Globally, mines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) continue to kill, injure and destroy lives and livelihoods. It is estimated that there are 11 to 12 casualties daily due to mines/ERW and, in 2011, the Landmine Monitor estimates a total of 4,286 new casualties were recorded. However, these estimates are only based upon known casualties, and it is estimated that the actual number is much, much higher.
Mines and ERW are not confined to a single part of the world and remain lethal long after a conflict has come to an end by killing or injuring innocent civilians- including men and women, boys and girls pursuing daily life activities. People generally fall victim to these weapons not out of ignorance about their presence, but because they knowingly engage in risky activities mostly due to livelihood pressure, for example through farming activities or searching for unexploded ordnance because of its scrap metal value. Most people knowingly take these risks due to situations of poverty and extreme vulnerability; the risk of getting injured is deemed lower than the risk of going hungry.
The issue of mine/ERW victims cuts across three complementary conventions, namely the Mine Ban Treaty, the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The latter is the overarching human rights treaty, the enforcement of which would encompass adherence to victim assistance (VA) as per the disarmament conventions. Victim assistance in the context of these legal instruments refers to any activity that advances the inclusion of mine/ERW victims and any person disabled through other causes, whether as a result of an accident with an improvised explosive device, a car accident or polio, to name only a few.
The goal of VA is the inclusion of survivors in society. When a person has an accident with mines/ERW, the most urgent requirement typically is medical care and rehabilitation; however, medical care and rehabilitation alone will not reach the goal of inclusion alone. Therefore, psycho-social support and socio-economic inclusion are integral components of VA as well.
This key list features general introductory VA information and key resources that highlight essential inclusive interventions such as access, medical care, rehabilitation, psychosocial support, work, education, data collection and disability legislation. We welcome your suggestions, please send comments or suggested additions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Introductory Resources (VA)
This resource presents guidance on child-focused victim assistance. The first section contains the acknowledgements, foreword, acronyms and chapters one through four outlining victim assistance introductory information, stakeholders, international standards, principles, coordination and cross-cutting issues. Another six stand-alone documents are available for the six technical components comprise data collection and analysis, emergency and continuing medical care, rehabilitation, psychological and psychosocial support, social and economic inclusion, and laws and policies. The final chapter contains resources and references that users may find helpful
"Building upon the precedents established through more than a decade of efforts to implement the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, this publication brings together over a decade of experience in efforts to assist the victims of landmines and other ERW. It aims to raise awareness among a broad range of actors working on issues and in sectors central to efforts to assist survivors and other persons with disabilities and highlights opportunities for ensuring coherence, closer cooperation and efficiency on victim assistance, ultimately with a view to achieving the greatest impact on the ground in affected communities"
This report documents the lasting economic and social impact of cluster munitions on families and communities. It also shows that these casualties occur while people carry out their daily livelihood activities in familiar places. Available in several languages, the report is written in an accessible style, and would be useful to anyone working in international disability and development and conflict situations
This website highlights updated information about cluster munitions, the Convention on Cluster Munitions(CCM), current initiatives and country specific details. Links are provided to a calendar of events, details of the coalition and related campaign resources. This website is useful for professionals and organisations seeking information about cluster munitions
This leafet advocates for international legislation against the use of landmines by describing their affect on civilian victims
This report highlights the connections between the following international treaties: the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction (The Mine Ban Treaty); the Convention on Cluster Munitions; and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). It aims to enhance the implementation of the three treaties relating to victim assistance and human rights. This report is useful for people interested in victim assistance and human rights as outlined in international treaties
“"This in-depth guidance document issued in April 2011 was developed to enhance victim assistance. It illustrates the importance of accessibility, employment and education for survivors and persons with disabilities within the frameworks of the Mine Ban Treaty, the Convention on Cluster Munitions and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities"
"This report presents the priorities and recommendations for implementation of victim assistance commitments in the context of the Mine Ban Convention, the Convention on Cluster Munitions and the Protocol on Explosive Remnants of War from an expert meeting"
23- 25 June 2009
This article describes how physical health, psychological well-being and socio-economic reintegration are all important components of a complete recovery for landmine victims
This resource is a set of recommendations for victim assistance provisions in a treaty banning cluster munitions developed by international civil society organisations in a workshop . It presents what this group believes should be included in a future treaty to ensure that its implementation will respond to the needs and rights of cluster submunition victims
This paper outlines specific elements when considering victim assistance in light of the CRPD and disability-inclusive development. It highlights the rights of survivors by ensuring improvement in their quality of life and transforming societies into being more inclusive of their diverse members, including survivors and other people with disabilities and families of casualties
"This resource presents background information about victim assistance and links to related key documents on victim assistance"
This journal article describes victim assistance and its evolution throughout the years to assist landmine victims around the world. It presents a brief introduction, describes victim assistance’s place in mine action and its achievements. It further describes new initiatives, highlights the need for collection and exchange of data, presents the funding challenges and concludes by focusing upon improved coordination
Journal of Mine Action 6.3
The factsheets were developed by Handicap International (HI) as a tool to provide concise information on what victim assistance (VA) is and on how to translate it into concrete actions that have the potential to improve the quality of life of mine/ERW victims and persons with disabilities. The factsheets target States Parties affected by mine/ERW, States Parties in a position to provide assistance, as well as organizations of survivors and other PwD, and other civil society - and international organizations.
