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Involvement of Armed Non-State Actors in the Landmine Problem

Research Project

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

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Anti-Personnel Landmines - Armed Non-State Actors - Human Rights - International Humanitarian Law - landmines


Although armed non-state actors (NSAs) have always existed, in the last twenty years the international community has become acutely aware of their importance for achieving universal compliance with human rights and international humanitarian law. This is particularly true for universalizing the norm prohibiting the use of anti-personnel (AP) landmines.

This report, which builds on an analysis published in 2004, maps the role of NSAs in the landmine problem (2003-2005). The report investigates and analyzes how NSAs use, acquire, produce, transfer, and stockpile landmines through a presentation of individual group profiles.

This report has recorded a global occurrence of AP and anti-vehicle mine planting by NSAs, whether activated by a victim, a vehicle or at a distance by command-detonation. Around 60 NSAs have deployed landmines in 24 countries in five geographic regions: Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa. In addition to these NSAs, groups that were difficult to classify or identify made frequent use of landmines in a few other countries. Over 40 groups made use of some type of victim-activated devices. The mines employed were both factory-made and handmade, indicating both involvement in mine transfers and production.

One of the main findings of this report is that there is a need to discuss the mine issue not only with states, but also with NSAs. Many NSAs (as well as states) lack the long-term perspective of the consequences of mine use, and it is therefore crucial for the international community to find channels of communication with NSAs on the AP mine issue. This report argues that only by understanding NSA and region specific dynamics is it possible to address the - current and future - landmine problem caused by NSAs.


Armed Non-State Actors and Landmines - Volume I: A Global Report Profiling NSAs and their Use, Acquisition, Production, Transfer and Stockpiling of Landmines
English | [3846 ko] > download
Actores armados no estatales y minas terrestres - Primer volumen: Informe global sobre el uso, la adquisición, producción, transferencia y el almacenamiento de minas terrestres por parte de los ANE
Spanish | [625 ko] > download
Armed Non-State Actors and Landmines - Volume II: A Global Report of NSA Mine Action
English | [4454 ko] > download
Armed Non-State Actors and Landmines - Volume III: Towards a Holistic Approach to Armed Non-State Actors?
English | [2362 ko] > download

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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