Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

SRI LANKA: Mine clearance could take 10 years or more

IRIN Humanitarian News and Analysis

COLOMBO, 6 February 2012 (IRIN) – Landmine clearance in Sri Lanka’s conflict-affected north could take more than a decade, experts say.

“It is expected to take [in] excess of 10 years to fully mitigate all remaining contamination in Sri Lanka,” the Mine Action Project of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in Sri Lanka told IRIN, citing a lack of resources coupled with the difficult nature of the work.

Approximately 126 sqkm of land remains to be cleared in the island’s north at the end of 2011, according to data from the National Mine Action Centre (NMAC).

Set up in July 2010, NMAC is the government’s lead agency in de-mining work in the country.

As of 31 December 2011, the largest remaining area was in Mannar District (33.8 sqkm), followed by Mullaitivu (27.7 sqkm), Kilinochchi (23 sqkm), Vavuniya (15 sqkm) and Jaffna (5 sqkm) in the north.

Smaller areas are in borderline districts of Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura, along with some parts of the east.

Barrier to return

More than 6,700 conflict-displaced, mainly from Mullaitivu District, continue to live at Menik Farm outside the town of Vavuniya, where more than 200,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) once lived following the end of the war between government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which had been fighting for an independent Tamil homeland since 1983.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), since 1 January 2009, more than 554 sqkm have been cleared of mines and UXO (unexploded ordnance) in the north and east of the country.

The humanitarian demining unit of the Sri Lanka Army, international organizations – Danish Demining Group (DDG), HALO Trust, Horizon, Mines Advisory Group (MAG), Sarvatra, and Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD)] – and two national organizations – Delvon Assistance for Social Harmony (DASH) and the Milinda Moragoda Institute for Peoples’ Empowerment (MMIPE)] – are engaged in demining work.

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) carries out mine risk awareness programmes in the north and east.

Please see the original and read more of this article here

February 6, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Demining, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Explosive Remnants of War, Humanitarian Assistance, Landmines, Mine Clearance, Sri Lanka, United Nations | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Somalia: ICRC Suspends Aid Deliveries

IRIN January 12, 2012

NAIROBI, 12 January 2012 (IRIN) – One of the few aid agencies excluded from a ban imposed by Al-Shabaab insurgents in Somalia has suspended food and seed distributions to 1.1m people in the south and centre of the country after local authorities repeatedly blocked its deliveries.

“The suspension will continue until we receive assurances from the authorities controlling those areas that distributions can take place unimpeded and reach all those in need, as previously agreed,” said Patrick Vial, the head of the ICRC delegation for Somalia, in a statement released on 12 January.

Without specifically mentioning Al Shabaab, which controls most of the region, the ICRC said deliveries intended for 240,000 people in the Middle Shabelle and Galgaduud had been blocked since mid-December 2011.

“We are actively seeking the cooperation of the local authorities to restore conditions that will allow the resumption of the suspended activities as soon as possible,” Vial said

Please read the entire article here

January 12, 2012 Posted by | Africa, Humanitarian Assistance, NGO's, Safety and Security Issues, United Nations | , , , , , | Leave a comment

LEBANON: Meeting bolsters cluster munitions convention

BEIRUT, 22 September 2011 (IRIN) –

Over 100 children have been killed or maimed by cluster munitions in Lebanon since 2006, a senior army officer told IRIN at a recent international meeting on cluster bombs in Beirut.

Since 2006, cluster munitions have killed or injured 408 Lebanese civilians, 115 of whom were children, Maj Pierre Bou Maroun, chief of the Lebanese Armed Forces Regional Mine Action Centre (RMAC) in Nabatiyeh, told IRIN on the sidelines of the second meeting of states parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions which ended on 16 September.

RMAC coordinates all demining operations in the country.

Speaking at the meeting, Lebanese President Michel Sleiman called cluster munitions a “despicable weapon” designed to “sustain programmed killing and handicapping” long into the future. He said the Lebanese state was “fully committed” to the Convention, “particularly when it comes to assisting victims of cluster munitions and ridding its territory” of the weapons.

The meeting brought together representatives from over 115 governments, the UN, civil society organizations and cluster munitions survivors to discuss how to advance the Convention’s key obligations.

