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An Anatomy of a Landmine Blast: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

16.1.1 – Number of direct civilian deaths and injuries from explosive weapons, disaggregated by gender and age

Case Study

There was one civilian injury from this landmine explosion. The victim, who lost her right leg from the knee down, was a 12-year-old girl. Within the region, government figures say that between 2015-2019 there were five civilian deaths by antipersonnel landmines and 120 injuries. Other unexploded ordnance detonations were equally as common but far more deadly, claiming 45 civilian lives and injuring 85. Although even combined this is fewer than the number of IED civilian casualties; 102 killed and 342 injured.

In 2017, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas experienced the bulk of landmine casualties in Pakistan – 270 of 469 (58%). In contrast, the heavily mined Pakistan-administered Kashmir region saw just seven casualties – a reflection of how the area is fenced and signposted with no civilian access according to the Sustainable Peace and Development Organisation (SPADO).

Global

The number of new landmine and explosive remnants of war casualties was 5,554 in 2019 – with at least 2,170 killed and 3,3357 injured. Children made up 35% of all casualties, when the age group was known. Males made up 85% of casualties when the sex was known. When it comes to exclusively antipersonnel landmines, the ICBL data recorded 7,331 casualties – but this is not disaggregated based on victim status, age or gender. 

“Landmine clearing in Siem Reap” by ILO in Asia and the Pacific (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.)

16.2.1 – Number of indirect civilian deaths and injuries from explosive weapons, disaggregated by gender and age

Case Study

Attributing indirect deaths and injuries to a single occurrence of explosive violence is inherently difficult. UNIDIR defines indirect deaths and injuries as those ‘resulting from a loss of access to essential goods and services as a consequence of explosive weapons use’. In this incident, Faiqa and her family are unlikely to suffer a loss of access to essential goods as a consequence of the landmine detonation. 

Global

Landmine contamination can lead to indirect deaths in a number of ways. Firstly, food security can be destroyed, either by damage to agricultural land or to transport networks. The latter also can precipitate a lack of access to vaccinations and health facilities in general. This is a particularly acute problem considering areas with landmine contamination have been shown to have higher rates of waterborne diseases, diarrhea, malnutrition, infectious diseases, and spread of HIV associated with the increased use of blood. According to the study, those at highest risk of these later consequences are mostly the disadvantaged poor, especially children.

These issues shall be explored in more depth in subsequent indicators.

The links between landmine contamination and indirect public health issues is laid out below.

Summary of the most important (probable) indirect public health consequences of landmines in Afghanistan. Marnie Fraser.

Report continues:

Chapter 4: SDG 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities
Chapter 5: SDG 3 – Good Health and Well-Being
Chapter 6: SDG 4 – Quality Education
Chapter 7: Other Considerations
Conclusion and Recommendations