Worldwide landmine casualties remain high, Swiss NGO says

The archive picture shows three landmine victims at a meeting of delegates of signatory states of the Ottawa convention. Keystone/Barbara Walton

The number of victims of anti-personnel landmines around the world increased by more than 20% last year, according to a non-governmental organsiation based in Geneva.

This content was published on November 10, 2021 - 12:31

The latest Landmine Monitor, published by the research arm of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL)External link, found that 7,073 people were killed or injured by explosive devices in 2020.

It is the sixth consecutive annual increase, the Handicap International SwitzerlandExternal link organisation said on Wednesday.

The report confirms that government forces in Myanmar as well as armed groups in Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Myanmar, Colombia and Nigeria used anti-personnel landmines.

Daniel Suda-Lang, director of Handicap International, said armed groups often make improvised mines from discarded explosives or explosive remnants.

The use of anti-personnel landmines is banned under the 1997 Ottawa Treaty. It also prohibits the use, stockpiling and transfer of such explosives and aims at eradicating such mines.

The authors of the report say there is no evidence that any of the 164 states which are party to the convention, including SwitzerlandExternal link, violated its core obligations during the reporting period from mid-2020 to October 2021.

An annual conference of representatives of signatories to the treaty are due to meet in the Netherlands next week.

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