“Governments need to demonstrate that they are acting with the urgency and comprehensiveness that they have promised in eliminating cluster munitions and addressing the effects these inhumane weapons have on civilians all over the world,” said Steve Goose, chair of the Cluster Munitions Coalition (CMC) and director of the Arms Division at Human Rights Watch.

Lebanon and Tunisia are the only Arab states to have ratified the Convention. Iraq has signed but not yet ratified.

According to the CMC, Iraq and Lebanon are the worst-affected countries in the Middle East/North Africa region, but Libya is the most recently contaminated country, following use of cluster munitions by forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi earlier this year.

The Beirut meeting heard that as a result of the Convention, around 50 percent of the world’s cluster munitions have been destroyed. In Lebanon, the CMC said, around 66 percent of contaminated land has been cleared and returned to residents.

Goose said that while the success was impressive, some 80 countries had still not signed the Convention, including some of the world’s biggest manufacturers, users or stockpilers of cluster munitions, such as Israel, the US, China, Russia, Pakistan and India

Please read the entire report here

September 22, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Demining, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Explosive Remnants of War, Landmines, United Nations | , , , , , | Leave a comment

GHA Report AID POLICY: Record donor aid, record costs

DAKAR, 20 July 2011 (IRIN) Institutional donor aid in 2010 was at its highest-ever level – US$16.7 billion – but so were aid costs, says aid watchdog Development Initiatives in its annual Global Humanitarian Assistance (GHA) report, released today.

The report, which looks at aid year-on-year over the past decade, also shows that disaster preparedness is consistently sidelined; and that emergency aid is spent in the same countries year-on-year, begging the question: is it the right solution to the problem?

Largely responsible for the boost in aid were the USA, Canada and Japan, according to the GHA. Their increases offset the declining aid budgets of a number of donors, including the Netherlands, Austria, Denmark, Greece, Korea, Portugal and Ireland – all of which watched their aid budgets shrink for the second year in a row.

Donors outside the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) [www.oecd.org/dac/] also gave more: between 2005 and 2009 their foreign assistance more than doubled from $4.6 billion to $10.4 billion, according to a second Development Initiatives report by Kerry Smith: Non-DAC Donors and Humanitarian Aid: Shifting Structures, Changing Trends.

But the additional funding does not go as far as it used to: price rises in food and fuel have “put pressure on the system and reduced buying power”, said GHA programme leader Jan Kellett. Fats and cereal costs more than doubled between 2007 and 2008, and continued to rise throughout 2010, while the cost of delivering them also continued to rise, according to Development Initiatives and the UN.

The UN estimates international food prices reached an all-time high in February 2011.

This and other factors meant the unmet needs in UN emergency appeals “worryingly” grew from 30 to 37 percent, according to Kellett. UN appeals for the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), Chad, Central African Republic and Uganda all experienced a widening in their funding gaps in 2010, according to the report.

Another area of unmet need was disaster preparedness and risk reduction, which received just 75 US cents out of every $100 spent on aid, according to Development Initiatives, reaching just $835 million in 2009.

Please read the entire article here        Read the report here

July 20, 2011 Posted by | Humanitarian Assistance, United Nations | , , , | Leave a comment

Rising number of child landmine victims in Somaliland

Saida Mohamed with her child, Habon Ahmed, who was injured in a landmine explosion in January

HARGEISA, 2 February 2011 (IRIN) – Somalia’s self-declared independent region of Somaliland has experienced an increase in landmine and unexploded ordnance (UXO) explosions in the recent past, with officials calling for mine awareness education in schools, as children have been the main victims.

“Child victims of land mines have increased in Somaliland in the past two months,” Ahmed Ali Maah, director of the Somaliland Mine Action Center (SMAC), told IRIN. “Some 93 children have been killed by landmines in the past three years.”

Farhan Abdi Saleban, a child protection officer with Comprehensive Community-Based Rehabilitation in Somaliland (CCBRS), a local NGO, said three children died and five were injured by landmines in January; and two others were injured in December 2010.

“Case fatalities and injuries associated with mine and UXO explosions have lately increased in the country,” Saleban said. “A high proportion of the victims are children, according to comparative data/information recorded for the past two months.”

Saleban said strategic interventions, including effective continuing mine-risk education and psychological rehabilitation of landmine survivors, were needed.

The latest incident occurred on 27 January in Sheedaha settlement in Hargeisa’s Kodbur District: One child died and two others were injured when a landmine exploded in a playground.

