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Involvement of Armed Non-State Actors in the Landmine Problem and Recommendations for their Positive Contribution to a Landmine Ban and Mine Action

Annual Call for Projects 2005


The aim of this project is to provide a comprehensive picture of the complex role that armed non-State actors (NSAs) play in the landmine problem and to propose concrete recommendations for including them in efforts to ban landmines and cooperate in mine action.

Although NSAs have always existed, in the last twenty years the international community has become acutely aware of their importance in achieving universal compliance with human rights law and international humanitarian law. This is particularly true for the norm prohibiting the use of anti-personnel (AP) landmines, due to the specific implication of NSAs in planting these devices.

This project investigates the involvement of NSAs in the landmine problem. It consists of three phases: a global mapping of NSA mine use, a detailed study of NSA mine action (such as mine risk education, humanitarian demining, victim assistance, stockpile destruction and mine ban advocacy) and two in-depth case studies of instances of NSA mine use and mine action. On the basis of its findings, the project will develop recommendations to be implemented by humanitarian actors and armed groups that would represent positive contributions to the landmine ban and to mine action as well as contribute to the development of priorities and strategies for engaging NSAs in the AP mine ban.

This will be accomplished through researching, analysing and mapping the characteristics of certain groups, the extent to which the groups use, acquire, produce, stockpile and transfer landmines and the groups? involvement in various forms of mine action. The project will build awareness of the extent to which NSAs are involved in the landmine issue (both in a positive and negative way); not only showing the need for NSA engagement, but also the challenges faced in promoting a ban on AP mines and in ensuring that the benefits of mine action help those who are most at risk.

Specifically, the project objectives are:

• To provide a comprehensive, accurate and balanced report on NSA use, stockpiling, transfer and production of landmines as well as potential NSA contributions to and support of mine action;

• To draw attention to the gaps in available information on NSA involvement in the landmine issue and the need for more comprehensive analysis and reporting;

• To provide a resource tool for engaging NSAs in the mine ban and other humanitarian norms;

• To map and raise awareness of how NSAs are contributing to solving the landmine problem;

• To provide academics and policymakers working in the field of international humanitarian law and peacemaking with useful information on the potential for NSAs to act as agents for conflict resolution.

The research outputs include two reports:

• One detailed report on NSA mine use;

• One detailed report on NSA contributions to mine action.

The findings of the reports will be widely disseminated in international fora targeting the mine ban/disarmament community. In addition, dissemination activities aimed at a wider audience, including States, UN agencies, the academic community, NSAs themselves and humanitarian and human rights organisations, will be undertaken.

Though the project team is mainly Geneva-based and will primarily focus on secondary sources, its members will consult with NSAs and concerned governments as well as independent sources such as Landmine Monitor researchers, representatives of NGOs working in mine-affected countries, UN agencies and the ICRC. Questionnaires and ad hoc partnerships will be developed for this purpose. Information gathered by Geneva Call staff during field missions will also be taken into consideration. In addition, the researchers will conduct field studies of their own in regions that present a high potential for successful engagement work or that are the source of important humanitarian concerns.

Framework, direction, oversight, quality control and regional expertise will be provided by Dr. Daniel Warner of the Program for the Study of International Organization(s) (PSIO), Professor Andrew Clapham of the Graduate Institute of International Studies (GIIS), Professor Marco Sassoli of the University of Geneva (Unige), and Geneva Call. The Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) will contribute its technical and operational expertise. The Geneva Office of the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) will provide advice and expertise.

The project is also supported by the Government of Italy through UNMAS and the Government of Sweden.

The grant provided by the GIAN for this project totals SFr 120,315

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Project Team

Ms Elisabeth Reusse-Decrey , Coordinator, Geneva Call .

Mr Pascal Bongard , Principal Member, Geneva Call .

Ms Katherine Kramer , Principal Member, Geneva Call .

Mr Gustavo Laurie , Principal Member, United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) .

Ms Anki Sjöberg , Principal Member, Geneva Call .

Prof. Daniel Warner , Principal Member, Graduate Institute of International Studies (GIIS) .

Related Links

> Armed Non-State Actors: The Main Users of the Poor Man’s Weapon , Article published in Journal of Mine Action, August 2006 issue, concerning Vol.I of the project output.

> Online version of Global Reports , Armed Non-State Actors and Landmines Volume I, II, III.

Related News

Related Conferences

Launch of Report on Mine Action Involving Armed Non-State Actors – 16 November 2006
At the occasion of the Third Review Conference of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons a GIAN-supported...
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Engaging Armed Non-State Actors: Can They Contribute to Humanitarian Action? – 3 April 2007, 12:30 to 1:45 pm, at GIIS/HEI
This roundtable on interacting with armed non-state actors profits directly from research undertaken in the framework...
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Armed Non-State Actors and Landmines – Launch of the Final Report, GIIS, Room S1, 14 November 2007, 6:30 pm
The GIAN-supported research team of the project "Involvement of Armed Non-State Actors (NSAs) in the Landmine Problem"...
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Research Output

Involvement of Armed Non-State Actors in the Landmine Problem
(available in English and Spanish)
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Armed Non-state Actors: Article Published in "Journal Mine Action"

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