Landmine Monitor 2015 Myanmar/Burma country pconfnov2015YGNreport released at press conference in Yangon

On 25 November 2015, a press conference to launch the Burmese translation of the Myanmar/Burma country report in Landmine & Cluster Munition Monitor 2014 took place in Yangon. The audio record of the press conference is available here.

The country report on Myanmar/Burma is part of the Landmine Monitor Report 2015 global report, the annual publication of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL). The ICBL formed in 1992 to rid the world of the scourge of the anti-personnel landmine. The ICBL is a network of over 1,300 non-governmental organizations in 70 countries, and received the Nobel Peace Award in 1997.

As of 1 November 2015, 162 countries, over 80% of the world’s governments, have ratified or acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty. Myanmar is not one of them.

Landmine Monitor has identified over 3,700 casualties caused by antipersonnel landmines in Myanmar from 1999 through the end of 2014. When compared to other countries, Myanmar has produced the third highest number of known casualties due to antipersonnel mines over the past seven years.

Despite this high level of mine casualties, mine risk education remains inadequate or non-existent in most areas with reported casualties. Medical and rehabilitative assistance to landmine survivors in Myanmar has improved, but remains insufficient.

At least 56 townships in Chin, Kachin, Kayin, Kayah, Mon, Rakhine, and Shan states, as well as in Bago and Tanintharyi regions suffer from some degree of mine contamination by antipersonnel mines. Kachin and Kayin states and eastern Bago region contain the most heavily mine-affected areas. However, currently, no humanitarian mine clearance programs exist within the country.

Since the publication of its first report in 1999, Landmine Monitor has consistently documented use of antipersonnel mines by government forces and by non-state armed groups within Myanmar. New use of antipersonnel mines continutes, however, since the start of discussions on a ceasefire, new use of antipersonnel mines has decreased significantly in most areas of the country, compared to previous years. In October 2015 eight ethnic armed groups signed a ceasefire agreement which obligates them to stop laying landmines.

In April 2014, UNICEF expressed its concern over new minefields being laid in armed conflict in Kachin State. In May 2014, the UN Secretary-General released the fourth report on Children and Armed Conflict which continued to document child casualties in Myanmar from landmines and risks to children due to unmarked minefields. In September 2014, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar again called on the government of Myanmar to join the Mine Ban Treaty.

Categories: ICBL