In a report released by the Landmine Monitor it is stated that landmine use is ‘highest since 2004’ despite record clearances. While with Burma (Myanmar), Israel, Lybia and Syria, four of the 20% of countries who did not sign an international treaty to stop the use of land mines, continued to use new devices this year (and further armed groups in countries such as Afghanistan, Colombia and Pakistan also laid new mines, as reported by the BBC), the deadly impact of these weapons reaches further than those countries. The following cartogram shows the casualties from mines, explosive remnants of war (ERW) and cluster submunition as recorded by the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, which aims to bring the use of landmines to an end. A total of 4,191 casualties were recorded in 2010.
The distribution of these deaths shows, that the legacy of landmines is a persistent one that requires urgent action and a revived global awareness for the long-term problems associated with these weapons. The implications of the report will be discussed on the 11th Meeting of the States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty next week in Cambodia. To decades after its inaugural event, the meeting returns to its birthplace, providing “a chance for the international community to recall how far the world has come in pursuing a comprehensive end to the suffering and casualties caused by anti-personnel mines“.
Regarding the data accuracy, the report findings state that the “slight increase in recorded casualties is not yet indicative of a trend, due to poor quality of casualty data in some countries. The 2010 total is, however, lower than the 5,502 casualties recorded for 2008. Due to incomplete data collection, the actual number of casualties was certainly higher than what was recorded” (Source: major findings of the Landmine Monitor 2010-11).
As a reference, the following image shows the original map as published in the ICBL report: