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The Mine Ban Treaty and Survivor Assistance
Human RightsThe Mine Ban Treaty (MBT), drafted and opened for signature in 1997, is formally referred to as the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Antipersonnel Mines and On Their Destruction. The MBT, also known as the Ottawa Convention, was signed by over 120 countries in Ottawa, Canada, in December 1997. The MBT entered into force on March 1, 1999, faster than any arms control treaty in history.

The MBT is not just an arms control ban: it also requires the destruction of stockpiled mines within four years, and destruction of mines already in the ground within ten years. The MBT was the first arms treaty in history to commit State Parties to provide for the “care and rehabilitation and social and economic integration of mine victims.” Based on this commitment, Survivor Assistance has become one of the four pillars of implementation under the MBT. The MBT provides legitimacy at the national level to do the things we want to do because governments have agreed that it is international law. Unlike other aspects of the MBT, Survivor Assistance does not have specific deadlines or criteria for how it should be implemented. Since the 2004 Nairobi Review Conference there have been increased efforts to address this. The outcome document of the Conference, the Nairobi Action Plan identified 11 commitments in regard to Survivor Assistance. (See for Final Report of Conference, including the Nairobi Action Plan.) Moreover, 24 States parties, thought to have the most number of survivors, were selected for specific focus in the next four years. The countries are: Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, Cambodia, Chad, Colombia, Croatia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Peru, Senegal, Serbia and Montenegro, Sudan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Uganda and Yemen. Guided by a questionnaire, these countries have been charged with developing time-bound concrete objectives on how to provide effective Survivor Assistance. The questionnaire is also a useful tool for other countries not part of the 24 and articulates the six elements of Survivor Assistance: 1) Understanding the extent of the challenge faced (Data and information collection); 2) Emergency and ongoing medical care; 3) Physical rehabilitation; 4) Psychological support and social reintegration; 5) Economic reintegration, and 6) Laws and public policies.

The MBT’s annual meeting of States Parties is an opportunity for high level delegates from States parties, and non-States Parties to meet to review the progress of the MBT’s implementation for the year. The 2005 6th Meeting of States Parties was held in Zagreb, Croatia, with over 600 delegates attending, representing governments, civil society and international organizations from some 115 countries. As one of the pillars of the MBT, Survivor Assistance is one of the main elements of discussion, particularly regarding what concrete plans of action the 24 targeted countries had developed. To date, the plans are of varying quality and it was clear that many of the governments did not consult with the different relevant sectors. Thus, there was no interaction between those who completed the questionnaire and those actually responsible for the tasks necessary to achieve the stated objectives. This indicates that survivor assistance remains dominated by mine action representatives who are not properly interacting with other government sectors, which is necessary to fulfill survivor assistance objectives, such as health care, labour, education, finance, development, social services and human rights. For the final report of the Zagreb meeting, see

The Ottawa Treaty to Ban Landmines
The entire text of the Convention on the Prohibition of the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel mines and their destruction.

Signatories of the Ottawa Treaty
An up-to-date listing of the countries which have signed the treaty, and those which have ratified the treaty. Includes dates of the signing and ratification where applicable. LSN also maintains a list of those countries who have not signed the Ottawa Treaty.

Survivor Assistance and the Disability Rights Convention (.DOC/ Word 68Kb)

A Standard Apart: Participation and Partnership: A Rights-Based Approach to a Weapon’s Legacy
Prepared as a Background Paper for the International Commission of Jurists and the International Council on Human Rights Policy hosted Workshop on International Human Rights Standard-Setting Processes, 13-14 February, 2005, Geneva, Switzerland.
Download now in .DOC (Microsoft Word) format (220 Kb)

Monitoring Progress in Victim Assistance in .PDF format (166 Kb)
An analysis of the Victim Assistance Indicator Study. Below are the individual country breakdowns. All of the below documents are in .PDF format.

Under article 7 of the Mine Ban Treaty, States parties are obliged to report on their action toward full implementation of the treaty. Forms A to H have been given to States parties to help them in their reporting. This is done annually and the reports can be found on-line at the following address:

Unfortunately these reports do not include information on assistance to landmine survivors. Therefore after the second Meeting of the States Parties (MSP) an optional form was proposed to the States parties. This is called Form J, it is not compulsory but if we want to monitor progress in Victim Assistance we have to encourage States to use it to report on what they do, or on potential help they may need.

Form J: Other relevant matters

Remark: States Parties may use this form to report voluntarily on other relevant matters, including matters pertaining to compliance and implementation not covered by the formal reporting requirements contained in Article 7. States Parties are encouraged to use this form to report on activities undertaken with respect to Article 6, and in particular to report on assistance provided for the care and rehabilitation, and social and economic reintegration, of mine victims.

State [Party]: _______________________________ reporting for time period from _______to________

[Narrative / reference to other reports]

Landmine Survivors Bill of Rights
The Bill of Rights for Survivors of Landmines, presented by Her Majesty Queen Noor at the conference in Amman, Jordan in July of 1998.

State Responsibility for Landmine Survivor Assistance
Developed by LSN and Arnold & Porter law firm. The Executive Summary is available, as well as the entire text.

ICBL Guidelines for the Care and Rehabilitation of Survivors
Developed by the ICBL Working Group on Victim Assistance, chaired by LSN.

Victim Assistance: Contexts, Principles, and Issues
Position Paper of the ICBL Working Group on Victim Assistance
May 24 to June 4, 2004.
Download now in .DOC (Microsoft Word) format (874 Kb)

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