake outreach activities. UNICEF continues to supervise and monitor the mine awareness programme.
In 2000, UNICEF will continue to develop mine awareness materials and child broadcasters will be trained in coordination with the Nicaraguan Red Cross. Local programme coordinators will be trained in mine awareness education. Community-based solutions will be formulated following discussions with 600 communities.
To protect people living near former military shooting ranges, UNICEF will direct a program of UXO awareness education to different target groups through community-based interventions using networks of public and social institutions. Information will be disseminated through the different media to strengthen implementation and increase national social awareness. Mechanisms for marking dangerous areas and reporting the presence of UXO to the relevant authorities will also be developed.
Mine awareness training will be undertaken through local schools, women’s groups and NGOs. Reporting systems on mine accidents will be strengthened and the development of appropriate communication tools such as toys, puppets, games, posters, videos, etc will be supported. UNICEF will undertake a ‘training of trainers’ on mine risk education and provide technical assistance to local authorities and NGOs on the design and implementation of survey instruments.
UNICEF will train government and NGO officials as mine awareness trainers. In partnership with government departments at national, regional and local levels and UN agencies, UNICEF will monitor mine incident data in the affected areas and conduct training and awareness activities in schools and communities. Prostheses and economic assistance will be provided to mine victims.
UNICEF will coordinate mines awareness activities in OLS-Southern Sector areas of operation and support the mines awareness teams of Operation Save Innocent Lives (OSIL). The management capacity of OSIL, Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Association and Relief Association of South Sudan will be strengthened and the mines awareness capacity of indigenous Sudanese organisations, including counterparts and NGOs will be further developed. A “Training of Trainers” (ToT) will be undertaken in Future Search methodology and mines awareness activities conducted through the Future Search network of children and youth. Mine awareness messages will be prepared and incorporated into the existing delivery systems of education, health, water and sanitation services. Through appropriate partnerships, UNICEF will plan to provide mine-awareness education to approximately 500,000 residents and internally displaced as well as 350,000 refugees residing in neighbouring countries. A comprehensive survey to collect information on landmines will be conducted.