“My son had gone to play football in the evening, as usual. Suddenly I received a phone call telling me my son had been injured following an explosion,” said Ibrahim Ahmed, a father of five, whose son Farhan Ibrahim was injured in the chest.  Please read the entire article here

February 2, 2011 Posted by | Africa, Demining, ERW, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, United Nations | , , , , | Leave a comment

US military denies keeping, using cluster munitions

KABUL, 2 February 2011 (IRIN) – US-led international forces say they do not have stockpiles of cluster munitions in Afghanistan and have not used them in the war against Taliban insurgents since March 2002.

“ISAF [the International Security Assistance Force] conducts operations in accordance with the law of armed conflict. All weapons, weapons systems, and munitions are reviewed for legality under international law,” Sunset R. Belinsky, a spokeswoman for NATO-led ISAF, told IRIN.

Belinsky said new weapons were legally reviewed under Article 36 of the Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and that all US weapons, weapons systems, and munitions were also reviewed for legality in line with US Department of Defense directives.

The Afghan government signed the international Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) in 2008 but is yet to ratify it, and the International Committee of the Red Cross has called on the government to accede to the convention “imminently”.

An Afghan human rights body, Afghanistan Rights Monitor (ARM), said in a report on 1 February that US/NATO must clarify whether their forces keep or use cluster munitions in Afghanistan.

“The United States Government was infuriated when President Hamid Karzai signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) in December 2008 because the US Military believed that cluster munitions had military utility, according to confidential US diplomatic cables leaked by the whistleblower website Wikileaks,” said the report.

“ARM calls on the US government and NATO officials to provide some transparency about the stockpiles and the possible use of cluster munitions by US/NATO forces in Afghanistan,” the organization said.

Please the entire article here

February 2, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, ERW, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Legal Jurisdictions, NATO, Pentagon | , , , , | Leave a comment

AFGHANISTAN: Fears over child recruitment, abuse by pro-government militias

KABUL, 20 January 2011 (IRIN) – Pro-government militias in parts of Afghanistan are believed to be recruiting underage boys and sometimes sexually abusing them in an environment of criminal impunity, local people and human rights organizations say.

In a bid to counter the intensifying insurgency, the Afghan government and US/NATO forces have been setting up controversial community-based militias, such as the Afghan Local Police, in insecure provinces. To date, thousands of men have been recruited to such bodies in Kunduz, Baghlan and Kandahar provinces, says the Interior Ministry.

“The militias and commanders are hiring young, underage boys in their ranks for different illicit purposes,” said Haji Abdul Rahim, a tribal elder in the southern province of Kandahar.

Another elderly man, Khan Mohammad, accused pro-government militias of kidnapping teenage boys primarily for sexual exploitation.

The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) also said it had received reports of child recruitment by pro-government militias in some provinces.

“We’re seriously concerned about this,” said Hussein Nasrat, a child rights officer at AIHRC, adding that his organization was investigating the issue.

“The use and abuse of children by local armed groups is very worrying because they [pro-government militias] fall beyond the formal, legal and disciplinary structures within which the police and army operate,” he said.

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said it had not received “confirmed information” on the issue, but that it was concerned about the “association of children with such forces” due to their community-based status.

NGOs have demanded that the government and US/NATO forces stop using local militias and instead devote greater resources to developing a more professional and accountable police and army.

The International Committee of the Red Cross, meanwhile, has said the proliferation of armed actors impedes and threatens humanitarian work in Afghanistan.

Child soldiers

Children are recruited and used for military purposes by the Afghan national police, as well as the following anti-government groups: Haqqani network, Hezb-i-Islamic, Taliban, Tora Bora Front and the Jamat Sunat al-Dawa Salafia, the UN Secretary-General said in a report in April 2010.

Internally displaced and isolated children in conflict-affected areas are particularly at risk of recruitment by non-state armed groups, Radhika Coomaraswamy, a special representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, said in a February 2010 country mission report.

“The recruitment and use of children by both [anti-government] armed groups and national security forces was documented throughout the country by the UN Country Task Force on children in armed conflict between 2008 and 2010,” UNICEF’s country office told IRIN.

In addition to recruiting children as foot soldiers, the Taliban and other insurgent groups are accused of using children as suicide bombers, and forcing them to plant improvised explosives.

