Survivors of landmine explosions, as well as their families and communities, played a key role in the adoption of the Mine Ban Treaty. States must now complete the task of ensuring that all victims of landmines, cluster munitions, and other explosive remnants of war see their needs fulfilled and their rights respected.
A Promise Not Yet Fulfilled
Significant progress has been made in victim assistance as measured against the commitments States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty made through the Cartagena Action Plan.
Since 2009, progress was recorded in:
- Improving the understanding of the needs of victims of landmines and victims of other explosive remnants of war (ERW)
- Coordinating and planning measures to better address those needs
- Linking victim assistance coordination with multisectoral coordination mechanisms, such as those for disability and development
- Informing mine/ERW victims about existing programs and services and, in some cases, facilitating their access to available services
- Strengthening legal frameworks to promote the rights of victims, including by advancing the right to physical accessibility for persons with disabilities
Challenges remain in:
- Increasing the availability and sustainability of relevant programs and services, especially to survivors in remote areas
- Ensuring that all mine/ERW victims have access to programs that meet their specific needs, particularly in employment and livelihoods as well as psychological support
- Ensuring that all victims, along with other people with similar needs, have equal access to age- and gender-appropriate services
In a survey of 1,645 mine/ERW survivors from 25 countries conducted 10 years after entry into force of the Mine Ban Treaty, 67% of survivors felt their needs had not been taken into account in national victim assistance plans. The report, Voices from the Ground, shows that unemployment among survivors is rife and 9 out of 10 survivors believe they are last in the queue for jobs. Unemployment rates increase significantly after the incident. Nearly 74% of all respondents thought their household income was insufficient.
More information on the major efforts still needed to fulfill the needs and uphold the rights of survivors is available through the Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor and on the Victim Assistance Information Gateway.