Explosive Remnants of War – Challenges for Victim



Explosive Remnants of War – Challenges for Victim
Explosive Remnants of War –
Challenges for Victim Assistance
Berlin, 4th of November 2009
Conference Documentation
Foreword .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Executive Summary .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Victim Assistance – An Introduction
By Jan Schulz, Handicap International Germany/Action Group Landmine.de .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Victim Assistance: Achievements and Challenges over the last Decade
By Firoz Alizada, International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Victim Assistance – Challenges for Donor States
By Thomas Küchenmeister, Action Group Landmine.de . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Victim Assistance in the Balkans
By Christian Schlierf, Human Study . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Victim Assistance – SODI’s Integrated Programme of
Humanitarian Clearance of Explosives and Development in Vietnam
By Ilona Schleicher, Solidarity International (SODI e.V.) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
The Forgotten Victims – Survivors and Communities
in Areas where Armed Non-State Actors Operate
By Armin Köhli, Geneva Call . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
European Community Mine Action 2008–2013: Contributions to Victim Assistance
By María Cruz Cristóbal, Policy Security Unit, European Commission . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Victim Assistance from the Austrian Point of View – Projects and Politics
By Dr. Cornelia Kratochvil, Permanent Mission of Austria to the United Nations in Geneva . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Summary of the Handicap International Report
„Voices from the Ground – Landmine and Explosive Remnants
of War Survivors Speak out on Victim Assistance” .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Cooperation and Possible Synergy Effects between Actors in Mine Action
Workshop Summary by Jan Schulz, Handicap International Germany/Action Group Landmine.de .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Current Priorities for Victim Assistance
By Elke Hottentot, Handicap International Switzerland . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Workshop for Students
By Marina Beck, Handicap International Germany . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
By Jan Schulz, Handicap International Germany/Action Group Landmine.de .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
Abbreviations .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Participants .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Adresses and Links .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
© Handicap International
In the last few
years the topic of
remnants of war
has grown ever
bigger in the public’s awareness. A
number of international agreements and treaties have emerged
that ban certain
classes of weapons because of
their devastating
consequences for
the civilian population. Civil society and politics agreed that such weapons constitute
a humanitarian catastrophe of special magnitude not
simply through their use in war, but also as non-exploded remains in times of peace. These weapons, namely
antipersonnel mines and cluster munitions, were banned.
The ban treaties as successes of international disarmament
politics are the expression of a humanitarian principle: the
aim of the protection of civilians. This disarmament is
nothing other than the most concrete implementation
of the fundamental rules of international human rights.
It is not about military compromises, playing geopolitics
or economic calculations. In fact, it is about the people
and their right to a life in peace and dignity. It is therefore no wonder that next to the concrete measures for
a prevention of new accidents through the ban on the
use of the weapons and through their clearance, the
assistance of victims also found a special place in these
prioritized. All the more we must strive to dedicate the
necessary attention to it. For the victims cannot wait.
The participants of the conference come out of different
horizons, geographically like politically and socially. Everyone has a special competence, everyone bears a special
responsibility, everyone brings the own perspective:
Governments, civil society organizations, international
organizations, representatives of the victims of mines
and cluster munitions were in Berlin in the dialogue. The
participation students reminded us of the special responsibility of the politics for the younger generation. And
they showed us that it never is early enough to attend
responsible to social subjects.
This conference was not able to clarify everything. It is a
step of many in the process of the realisation of efficient
victim assistance in the near future. Every country seriously must take this impulse and drive and must accompany own concrete steps. On the international level the
networking and the cooperation between the countries
and the non state actors must become closer. I hope we
are on target for a new dynamics. The end message of
the conference is in any case entirely simple:
Do more!
Sincerely yours,
François De Keersmaeker
Director Handicap International Germany
Moreover, this humanitarian principle finds expression
in the new, 2007 signed, UN Convention on the Rights
of Persons with Disabilities. Also here it concerns human
rights, which surprisingly quickly have achieved wide international recognition, also with a massive support from
civil society.
With the conference documented here, we want to set
the course for consistent, efficient and comprehensive
victim assistance. In this year of 2009, the Ottawa Treaty
banning antipersonnel mines experiences its second
revision conference. The Oslo Treaty – banning cluster
munitions – will very probably come into effect in 2010.
It is therefore a decisive moment in order to actively pursue the subject of aid for the victims. In times stamped
by the financial crisis and self-protection reflexes it will
certainly not be simple, let classify such a subject as
Executive Summary
Additionally, two workshops were held during the conference: One brought together representatives of the
civil society, government officials and politicians where
discussions were held on victim assistance, mine action
programmes, and activities carried out by several donor
states and non governmental organisations. In a second
workshop, students learned how to campaign for victim
assistance and that their engagement is useful and
Several conclusions evolved from the conference:
1. More needs to be done to improve the lives of victims. There has been progress in some fields of victim assistance, but clearly the needs of victims are still much bigger than the resources currently available.
2. More resources and energy are needed in developing National Action Plans, especially in the field of
victim assistance. National Action Plans must be developed more precisely, using tools and instruments already
available like documents from the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD), guidelines
by Handicap International or the upcoming Cartagena Action Plan, which will be adopted at the Second Review
Conference in Cartagena, Colombia in December 2009.
3. Effective monitoring systems are needed in order to measure the impact of actions.
4. More transparency on implementation of victim assistance programmes and funding is necessary.
5. Effective victim assistance and improving the lives of victims is a matter of capacity development and has to be
planned on the long term.
6. There is a need for more support by states parties to the relevant conventions on landmines and cluster
munitions. Those states parties that do little to support mine action and especially victim assistance must be
pressured to do more. For this purpose, joint initiatives were proposed, e.g. on the European level.
7. Non State Actors need to be involved in strategies dealing with victim assistance.
8. National platforms in donor countries have to be (re)activated and should involve all actors in victim assistance (government and civil society) in order to foster and follow up the process of victim assistance.
© Handicap International
The Berlin conference on “Explosive Remnants of War
– Challenges for Victim Assistance”, held on the 4th of
November 2009, brought together representatives from
civil society, government officials, politicians and students,
in order to hear presentations on victim assistance and to
discuss different views and approaches on what has to be
done to support more effectively the victims of landmines,
cluster munitions and other explosive remnants of war.
The presentations by representatives from civil society
organizations like the ICBL, Action Group Landmine.de,
Human Study, Solidarity International (SODI) and Handicap International as well as those given by representatives
of the Austrian government and the European Commission informed on the current state of victim assistance
programmes and the remaining challenges. The presentations focussed on achievements and challenges for victim
assistance generally, on challenges for donor states, on
the situation in South East Europe and on Vietnam, and
exemplarily on the politics and activities by the government of Austria and the European Commission. All presentations are printed in this documentation.
Victim Assistance – An Introduction
By Jan Schulz, Handicap International Germany/Action Group Landmine.de
Landmines, unexploded cluster munitions and other
explosive remnants of war (ERW) still continue to pose a
threat to people in over 80 countries. Accidents involving these weapons occur on an almost daily basis, resulting in deaths and severe injuries. Despite the positive fact
that the number of accidents is declining, almost 500,000
survivors of accidents involving landmines and unexploded ordnance devices continue to require assistance.
Victim assistance is the slowest developing sector of
mine action. Both funding and direct assistance in fulfilling
victims’ needs are lacking, although many countries have
signed various different international agreements committing to help the victims. Many victims complain that
their governments abandon them with their problems
and do not consider their interests or needs. Victims are
also hardly included in the decision making processes,
which would be important, as they are the ones who
know best what actually needs to be done. Even the
larger countries that provide development aid and fund
mine action programmes have to do more for the victims,
and provide financial and technical resources themselves.
The deficits are obvious.
How can this assistance be improved, and how can countries take responsibility for providing more and better
assistance ?
There are two important political arms control agreements that stipulate the framework within victim assistance is defined and takes place, which are used as a basis
for the answer to this question: the Antipersonnel Mine
Ban Convention (also referred to as the Ottawa Convention) and the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
These treaties should be valued as humanitarian success
stories as they not only prohibit the use, trade and production of antipersonnel mines and cluster munitions,
but also specify measures for victim assistance. The report on the first Conference of the Parties for the Ottawa
Convention (Nairobi Final Report and Action Plan) and
the Convention on Cluster Munitions set new humanitarian standards, in that a broad definition of the term
“victim” was determined. The respective articles about
international cooperation and assistance are also significant, as there it is said that the States Parties shall provide assistance for the care, rehabilitation and social and
economic reintegration of mine victims and for awareness programs in order to tackle the problems caused
by mines and cluster munitions.
Who is a victim ?
Unlike the Convention on Cluster Munitions of December
2008, the Antipersonnel Mine Ban Convention does not
define the term “victim”. It was not until the first revision
conference of this treaty that a broader understanding
of victims was decided on and then stipulated in the
Nairobi Final Report and the Nairobi Action Plan (Final
Report 2004, Section IV). According to this outlook, victims are not only persons killed or injured in an accident
with an antipersonnel mine but also their families and
their communities. This broad definition will be also part
of the Cartagena Action Plan, which will be approved
at the second revision conference in Cartagena, Colombia,
in December 2009, representing a ground-breaking advance in victim assistance.
This understanding of the term “victim” is also used as
a basis for the definition of the term in the Convention
on Cluster Munitions. The exact wording of the definition
of the term “victim” in the Convention on Cluster Munitions is:
“Victims of cluster munitions are all people who have
been killed by cluster munitions or have suffered a
physical or mental injury, financial losses, ostracism
from society or a considerable impairment to the realization of their rights. This not only includes the people
directly affected by cluster munitions, but also their
families and communities that have been affected.”
(Convention on Cluster Munitions, Article 2.1)
What is victim assistance ?
The concept of victim assistance was explained in the
framework of the Antipersonnel Mine Ban Convention.
During the first revision conference in Nairobi, the States
Parties agreed that victim assistance is comprised of the
following six elements:
understanding the magnitude of the challenge at hand
emergency aid and further medical care
rehabilitation, including physiotherapy, prosthetics and resources
psychological support and social reintegration
economic reintegration
establishing, enforcing and implementing relevant laws
and political programmes
Article 5 of the Convention on Cluster Munitions
builds on the shared understanding and proven methods
established in the Antipersonnel Mine Ban Convention,
the Nairobi Final Report and the International Mine
Action Standards (IMAS). The State Parties are thus obliged
to provide victims of cluster munitions on their territories
with medical care, rehabilitation programmes and psychological support, as well as providing both social and
economic integration.
What are the resulting responsibilities for
States Parties in international cooperation
and support ?
By joining the Antipersonnel Mine Ban Convention and
the Convention on Cluster Munitions, all signatory states
have committed to supporting the affected countries to
fulfill their victim assistance duties.
The ban on antipersonnel mines calls for every treaty state
that is in a position to do so to help to provide care and
rehabilitation as well as assisting with the social and economic reintegration of mine victims.1
The Convention on Cluster Munitions also calls for States
Parties that are in a position to do so to provide aid in the
form of medical care, rehabilitation and psychological
support, as well as assisting with the social and economic
reintegration of the victims of cluster munitions.2
In concrete terms, this means that the State Parties of the
Convention on Cluster Munitions should provide others
with technical, material and financial aid, and should carry
out further cooperation projects via the United Nations,
via international, national or regional organisations or institutions, non-governmental organisations or at bilateral
Furthermore, many countries have, by ratifying the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, committed to taking disability into account as a topic that crosses over several sectors in all of their own international
cooperation projects. Measures should be taken to promote international cooperation and support.3
These articles therefore also make responsible those State
Parties that do not have any victims on their territory but
are in a position to help other countries. Many countries
are already doing so, however the amount of aid is decreasing, or does not reach the intended recipients, meaning that a fundamental restructuring of aid programmes
and an increase in financial support are required.
Victim assistance as part of development,
disability and human rights
Victim assistance is not a field of activity in its own right,
but instead must always be considered in conjunction
with the issues of development cooperation, disability
and human rights. The effects and consequences of the
implementation of these weapons affect these three
topic areas:
Landmines, cluster munitions and explosive remnants of war hinder development and are therefore
an obstacle preventing the achievement of the UN
millennium goals. These weapons have serious social and economic consequences. They not only
lengthen the duration of conflicts, inhibit aid programmes and undermine peace initiatives, but also
cause enormous suffering, injury and death among
the civilian population. Therefore, the use and remains of these weapons hinder the development of
the affected areas.
The structure, preservation and efficiency of the national public social and health systems are the pillars
of the development policy of countries and NGOs.