This package consists of 12 factsheets. Six focus on a specific sector or public policy area that VA is an integral part of and the remaining six are dedicated to cross-cutting issues. With a view to promote synergies between different frameworks, each factsheet makes clear links with development sectors and issues.
The 12 topics include: Medical care, Rehabilitation, Psychological & psycho-social support, Education, Social inclusion, Economic inclusion, Gender, Empowerment, Accessibility & Access to services, Data collection, National Action Plans, Coordination, and International Cooperation and assistance
This policy paper presents background information on victim assistance in the context of landmines and cluster munitions. It describes how it is rooted in two instruments of international humanitarian law and guided by the CRPD, and reviews the current situation in terms of Handicap International’s day-to-day interventions and outlines a vision of VA that is in line with their 2011 – 2015 strategy. Overall, it aims to contribute to a common position and coherent communication on VA among Handicap International staff, whether at the operational, advocacy, communication or campaigning level and to instigate new ways of operating in order to capitalize on the opportunity presented by VA at this point in time
Following on from the Way Forward Paper, this paper is a set of three issue briefs proposing specific efforts and recommendations for informing and influencing policy to ensure mine and explosive remnants of war survivors participate in, and benefit from, disability-inclusive development. The three topics are locating and identifying survivors, improving access to services, and measuring progress on the implementation of victim assistance
This report surveys landmine survivors’ opinions on assistance. The survey includes questionnaires and data from 1,645 survivors in 25 affected countries. The report finds that survivors are rarely included in decisions and activities destined to benefit them and subsequently more than two-thirds think that their needs are not taken into account when their governments makes plans to assist them. This document is useful for people interested in landmine survivor's opinions about governments supporting and reintegrating landmine survivors into society
International conventions and plans
"The Convention on Cluster Munitions, CCM, prohibits all use, stockpiling, production and transfer of Cluster Munitions. Separate articles in the Convention concern assistance to victims, clearance of contaminated areas and destruction of stockpiles"
Dublin Diplomatic Conference on Cluster Munitions
19-30 May 2008
This convention is addressed to State parties outlining the prohibition of the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel mines and on their destruction. It outlines 22 articles on obligations, international cooperation and ground rules in which States Parties are bound to comply. It states victim assistance duties for care and rehabilitation and stresses the role of public conscience for the ban of anti-personnel mines
"The objective of this Action Plan is to ensure effective and timely implementation of the provisions of the CCM following the First Meeting of States. The Plan sets out concrete and measurable steps, actions and targets to be completed within specific time periods and defines roles and responsibilities. The actions are not legal requirements, but designed to assist States Parties and other relevant actors in their practical implementation of the Convention, and thus to support States Parties in meeting their obligations. With the adoption of this plan, states parties send a strong message on their commitment to the rapid implementation of the Convention"
States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM)
Vientiane, Lao People’s Democratic Republic
9-12 November 2010
This is a collection of articles on research, policy initiatives and case studies on the theme of access to services based upon exchanges during a seminar on access to services in Amman in December 2009. It was written by Handicap International staff, field partners and international experts. There are three sections: key concepts and references on access to services; challenging environments; and innovation to improve access. This resource would be useful for practitioners and policy makers interested in access to services for people with disabilities.
