Survivors of landmine explosions, as well as their families and communities, played a key role in the adoption of the Mine Ban Treaty. States must now complete the task of ensuring that all victims of landmines, cluster munitions, and other explosive remnants of war see their needs fulfilled and their rights respected.
Six Pillars of Victim Assistance
Victim assistance comprises six pillars: emergency and continuing healthcare; physical rehabilitation; psychological and psycho-social support; economic inclusion; data collection; laws, regulations, and policies.
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities provides the human rights standard for the provision of assistance.
To be sustainable, victim assistance should be integrated into broader national policies, plans and legal frameworks related to disability, health, education, employment, development, and poverty reduction. Victims should have equal access to services available to the wider population, and also have access to specialized services when needed.
The number of casualties recorded annually dropped dramatically from 15,000-20,000 people injured or killed each year in the early 1990s to less than 6,500 in recent years, however, 2016 (at least 8,605) saw numbers go up sharply once again. The global number of survivors keeps growing.
on states to:
- Ensure the participation of survivors in the planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of victim assistance.
- Develop an inter-agency and inter-sectoral coordination mechanism. Assign a focal point in charge of victim assistance, with the authority and adequate resources to carry out their task.
- Collect comprehensive and accurate data about the number, situation, and needs of victims, and about the availability of services. Share this data with all relevant stakeholders.
- Ensure national laws & policies are aligned with the Mine Ban Treaty, Convention on Cluster Munitions & Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
- Develop a national action plan with a budget and timeline, which is integrated with broader efforts in the areas of disability, development, and human rights.
- Work towards the full availability, accessibility, and affordability of victim assistance services, in all areas where victims live, including rural and remote areas.
- Ensure long-term and adequate financial, human, and technical resources are available. Allocate national resources and seek international support. Contribute to enhancing the capacity of all actors, including implementing agencies, organizations of disabled persons, and NGOs.
- Monitor and evaluate the implementation of victim assistance and provide reports every year. Donors should report on the actual impact of their support on victims' lives, especially when financial support is not specifically dedicated to VA but is channeled through the health or development sectors.
- Create and/or disseminate standards, accessibility guidelines and information on good practices.
- Inform survivors about their rights and the availability of services. Raise awareness within the general public about the need to combat stereotypes about persons with disabilities.
These States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty have significant numbers of survivors, and therefore the greatest responsibility to provide assistance:
Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Burundi, Cambodia, Chad, Colombia, Croatia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea-Bissau, Iraq, Jordan, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Palestine, Peru, Senegal, Serbia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, Yemen, and Zimbabwe.