For this reason, victim assistance plays a decisive role
in development policy and must be incorporated
into development cooperation.
In developing countries, 80 % of people with disabilities live on less than one Euro per day.4 At the
same time, 20 % of the poorest people in the world
are disabled. Many of these disabilities result from
weapons like landmines, cluster munitions and other
These figures show the close interconnection between poverty and disability. The living conditions in
developing countries, malnutrition and insufficient
health care lower the standard of living for people
with disabilities even further. Inversely, people with
disabilities are more susceptible to poverty. Assistance to victims of landmines, cluster munitions and
other ERW must therefore be part of the general
support to people with disabilities.
Human rights:
The overall aim of victim assistance programmes
must be to fully ensure human rights for the victims
of landmines, cluster munitions and other explosive
remnants of war. This is in accordance with Article
25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights5,
which specifies that everyone has a right to a standard of living adequate for the health and wellbeing of himself and his family.
The use of landmines and cluster munitions and the
presence of explosive remnants of war, their indiscriminate and lasting effects even after the end of
a conflict represent a serious threat to the civilian
population and cause death and injury. This is a violation of human rights.
Improving Victim Assistance
Email: [email protected]
© Handicap International
The Antipersonnel Mine Ban Convention, the Convention on Cluster Munitions and the UN Convention on the
Rights of Persons with Disabilities therefore provide a well
defined legal framework that clearly outlines who constitutes a victim, what victim assistance involves and what
the responsibilities of the States Parties are. This framework serves as a basis for victim assistance. However, as
useful and welcome as this framework is, it is no use to
the victims if the aid does not reach them. Unfortunately according to a study by Handicap International, it is
exactly this that is the case. Despite improvements in
medical care and physical rehabilitation, there are too
many sectors with blatant deficits that must be addressed
urgently. These will be highlighted in the following articles in this documentation. All States Parties are, as a result
of existing international treaties, obliged to help victims
in order to provide for positive development, the inclusion of disabled persons in society and the realization
of human rights.
1)Convention on the prohibition of the implementation, storage, manufacturing and transfer of anti-personnel mines and on their destruction.
2)Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 6.7: “Every State Party that is in a position to do so must provide help in fulfilling the duties specified in
Article 5. This includes medical care, rehabilitation and psychological support that takes age and gender into account as well as the social and financial
reintegration of victims of cluster munitions into society”.
3)Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Article 32.1: “The State Parties recognize the importance of international cooperation and
the requirements to support the efforts of individual states to realise the purpose and the aims of this agreement. They take suitable and effective
inter-country measures, in partnership with the relevant international and regional organisations and their communities, especially organisations of
persons with disabilities, when relevant.”
Victim Assistance: Achievements and
Challenges over the last Decade
© Handicap International
By Firoz Alizada, International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL)
In 1997, measures
to assist the victims of a particular weapon were
included for the
first time in a disarmament
convention, the Mine
Ban Treaty (MBT).
Furthermore, this
convention has
successfully served as a means of
drawing attention
to the rights and
needs of landmine survivors
and persons with
disabilities. Provision of assistance to the victims of
landmines is mentioned in the introduction to the 1997
MBT, which states the wish of the States Parties “to do
their utmost in providing assistance for the care and
rehabilitation, including the social and economic reintegration of mine victims,” and becomes an obligation
in Article 6.3 of the treaty, which requires
“each State Party in a position to do so to provide
assistance for the care and rehabilitation, and social
and economic reintegration of mine victims”.
Regulations for victim assistance (VA) have evolved
quite well over the past years. The Convention on Cluster
Munitions (CCM) included a ground-breaking postulation
on victim assistance, and the Convention on the Right
of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) established an extensive mechanism for the provision of victim assistance.
But despite this progress in victim assistance, there are
several challenges that hinder the empowerment of
survivors and people with disabilities. The most recent
international report carried out by Handicap International
provides disappointing facts about the living conditions
of survivors in 25 affected countries. The report is called
“Voices from the Ground: Landmine and Explosive
Remnants of War Survivors speak out on Victim Assistance”. The major findings are as follows:
and continuing medical care: Only 36 %
of respondents saw progress since 2005.
Physical rehabilitation: Only 28 % of survivors world8
wide believed that physical rehabilitation had improved
since 2005.
Psychological support and social reintegration: Only
21 % of respondents thought that psychological support and social reintegration services had improved
since 2005.
Economic reintegration: This is the area where most
respondents (24 %) thought the situation had worsened and just 19 % saw improvement.
Laws and public policies: Only about a quarter of
respondents (26 %) thought that the protection of their
rights had increased since 2005.
These facts represent significant evidence for all the stakeholders, including policy makers and implementers that
more must be done to protect the rights and to address
the needs of landmine and ERW survivors and persons
with disabilities.
The situation in Afghanistan
As survivor of a landmine explosion, let me be more
specific, and explain what these achievements in and
challenges to victim assistance mean to an affected
country like Afghanistan:
When taking a shortcut to school in 1996, I stepped on
an antipersonnel mine in the Parwan province of Afghanistan and lost my legs. I am one of nearly 60,000
survivors who lost limbs, mobility or sight as a result of
landmines or other explosive remnants of war (ERW).
There are over a million disabled persons in Afghanistan. This prevalence rate includes all types of disabilities.
Most war victims did not survive due to the lack of emergency and medical care; otherwise this figure would
be much higher than it is now.
The living conditions of a person with disabilities in
Afghanistan are quite different from those of someone
living in Berlin, for example. Survivors and Afghans with
disabilities face tremendous medical, social, cultural and
political challenges. Women with disabilities face double discrimination, firstly because of their gender and
secondly because of their disabilities. Nearly 70 % of all
landmine survivors and persons with disabilities live in
rural areas, which creates great challenges when it comes
to providing victim assistance. The major challenges are
due to physical barriers. The survivors and people with
disabilities have no access to schools, clinics, hospitals
or vocational training centres. Those survivors living in
mountainous areas (even in Kabul) become isolated
and reclusive due to physical barriers, not leaving their
homes for months or years. These people are usually not
seen, since they cannot even move around their houses.
Those people with disabilities and survivors living in remote areas like the provinces of Badakhsan, Bamyan and
Noristan cannot afford to come to the capital or other
big provinces to get rehabilitation and psychological
support because it is too far away; sometimes it takes
the victims 3 days to reach a hospital or a rehabilitation
centre. When I stepped on the landmine it took me 7 hours
to get to first aid and 13 hours to get to a surgical hospital. I lost most of my blood and I also lost consciousness
on the way to the hospital, it is a miracle that I survived
that tragedy. However, we know that many of the victims
living in such remote areas have no hope of survival due
to the lack of emergency medical care and services.
The constitution of Afghanistan does however protect
the rights of Afghan people with disabilities, including
landmine and ERW survivors; two seats are reserved in
parliament for persons with disabilities. Substantial progress has been made in policy development with regard
to education and basic health care. A national disability
law for the rights and privileges of persons with disabilities is under approval in parliament. A national disability
action plan has been developed.
Furthermore, disability indicators have been included in
the National Development Strategy, and a National VA
Disability Action Plan has been developed and partially
implemented. VA is included in the health packages of
the Ministry of Public Health and inclusive education has
been included in the education strategy of the Ministry
of Education. Finally, a coordination system is in place to
strengthen cooperation between government and civil
society disability stakeholders.
Despite this progress, more must be done to overcome
the following major challenges which hinder the inclusion of landmine and ERW survivors and persons with disabilities in society:
Over 70 % of children with a disability do not have
access to education.2
The vast majority of persons with a disability do not
have a job.
More than half of the persons with disabilities have no
access to any type of services in remote areas.
VA is not a priority for authorities, there is no political will.
Poverty and conflicts continue to hinder progress in VA,
and all aspects of life in Afghanistan.
The main lesson to be learned from Afghanistan is that
policy and law cannot change things unless they are fully
and effectively implemented on the ground.
Hope for the future
The States Parties and civil society actors are seeking better solutions to ensure the full and appropriate implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty in the coming years. At the
end of 2009, States Parties to the MBT, NGOs and other
involved parties and survivors will meet in Cartagena to
review the MBT on antipersonnel mine achievements
and challenges and to adopt a new action plan to fill in
the gaps and maintain the efforts for better implementation of the MBT in the period of 2010 to 2014.
This landmark event gives hope to thousands of landmine
survivors and people with disabilities around the world.
Drafts of the forthcoming Cartagena Action Plan (CAP)
discuss the requirement of the State Parties to provide
emergency and continuing medical care, physical rehabilitation, psychological support and social and economic
The CAP draft text focuses on the integration of VA in
broader policies and in development and poverty reduction programs. The CAP also highlights some specific
priorities, notably: capacity building, participation, accessibility and awareness.
During the Cartagena Summit in December 2009, landmine and ERW survivors and Victim Assistance Focal
Points of the ICBL from around the world will get together
to urge the State Parties, United Nation Organizations and
other relevant stakeholders to take immediate steps to
promote the rights and address the needs of survivors and
persons with disabilities in the period of 2010 to 2014.
ICBL calls on all States Parties coming to the summit to:
Come: Participate in the Summit at the highest level
possible: Head of State/Government, State Secretary or ministerial level, and include survivors on the
official delegations.
Share: Announce significant recent accomplishments made on any of the treaty obligations or towards joining the treaty in Cartagena.
Commit: Arrive in Cartagena with a pledge to continue to increase funds for victim assistance
Care: Stay passionate and fully committed to the
treaty until the promise of a mine-free world becomes a reality and the situation of all landmine
& ERW survivors improves.
Providing assistance to survivors and persons with
disabilities is an investment not a cost!
Email: [email protected]
2)National Disability Survey in Afghanistan 2005
Victim Assistance –
Challenges for Donor States
© Action Group Landmine.de
By Thomas Küchenmeister, Action Group Landmine.de
The Convention
on the Prohibition of Antipersonnel Mines
and the Convention on Cluster
Munitions are
considered to be
milestones in the
field of humanitarian arms control,
inter alia because
they appeal to,
or rather oblige,
States Parties to
provide victim assistance. However,
we know that unfortunately many
of these affected States Parties are overburdened and
not able to comply with their obligations adequately.
To counter this problem, both conventions1 appeal to
States Parties which are in a position to do so within the
scope of international cooperation to provide technical,
material and financial support. In 2004, this was encouraged through the Nairobi Action Plan which appeals for
immediate and sustainable support for needy States Parties of the Mine Ban Treaty. Aside from this, more than 140
member states of the Convention on the Rights of Persons
with Disabilities are committed to providing extensive
assistance to persons with disabilities, including victims
of explosive remnants of war (ERW).
This simply means wealthy states should help poor states.
However, it is not easy to answer the question of whether
this help has been or is being provided adequately.
According to “Landmine Monitor”, the number of victims of ERW who have survived an explosion is approximately 300,000 in the 25 most affected countries. Other
sources estimate the number at 500,0002. At first, this
means nothing other than that we do not know the accurate number of victims and what kind of help they need.
In any case, Handicap International’s report “Voices from
the Ground” comes to the basic conclusion that externally
provided support for victim assistance is inadequate, and
Landmine Monitor describes national capacities for mine
action programs to be partly deficient. According to
“Voices from the Ground”, donors declare that they are not
able to comply with the needs of persons with disabilities
even in their own country, so they consider it unrealistic
that affected states will ever be in a position to do so.
It is therefore not surprising that affected states complain about a lack of technical and financial support from
donor states for the implementation of their national
action plans. The majority of donor states, however, say
that they have provided more victim assistance since
2005. Nevertheless, only a few think that this help is really
sufficient. This is a brief summary of the initial position.
Put in numbers, this reads roughly as follows: by looking at
the current portfolio of the UN mine action programmes3
one can see can see that in the last year 7.81 % of the
documented funds were spent on victim assistance, a
sum of 34 million dollars. In comparison, 23 million dollars
were spent in 2008, forming 6.38 % of the total funds.
This means that the funding of victim assistance has increased, but always claims much less financial revenue
than the clearance of explosive ordnances.
For Example: Germany
To give an example, Germany has for a long time been one
of the biggest donors to mine action programs and makes
clearance of explosive ordnances a top priority. Over the
last 5 years, the Federal Foreign Office has spent around
4.5 million euros on victim assistance. On average, this is
5.75 % of the budget for humanitarian mine clearance.
In absolute numbers, the annual expenditure oscillates
between 900,000 and 1 million euros. Austria, another
example, prioritizes victim assistance by funding this field
with 20 to 30 % of their annual mine action budget.
