GENEVA / UNIDIR REPORT

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14-Nov-2023 00:02:33
Civilians accounted for 85 percent of casualties by landmine and explosive remnants of war in 2022, half of them were children, according to a UN-backed civil society report released today. UNTV CH

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STORY: GENEVA / UNIDIR REPORT
TRT: 02:33
SOURCE: UNTV CH
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LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 14 NOVEMBER 2023, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / FILE

SHOTLIST:

FILE - GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1. Wide shot, exterior, UN Flag Alley

14 NOVEMBER 2023, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

2. Wide shot, press briefing room with journalists and screens
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Loren Persi, Landmine Monitor 2023, Impact Team Lead:
“In the previous year there was 4,710 casualties recorded. It was down from 5,544. But there were significant increases in some countries, primarily Ukraine. And in Ukraine, the number of civilian casualties recorded increased tenfold from around 60 in 2021 to around 600 in 2022.”
4. Close up, journalist listening
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Loren Persi, Landmine Monitor 2023, Impact Team Lead:
“The effects of landmines and explosive remnants of war continue to mostly harm civilians and particularly children. And it was the case that children accounted for basically half of civilian casualties and civilians were the vast majority of casualties in 2022.”
6. Med shot, podium and speakers
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Mark Hiznay, Landmine Monitor 2023, Ban Policy Editor:
“Ukrainian government forces used anti-personnel mines in violation of the treaty in and around the city of Isham during 2022 when the city was under Russian control.”
8. Cutaway: Close up, journalist listening, UN Geneva
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Mark Hiznay, Landmine Monitor 2023, Ban Policy Editor:
“Russia has extensively used anti-personnel mines since its invasion in February of 2022. This has created an unprecedented situation where we have a non-state party using the weapon on the territory of a state party. In the 20 plus years, this has really never occurred before.”
10. Wide shot, press briefing room with journalists and screens
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Katrin Atkins, Landmine Monitor 2023, Impact Team Senior Researcher:
“At least 60 states or other areas, including 33 state parties that are contaminated by anti-personnel landmines. We also have ten states parties that should provide more information with regard to a possible or a confirmed contamination with improvised mines.”
12. Med shot, podium and speakers
13. Med shot, journalist listening
14. Wide shot, press briefing room with journalists and screens

STORYLINE:

Civilians accounted for 85 percent of casualties by landmine and explosive remnants of war in 2022, half of them were children, according to a UN-backed civil society report released today (14 Nov).

More than 4,710 people were injured or killed by landmines and other explosive remnants in 2022 across 49 states.

The International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), a network of over 1,000 NGOs, stated in its latest Landmine Monitor 2023 report that “there were significant increases in some countries, primarily Ukraine, where the number of civilian casualties recorded increased tenfold from around 60 in 2021 to around 600 in 2022,” said Loren Persi, one of the authors of the report, speaking at UN Geneva.

The Landmine Monitor 2023 report has been released ahead of the Mine Ban Treaty’s 21st Meeting of States Parties, which takes place at UN Geneva from 20 to 24 November.

The report states that civilians accounted for 85 per cent of landmine and explosive remnants of war (ERW) casualties recorded in 2022, half of them children (1,171). The highest number of casualties over the course of the year was recorded in Syria (834) and Ukraine (608).

“The effects of landmines and explosive remnants of war continue to mostly harm civilians and particularly children. It was the case that children accounted for basically half of civilian casualties and civilians were the vast majority of casualties in 2022,” said Persi.

Antipersonnel landmines are explosive devices that kill and wound people during and long after conflicts. They are placed above, under, or on the ground and explode from a person’s presence, proximity, or contact.

Antipersonnel mines are typically placed by hand, but they can also be scattered by aircraft, rockets, and artillery, or dispersed from specialized vehicles.

Amidst the conflict in Ukraine, the country saw a tenfold increase in the number of civilian landmine and ERW casualties compared to 2021 (58), said the report. Yemen and Myanmar both recorded more than 500 casualties in 2022.

New use of the weapon represents one of the greatest challenges to eradicating antipersonnel landmines globally. The 2023 Landmine Monitor report finds that “Ukrainian government forces used anti-personnel mines in violation of the treaty in and around the city of Izium during 2022 when the city was under Russian control.”

Mark Hiznay, Policy Editor of the Landmine Monitor 2023 report, said that Russia had “extensively used anti-personnel mines since its invasion (of Ukraine) in February of 2022. This has created an unprecedented situation where we have a non-State party using the weapon on the territory of a State party.”

In the 20-plus years since the international Ottowa mine ban treaty was signed, “this has really never occurred before”, Hiznay added.

A total of 30 States Parties have reported clearance of all mined areas from their territory since the Mine Ban Treaty came into force in 1999.

Affected States Parties continued to clear contaminated land in 2022, collectively clearing 219.31km² and destroying 169,276 antipersonnel landmines. Almost 60 per cent of the land cleared in 2022 was cleared in just two countries: Cambodia and Croatia.

However, there are still uncleared landmines in more than 60 countries and territories that destroy livelihoods, deny land use, and disrupt access to essential services.

“At least 60 states or other areas, including 33 state parties that are contaminated by anti-personnel landmines,” said Katrin Atkins, Landmine Monitor 2023 Impact Team Senior Researcher. “We also have ten states parties that should provide more information with regard to a possible or a confirmed contamination with improvised mines.”

Adopted on 18 September 1997, the Mine Ban Treaty prohibits the use, stockpiling, production, and transfer of antipersonnel mines and requires victim assistance, mine clearance and stockpile destruction. Currently there are 164 States Parties to the treaty; the last countries to join it were Palestine and Sri Lanka in 2017.

UNIDIR is an autonomous institution within the United Nations that conducts independent research on disarmament and international security issues.
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