“Armed opposition groups continue to perpetrate grave violations against children in the context of the armed conflict,” said UNICEF, adding that the fragmentation of armed opposition groups was jeopardizing dialogue with them on the issue of child soldiers.

Poverty and unemployment are believed to be pushing children into joining armed groups. Extremely low levels of birth registration and weak identity documents are also contributing to the problem, UNICEF said.

Sexual abuse

War-related sexual violence is another issue which needs tackling, human rights organizations say.

Children, particularly boys, are sexually abused by different armed groups and `baccha baazi’ (meaning “boy play”, a paedophiliac practice) has been reported among armed forces across the country.

Despite assurances by the government that child sexual abuse will be tackled and perpetrators punished, little has been done thus far, according to AIHRC.

“This is most probably due to the social stigma attached to the issue as well as the inability of the government to fully control armed group leaders who may be perpetrating such acts,” Coomaraswamy said in her report.

As a result, cases of the sexual abuse and exploitation of children have rarely been tackled due to impunity and the weak rule of law, AIHRC said.

Children are also killed, wounded, detained, displaced and denied access to essential health and education services by the warring parties, human rights organizations say.

In the first half of 2010, 176 children were killed and 389 wounded in the conflict – up 55 percent on the same period in 2009, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan reported.

Backed by the UN and other international actors, the Afghan government says it is committed to tackling all the problems which adversely affect children in the context of war. However, human rights bodies such as AIHRC accuse the government of promising much but delivering little.  Please see the original here

January 21, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, United Nations | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

AFGHANISTAN: Deminers in the firing line

Deminers say they are widely respected as “neutral humanitarians”

KABUL, 18 January 2011 (IRIN) – Taliban insurgents and other armed groups as well as criminal gangs in Afghanistan have been deliberately targeting demining NGOs, particularly in the volatile southern provinces, says the Afghanistan NGO Safety Office (ANSO).

At least 10 deminers were killed, 23 injured and 12 abducted in 2010, said ANSO.

ANSO’s figures differed from those supplied to IRIN by the UN-affiliated Mine Action Coordination Center for Afghanistan (MACCA), which said 17 deminers were killed, 35 injured and 73 abducted in 2010.

“Most commonly it [insurgent opposition to demining activities] is simply to do with them clearing areas that the IEA [Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan] wants to leave untouched perhaps because they laid the field, or benefit from it not being usable by other forces,” ANSO director Nic Lee told IRIN.

In some instances, attacks on deminers were preceded by warnings, and sometimes “high-profile demining support vehicles” were mistaken for security targets and attacked, he said.

ANSO advises NGOs to seek security through transparent dialogue with all combatants and avoid involvement in counterinsurgency activities.

“We have not made any additional recommendations to them [deminers] specifically, other than to highlight that attacks against them account for a high percentage of NGO events,” said Lee, adding that demining organizations were professional and understood the risks they were taking.

Targeted

Attacks on NGOs in 2010 were down by 27 percent on 2009 but fatalities rose by 42 percent, and a high percentage of deaths were among deminers. Of the 28 NGO members killed, eight were foreigners and half of the remainder were Afghan deminers, according to ANSO.

“Without doubt the purpose of some attacks is precisely what it seems to be, to kill or injure NGO staff. Of the 51 cases under review here, we assess that eight (14 percent) fall into this worst of categories, but more alarmingly seven of these [attacks] targeted demining organizations. This reflects a clear and direct opposition to the work of deminers,” said an ANSO report covering the fourth quarter of 2010 seen by IRIN and due to be published on the ANSO website soon.

ANSO’s third quarter report spelt out the risks facing deminers: “The data suggests that the highest risk of kinetic attack remains towards demining NGOs who can be attacked for their perceived role in battlefield clearance as well as the superficial similarity of their vehicle convoys to those of security forces, while others are at risk of
1) accidental targeting especially with an IED [improvised explosive device]
2) circumstantial encounter with AOG [armed opposition group] at a check-post and
3) murder by AOG in a lawless area….
The data shows that the only NGO staff deliberately targeted [ANSO italics] by the IEA this year have been deminers.”

Armed violence hit unprecedented levels across the country in 2010, with an average of 800 security incidents per month, and there are no signs of it abating in 2011, ANSO said.

Demining agencies have detected and destroyed millions of landmines and other explosive remnants of war (ERWs) in Afghanistan over the past three decades but in some parts of the country landmines and ERWs still kill and maim dozens of people every month.