Measures for victim assistance are often part of larger
projects; programmes like poverty reduction programs,
programmes in the context of disability or helping civilians to cope with the consequences of wars and armed
conflicts. Of course, these contain projects that help
victims of landmines and cluster munitions, but they
also contain many other measures.
In Germany, victim assistance is also financed by the
Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development as part of comprehensive measures regarding the
protection of victims of war in conflict- and post conflictcountries such as Angola, Vietnam or Sudan, for example.
Usually, the assistance measures for victims of landmines
and cluster munitions are not described explicitly in these
programmes, which is why it is difficult to identify them
precisely and numerically. Additionally, the fact that only
23 of 156 Mine Ban Treaty States Parties report on their
victim assistance programmes does not enable a precise assessment of the form and amount of internal and
external assistance. This small number may also derive
from the fact that many states do not support programs
for victim assistance. However, in order to promote more
transparency in this case it would be reasonable to develop a more effective “monitoring” of these programs.
There are, however, other challenges for the community
of states, beyond the financial or technical sector. Unexploded ordnance devices of different types of munitions
are a much bigger problem than landmines in several
Therefore, the international community should, start an
initiative which aims to add binding measures concerning victim assistance to Protocol V of the UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), which
regularizes the handling of explosive remnants of war. It
is simply not enough that Protocol V only obliges states to
warn the civilian population against possible risks after a
military conflict, not taking into account that unexploded
ordnance devices have already caused and continue to
cause many victims.
In this context, the May 2009 UN report on the protection
of civilians in armed conflicts4 clearly stated that all kinds
of explosive weapons generally constitute an indiscriminate danger for civilians, where mines and cluster munitions are only two instances of these sorts of weapons.
In 2006, for example, 1,836 accidents caused by explosive
weapons were registered in 58 countries in only 6 months,
through which almost 20,000 people were injured or
killed. 64 % of these victims were civilians and 80–90 %
were located in populated areas. To that effect, the international community should negotiate new international
rules within the framework of the United Nations. These
rules should bindingly prohibit the use of such explosive
weapons in populated areas as a preventive measure to
avoid victims.5
Furthermore, I can imagine, in the future on a national
level, a careful and independent expert-led technical impact-assessment of such prospective weapons purchases,
as well as the ability to contribute to prevention, thus
avoiding causing more victims.
Fundamentally, it is the political will of the donor countries that is decisive for the type and extent of guaranteed victim assistance. This political will for more help has
already been expressed, but must obviously still be put
into practice.
There is no doubt that the financial possibilities of the
donor nations are limited, especially so in times of a
financial crisis. It is therefore with concern that we have
observed the latest expert warnings, which say that it
will become increasingly difficult to obtain international
sponsors for victim assistance programmes.
In this regard, donor states often remind us that they do
not view it as their responsibility to provide services in
low-income countries. However would this even be possible, considering mine action programmes and victim assistance are already declining or failing against the background of massive financial support for bankrupt banks
and global corporate groups. Especially, in the countries
of Africa and Asia, which count among the losers of the
worldwide economic crisis and are those most affected
by landmines, victims of war should not be allowed to
be doubly burdened, as mine action programmes are
reduced or cancelled.
It could be that restructuring the budget would constitute
a solution. For example, in previous decades, Germany has
given more than 5 billion Euros to the development and
procurement of landmines, cluster munitions and related
weapon systems. The amount spent on victim assistance
is unquestionably much smaller. I don’t merely wish to
draw your attention to an obvious mistake, but rather request that certain expenditures in weapons development
and procurement in the defence budget could be reallocated, in favour of desperately needed financial resources
for victim assistance. Aside from this, the new German
government has announced consolidation of the German
development organisations InWEnt, DED and GTZ, which
also may generate funds.
Ultimately, we all know that the UN has, since the 1970s,
determined that the wealthiest countries should mobilize
a very small proportion of their wealth in favour of the
poorest. Industrial nations have committed themselves,
in accordance with Millennium Development Goal No. 8,
to debt relief and cancellation and to give more resources
to development cooperation, that is to give at least 0.7 %
of their GDP for international aid and development by
2015. Several countries have taken their commitment
seriously: five countries have already donated 0.7 % of
their GDP or more for some time.6 In 2005, EU countries
also declared a desire to achieve this by 2015. Furthermore, the new German government has just affirmed
with its coalition agreement to approach this aim “if the
budget allows”.
In any case the proportion of German development investment has risen from 0.26 % in 1998 to a current figure
of at least 0.41 % of the GDP, i.e. from 391 to 639 million euros. This is remarkable, but despite this the declared goal
has still not been achieved and therefore the announced
increase to 0.7 % of the GDP should offer sufficient
leeway for additional funds for victim assistance, especially since the German Development Ministry argued
to strengthen the interests of persons with disabilities
within the German developmental policy in 2006.7
The new German development minister Dirk Niebel asserted recently that it is desirable that development
aid should be concentrated “where there is most need”.
Our recommendation would be: help the victims of
explosive remnants of war in the framework of existing programmes – in a more comprehensive and more
sustainable manner.
Continuing to give will always remains a necessity.
Email: [email protected]
1)Ottawa Convention – Article 6 International cooperation and assistance: “Each State Party in a position to do so shall provide assistance for the
care and rehabilitation, and social and economic reintegration, of mine victims and for mine awareness programs.” CCM Article 6 International
cooperation and assistance: “Each State Party in a position to do so shall provide technical, material and financial assistance to States Parties affected
by cluster munitions, aimed at the implementation of the obligations of this Convention.”
2)Journal of Mine Action, Summer 2008
3)Portfolio of Mine Action Projects 2009
5)Landmine Action UK: Explosive Violence, August 2009
6)Denmark, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Sweden and Norway
© C. Herrmann/Handicap International
Development aid should in future always focus on its
humanitarian character, and in doing so ensure the participation of victims in the planning and implementation
of victim assistance programmes. In addition to technical “inputs”, help for the victims of explosive remnants of
war has to adequately react to physical and psychological injuries as well as social trauma, even when this is
connected with high costs. Financial support for the
assistance will consequently have to be linked to specific
projects, and should not be linked to securing economic
interests or natural resources.
Victim Assistance in the Balkans
© Handicap International
By Christian Schlierf, Human Study
According to estimates, at least
2 million mines
and other unexploded ordnances (UXO)
have been left
behind as a deadly legacy of the
most recent Balkan wars.
Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia
as well as Kosovo and Albania,
but above all
Croatia and Bosnia und Herzegovina are severely affected,
and are exposed to this problem on a daily basis. Every
step in the affected Regions can cause an accident. Mainly children and farmers are daily affected: those who want
to play amongst nature, or cultivate their fields.
The landmine situation in Bosnia
and Herzegovina
4.2 % of the territory in Bosnia and Herzegovina is contaminated with mines (2.089 square kilometres).
According to estimates, there are 18,600 minefields with
approximately 1 million mines and 300,000 UXOs situated
in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Up to now around 18 % of the
contaminated area has been cleared (39,051,392 square
So far 7,724 mine and UXO accidents have been reported.
Approximately 19.8 % of the victims were killed, 78.7 %
survived and for 1.5 % the status remains unknown.
Whilst the continual education of the population and the
unceasing clearance work reduces the yearly number of
victims, for all that the total number of victims is constantly rising.1
Victim assistance in the terms
of physical rehabilitation
Victim Assistance in terms of physical rehabilitation can
be subdivided into two essential key points. The first is
the so-called “Emergency Intervention” phase that
amongst other things includes First Aid measures, the
following transfer to a hospital, and the subsequent
provision of prosthetics for the victims. The provision of
physicians, prosthetist/orthotist, materials, etc, is also
supported here, frequently through the activities of relief
organizations such as the International Committee of
the Red Cross, Handicap International, Medicines
sans Frontieres, and so on.
In the follow-up, the so-called “Developing Phase”, as
well as the direct provision of prosthetics for the victims,
special focus should be laid on the construction of local
infrastructure for rehabilitation and for educating local
Affected by 15 years of political crises, and economic,
social and institutional upheavals, the Balkan region is
confronted with enormous deficiencies and difficulties
in the areas of quality, affordability and the sustainability
of social services and health services.
Two reports of Handicap International2, from the year
2004 show very clearly that the breakdown of social systems affects survivors who live with disabilities and have
above all the need for rehabilitation services. The reports
emphasize the enormous lack of rehabilitation services
and notice that certain health occupations in the areas
of physical medicine and rehabilitation are virtually
non-existent. Correspondingly there is also no complementary or supporting system of education and continued training in the field of orthotics in the Balkan region.
A review in the areas of the orthopaedic assistance and
technology would clarify this situation.
Because the possibility of provision in the field of the
orthotics is not established at all, there are only a handful of qualified technicians qualified to the appropriate
level (ISPO Cat. II)3 in the field of prosthetics in the whole
south-east Europe region. Furthermore there is currently
no training program to enable higher qualification in this
Existing health systems, rehabilitation programs and legislative and general political regulations must have the
appropriate general framework, to later serve the needs
of all citizens – including the victims of landmines and
cluster munitions.
Example of the provision of orthotics
in Bosnia and Herzegovina
24 million inhabitants live in the Balkan region
affected by mines and UXO’s.
According to a WHO4 estimate, 0.5 % of the population
require the services of prosthetist/orthotist. That means
that of the 24 million inhabitants in the region, 120,000
persons with disabilities require technical orthopaedic
help !
The ratio of the need for prosthetics and orthoses is
generally 1:5, that is to say around 20,000 people need
prosthetics in the Balkan region, while around 100,000
people need orthoses.
If we keep in mind that the special field orthotics has
been almost totally neglected in training and equipment
measures, one can better understand that there is a
necessity of including the supply of patients with orthoses
for the lower and upper extremities, as well as orthoses
for the spine. It is not only the supply of prosthetics that
should be promoted.
If we want to achieve the aim of integrating all people
with disabilities who have a need for orthopaedic services,
including victims of landmines and cluster munitions, a
focus in victim assistance should be laid on providing
qualified prosthetist/orthotist.
In cooperation with the Don Bosco University (UDB), the
International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics and
Handicap International, Human Study e.V. has proposed
the implementation of a training programme for prosthetist/orthotist. This programme aims in reducing the
dramatic shortfall of modern physical rehabilitation
facilities and specialists in the Balkans.
Email: [email protected]
Qualification leads to new perspectives
A calculation shows:
There are 12,000 people with disabilities and with need
for the assistance of prosthetist/orthotist in the Balkans.
These people receive a new provision on average every
five years. These are 24,000 checks and operations a
One qualified specialist can handle around 80 operations a year. That would equate to a need for 300 qualified specialists in the Balkan region.
However, at the moment in the whole Balkans region,
there are less than 20 qualified prosthetist/orthotist who
have training according to the guidelines of the ISPO
(International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics).
1)International Trust Fund for Demining and Mine victim Assistance – http://www.itf-fund.si
2)“Physical Rehabilitation Services in South East Europe” and “Beyond de-institutionalization: the Unsteady Transition towards an Enabling system in South
East Europe”, reports produced by Handicap International in 2004.
3)The International Society for prosthetics and Orthotics – ISPO – is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in Special Consultative Status with the
Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, and is in Official Relations with the World Health Organization.- www.ispoint.org
4)World Health Organization 2004, Guidelines for Training Personnel in Developing Countries for Prosthetics and Orthotics Services
© C. Schlierf/Human Study
The improvement of the supply of high quality orthoses
and prostheses in south-east Europe can be ensured by
making available qualified local specialists a key goal.
Victim Assistance – SODI’s integrated
Programme of Humanitarian Clearance
of Explosives and Development
in Vietnam
© Handicap International
By Ilona Schleicher, Solidarity International (SODI e.V.)
SODI is a political
organisation (NGO)
which promotes development. Since
1990, we have carried
out over 800 projects, helping others
to help themselves
in 32 countries, together with our partner organisations.
The spectrum of our
work is varied – we
are an NGO which
does not specialise
in either humanitarian clearance of explosives or victim assistance.
We used our experience of development policy in approaching the problems of humanitarian clearance
of explosive remnants of war and victim assistance. In
countries where we have projects, such as Mozambique
and Vietnam, we gained direct experience of how much
explosive remnants of war have an impact on the people living there and how much of a hindrance they are
to development and to tackling poverty, even long after
the end of the war.
This led us to contribute to the campaign against landmines and cluster munitions and we are among the
founding members of what is today Action Group Landmine.de. In Bad Honnef in 1997 and 1999, SODI was
involved in formulating guidelines for mine action programmes (MAP) from a development perspective. These
Bad Honnef Guidelines became the basis of our work.
