Held in Oslo, Norway, Humanity & Inclusion attended the Fourth Review Conference for a Mine Free World from November 25-29. The conference drew more than 700 participants including State delegations, UN institutions and NGOs, including members of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), which was co-founded by HI in 1992.
Mine-free is not victim-free
State parties to the Mine Ban Treaty adopted a five-year action plan—containing 50 points—that will ensure mine clearance and other treaty obligations are met by 2025. Humanity & Inclusion’s team contributed to the action plan, which included the addition of a strong commitment to providing victim assistance.
“Mine-free does not mean victim-free. In many countries declared free of mines, victims will need assistance for the rest of their lives. States need to ensure assistance actually reaches survivors and that services are adequate, accessible and sustainable," says Alma Al Osta, Humanity & Inclusion’s Advocacy Manager.
- After nearly two decades of mine clearance work in Chile, representatives during the conference announced that they would be declared free of mines in just a few short months.
- The Democratic Republic of the Congo said it could finish its mine clearance by 2021 if they receive the necessary funds from the international community to do so.
- Thailand has destroyed more than 3,000 anti-personnel mines it had retained for permitted purposes.
- Cambodia, where heavy contamination and many victims led to the founding of ICBL in 1992, will be mine-free in 2025!
Request for extension
Seven countries— Argentina, Cambodia, Chad, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Tajikistan, and Yemen—requested additional time to clear mine-contaminated areas.
Recontamination with new mines
Nigeria, which was declared free of mines in 2011, said it has been experiencing the “tragic consequences of the production and use of anti-personnel mines of an improvised nature by non-state actors.” With Nigeria acknowledging the contamination, the number of States having to clear mined areas grew to 33 (nine of them in Africa).
According to the Landmine Monitor 2019, the use of improvised mines is on the rise and caused 54% (3,789) of the total of casualties in 2018 (6,897).
During the closing day of the conference the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway handed over the Convention Presidency to Sudan.
Humanity & Inclusion’s actions
We supported the success of the conference with a strong team of experts from the Armed Violence Reduction and Advocacy teams. HI took part in the lobbying campaign organized by ICBL and met with score of States, donors, and potential partners to exchange views and projects. We organized several side events and presented results from innovative projects, including:
- The use of a 3D scanner and printer to produce prostheses and orthoses. This technology can be helpful in very remote areas or conflict situations.
- HI and its partners Mobility Robotics presented data to show how buried landmines can be located in certain conditions using drones equipped with infrared cameras. Tested in Chad, this technology has the potential to save time and make the work of mine clearance experts safer. It marks a major step forward for humanitarian demining.