Over 14,000 people are working for demining organizations in Afghanistan, MACCA’s director Haider Reza told IRIN, adding that the general environment of insecurity and criminality was largely to blame for casualties among deminers.

“Respected… as neutral”

“Deminers are widely respected in Afghanistan as neutral humanitarian workers,” said Reza, adding that Taliban “supreme leader” Mullah Omar issued a decree in support of demining activities in 1996.

Farid Homayoun, director of the demining NGO Halo Trust International, told IRIN his organization was sensitive to local demands and focused on pre-2001 mines: “We closely work with local communities and only clear the areas which the local people want us to clear… We are only clearing landmines left from the Russians [1979-1989] and the internal [1992-2001] wars.”

“We don’t believe we are deliberately attacked… We’re not a target,” said Homayoun, adding that one Halo Trust deminer was killed last year and several others kidnapped but later released.

No Taliban spokesman was immediately available to comment about the group’s position on demining organizations, though demining activities were allowed under the Taliban in 1995-2001.

The insurgents are known to have used IEDs and landmines in their fight against pro-government forces, disproportionately harming civilians, according to the UN and other human rights groups.

Afghanistan is a signatory to the Ottawa Convention on Landmines and the government says it has already destroyed all its landmine stockpiles and has stopped importing and using them.

Demining agencies have set 2013 as a deadline to rid Afghanistan of all landmines. However, given the growing violence, it remains to be seen whether this target is achievable, say experts.  See the original here

January 18, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Demining, ERW, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, NGO's, Safety and Security Issues | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

AFGHANISTAN: Red Crescent wants more funding but not at any price

KABUL, 17 January 2011 (IRIN) – The Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS) is always keen to get more funding but is unwilling to take money from some major donors for fear its impartiality could be compromised.

“We don’t accept funds from donors such as USAID [US Agency for International Development] because with their money we would not be able to treat a wounded Taliban or the diseased children of a Talib,” ARCS director Fatima Guillani told IRIN.

USAID says “as part of the US Government effort” it supports the Afghan government in providing services and security for its citizens. “Long-term development thrives best in stable conditions and so USAID works as a partner to the joint Afghan-US Government counterinsurgency strategy to implement programs that improve lives throughout the country,” says USAID’s Afghanistan strategy.

ARCS with over 40,000 volunteers and 1,500 staff, has access to over 90 percent of the country, and is able to save lives and deliver assistance in areas which are inaccessible to the UN and foreign aid agencies, Guillani said, adding that it had assisted “millions” in 2010.  Read the entire article here

January 17, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, USAID | , , , | Leave a comment

New website details US aid spending

Foreign Assistance.gov

JOHANNESBURG, 29 December 2010 (IRIN)

Photo: Jaspreet Kindra/IRIN USAID intends to give agriculture in Southern Africa a big boost in 2011, according to the new US aid website

In its bid to become more transparent, the US government has launched a new “Dashboard” website to show foreign aid flows.

The US government spends more than US$58 billion a year in foreign assistance through more than 20 agencies. Total government expenditure is over three trillion (thousand billion) dollars annually.

Though the USA is the world’s largest aid donor, it devoted only 0.2 percent of its Gross National Income (GNI) to Official Development Assistance (ODA), according to 2009 figures released by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development – far short of the 0.7 percent of GNI commitment made by rich countries in 1970.

The “Dashboard”, still incomplete, only provides details of aid managed by the state and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) amounting to $37 billion. Peace and security tops the list of sectors which receive foreign assistance – nearly $11 billion. Humanitarian aid gets the fourth highest amount – just over $4 billion. Please see the original here

December 29, 2010 Posted by | State Department, USAID | , , , , | 1 Comment

GLOBAL: Mine clearance gathering momentum

By Irin at Alert Net

 

JOHANNESBURG, 26 November 2010 (IRIN) – Demining operations in 2009 cleared the largest area of land in a single year since the landmark 1999 Mine Ban Treaty (MBT) was implemented, and the lowest annual casualty rate was also recorded, said the 2010 Landmine Monitor report released on 24 November.

 

“In 2009, 3,956 new landmine and explosive remnants of war (ERW) casualties were recorded, the lowest number for any year since the Monitor began reporting in 1999… [however,] because of incomplete data collection the actual number of casualties is certainly significantly higher,” the Monitor said in a statement.

