More than 22 million antipersonnel mines have been destroyed from the arsenals of at least fifty nations, and the number of new landmine victims is dropping sharply in heavily mined countries like Cambodia, Afghanistan, Bosnia-Hercegovina and Mozambique, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) said.
"Antipersonnel mines are increasingly a relic of the past," said Stephen Goose of Human Rights Watch. Nearly three-quarters of the world's nations have now joined the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty that outlaws any possession or use of antipersonnel mines. The United States is not among them.
The ICBL's 1,100-page Landmine Monitor Report 2000: Toward a Mine-Free World was edited and produced by Human Rights Watch, a founding member of the ICBL, which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997. The report provides new details on mine use, production, trade, stockpiling, demining and mine victim assistance in every country of the world in the period from the March 1999 entry into force of the Mine Ban Treaty to mid-2000. (See attached sheet on Key Findings of the Landmine Monitor report).
The report states that since March 1999 it appears that antipersonnel mines were used in twenty conflicts by eleven governments and numerous rebel groups. Angola, which has signed the treaty, continued to use mines, and it is likely that Burundi and Sudan, which are also signatories, used mines. The most extensive use of antipersonnel mines in this period occurred in Chechnya, especially by Russian forces, and Kosovo, especially by Yugoslav forces.
On Monday, 11 September, the ICBL will present the Landmine Monitor Report 2000 to diplomats attending the Second Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in Geneva, Switzerland. A 65-page Executive Summary is also available. A total of 115 Landmine Monitor researchers from 95 countries contributed to the report.
Human Rights Watch is a privately-funded international monitoring group based in New York. It is the lead agency in the core group of ICBL organizations responsible for the Landmine Monitor. The others include Handicap International, Kenya Coalition Against Landmines, Mines Action Canada, and Norwegian People's Aid.