In consequence mine action programmes are not limited
to the technical aspect of clearing mines or unexploded
ordnances, but also focus on the sustainable rehabilitation of the victims and on tackling the psychological and
social consequences. In addition, contributing to the
fundamental improvement of the living conditions of
those affected and their communities is important for
SODI as a development-oriented NGO.
This concept, developed by an NGO and therefore civilianled, has been implemented by SODI in the form of an integrated project combining the humanitarian clearance of
explosives with victim assistance in Quang Tri since 1998
and also in the province of Thua Thien Hue since 2006.
The conflict was at its most intense in central Vietnam,
at the former border between North and South Vietnam,
where six tonnes of explosives were used per person.
When the war ended, only three villages remained in
Quang Tri, out of a pre-war total of 3,000.
Two thirds of the countries are still burdened with mines
and unexploded ordnances today, of which high proportions are cluster munitions. These explosive remnants
of war continue to claim victims. Almost 7,000 people
have been killed or seriously injured since 1975 in Quang
Tri alone. The poverty rate is disproportionately high,
especially in villages. For all these reasons, international
aid was, and continues to be, important despite considerable national efforts in Vietnam to resolve the long-term
consequences of the war.
The clearance activities in both provinces, which included surface clearance, mobile teams, mine risk education and training, were financed by the German Foreign
Office, which invested 6.4 million Euros between 1998
and 2009. These activities were linked to rehabilitation
projects in the cleared areas, plans for sustainable development and victim assistance, which are financed by donations (475,481 Euros) and subsidies, especially from the
German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and
Development (1999–2009: 1.1 million Euros). To date, a
total of 1.7 million Euros of subsidies and donations have
been used and the increasing local contribution has
played a considerable part in the success of the projects.
The discussion concerning
victim assistance
The discussion generally addresses the problem of implementing “inclusive development”, that is incorporating
the interests and needs of the people with disabilities
and realising their human rights. It is about anchoring this
approach as a fundamental principle of development
cooperation, as called for in the UN Convention on the
Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Inclusive development
is an important aspect of the fight against poverty and
an important prerequisite for achieving the millennium
Aid for victims of explosive remnants of war is – when
seen in this way – a special case of “inclusive development”. SODI has achieved this as part of its integrated
programme, combining humanitarian clearance activities with development goals including helping victims
of mines and unexploded ordnances to help them. There
are several different methods and ways of incorporating
the interests of those affected. In our experience, it is possible to achieve sustainability if the plans are based on the
social and economic inclusion of these people.
Who is included as a victim of explosive
remnants of war ?
The Bad Honnef guidelines specify three groups of
1people who were directly injured by mines/unexploded ordnances,
2family members of and/or dependants on the
victims and
3communities, i.e. all people who are affected by
the existence of mines/unexploded ordnances,
who cannot carry out their normal activities due
to the danger of mines.
This broad definition of a victim, written by civil society
groups a few years ago has become increasingly relevant
under international law, particularly due to the Oslo
Convention on cluster munitions. In our opinion, this
broad definition of a victim requires an equally wide ranging framework for victim assistance projects. The latter
will be addressed in more detail in further documentation
about the topic.
Helping communities affected by the
existence of explosive remnants of war
to help themselves by reconstruction,
rehabilitation and development
In accordance with its profile and its experience in development cooperation, as far as victim assistance is
concerned, SODI initially focussed on helping the communities affected by mines/unexploded ordnances to
help themselves. Later, SODI also started to provide direct
support for the families of victims of these and other
explosive remnants of war.
Three villages have been rebuilt in areas that have been
cleared in the Quang Tri province: Phuong Coi (1999–
2001), Thanh Dinh/Ai Tu (2001–2003) and Con Trung
(2004–2006). A total of over 200 families live in these
villages now. These projects were very complex and included income-producing measures as well as contributions to the cost of building homes and building up an
infrastructure with village roads, electricity, drinking
water, religious buildings, kindergartens and primary
schools. Micro-credit programmes for livestock farming
linked with training courses as well as start-up funding for
growing rubber and pepper were particularly successful.
The settlement of Lim is currently being built as a home
for 60 families in the Hue province. The sustainability
of these demanding settlement plans has been considerably improved by the combination of income provision and, of course, by the participation of the families
In 2005, after extensive consultation with our Vietnamese
partners, SODI switched to supporting the resettlement
of families with targeted aid in the areas of education
and health. This resulted in the building of kindergartens
in Linh Hai and Cam Tuyen, a primary school with a playground in Cam Thuy and a health centre in the Linh Hai
area between 2005 and 2008. Another kindergarten is
being built at the moment for 200 children, in an area
that was cleared in 2008 and where 147 families are
already living. This project is linked to the promotion of
the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Helping the victims of accidents and their
families to help themselves
Victims of accidents involving explosives and their families
do of course also benefit from the complex development
projects described above. However, they deserve special
attention, as their situation in life is particularly fragile
as a result of the accident. They are usually amongst the
poorest of the poor. This led to the implementation of a
project to support 320 families of people who have suffered permanent damage caused by explosive remnants
of war or the poisonous herbicide Agent Orange (20072009). According to the Vietnamese Fatherland Front, it is
the construction of weatherproof houses that is at the top
of the list of priorities for an improved standard of living
for the victims. These families therefore receive a contribution to building costs of 826 Euros each, to build new
houses with toilets. 138 Euros of this sum is contributed
by the Vietnamese Fatherland Front from their own donations. This project also uses the micro-credit programme
for livestock farming as a basis for sustainability. Furthermore, without the cooperation of the families themselves,
their friends and their communities, this success would
be much more difficult to achieve.
The farmer Le Van Cu as beneficiary:
When he was eleven, he found a “bomby” whilst herding
cows in the woods. When he went to throw the tennis
ball-sized thing away, it exploded and ripped off his lower
arm. Against great odds due to his accident, he went on to
finish school, become a farmer and farm a small rice field,
as well as increasing his confidence through participating
in a disabled sports group. Nevertheless, he and his family
remained poor. They lived in a shed made of planks and
bamboo until 2007.
Le Van Cu’s wife is now a successful pig farmer, thanks to
the micro-credit programme. Nowadays she smiles a little
more than she used to.
Email: [email protected]
The house construction project was not the first change
for Le Van Cu and his family: in 2005, his son attended the
newly built kindergarten. The local health centre in Linh
Hai has improved health care for his whole family. They
then moved into the new house in early 2008, which the
neighbours had helped them to build.
The Forgotten Victims – Survivors and
Communities in Areas where Armed
Non-State Actors Operate
By Armin Köhli, Geneva Call
Thousands of survivors of landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW), their families, and their communities
live in areas under the control or influence of armed nonState actors1 (NSAs) – in Somalia, India, the South Caucasus, Iraq, Burma, Colombia and many other countries
throughout Asia and Africa. Many new incidents occur
in remote villages and in zones of ongoing internal conflict or instability.
The principles of care and rehabilitation for survivors
who have suffered physical injury are also necessary in
areas under the control or influence of NSAs. Likewise, the
basic rights of persons with a disability must be respected in areas under the control or influence of NSAs – they
are entitled to a life without discrimination.
All this is reflected and subsumed by the State Parties
to the AP mine ban convention in the Draft Cartagena
Action Plan 2010–2014, in Action 29:
Increase availability of and accessibility to appropriate services including quality emergency and continuing medical services, for female and male mine
victims, by removing physical, social, cultural, economic, political and other barriers, by expanding quality services in rural and remote areas, and for vulnerable groups.
However communities living in areas where NSAs operate have poor access to mine action and humanitarian
assistance. In many of these areas not even the simplest
services are accessible. Injured persons die because transportation to the nearest health center takes days. Survivors have to use wooden-legs, literally.
Humanitarian mine action is particularly needed in the
form of victim assistance. Until now, victim assistance
in areas under the control or influence of NSA has been
a kind of a “blank area”. In many cases, and despite the
large number of landmine and ERW victims, not even
comprehensive data about their fate is available.
As part and consequence of its operational work, the
non-governmental organization (NGO) Geneva Call has
compiled information on the situation of victim assistance in areas where NSAs operate. Geneva Call is a neutral and impartial humanitarian organization dedicated
to engaging NSAs towards compliance with the norms
of international humanitarian law and human rights law.
In 2000, recognizing that it would be impossible to
universalize the AP mine ban without the inclusion of
NSAs, Geneva Call created the Deed of Commitment
for Adherence to a total Ban on Anti-Personnel
Mines and for Cooperation in Mine Action. Through
their accession to this document, NSAs publicly commit
to a total prohibition on the use, production, acquisition,
transfer and stockpiling of AP mines, and agree to cooperate on humanitarian mine action.
By now, 39 NSAs have signed the Deed of Commitment
and have thus committed themselves to cooperate in
and undertake mine action. Geneva Call has determined
that 14 signatories have assisted victims, either directly
or through cooperation with international or local organizations. Unfortunately, such assistance was often limited
to first aid and medical evacuation. Only a few signatories have been able to provide care and rehabilitation services, and signatories admitted that often such assistance
did not address the socio-economic needs and rights
of mine victims. These shortfalls were attributed to a
variety of issues, notably political and security-related instability, lack of resources, and social prejudices.
Support from Geneva Call primarily takes the form of
facilitating technical assistance and promoting interventions from specialist mine action organizations. Geneva
Call, with its worldwide expertise in NSA engagement,
has access to areas and actors that governments do not
necessarily have, as well as longstanding partnerships
with the mine action community and governments.
Apart from facilitating assistance in individual cases in
areas under the influence of signatory NSAs, Geneva Call
has developed a more strategic approach to victim assistance in areas where NSAs operate. In cooperation with
local partners, it has conducted needs assessment surveys in the conflict zones in the South Caucasus, in a
refugee camp in Iraqi Kurdistan, and in areas in Colombia where NSAs are present. These surveys will contribute
to creating and improving local services.
The conditions and services for survivors differ significantly depending on the nature and intensity of the conflict.
Preliminary results of the survey conducted in Colombia
in 2009 show specific challenges for victim assistance
in areas where NSAs are present. Some survivors, for example, did not register because of fear of NSA retaliation
and thus have no access to health centers. Health
services have become poor because medical personnel have left due to security concerns. In conflict zones,
women are victims of multiple violence. In fact, the more
vulnerable the women are as victims of a conflict, the
greater the risk of becoming mine victims. According
to the survey, survivors face stigmatization because
they are suspected of being members of NSAs.
NGOs in India and PMAC in Puntland. Obtaining comprehensive data and identifying the gaps in the few existing
services will allow aid providers to mobilize additional
resources and adapt future services according to the
needs of the local communities. However, Geneva Call
has not yet found sufficient funding for those surveys –
despite the fact that under Action 46 of the Nairobi
Action Plan, the State Parties to the AP Mine Ban Convention have pledged to support mine action to assist affected populations in areas under the control of NSAs.
In the State of Manipur in North East India, it is very
difficult to obtain accurate information on the number
and circumstances of landmine and improvised explosive
device (IED) casualties. More than a dozen NSAs operate
in Manipur. Tensions between the various ethnic groups
have at times turned violent, as have tensions between
minority groups and the central government of India.
Many incidents are reported in the local media, but no
organization has collected data in a systematic manner on mine incidents in Manipur. However, estimates
suggest around 100 survivors and point to the need to
survey approximately 300 affected villages in order to
gather more accurate data.
The Draft Cartagena Action Plan reaffirms this pledge
with Action 42:
In the autonomous region of Puntland in North East
Somalia, the authorities have signed the Deed of Commitment. Puntland is less involved than some other regions
with the ongoing conflicts in Somalia, but disputes over
border areas persist and insecurity is widespread. Puntland has functioning authorities, including a mine action
center, the PMAC. But the total number of casualties in
Puntland is unknown. In June 2009, Puntland informed
Geneva Call that since 2004, there have been 224 mine
and ERW victims, of which 148 survived with disabilities.
Concerned States, particularly States Parties, should
thus facilitate mine action efforts by third parties or
NSAs themselves in parts of their territories that remain
outside their control. Among other measures, concerned
States should support the work of humanitarian mine
action organizations by promptly issuing visas for international staff, processing the delivery of equipment, and
providing safe and unhindered access to NSA-controlled
To properly assist the victims in areas under the influence
or control of NSAs, the support and the participation
of all the stakeholders, including the individual victims,
their communities, local NGOs, international NGOs,
governments and donors, the NSAs, and the concerned
local and national authorities, is urgently required.
Email: [email protected]
© N. Moindrot/Handicap International
Geneva Call has developed projects to collect data in
Manipur and Puntland in order to serve the needs of
landmine and ERW victims, in cooperation with local
Continue to support, as appropriate, mine action to
assist populations in areas where armed non-state
actors operate including by facilitating access for
humanitarian organizations.
