According to Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining landmines (or simply ‘mines’) are explosive traps that are victim-activated, whether the intended target is a person or vehicle. A mine comprises a quantity of explosive material contained with some form of casing (typically in metal, plastic or wood), and a fusing mechanism to detonate the explosives.

Landmines today continue to threaten the lives of war-torn and post conflict societies in over 80 countries and areas in the world. They gravely hamper the economic and social recovery and development of affected nations.

The estimates of emplaced landmines, taking into the account the fact that the actual number of landmines is less significant than the lives and land affected by them, vary between 45 and 55 million; and more recent estimates offe

Mines represent by far one of the most significant security, humanitarian, environmental, economic and development problems of the international community. Areas covered with mines have direct and indirect impact on communities, manifested in a huge number of civilian casualties, the population’s health, losses in livestock, arable land, supplies, production and trade, constant fear and threat, resumption of animosity, distrust and intolerance.

Mines represent a major security, humanitarian, environmental, economic and development problem for the international community.

Mine-contaminated areas have direct and indirect impact on communities, manifested in a huge number of civilian casualties, the population`s health as a result of constant fear and threat, losses of livestock, arable land, supplies and production and trade. All this breeds distrust and intolerance, and leads to the resumption of animosity. 

Development:
Landmines deny the population access to already scarce land.  Land Mines need to be removed before contaminated land can be developed and an economic benefit for the area can be extracted. If a number of states in a region suffer from land mine contamination than there is a sustainable negative effect on development across the region.  Eventual development of these affected areas may play a role in improving social and economic conditions.  

Commerce:
The Mined areas along some common borders are placed along economically and socially important trade and migration corridors between two countries.

Border Delineation:
There are a number of common mine contaminated border areas in the region that are currently party to dispute or have yet to be mutually demarcated and defined.  The Landmine issue hampers any concrete resolve on these contentious issues as mined or suspected mined areas cannot physically be accessed.

Border Security
: Land mines do not discriminate in their deterrence effect.  History has shown that unpatrolled or non-permanently garrisoned mined borders do not work as an affective deterrent for unlawful cross border activities; but in fact actually facilitate such activities.  Mined areas hinder border guard troop movement and will deny proper monitoring of mine-contaminated and suspected mined areas.  

Security and Confidence Building Measures between states or within the Region
:  Many states that share common mine ‘protected’ borders may harbour the assumption that the very presence of mines will provide a large degree of border security.  This assumption may hinder any meaningful bilateral and regional approach for affected neighbouring states to address mutual or individual border or security related concerns, and therefore hinders dialogue and engagement.

Impact on the Ottawa Convention


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