 

The Landmine Monitor, an oversight initiative by civil society, keeps a watchful eye on implementation of the MBT and compliance with its terms, which seek to end the use of antipersonnel mines by states and non-state armed groups, and destroy all stockpiles of the weapons. Its editorial board is drawn from five organizations: Mines Action Canada, Action On Armed Violence, Handicap International, Human Rights Watch, and Norwegian People’s Aid.

 

“Mine action programmes cleared at least 198 sq km of mined areas in 2009, by far the highest annual total ever recorded … resulting in the destruction of more than 255,000 antipersonnel mines and 37,000 antivehicle mines. At least 359 sq km of former battle areas were cleared in 2009, disposing of 2.2 million ERW. Eighty percent of recorded clearance occurred in Afghanistan, Cambodia, Croatia, Iraq, and Sri Lanka,” the statement said. The record clearance could be attributed to “momentum, political will and the stability of the funding mechanism [for mine action]”, Mark Hiznay, the final editor of Landmine Monitor 2010, told IRIN.

 

The Landmine Monitor noted that “International funding for mine action remained stable despite the global economic downturn. International support for mine action totalled US$449 million, the fourth consecutive year that funding has surpassed $400 million.

 

” The United States, although not a signatory to the treaty signed by 80 percent of the world’s countries, provided $119 million of the total. Afghanistan was the single largest beneficiary of mine action funds, receiving $107 million. Hiznay said most of the mine clearance in Afghanistan was humanitarian, with some demining occurring in areas where coalition forces were battling the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, but “NATO forces are more concerned by IEDs [improvised explosive devices].

 

” The use of landmines is diminishing and the only government forces thought still to use them is Myanmar, although “there were disturbing allegations of use of mines by the armed forces of Turkey, a State Party [to the MBT], which the [Turkish] government is investigating,” the Landmine Monitor said. For the first time, Russia dropped from the list of states using landmines.

 

Non-state armed groups in Afghanistan, Colombia, India, Myanmar, Pakistan and Yemen continued to employ the weapon. The destruction of stockpiles in 86 states, numbering about 45 million antipersonnel mines, was completed, but “Ukraine joined Belarus, Greece and Turkey in failing to meet their treaty-mandated stockpile destruction deadlines, placing all four in serious violation of the Mine Ban Treaty,” the Landmine Monitor noted. Survivor assistance Hiznay said victim assistance needed to improve, but acknowledged this was the hardest aspect of the MBT, as “it involves a lifetime of support and it is not just a question of handing someone a prosthetic.” Nine percent of mine action funding in 2009 was dedicated to victim assistance.

 

“While survivors know their needs and rights best, it is disappointing that survivors or their representative organizations were involved in victim assistance implementation in less than half of affected countries,” the Monitor’s Casualties and Victim Assistance Editor, Katleen Maes of Handicap International, said in the statement.

 

The Tenth Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty will be held in Geneva, Switzerland, from 29 November to 3 December 2010

November 27, 2010 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Demining | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Seven countries which had used cluster munitions yet to endorse ban

IRIN Humanitarian News and Analysis

MADRID, 3 August 2010 (IRIN) – The Convention on Cluster Munitions came into force on 1 August 2010, marking a major step towards ridding the world of the cluster bomb submunitions which can kill and maim decades after being unleashed.

According to the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC), comprising more than 350 NGOs working in 90 countries, the treaty is “the most significant international disarmament treaty since the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty banning antipersonnel landmines”.

According to CMC, the following countries have used cluster munitions: Eritrea, Ethiopia, France, Georgia, Israel, Libya, Morocco, The Netherlands, Nigeria, Russia, Saudi Arabia, former Yugoslavia, Sudan, the UK and the USA.

Of these, the UK and France* have signed and ratified the convention, while Morocco, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Serbia and Sudan have either signed but not ratified it or shown interest in signing it. The following seven* countries are yet to take any action to join it: Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Israel, Libya, Saudi Arabia and the USA.

“Campaigners around the world are celebrating a triumph of humanitarian values over a cruel and unjust weapon,” said CMC coordinator Thomas Nash.   Read the Entire Story here

August 5, 2010 Posted by | Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Iraq, NGO's, Private Military Contractors, United Nations | , , , | Leave a comment