1)For the purpose of this article, the term “armed non-State actor” consists of any armed actor with a basic structure of command, which operates outside state control and which uses force to achieve its political, or allegedly political, objectives. Such actors include rebel groups and governments of
entities which are not (or not widely) recognized as states.
2)Final Draft of 19 October 2009
European Community Mine Action
Contributions to Victim Assistance1
By María Cruz Cristóbal, Policy Security Unit, European Commission
The development of EU mine action
The European Commission (EC) has been committed to
mine action programmes since even before the beginning of the Ottawa process, as part of EC assistance and
development programmes. According to EC figures, a total of approximately 300 million euros has been invested
in mine-affected countries worldwide over the period
from 2002 to 2009. Total EU support for the fight against
antipersonnel landmines (APL) over the period from
1997 to 2009 exceeded 1.8 billion euros. This is more than
half the worldwide financial assistance given to mine
action in that period, making the EU the biggest donor
worldwide. Initially focussed on de-mining, the scope
of help has progressively widened to include activities
such as APL stockpile destruction, mine risk education
and victim assistance, rehabilitation and socio-economic
2005–2007 – Second EC Mine Action Strategy, published
as “The Vision: The European Roadmap towards a
Zero Victim Target”
In line with the spirit of work of the Nairobi Summit
Responds to the call to set priorities, goals and actions
to map out the remaining challenges
Assist the victims – capacity building
Improve effectiveness and efficiency – enhance donor
coordination and mainstreaming into wider programmes
Community mine action policy is guided by the European
Union (EU) mine action general objectives:
To assist countries affected by landmines and unexploded ordnances
To restore the conditions necessary for the security of
their population and their economic and social development: enhancing human security
The EU “zero-victim target”
The first strategy focussed on the activities of landmine
clearance, stockpile destruction and mine risk education,
and on establishing the capacity to address these issues
within affected countries. The second mine action strategy shifted EC assistance from its initial goal of a “minefree world” to a “zero-victim target”, thus concentrating
on mine clearance, victim assistance and mine risk
The EC follows a 5 pillar approach to mine action, echoing
the goals endorsed in the Mine Ban Treaty (MBT) and the
Nairobi Action Plan. These are:
Clearance of mined areas
APL stockpile destruction
Mine awareness
Mine risk education
Mine victim assistance, rehabilitation and reintegration
Following the current strategic framework on mine action, the EC will continue to help developing countries
to achieve their objectives under the Ottawa Convention.
The overall goal remains to promote action designed
to eliminate mines and to resolve related economic and
social problems caused by these weapons. In particular, the EC remains committed to its zero-victim target
and will therefore continue to mainly address immediate threats to mine-affected populations rather than the
so-called residual threats.
Since 2001 and the enactment of Regulations (EC) N°
1724/2001 and (EC) N° 1725/2001, the Commission
has been “determined to make a full contribution towards
the goal of total elimination of antipersonnel landmines
world-wide in the coming years”2. Two mine action strategies have been developed. The concept of “mine action”
is also intended to cover explosive remnants of war,
including cluster munitions.
2002–2004 – First EC Mine Action Strategy adopted
for the years 2002 to 2004, under the title “The Vision:
A world free of the threat of landmines”
To assist countries that suffer from the presence of
landmines and unexploded ordnances and to restore
the security economic and social development of their
inhabitants: the alleviation of mine victim suffering;
socio-economic reintegration; creation and reinforcement of capacity
Victim assistance (VA) –
key facts and figures 2005–2009
Since the entry into force of the Ottawa Convention
(1997), the EC contribution to victim assistance has been
an important component of EC mine action. Victim
assistance has been supported both as part of individual
projects and integrated within broader development
programmes. The “EC Mine Action Strategy 2005–2007”
provided a special focus on alleviating mine victim suffering and aiding victims’ socio-economic reintegration.
For the period 2005–2009, activities aimed at giving
assistance to mine victims funded by the EC are amounted to over 10.2 million euros. The current mine victim
assistance projects account for 50 % of this budget. These
figures are not comprehensive since it is very difficult
to quantify the additional support provided by the EC
to victim assistance projects once it has been integrated
into broader development and cooperation projects/
The current mine action
framework − 2008 onwards
The current framework that governs all Mine Action
projects and therefore also victim assistance, is entitled
“Guidelines on European Community Mine Action
2008–2013”, endorsed in November 2008.
Aims and purpose
The aim of the paper was to ensure a follow-up to the
previous EC Mine Action Strategy 2005–2007 following
changes in the funding and policy structures in the development and international cooperation field. In 2007,
as part of the reform of the Commission’s external policy
instruments, the two EC Regulations concerning APL were
repealed, meaning the APL budget line was abolished.
Integration – A key purpose was to respond to
the call by State Parties to the Ottawa Convention
to “promote guidelines on how to more effectively link
mine action with development”.
ynergy – The guidelines seek “to provide a basis
for building synergy within the peace/security and
development nexus and to encourage the integration of the principles of ownership and partnership
that guide development cooperation into all interventions, in line with the EU Report on Policy Coherence for Development, 2007”.
Reporting – EC policy also calls for a dissemination
of ‘Best Practice’.
Framework and means
Mine action takes place in the context of EC development
cooperation and assistance (following the principles of
the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness). The relevant
information and plans are included in EC programming
documents: Country Strategy Papers (CSPs), Regional
Strategy Papers (RSPs) and their respective Multi-annual
Indicative Programmes (MIPs). Thus, funding and support
for mine action, and therefore victim assistance, can be
delivered through either
Geographic instruments – used for assistance and
Global instruments – focused on humanitarian
issues and crises
Thematic instruments – address specific issues
How is EC support to mine action
triggered ? A three-step approach
1st Stage:
Increasing the importance of the inclusion of mine action
in the programming documents – language insertion
in Country/Regional Strategy Papers and the respective
National/Regional Indicative Programmes.
2nd Stage:
Identification, formulation and implementation – integration of mine action components within stand-alone
or broader EC projects/programmes.
3rd Stage:
Reporting and dissemination – effective reporting of implemented mine projects/programmes.
Victim assistance in focus
Generally speaking, victim assistance action funded by
the EC can be divided into:
Humanitarian aid with the aim of increasing human
security and enabling communities to return to their
homes, to their former activities, to have access to basic
resources and to earn a living; and
Mine action projects integrated into development and
cooperation assistance, which include action to reinforce local capacity and mine action efficiency through
technical assistance and impact surveys.
The EC will continue to support victim assistance in those
cases where its need remains a humanitarian priority
and will ensure further integration of victim assistance
projects into health programmes or programmes financed
inter alia in the context of the European Initiative for
Democracy for Human Rights.
The EC has identified a number of countries in the guidelines paper that are in need of continued and future
engagement in the field of victim assistance. These
twenty-seven countries, where the provision of VA is a
“main mine-related problem” are the following: Bosnia &
Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Cambodia,
Laos, Tajikistan, Angola, Chad, Democratic Republic
Congo, Ethiopia, Guinea Bissau, Malawi, Mauritania,
Mozambique, Rwanda, Sudan, Senegal, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Columbia, Nicaragua, Peru, Iraq, Lebanon
and Yemen.
In addition, the EC approach promotes a human rights
approach to disability, in line with the Convention of the
Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CPRD), and based on
a social model of disability. This means that disabled
people should be allowed to enjoy the same freedoms
and choices as those who are not considered disabled,
and should be allowed equal rights and responsibility in
making life decisions. Wherever possible, barriers to their
inclusion should be removed.
The EC is a significant donor in the field of mine action.
From 2002 to 2009, the EC has contributed more than
€ 300 million for mine action worldwide (more than
€ 1.8 billion for the EU as a whole). The EC will continue
to consider landmines and explosive remnants of war
(ERW) within a broader context of humanitarian assistance as well as long-term and sustainable socio-economic
development programmes.
Email: [email protected]
As outlined in the presentation, in terms of action in the
field, the EC pursues a three-pronged approach:
 specific actions: 2000–2009 funded 280 projects (over
€ 145m) in 69 partner countries
 mainstreaming in broader projects
 prevention measures: demining, food security, health,
social protection
The second element of support is help given to further develop the capacity of key stakeholders, e.g. NGOs/DPOs
and public institutions.
A focus on complementarity
Through mainstreaming, “mine action” can gain from
integration in the following fields of work and research,
and from their complementary nature:
Development Projects/Programmes
onvention of the Rights of Persons with DisabiliC
ties (CRPD) – A new opportunity for victim assistance.
ecurity – A chance to explore synergies, mainly in
new demining technologies.
1)By Liam Paul on the basis of “European Community Mine Action: Integrating Victim Assistance in the Context of Mine Action into Broader Development
Programmes” – A presentation given by María Cruz Cristóbal European Commission, Security Policy Unit at the conference“Victim Assistance: Challenges
and Recommendations”, Berlin, 4 November 2009, with further information from “Guidelines on European Community Mine Action 2008–2013”
2)“COUNCIL REGULATION (EC) No 1725/2001 of 23 July 2001 concerning action against anti-personnel landmines in third countries other than
developing countries” and “REGULATION (EC) No 1724/2001 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 23 July 2001 concerning
action against anti-personnel landmines in developing countries” – (Article 3)
Available at http://ec.europa.eu/external_relations/anti_landmines/docs/guidelines_08_13_en.pdf
© Tim Grant/I.C.B.I.
Humanitarian Aid
Victim Assistance from the Austrian
Point of View – Projects and Politics
By Dr. Cornelia Kratochvil, Permanent Mission of Austria to the United Nations
in Geneva
In Austria, there are three main players involved in work
with landmines, cluster munitions and explosive remnants of war. The Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs (BMeiA) is responsible for Austrian foreign
policy and therefore also for international disarmament
policy as well as Austrian development cooperation.
The Federal Ministry of Defence and Sports (BMLVS)
has an advisory function and is involved in developing
the Austrian disarmament policy. On an international
level, Geneva has a special role as a platform for international disarmament policy, a factor which led the
two ministries to finance the sending of disarmament
experts to the United Nations in Geneva as representatives for Austria. The Austrian Development Agency (ADA)
is responsible for the implementation of Austrian development cooperation, including the Austrian mine action
programme. It manages the budget for this and assigns
The Austrian mine action programme
For Austria, the development policy aspect of the mine
problem is indisputable. Mine action programmes are
carried out as much in line with development cooperation as possible and are based on the Ottawa Convention.
Their aim is to prevent the development barriers that are
formed by landmines in the countries affected and at
the same time to enable an improved mobilisation and
combination of resources.
Examples of projects 2006–2009
In addition to global initiatives, Austria focuses on the
geographical areas of south-east Europe and Africa
(Mozambique and Ethiopia). From 2006 to 2009, the mine
action budget ranged between annual values of 1.2 million Euros to 2.1 million Euros, of which 60 % was allotted to mine action in Europe, 30 % was for mine action in
Africa and 10 % went to global initiatives. This made up
approximately 20 % of the planned budget for victim
assistance projects in Europe and 40 % of that in Africa.
In Africa, €200,000 was given to support the International
Committee of the Red Cross’ victim assistance projects
that tackle physical rehabilitation, the Special Fund for
the Disabled (SFD), making up 12 % of their total budget.
International commitment
Austria is strongly committed to international victim assistance. It very much welcomes the new humanitarian
standards set by the Cluster Munition Convention in the
area of victim assistance. Furthermore, an action plan
was developed within the framework of Protocol V of
the Convention on Conventional Weapons under the
Austrian Presidency.
Also at the forefront of the Review Conference in Cartagena in November/December 2009, Austria advocates
high standards and a broad definition of the term “victim”.
To raise global awareness for the need of victim
assistance, Austria and Norway together financed Handicap International’s most recent study, “Voices from
the Ground”. Personally involved, Austrian foreign
minister HBM Spindelegger presented the study in
Geneva. A joint workshop with the BMeiA (Federal
Ministry for European and International Affairs) and
the BMLVS (Federal Ministry of Defence and Sports) is
also planned for the first meeting of the Cluster Munition
Convention State Parties in Laos.
Future challenges on a national and
international level
Maintaining and increasing funding for victim assistance
projects represents a considerable challenge. In Austria,
it has been possible to keep the mine action budget
for 2010 on a level with the budget in 2009. Equally, advocacy for the highest standards, as resulting from the
CCM, is given great significance in all relevant forums,
such as the CCW. Finally, Austria considers it necessary
to make use of any possible synergy effects between the
different conventions.