This guide promotes better accessibility for persons with physical disabilities in Uganda by providing information for constructors or developers to build accessible environments. It presents information about how to construct standard ramps, toilets, lifts, road in addition to wells, furniture and more. These accessibility standards are useful for Architects, policy makers and implementers on accessibility requirements during the design and implementation of construction projects
This report presents research about efforts to meet the needs and uphold the rights of persons with disabilities in four thematic areas: health care, rehabilitation, work and employment, and accessibility and enabling environments. Research findings are drawn from the experiences of landmine and cluster munition survivors and other persons with similar needs in 33 countries experiencing armed conflict or emerging from armed conflict or political or economic transition. Findings are placed within the context of relevant articles of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the World Report on Disability
This manual provides guidance on the design and building of barrier-free emergency shelters that are used by all people within a community following a natural disaster, such as a flood or landslide. It provides information with examples of the essential aspects to consider when designing and building barrier-free emergency shelters, such as ramps, toilets, cooking areas, waterpumps and shelters. Recommendations are also highlighted to ensure accessible environments for people with specific disabilities. The information for this manual is based upon a 'Mainstreaming disability and people with disabilities into disaster management in Nepal' project, which was implemented by Handicap International in December 2007. This manual is useful for people interested in the design and building of barrier-free emergency shelters
This policy paper defines accessibility and presents the operational strategy of Handicap International in this area. It details types of intervention, targeted objectives and activities, as well as providing tools and a bibliography for reference. This policy paper is useful for organisations, programmes and projects that are interested in accessibility issues
This report was produced for the UK Department for International Development's (DFID) Disability Knowledge and Research Programme. Disability statistics in low-income countries have so far largely comprised impairment-based prevalence figures. It is argued that prevalence in itself is of limited interest and that there is a need for data that can describe, analyse and compare the situation among individuals with disabilities, as well as contribute to increased knowledge about the link between disability and poverty. By using the conceptual scheme inherent in the ICF (international classification of functioning, disability and health) model, an alternative approach to disability statistics may be developed. As an alternative to dividing the population into disabled and non-disabled, activity limitation and/or restrictions in social participation can be measured as a continuous variable among all regardless of the presence of any impairment. We thus have two different approaches for developing disability statistics, and it is argued that they will both provide useful information
This publication is aimed at assisting national statistical offices and other producers of disability statistics to improve the collection, compilation and dissemination of disability data. The document addresses methodological issues in the area of disability by providing guidelines and principles related to data collection, through surveys and censuses and also on the compilation, dissemination and usage of data on disability.
These regional reports are the primary focus of the International Disability Rights Monitor (IDRM) project and have been compiled by local IDRM researchers. Each report focuses upon several key areas such as legal protections, education, employment, accessibility, and health and housing services for people with disabilities. The reports include a detailed report on each country and a report card that compares the progress made by countries across the region. Reports are available on the Americas, Asia and Europe, as well as two thematic reports, in downloadable pdf format. They are useful for people interested in research on disability and development
This guidebook seeks to serve as a reference book to assist people and organizations trying either to create a mine/Explosive Remnants of War victim information system or enhance an existing system. It consists of data, surveys and interviews from a broad range of resources across countries and regions affected by landmine use. It includes case studies from Azerbaijan and Bosnia and Herzegovina
This website highlights the activities of the Landmine Monitor, an initiative providing research for the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) and the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC). It contains updated information about the Mine Ban Treaty and the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Links are provided to several publications including the annual Landmine Monitor, cluster munition reports, country specific factsheets and maps. This website is useful for people seeking current information about Mine Ban Treaty and Convention on Cluster Munition initiatives
Disability Laws and Policies
This paper is a World Bank organisational learning tool designed to provide a review and commentary on the relevance of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The purpose is to assist World Bank staff with supporting implementation activities. The articles that make up this document aim to operationalize World Bank protocols, legal obligations and benchmark specific principles. This practical resource would be useful for those working in the field of disability and development, in particular those working towards legislative reform
