The Landmine Monitor Global Report, and the Landmine Monitor country reports, including the 2014 Country report for Myanmar/Burma were released 3 December 2014.
Information regarding the global report can be found here.
Landmine Monitor has identified over 3,450 landmine casualties in Myanmar/Burma from 1999 through the end of 2013.
When compared to previous years, landmine casualties in Myanmar during 2013 and early 2014 have decreased. The decrease in landmine casualties is directly linked to less armed conflict within the country since the beginning of national ceasefire negotiations.
When compared to other countries, Myanmar has produced the third largest number of known casualties due to antipersonnel landmines, globally, over the past eight years.(1)
Despite this high numbers of mine casualties, as of late-2014, mine risk education remains inadequate or non-existent in most areas with reported casualties.
Access to medical and rehabilitative assistance to mine survivors, and other persons with disabilities, in Myanmar increased significantly during 2013 and early 2014, but remains inadequate.
Providing for the needs of the landmine disabled, and other disabled people, is legal obligation for the government of Myanmar under the rights enshrined in the international Convention on the Rights of Disabled Persons, which came into force for Myanmar in January 2012.
The Monitor has identified over 50 townships in Chin, Kachin, Kayin, Kayah, Mon, Rakhine, and Shan states, as well as in Bago and Tanintharyi regions suffering from some degree of mine contamination, primarily from antipersonnel mines. Kayin state and eastern Bago division contain the most heavily mine-affected areas.
Despite the request by the government in early 2012 for international assistance in mine clearances, as of the end of 2014, no humanitarian mine clearance has been allowed to start, even though atleast eight humanitarian mine clearance agencies have established a presence within the country.
Since the publication of its first report in 1999, Landmine Monitor has documented use of antipersonnel mines by government forces and by non-state armed groups (NSAG) in many areas of Myanmar. Mine use by both government forces and non-state actors continues to occur, however as of late 2014, information available to the Monitor indicates a significantly lower level of incidences of new mine use when compared to former years.
Myanmar Defense Products Industries, a state industry, has not publicly stated yet that it will halt production of its fragmentation, blast and non-detectable antipersonnel mines.
In April 2014, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar again called on the government of Myanmar to accede to the Mine Ban Treaty and noted that the, “use of landmines has decreased significantly, although there has been limited progress in mine surveying and clearance, marking or fencing.” In April 2013, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) noted that more than 450,000 refugees and internally displaced people can’t return home in northern and southeastern states until landmines are cleared. In May 2013, the UN Secretary-General released his third report on children and armed conflict in Myanmar, which documented child casualties from landmines.
Myanmar continued to abstain from voting on the annual UN General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution which calls for universalization of the Mine Ban Treaty. It has abstained each year regarding this annual UNGA resolution since 1997.
(1) This figure is calculated by adding all casualties for all countries over the past 8 years. If that is done, then Myanmar’s casualty figure is third highest on a global level. However, each year, Myanmar’s known casualty rate fluctuates, and in a given year it may be lower than that. In Landmine Moniotr 2014, Myanmar ranked as the 10th highest casualty rate, when compared to other countries.