Email: [email protected]
In this way, € 400,000 was provided in Bosnia and Herzegovina in a project by the International Trust Fund for
Demining and Mine Victims Assistance (ITF) to create
employment opportunities and improve the financial
status of survivors of landmine accidents.
Summary of the Handicap International
Report „Voices from the Ground –
Landmine and Explosive Remnants
of War Survivors Speak out on Victim
The report “Voices from the Ground – Landmine and
Explosive Remnants of War Survivors Speak out on
Victim Assistance” 1 published in September 2009 by
Handicap International shows that, despite progress
in stockpile destruction and landmine clearance, governments around the world are not living up to their
promises to treat and reintegrate landmine survivors
into society. Ten years after the Antipersonnel Mine Ban
Convention entered into force, 67 % of survivors feel that
their needs have not been taken into account by national
victim assistance plans.
Respondent profile
A diverse range of survivors were surveyed in 25 of the
26 relevant States Parties and 1,561 survivor responses
were analyzed as of July 2009 (84 additional responses
could not be used). The demographic composition of
all the respondents matched closely with global trends
among survivors. In a small number of countries, obtaining a completely representative sample was constrained
by the limitations of in-country project partners and/or
political or security limitations (Guinea-Bissau, Burundi
and Peru). Due to similar but more severe constraints, it
was not possible to survey any survivors in Eritrea without
endangering partners or research team members.
Although adults were slightly over-represented, as it
would be too difficult and inaccurate to interview young
children, a significant number of adults had experienced
their incident while in childhood. Men made up 86 %
of respondents, women 11 %, boys 2 % and girls 1 %.
Respondents resided in all types of living areas: 39 %
lived in villages with some limited services, 20 % in large
cities, 20 % in the country’s capital, and 16 % in remote
areas without services. Most people (71 %) were heads
of households and 44 % owned property. Almost 20 %
of respondents had not received any formal education
and just 38 % had started secondary education or higher.
Just 8 % of survivors were unemployed prior to their
incident. After the incident, this rose to 25 %, with many
more just not answering the question or noting that
their work was “limited”, “occasional”, “a bit of everything”
or “whenever they could”. Those who became unemployed mostly gave their disability as the reason. Among
working survivors, most had to change jobs and many
could no longer even work as subsistence farmers, the
main occupation in many of the countries, for example,
in Cambodia or Thailand. It needs to be noted that the
majority of respondents was interviewed through survivor organizations and disabled people’s organizations
of which they were members or through NGOs where
they worked or were beneficiaries (often of economic
reintegration projects). This would have affected the
response on unemployment and it is certain that the
unemployment rate among survivors and persons with
disabilities in general is much higher. For example, in
Sudan 42 % of survivors lost their livelihood, in Afghanistan unemployment of persons with disabilities is estimated at more than 70 % and in Eritrea just 10 % of
persons with disabilities have a job. Nearly three-quarters of respondents (74 %) thought that their household income was insufficient. It is likely that the survey
also over-represented survivors who are part of peer
support networks and that, in general, many survivors
were more isolated than those surveyed.
General findings
Over two-fifths of respondents (42 %) had never been
surveyed by the government or NGOs in the last five
years, and 30 % had been surveyed three or more times.
Results varied significantly across countries. In some
countries, such as Albania, survivors were regularly consulted about their needs. In others, such as Democratic
Republic of Congo, this survey was the respondents’
first in at least five years. Just 28 % of survivors thought
they had received more services as a result of these
About 32 % of survivors thought that services for children
were “never” adapted to their needs. Although female
participation was too limited for accurate extrapolation,
some 44 % of survivors thought that women had “equal”
access to services as men, but the second largest group
(20 %) thought that services for females were completely “
absent”. Just 10 % thought that women received better
services than men. Overall, women responded more negatively to this question: 34 % thought that services were
“equal”; 23 % said services were “absent”; and 9 % said
Overall, just one-quarter of all respondents thought that
they were receiving more services in 2009 than in 2005.
Some 28 % thought that services were better in 2009
compared to 2005.
Emergency and continuing medical care: The most improvements were seen in medical care, with 36 %
seeing progress, which was mostly due to general health care infrastructure improvement. While many report
seeing efforts to train staff, most staffs are not willing to work in rural areas and there is little assistance beyond
basic care anywhere.
Physical rehabilitation: 39 % of survivors felt the quality of mobility devices had improved. Most of these services
are provided for by international agencies, but transport to and from the facilities remains a problem.
Psychological support and social inclusion: Just 21 % of respondents felt that psychological support and
social inclusion services had improved since 2005. While survivors often felt more empowered, this had little
to do with activities on the ground as services were virtually non-existent. Survivors had to fall back on family and
friends most of the time.
© J.–P.Porcher for Handicap International/Afghanistan
Economic inclusion: Unemployment among survivors is rife and 9/10 survivors believe they are last in the
queue for jobs. Unemployment rates increase significantly after the incident. In Afghanistan unemployment of
survivors is over 70 % and at around 90 % in Eritrea. Nearly 74 % of all respondents thought their household
income was insufficient.
Cooperation and possible Synergy
Effects between Actors in Mine Action
Workshop Summary by Jan Schulz, Handicap International Germany/
Action Group Landmine.de
During the conference a workshop was held, bringing together participants from civil society and government representatives discussing on the topic of “Cooperation and
possible Synergy Effects between Mine Action Actors”.
Several short presentations were held, leading into fruitful discussions on what the present state of victim assistance is and what should be undertaken to make it more
effective. However, the discussion can only be seen as
a starting point for further cooperation on the topic, as
an in-depth consultation was impossible in the limited
time of the workshop. We hope the discussion will continue in the respective countries, institutions and organizations and that a further exchange of ideas can be continued.
The workshop started off with a short speech of Professor
Philippe Ryfman from the University of Sorbonne, France,
making an introduction about the cooperation between
NGOs and states and the originality of this cooperation
regarding the AP Mine Ban Convention. Stan Brabant
from Handicap International Belgium followed with
a presentation of the key findings of the new Handicap
International report “Voices from the Ground” (see key
findings of the report on pages 24 to 25).
Following these introductions, presentations were made
on the following topics:
Mine action activities by the
German Federal Foreign Office
Klaus Koppetsch, Mine Action Desk Officer presented
the position and activities of the Federal Foreign Office
regarding Mine Action.
He reminded the participants that the AP Mine Ban
Convention and Mine Action are based on 5 pillars: Mine
Clearance, Stockpile Destruction, Mine Risk Education,
Victim Assistance and Universalisation. All five pillars are
equal and have one aim: to reduce the consequences
of antipersonnel mines. The German engagement is not
limited to his office, but additionally the Development
Ministry (BMZ) and the Defence Ministry (BMVG) are involved.
The Federal Foreign Office is active in mine action since
1992 and funds projects worldwide. Altogether there
have been spent € 185 Million in 42 countries. In 2009,
€ 18 Mio. was provided for 22 countries. Focus was put
on Afghanistan (5 mio), the Balkan region (4.5 mio),
Asia (2.9 mio), Africa (1.9 mio), Middle East (1.4 mio) and
South America (€ 500,000).
There are certain guidelines for receiving funding: Priority are states which are states parties to the AP Mine Ban
Convention, but there are exceptions for non states
parties who the Federal Foreign Office believes to be
committed to the aims of the AP Mine Ban Convention,
like Vietnam.
The Federal Foreign Office likes to see states taking
over their responsibility based on the obligations of the
Ottawa Convention.
Building up efficient and sustainable local capacities is of
utmost importance, since responsibility for mine action
lies exclusively in the hands of the affected countries.
There is a concentration on mine clearance, together
with mine risk education. Every cleared square meter and
education on risks prevents further victims. There are few
victim assistance projects which are funded, for example
in Colombia (Mi Sangre Foundation), and a project will
begin soon in Albania.
Mr. Koppetsch finally underlined that regarding victim
assistance there should be no discrimination against
or among mine victims, or between mine survivors and
other persons with disabilities, and to ensure that differences in treatment should only be based on the particular
needs of victims.
Mine action activities by France
Marion Libertucci from Handicap International France
then continued and gave a presentation of French Mine
Action policy. She explained that Handicap International had invited the French Foreign Ministry to come and
make a presentation at this conference, but despite contacts with different departments of the Ministry no one
attended, which in her eyes is symptomatic with the
lack of interest for the topic of victim assistance by the
French government. Mrs. Libertucci stated that French
mine action policy is good on paper, but this does not reflect the actions really implemented. There is a National
Commission on Mine Action (C.N.E.M.A.) which gathers
parliamentarians, government representatives and NGOs,
responsible to make sure that the AP Mine Ban Conven-
tion is well implemented by the government. The existence of this commission is a positive thing, compared
to other countries where there is no such platform.
France also nominated an ambassador on mine action.
So the structures are there, but they are not functioning
well because of lack of means and political will. Currently
there is almost no funding for mine action. Until 2007
a distinct budget line on mine action existed, but it
has disappeared. In 2006 funding for mine action represented € 2.6 million, out of which almost 1 million was
dedicated to Victim Assistance programmes. In 2008
however, only € 300,000 was provided towards mine
action in total. This amount covers training in mine
clearance, and there was no funding for victim assistance.
After reorganisation of the development department in
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs there is no one specifically in charge of mine action issue, and as a result there is
a very low awareness of the topic. In addition, victim
assistance seems to be of lower importance compared
to mine clearance, as there were voices in the national commission asking to concentrate efforts on mine
Handicap International France works with other national
NGOs towards the government to get some commitment.
They asked for a specific budget line on mine action
(including victim assistance) of 15 m € per year during
at least five years, and for the announcement of a real
mine action policy. After this conference there will be
a follow up, and Handicap International France will contact government officials to talk on the issue. There is
a also need to include the French civil society, so it is
positive that there are French civil society actors participating in this conference, that can also make sure they
will integrate the victim assistance dimension in their
own development projects.
Mine action activities by Belgium
Stan Brabant from Handicap International Belgium
reminded that Belgium was the first country to ban landmines and cluster munitions and indicated that there
has been a good coordination between government
departments and civil society. There are several “interdepartmental meetings” each year, bringing together representatives of the ministries of defense, development,
foreign affairs and civil society actors. Handicap International Belgium has developed a good relationship
with the government and there have been many helpful
meetings. As a rough estimate, up to 40 % of the overall
mine action budget of Belgium has gone to victim assistance in recent years.
Post-conflict assistance by the ICRC:
the special fund for the disabled
Theo Verhoeff from the ICRC stated that there are two
tools by the ICRC to provide victim assistance. First is
the emergency funding provided during time of conflict
regarding physical rehabilitation (80 to 90 projects in
30–35 countries worldwide). The second tool is the post
conflict assistance; survivors remain and the needs for
physical rehabilitation are permanent. The ICRC has
created a foundation to provide follow up assistance,
the Special Fund for the Disabled. It has two aims – firstly,
to ensure that capability established during the conflict
remains in place, and secondly, to allow funds for mainly
small local NGOs to harness the capabilities of ICRC in
the field. Together these principles attempt to secure
access to services and that these services continue
to function on the long term. This should lead to reinforcing national capacities in the countries where the ICRC
is working. Mine action funding was spearheaded in
many countries and many people with disabilities have
benefited from the funded centres. Now that some of
the dedicated funding lines are disappearing because
of the mainstreaming of projects, there is a threat that
certain groups of vulnerable people will have no further access, because before they were targeted directly.
Of course, mainstreaming is also good, because more
people can benefit. The Special Fund will support
60 projects in 30 countries in 2010, which is a reduction
of 12 % because of a reduction in available funding.
Finally it was added that the ICRC makes no distinction
between the cause of disability (i.e. whether inflicted
by landmines/UXO or not).
Non state actors:
Geneva Call´s Commitment
Armin Köhli of Geneva Call gave a presentation on
Victim Assistance in territories controlled by Non State
Actors and underlined the necessity of involving Non
State Actors in strategies dealing with victim assistance.
(see page 18–19).
© Handicap International
The discussion which arose out of these presentations
focused on the following points:
 The
low funding for Mine Action and victim assistance by France and the lack of interest on the issue
from French government
Firoz Alizada said in addition to Mrs. Libertucci’s statement on France’s mine action funding, that the ICBL is very
concerned about this lack of interest from the French government. He encouraged the participating government
officials from Germany and Austria to speak with their
French colleagues in order to achieve a change of policy.
María Cruz Cristóbal from the European Commission
mentioned that on the European level there already are
regular meetings by all member states to the European
Union in a group council called CODUN (Working Party
on Global Disarmament and Arms Control) on global
disarmament issues, chaired by the presidency country.