This CD-ROM presents reference publications, web pages and websites selected in connection with the theme of disability rights and policies. The aim is to expand on the eight introductory chapters of the booklet. Each chapter provides both theoretical references to help clarify important concepts and approaches and resources that stem from practical experience to support project development and implementation
This toolkit raises awareness around the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and aims to mobilise support for its ratification. It is a practical guide divided into 3 sections, covering general information about the convention; ratification advocacy tools; and media tools. Essentially this is a step-by-step guide for planning a ratification campaign in different contexts, containing sample letters, publicity materials and other useful resources. The handbook would be of use to anyone with an interest in promoting disability rights
DPI, an international cross-disability human rights organization has put together this practical toolkit to support implementation campaigns for the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The toolkit supports a previous DPI 'Ratification Toolkit', also available free online. The toolkit is an accessible and practical guide for anyone interested in disability rights and social development. It provides a clear introduction to the aims of the Convention along with practical suggestions for translating this treaty into policy, planning and practice. Each section of the toolkit comes with exercises designed to support understanding of the Convention and how it can be applied to different contexts
This document was created for the Convention on Cluster Munitions Conference (Oslo, December 2008). It provides a list of reference documents to implement victim assistance programmes in line with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
This website provides information about Making it Work (MIW), a global multi-stakeholder initiative to promote effective implementation of the Convention for the Right of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The initiative aims to collect and exchange examples of good practice and to use this to influence policy development in line with the CRPD. The MIW website highlights general information about the initiative and specific information about exisitng MIW projects and reports. It provides access to a series of user-friendly tools and resources to support practitioners working in the field of disability and development. The MIW Guidelines are available in downloadable pdf format in English, French and Spanish. A resource library is provided with links to CRPD-related information, disability and development topics and a news archive. This website is a useful tool for anyone working on disability rights issues
This website offers suggestions on how to include people with disabilities in national poverty reduction strategies (PRS). It comprises an impressive range of general background information, links, resources and tools on key issues regarding PRS, disability and project and process management, in addition to tools on advocacy and lobbying
This report provides recommendations to support stakeholders involved in creating and updating national action plans on victim assistance throughout the period 2010-2014. The recommendations are in accordance with the Cartagena Action Plan and other international humanitarian and human rights standards. The report provides a background on victim assistance and highlights recommendations using six key elements. This report is useful for countries affected by mines/explosive remnants of war (ERW), survivors, disabled persons’ organisations (DPO) and other civil society representatives, international organisations and countries committed to international cooperation
This website is about the UN's disability programmes and focuses on rights, international standards and declarations, such as the World Programme of Action. Thematic issues covered include accessibility, promoting the rights of disabled people, mainstreaming disability and development, and building the capacity of disabled people's organisations. There are also links to disability databases and other disability organisations
This article discusses the Ottawa Convention’s victim assistance obligations. It is useful for people interested in victim assistance policies and laws. Updated 2016.
This report looks at how non-governmental organisations (NGOs) can help school systems in developing countries become more inclusive. It shares experience of developing tools and approaches that have improved education for the most excluded children in society. Taking examples from 13 countries around the world it describes case study programmes that: target specific groups of vulnerable children; build inclusive school communities; promote change throughout an education system; and address financial barriers to inclusive education. This report will be of interest to policy-makers, managers and advisers in government, donors and NGOs, and to education students
This booklet provides young people's perspectives of inclusive education based upon the findings of Young Voices, an inclusive education project in primary, secondary and vocational schools in Uganda and Tanzania. Students with and without disabilities participated in the Young Voices activities. The booklet highlights the issues raised about inclusive education policy, attitudes, behaviour, resource allocation and environmental issues. It contains students’ photos, drawings and quotations to illustrate their responses. It is useful for people interested in inclusive education issues in Eastern Africa
Emergency and long-term medical care
These guidelines provide a series of resource tables for essential trauma care that detail the human and physical resources that should be in place to assure optimal care of the injured patient at a range of health facilities throughout the world. The health facilities range from rural health posts, to small hospitals staffed by general practitioners, to hospitals staffed by specialists, to tertiary care centres. They also offer a series of recommendations on methods to promote such standards including training, performance improvement, trauma team organisation and hospital inspection.
