Fast facts: UNDP and mine action (UN)
As many as 78 nations are affected by landmines and about 85 by explosive remnants of war. The Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction came into force in 1999. 156 countries have accessed the Mine Ban Treaty. 39 countries remain outside the treaty, possessing a collective 160 million antipersonnel mines. The Convention on Cluster Munitions, which came into effect in December 2008, prohibits the use, transfer, sale and stockpiling of cluster munitions, and sets additional obligations for the clearance of unexploded sub-munitions.
There are an estimated 500,000 landmine and explosive remnants of war survivors today, of whom three-quarters are civilians. Thirty-four percent of civilian casualties are children ' nearly all of them boys. In some severely affected areas, children were the majority of casualties: 59 percent in Afghanistan; 53 percent in Nepal; 66 percent in Somalia. Boys between 5 and 14 are a particularly high-risk group.
Forty countries outside the Mine Ban Treaty stockpile over 160 million antipersonnel mines, with the vast majority held by five states: China (est. 110 million), Russia (26.5 million), US (10.4 million), Pakistan (est. 6 million) and India (est. 4-5 million).
Since 1999, more than 4 million antipersonnel mines, 1 million anti-vehicle mines and 8 million items of unexploded ordnance have been cleared through humanitarian demining operations, opening over one billion square metres of land for safe use. In 2006 alone, over 450 square kilometers of contaminated land was cleared of over 217,000 antipersonnel mines.
New use of antipersonnel mines continues to decline, with only two state users ' Russia and Myanmar (Burma) confirmed in 2007. Possession of antipersonnel mines by Non-State Armed Groups or criminal groups was reported in at least 9 countries.
Thirteen countries either produce or reserve the right to produce antipersonnel mines: Burma, China, Cuba, India, Iran, North Korea, South Korea, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore, United States and Vietnam. At least 38 countries have ceased production of antipersonnel mines, including five states not party to the Mine Ban Treaty.
Mine risk education programs have expanded dramatically since 1996, reaching 38 million people in more than 60 countries, including more than 8 million people in 2007. This has contributed to the reduction in the overall number of casualties. In 1999, recorded annual casualty rates were estimated at 26,000, whereas in 2007, 1,401 were reported killed and 3,939 injured.
Von: 03.04.2009, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), www.reliefweb.int