In every meeting landmine issues are discussed, for example joint actions of member states concerning the universalization of the respective treaties. France has been
very active in this group, so she can try to influence the
French representative. Maybe new actions will arise out
of this. The European Commission will assure the efforts in
implementing the EC mine action guidelines 2008–2013.
Thomas Küchenmeister of Action Group Landmine.de
proposed an initiative on the European level to encourage donor states which do not provide much funding
for mine action to change their policy. This could be an
initiative in the run up to the first meeting of states parties
to the Convention on Cluster Munitions in Laos in 2010.
 Mainstreaming Victim Assistance
The discussion on mainstreaming and non discrimination
made it clear that victim assistance cannot be seen as
separate from disability issues.
Elke Hottentot from Handicap International Switzerland
pointed out that it is important to mainstream victim
assistance in a broader disability framework, meaning that there is no need to develop a parallel services
system for mine/ERW survivors. Existing services can
and should be used. She mentioned the twin track
approach, which was originally conceptualized by the
UK Department for International Development (DFID)
to mainstream gender issues and now has been adapted to victim assistance. This approach promotes mainstreaming of victim assistance into existing services on
the one hand, and the development of special services
where necessary on the other. The ultimate goal is for
each survivor to be able to meaningfully participate
and benefit from all development plans, policies and
programs (health, education, social protection, employment…), irrespective of whether they live in urban and
rural areas, and benefit from specific initiatives to empower survivors towards their full participation in society.
Marco Schäfer from the GTZ mentioned a GTZ/BMZ project starting on the inclusion of People with Disabilities
in all development activities; this of course will include
landmine victims. The project will have three year duration (€ 1 mio) and will involve the twin track approach.
The goal is to ensure that all people with disabilities are
included in German development cooperation.
However, there are problems distinguishing victims of
landmines and victims of car accidents and polio, for
example. Mr. Koppetsch from the German Federal
Foreign Office already had mentioned that there should
be no differentiation between survivors from landmine
accidents and other peoples with disabilities. The participants agreed to this of course, nonetheless in many
countries like e.g. Bosnia or Afghanistan there is a high
percentage of peoples with disabilities who suffer from
landmine injuries. Stan Brabant warned that some states
may use this non-discrimination approach as an excuse to do nothing. However, he mentioned a project in
Afghanistan which serves as a positive example: There
a rehabilitation workshop was put in place, funded
by money provided for mine action. The workshop
was open to all people with disabilities, and there were
other victims of car accidents and polio cases participating. This means you can support activities in the field
of mine action without closing doors for other disabled
persons. As Theo Verhoeff pointed out in his statement,
Mine Action funding was pioneering heading projects
for people with disabilities, providing assistance to all
types of disabilities. With mine action funding decreasing,
this poses a serious threat to future assistance.
Keeping in mind that projects are mainstreamed and
how it can be guaranteed that assistance is reaching
the victims of explosives of remnants of war, François,
from Handicap International Germany said that this is
a question of transparency and monitoring, as today it
is not easy to distinguish which money is used for what
specific action.
 Definition of “victim” and “victim assistance”
There also had been a discussion on the definitions of
victim and victim assistance. Ilona Schleicher from
Solidarity International (SODI) raised the point that we
should get clear what we understand as victim assistance.
Which information do we require from the BMZ ? Her
colleague from SODI, Marion Gnanko, pointed out
the very positive and broad definition of the term “victim”
in the Convention on Cluster Munitions which not only
addresses directly survivors but also their families and
communities. Victim assistance should be seen in the
broader context of development and social health systems.
Cornelia Kratochvil from the Austrian Defence Ministry
added that Austria has always supported a broad definition like the one used in the CCM which is a first legal
definition in this area. Austria wants this to be the international standard, for example in the Cartagena Action Plan.
In the first half of 2010 an expert workshop on victim assistance will be held in Austria where the aftermath of the
Cartagena summit and the run up to the Laos conference
shall be discussed.
Stan Brabant added that in the next report of “Landmine
Monitor” Handicap International will be adjusting the
parameters for who constitutes a “victim” according to
the new definitions established by and after the CCM
 How
can the Cartagena Action Plan and the Convention on Cluster Munitions be successfully implemented ?
Thomas Küchenmeister summarized that the deficits
are clear: a lack of funding, the lack of technicians, inadequate training, and ¾ of victims see no improvement in their situation. He asked what strategies can be
developed by governments and NGOs for successfully
implementing the Cartagena Action Plan and the Cluster
Munition Convention. He added that surely the mentioned five pillars of mine action do exist, but these
pillars are not being financed equally. Küchenmeister
also asked how this can be achieved despite knowing
that victim assistance is integrated in other areas?
Elke Hottentot thereupon emphasized the need for
state parties to develop national action plans, not only for
affected states, but also for donor states. In the development of the action plans concrete actions should be
included that will benefit survivors. Handicap International France has developed recommendations for national action plans on victim assistance 2010–2014, which
will be released in Cartagena. This document, and others are examples of concrete tools available to assist the
development and implementation of national action
plans for victim assistance.
Marco Schäfer from the GTZ pointed out the importance of monitoring. Special pilot projects should be implemented and the BMZ should be addressed. François
De Keersmaeker stated that all monitoring systems
have grey areas which have to be considered. It must be
tried to keep these grey areas as small as possible. But
we also have a clear defined framework with the conventions. There is undoubtedly a strong link between
development and victim vssistance, especially in countries which are severely affected by mines. Thomas
Küchenmeister added that monitoring is not only an
instrument to measure the efficiency of programmes
but can also help to verify the implementation of a treaty. He proposed a political initiative to gain more transparency in the frame of regular reporting by donors.
At the end of the workshop it was clear that there is
further need for discussion. François De Keersmaeker
proposed to create a platform, like there are in Belgium
and France, to discuss these issues with all relevant actors. There will be a meeting on the 9th of December in
the German Federal Foreign Office on disarmament issues,
the topic of victim assistance should be raised there.
Current Priorities for Victim Assistance
By Elke Hottentot, Handicap International Switzerland
Our understanding of what victim assistance efforts involve has come a long way since 1997. However, understanding is only the first step. The second is the realization of this understanding into concrete actions on the
ground. This is where the contributions of State Parties
and NGOs matter most today.
Following a victim assistance workshop hosted by the
ICRC and the Norwegian Red Cross in June of this year1,
the following priorities for implementing victim assistance in the context of the Mine Ban Convention, the
Convention on Cluster Munitions and the Protocol on
Explosive Remnants of War were identified:
1.Advancing Synergies: Victim assistance in different weapons treaties
2.Understanding the needs and challenges faced by
victims, i.e. data collection and analysis
3.Development and implementation of national
plans on VA and the integration of these plans
into national development frameworks
4.Provision of assistance to survivors within the
broader disability framework
5.Implementation of community-based strategies
6.Monitoring of progress and evaluating of impact
It is in these areas that International assistance and cooperation efforts can make a difference for victim assistance.
Advancing Synergies: Victim assistance
in different weapons treaties
There is a significant potential for synergies in the implementation of victim assistance for weapon victims under
different international instruments, both at the national
and international level. The objective of promoting synergies is to maximize the impact of victim assistance
efforts beyond what can be achieved under each treaty
– i.e. ensure that the “outcome is greater than the sum
of each part”; those synergies can be obtained through
reinforced coordination between relevant actors at all
levels, and are to benefit each of the relevant instruments.
In all efforts, a key aim of pursuing synergies is to maximize the efforts of those involved in national implementation such as practitioners and survivors, facilitate their
work regarding reporting and optimize their engagement in treaty meetings.
Understanding the needs and challenges
faced by victims
Knowledge about the current situation is needed to
understand the extent of the victim assistance challenge,
to develop appropriate and adequate responses and
to identify the resources required to implement these.
This information is also critical in establishing a baseline
for monitoring and evaluating progress made in implementation and the effectiveness of interventions. Victims,
persons with disabilities and their organizations should
participate in these processes.
To ensure a comprehensive understanding of the situation of victims and persons with disabilities, data collection efforts should seek to identify and analyse their
needs, priorities and capacities; as well as the availability
and quality of relevant services and programmes, strategies, policies and laws. Data on cost-effectiveness is useful
to demonstrate impact/effectiveness and increase political support.
Development and implementation of
national plans
All affected countries should have in place SMART objectives and action plans to meet the needs and rights of
victims and persons with disabilities. Handicap International will be issuing a guidance document in Cartagena on relevant objectives that can be included in these
action plans, and the ISU has developed useful checklists
and criteria for VA.
Integration of VA into national development
Affected countries, donor countries and donor agencies
should include victim assistance and disability in development and poverty reduction strategies in order to
mobilize the necessary resources, promote sustainability
and help ensure that this issue is given adequate priority at the national and local level. The full and effective
inclusion of persons with disabilities in society will not
only benefit them, but will contribute to more sustainable
development for all.
Provision of assistance to survivors within
the broader disability framework
Victim assistance programs should be developed and
implemented within the broader context of disability.
Laws, policies and programmes, including in the areas of
health, employment, education and social services, should
address the needs and rights of all persons with injuries
or disabilities. Victim assistance plans and programmes
should be developed and implemented in line with
applicable international and national human rights frameworks, in particular the Convention on Rights of Persons
with Disabilities (CRPD).
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
reinforces elements and principles of victim assistance
under weapons conventions and offers several opportunities for synergies, which should be pursued.
Implementation of community-based
strategies in the area of VA
Monitoring progress and evaluating impact
Affected countries should monitor the implementation of
their victim assistance objectives and plans on an on-going basis. Based on the results of monitoring, all affected
countries should be strongly encouraged to report on
their progress in meeting the needs and rights of victims
within the framework of the treaties to which they are
party. Monitoring and reporting should be an empowering process for affected countries, providing crucial information for improving and adapting future efforts. Donor
countries and agencies should, in turn, report on their
own activities and strategies to support victim assistance.
Email: [email protected]
© Handicap international
Community based rehabilitation – abbreviated as CBR –
is a multi-sectoral approach and has five major components: health, education, livelihood, social and empowerment. It focuses on enhancing quality of life for persons
with disabilities and their families, meeting basic needs
and ensuring inclusion and participation.
Most survivors and persons with disabilities live in areas with limited access to public rehabilitation services.
VA can be made more effective and sustainable by mobilizing and engaging capacities and resources available
in local communities, including survivors themselves,
families, community workers, volunteers, local organizations and authorities. While CBR can provide increased
value, specialized services may have to be developed
or strengthened.
1)A significant part of the text of this document was taken directly from the report “Delivering on the promises: A meeting of practitioners, survivors
and other experts” Priorities for implementation of victim assistance commitments in the context of the Mine Ban Convention, the Convention on
Cluster Munitions and the Protocol on Explosive Remnants of War Hosted by the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Norwegian
Red Cross Oslo, 23–25 June 2009.
Workshop for Students
© Handicap International
By Marina Beck, Handicap International Germany
The students presented their demands along with Ulrike Folkerts to Agnes Malczak, member of the Bundestag.
Around 50 teenagers from 3 schools from Berlin, Potsdam and Kempen participated in a workshop which was
particularly geared towards students and held during
the victim assistance conference. The actress and patron of Action Group Landmine.de, Ulrike Folkerts, Mina
Zunac from the Ban Advocates, a group of landmine
and cluster munition victims, and Cordula Schuh, pedagogic speaker from Handicap International Germany
debated with the teenagers.
During the subsequent discussion the students asked
critical questions: How can one get states to ban cluster
munitions ? Why should states abstain from their use ?
How can the illegal sale of remaining stock be prevented ?
How can one influence privately organised actors ? The
students’ interest was large and a lot of the questions
asked regarded the treaties of Ottawa and Oslo which
ban landmines and cluster munition but however have
not been signed by all states worldwide.
Mina Zunac from Croatia gave an account of how she
was injured by cluster munitions during an air strike on
Zagreb. As a survivor she is now involved with the Ban
Advocates in the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC), informing and educating others about the deadly dangers
of cluster munition. She made clear how important it is
that individuals become involved and seek to exert influence on their respective governments.
To support the students’ initiative Cordula Schuh presented various campaign tools with which the teenagers
can demonstrate their commitment in the future: from
public and media awareness-raising to letters to politicians, fundraising campaigns and participation in events
for more victim assistance planned by Handicap International or other active groups.
Her plea was complemented by Ulrike Folkerts who gave
an account of her visit to Pristina, Kosovo, which made
the urgency of the topic clear to her. Her encounters
with victims of landmines, deminers and a visit to the
orthopaedic centre in Pristina affirmed her in her public
commitment and her support of the campaign.
