The Monitor released its twelfth annual Landmine Monitor report globally on November 24, 2010 during a press conference in Geneva. Landmine Monitor 2010 provides a summary and analysis of developments in 2009 and the first portion of 2010 related to mine ban policy (policy, use, production, trade, and stockpiling), mine action, casualties and victim assistance, and support for mine action. Starting in 2010, online Country Profiles have replaced the country reports in the Landmine Monitor Annual Report. The online Country Profiles provide information on every country in the world, and can be found on the Monitor website here.

Below are some reports “by the numbers”:

  • Thailand– 18 reported human casualties in 2009.
  • Burma (Myanmar)– 262 reported human casualties in 2009, plus two elephants stepped on landmines and were transported to FAE’s Elephant Hospital (this didn’t make the report).
  • United States– 37 US soldiers were killed by improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Iraq and 132 in Afghanistan in 2009. In 2009 the United States contributed US$118,703,831 to 29 countries and four other areas for clearance, victim assistance, risk education, and to three institutions engaged in victim assistance activities globally.

Despite these grim numbers, The Monitor is calling 2009 a “year of record-breaking progress for the Mine Ban Treaty”:

Geneva, 24 November 2010 – Record-breaking progress in implementing the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty was made in 2009. Use and production of the weapon, as well as casualty rates, were the lowest on record, while more contaminated land was cleared than ever before according to Landmine Monitor 2010, released today at the United Nations.

In 2009, 3,956 new landmine and explosive remnants of war (ERW) casualties were recorded, the lowest number for any year since the Monitor began reporting in 1999. The Monitor removed Nepal from its list of mine producers, leaving a dozen countries on the list, of which as few as three are believed to continue to actively manufacture antipersonnel mines (India, Myanmar, and Pakistan). For the first time the Monitor did not list Russia as a mine user, leaving Myanmar as the only government confirmed as using mines in 2009–2010.

Read full story here.

The printed Landmine Monitor report synthesizes data from the Country Profiles in order to provide a global overview and highlight issues of special concern. Hard copies of the 65-page report may be ordered online. The full report is also available electronically on the Monitor website and downloadable in PDF and e-book formats.

Photos, taken by Mary Wareham/HRW, from the Landmine Monitor 2010 launch in Geneva are now available to view online here.

Let’s make 2011 another record-breaking year for landmine and cluster munition removal!

-Windy Borman

Director/Producer, The Eyes of Thailand