The guidelines are a collaboration between the World Health Organization, the International Society of Surgery and the International Association for the Surgery of Trauma and Surgical Intensive Care
This manual provides guidance for policymakers on the issue of prehospital trauma care systems. The main areas covered include the organisation of the prehospital trauma care system, capacity development, data collection, transportation and communication, as well as ethical and legal considerations
This expansive facilitator's guide deals with psychosocial interventions concerning multiple causes of trauma such as HIV and AIDS and post-conflict situations. The guide offers technical advice to the implementor which is usefully augmented by diagrams, ideas for games and other useful interventions
This manual is a guide to psychosocial interventions to help people cope with the emotional effects of disasters. Some are direct responses to the trauma of disasters, while others are longer-term responses. Even more than the physical effects of disasters, the emotional effects cause long-lasting suffering, disability and loss of income
This is a practical manual about mental health care, aimed at community health workers, primary care nurses, social workers and primary care doctors. It describes more than 30 clinical problems associated with mental illness, using a problem-solving approach to guide the reader through their assessment and management. It addresses the lack of understanding of mental health among many health workers
Regional or Country Specific
This factsheet offers concise information on the degree to which African countries have used cluster munitions and their current level of involvement in the Oslo process
Includes references to over 24,000 materials about international rehabilitation research conducted outside the USA. Most of the references include abstracts or links to the full text of the material. The database offers a detailed search facility allowing users to select broad, narrow or related search terms from a detailed thesaurus, as well as specify geographical region, language, or year of publication of materials. A very useful database, materials indexed are mainly articles from a wide range of journals including 'Disability and Rehabilitation', 'Asia and Pacific Journal on Disabilty', and 'International Journal of Rehabilitation Research'. In addition to indexing from mainstream journals and internet sites, CIRRIE also includes citations to resources not readily available to U.S. researchers
This handbook looks at the activities used in the GTZ (German Agency for Technical Co-operation) pilot project called "Rehabilitation through sports activities for children and young people in war-affected countries". The project aimed to strengthen disabled children both physically and mentally by promoting their rehabilitation, social integration and capacity for self help. The handbook provides basic guidelines for the implementation of sports and games as a means of rehabilitation and integration, building on the experiences from workshops in Angola and Cambodia, which tested 12 games. It includes an evaluation sheet that can be adapted and used
This article describes the challenges of providing landmine victims and other disabled persons in developing countries with the support and services they need to recover. The author explains that a holistic approach to rehabilitative care is necessary and applies this principle to community-based rehabilitation
This report aims to highlight good practices, strategies, tools and operational methods that guarantee the sustainability of projects that support access to funding mechanisms and the self-employment of people with disabilities. More specifically, the study focuses on the use of microcredit enterprises and grants for the start-up and expansion of microenterprises. Developed in partnership with a diverse range of organisations of/for people with disabilities and microfinance providers, the report highlights the significant exclusion of people with diabilities from mainstream microfinance institutions and subsequently presents two solutions: firstly to develop schemes that promote the inclusion of people with disabilites; secondly to develop financial services by organisations of/for people with disabilities themselves. This report would be of relevance to anybody working in the fields of international development, disability or microfinance
This report shares practices and tools that support the equal access and inclusion of persons with disabilities to livelihood services by exercising their social and economic rights and potential. Based upon experiences of a project in Cambodia, the document is divided into the following three sections: the project context; the methodology, tools and practices of the individual support provided to persons with disabilities and mine victims; and cross-cutting issues, such awareness raising, gender approach and partnerships. This report would be useful for disabled people organizations (DPO), government offices and representatives, local, national and international organizations and cooperation agencies
"This policy paper applies the mandate and values of Handicap International to inclusive employment activities. It sets out the benchmarks for Handicap International’s actions, choices and approaches and seeks to ensure consistent practice between the organisation’s programmes while taking into account the different contexts in which they operate. It is intended as a guide for teams working in this sector of activity. It defines the themes, explains how these activities fit into the organisation’s mandate, identifies the target populations and defines modalities of intervention (standard expected outcomes, standard activities) as well as monitoring and evaluation indicators"
This paper aims to close the gap in knowledge and culture between the disability and the micro finance communities. Resource-based theory is applied to analyse when microcredit for disabled persons is an appropriate tool and when it is not. General recommendations are provided for the inclusion of disabled entrepreneurs, as well as lists of recommendations that are both easy to understand and to apply for micro fiance institutions, disabled people's organisations and donors. This paper is useful for academics, professionals and organisations interested in micro finance for people with disabilities in developing countries