The students were subsequently presented with the task
of formulating demands for politicians. Additionally all
groups were asked to think of an event which they could
carry out together in order to mobilise the public.
Demands of the Students to Politicians
1. Following to the Second World War and the weapons
development at the time, Germany has a moral in
debtedness to assist victims (medically, professionally and orthopaedically).
 Demand: Technological and financial support of
provide better information in order to inform people;
awareness-raising regarding prospects after an accident.
2. The victims of landmines and cluster munitions
feel disadvantaged and excluded.
 Demand: International legislation to favour the
employment of people with a disability with the same
qualifications; the respective state would also be relieved as many victims will no longer need support.
Thus, with the remaining money other victims could
be supported. Furthermore: acceptance within society would be supported, for example through awareness
campaigns on the internet.
4. There are considerable deficits in the care of
 Demand: Create mobile care; reconstruct infrastructure in conflict areas; provide professional help on
the ground quickly; assist in the economic integration of
victims through special assistance, such as credits which
can be paid back without interes; create independence
from other countries through improved training of own
expert staff.
5. The victims have to be able to live in dignity and
provide for themselves.
 Demand: More financial state support for rehabilitation facilities for the victims.
6. The victims do not receive enough physical and
psychological support.
 Demand: Care for victims according to the “OasisPrinciple”: establishment of small care centres in villages and rural areas, respond to the needs of victims,
especially establish psychological support for children.
© Handicap International
3. 39 states have not joined the Ottawa Convention;
95 states have not signed the Oslo treaty.
 Demand: These states should sign the treaties, especially major producers such as China, Russia and the
United States.
Planned Events
church service on the subject during the oecumenical church congress in Munich in May 2010 (www.
Establishment of a partnership with a orthopedical
workshop in Kosovo
Christmas party with self-made and self-baked offers,
the returns will be handed over to a victim assistance
“Flashmob” in large gatherings, information desks at
school, deposit mine dummies in city centres along
with information desks
Print slogans onto t-shirts, create student planners,
launch an attractive logo which can be presented on
several internet platforms such as facebook.
7. States do not cooperate enough to help the victims.
 Demand: Intensification of the relations between
states and the exchange amongst them, more legislation and improved implementation of these claims into
national legislation.
8. Too many people are not informed about the dangers of mines and explosive remains and therefore
become victims.
 Demand: Cooperation with other governments, to
By Jan Schulz, Handicap International Germany/Action Group Landmine.de
This documentation contains the presentations and discussions held at the Berlin Conference on Victim Assistance, which took place before the Second Revision Conference in Cartagena, Colombia (30. 11.– 4. 12. 2009).
In this epilogue we will present the key findings and outcomes of the conference in terms of victim assistance.
The conference started with a session on the topic of victim assistance, to point out the renewed commitment
of the States Parties to implement the provisions of the
AP Mine Ban Convention. It was stated here that despite
some progress, huge problems exist in implementing the
provision on victim assistance.
Several countries reported on the implementation of
their National Action Plans and on the situation of victims.
Many noted progress on national levels, like the development of national plans for mine action and victim assistance, the important support of the Convention on the
Rights of Persons with Disabilities, as well as synergies
between the conventions, improved trainings and physical therapy and rehabilitation programs, access, coordination, the establishment of focal points, support for NGO
and grass-root initiatives, and overall increase in service
availability and quality. Others recognized the enormous
challenges in the implementation of victim assistance
programmes, like ensuring flexible and timely provision
of victim assistance and the lack of resources. States
Parties recognized economic and social reintegration as
the most difficult aspect of victim assistance.
These statements are to be found in the final declaration
of the conference, the 2009 Cartagena Declaration. The
overall goals of a mine-free world and an end to the suffering caused by mines were affirmed. On the one hand,
progress was recognized in the reduced number of new
victims and in improvements in victim assistance, and
on the other hand it was recognized that enormous
challenges still lie ahead.
By adopting the Cartagena Action Plan 2010–2014, the
draft of which had been discussed in the Berlin conference, States Parties have made a clear commitment to
work harder to respect the provision edited by the convention and to fulfil their obligations. It is positive that the
Cartagena Action Plan adopts the high standard regarding victim assistance by highlighting the need for socioeconomic inclusion, which had been clearly defined in
the Nairobi Final Report and in the Nairobi Action Plan,
as well as in the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
In its introduction, the Cartagena Action Plan reaffirms
“the fundamental goals of preventing mine casualties and promoting and protecting the human rights
of mine survivors, and addressing the needs of mine
victims, including survivors, their affected families and
Article IV of the Cartagena Action Plan deals with
“Assisting the Victims”: Here it said that
“States Parties are resolved to provide adequate ageand gender-sensitive assistance to mine victims,
through a holistic and integrated approach that includes emergency and continuing medical care, physical rehabilitation, psychological support, and social
and economic inclusion in accordance with applicable
international humanitarian and human rights law,
with the aim of ensuring their full and effective participation and inclusion in the social, cultural, economic
and political life of their communities.” …
“Victim assistance should be integrated into broader
national policies, plans and legal frameworks related
to disability, health, education, employment, development and poverty reduction, while placing particular
emphasis on ensuring that mine victims have access
to specialised services when needed and can access on
an equal basis services available to the wider population.”…
“States Parties are resolved not to discriminate against
or among mine victims, or between mine survivors and
other persons with disabilities, and to ensure that differences in treatment should only be based on medical,
rehabilitative, psychological or socio-economic needs
of the victims.” …
“Victim assistance shall be made available, affordable,
accessible and sustainable.” …
“The principles of equality and non-discrimination, full
inclusion and participation, openness, accountability
and transparency shall guide victim assistance efforts.”
In the following actions specific steps are defined. These
are precise and aim at making victim assistance more
effective in the next five years. Amongst other points, the
full and active participation of victims in victim assistance
related measures is to be ensured, in particular regarding
the development, monitoring and evaluation of National
Action Plans.
In Article V regarding International Cooperation and
“States Parties recognize that fulfilling their obligations
will require sustained substantial political, financial
and material commitments, provided both through
national commitments and international, regional
and bilateral cooperation and assistance, in accordance with the obligations under Article 6.”
States Parties in a position to do so shall support other
States Parties multi-year funding and assistance in the implementation of the provisions like victim assistance.
Germany committed itself to increasing efforts on the
topic of victim assistance over the coming years. During
the conference, the German delegation made a positive
statement on victim assistance. Germany announced
that it would increase support for victim assistance programmes and international cooperation and assistance.
December 2009, this new focus on victim assistance was
acknowledged by the government representatives. The
German Federal Office committed itself to increase support for victim assistance in the next few years.
Handicap International Germany and Action Group
Landmine.de highly welcome this announcement. We
will observe this process and will follow up on the topic
of victim assistance in terms of the key findings made in
the Berlin Conference on Victim Assistance and the agreements made by all States Parties in the Second Revision
Conference in order to more effectively assist and support
the victims of landmines, cluster munitions and other
explosive remnants of war.
The complete Cartagena Action Plan 2010–2014 can be
found under
© A. Sutton/Handicap International
© Handicap International
In a meeting between civil society and representatives
of the German Federal Office and the Development Ministry after the end of the Cartagena conference on 9th
German Federal Foreign Office
Austrian Development Agency
Antipersonnel mine
Antipersonnel Landmine
Antivehicle mine
Austrian Foreign Ministry
Austrian Ministry of Defence and Sports
German Federal Ministry of Defence
German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development
Cartagena Action Plan
Community based rehabilitation
Convention on Cluster Munitions
Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons
Cluster Munition Coalition
European Union Working Party on Global Disarmament and Arms Control
National Commission on Mine Action
Convention on the Right of Persons with Disabilities
Country Strategy Papers
German Development Service
UK Department for International Development
Democratic Republic of Congo
European Commission
European Union
Explosive Remnants of War
Gross Domestic Product
Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining
German Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit
International Campaign to Ban Landmines
International Committee of the Red Cross
Improvised Explosive Device
International Mine Action Standards
International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics
International Trust Fund for Demining and Mine Victims Assistance
Mine Action
Mine Action Programmes
Mine Ban Treaty
Millennium Development Goals
Multi-annual Indicative Programmes
Mine Risk Eduaction
Nairobi Action Plan
Non Governmental Organisation
Non State Actor
Regional Strategy Papers
ICRC Special Fund for the Disabled
Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound
United Nations
United Nations Development Programme
Unexploded Ordnance
Victim Assistance
World Health Organization
Firoz Alizada, International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL)
Marina Beck, Handicap International Germany
Noemi Bienvenu, French National Consultative Commission on Human Rights (CNDCH)
Stan Brabant, Handicap International Belgium
María Cruz Cristóbal, European Commission, Security Policy Unit
François De Keersmaeker, Handicap International Germany
Didier Destremau, Secours Catholique
Julia Dubslaff, Action Group Landmine.de
Eva Maria Fischer, Handicap International Germany
Ulrike Folkerts, actress, Action Group Landmine.de
Marion Gnanko, Solidarity International (SODI)
Camille Gosselin, Handicap International France
Anne Hamdorf, medico international
Elke Hottentot, Handicap International Switzerland
Christelle Hure, Médecins du Monde
Janty Jie, Handicap International Germany
Jan-Thilo Klimisch, Consultant
Armin Köhli, Geneva Call
Klaus Koppetsch, German Federal Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Thomas Küchenmeister, Action Group Landmine.de
Cornelia Kratochvil, Austrian permanent Mission to the U.N in Geneva
Georg Lack, Austrian Embassy, Berlin
Marion Libertucci, Handicap International France
Agnieszka Malczak MP, Alliance 90/the Greens
Liam Paul, Action Group Landmine.de
Phillippe Ryfman, University Paris Sorbonne
Marco Schäfer, German Technical Cooperation (GTZ)
Ilona Schleicher, Solidarity International (SODI)
Christian Schlierf, Human Study Bosnia
Cordula Schuh, Handicap International Germany
Jan Schulz, Handicap International Germany/Action Group Landmine.de
Tobias Stickel, Action Group Landmine.de
Théo Verhoeff, Special Fund for the Disabled, ICRC
Rupert Weinmann, Austrian Embassy, Berlin
Andreas Zumach, Journalist
Mina Zunac, Ban Advocates
Students and teachers from the Schiller Gymnasium Potsdam,
Friedensburg Oberschule Berlin and Berufskolleg Kempen.
Adresses and Links
Action Group Landmine.de
Rykestraße 13
10405 Berlin
Tel.: +49 (0) 30 32 66 16 79
Fax: +49 (0) 30 32 66 16 80
E-Mail: [email protected]
Member Organisations Action Group Landmine.de
Handicap International e.V.
Ganghoferstraße 19
80339 München
Tel.: +49 (0) 89 54 76 06 0
Fax: +49 (0) 89 54 76 06 20
E-Mail: [email protected]
German Agro Action
International Campaign to Ban Landmines
Cluster Munition Coalition
Bayerischer Landesverband des Katholischen
Deutschen Frauenbundes (KDFB)
Bread for the World
German Caritas
Pax Christi
Solidarity International (SODI)
German Justitia et Pax
terre des hommes
Christoffel Mission for the Blind
Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe
Handicap International (Germany)
Copyright © Handicap International Germany/Action Group Landmine.de
All rights reserved
Handicap International e.V.
Ganghoferstraße 19
80339 München
Tel.: +49 (0) 89 54 76 06 0
Fax: +49 (0) 89 54 76 06 20
E-Mail: [email protected]
This publication has been produced with the assistance of the InWEnt gGmbh/
German Development Ministry and the European Union.
The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of Handicap International
and Action Group Landmine.de and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the
European Union.
Cover photograph:
Aynalem Zenebe from Mekele, Ethiopia, getting a check-up at the physical
rehabilitation center
© Gaël Turine/VU for Handicap International, 2008
Layout and Design:
Doris Rasevic
Project coordinator and Editor:
Jan Schulz, Handicap International Germany/Action Group Landmine.de
With support from Eva Maria Fischer, François De Keersmaeker,
Thomas Küchenmeister, Liam Paul, Tobias Stickel, Christina Lauer,
Marina Beck, Julia Dubslaff, Cordula Schuh
Translations by Jenny Williams and Liam Paul
medico international
Action Group Landmine.de
Rykestraße 13
10405 Berlin
Tel.: +49 (0) 30 32 66 16 79
Fax: +49 (0) 30 32 66 16 80
E-Mail: [email protected]
For additional information or to receive
copy of the report, please contact:
[email protected] or
[email protected]

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