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Assistance to survivors

The objective of mine action is to reduce the risk from landmines and ERW to a level where people can live safely; in which economic, social and health development can occur free from the constraints imposed by landmine and ERW contamination, and in which the victims’ different needs can be addressed. Assistance to survivors refers to all adequate age- and gender-sensitive support provided with the purpose of reducing the physical and psychological implications of their trauma, and overcoming their economic loss, social marginalization or the impairment of the realization of their rights.

Assistance to Survivors is primarily an obligation of each individual state with respect to mine and ERW victims. In addition, countries that are States Parties to the following treaties shall comply with their respective provisions on victim assistance, including: the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction (APMBC), under Article 6; Protocol on Explosive Remnants of War to the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons which way be deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to have Indiscriminate Effects (CCW), under Article 8; and the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM), under its Article 5.

The UN considers that the rights of victims and survivors should be equally protected in keeping with the principles of impartiality, non-discrimination and neutrality. It is the position of the United Nations that the basis for a holistic and integrated approach for the realization of the human rights of survivors needs to rely on effective data collection to understand the extent of the problem; emergency and continuing medical care; physical and other rehabilitation services; psycho-social support; socio-economic inclusion; and establishment of a policy and normative framework.

The UN in partnership with relevant national bodies and in collaboration with civil society to promote support for persons with disabilities that is inclusive of mine and ERW survivors. Responses are conducted in varying contexts, including in different phases of armed conflict and violence, such as emergency, stabilization, early recovery, post-conflict and long-term development or any combination of these, and sometimes may be addressed in situations of natural disasters. Approaches are adapted to address the human rights of mine and ERW victims in their specific contexts.

To learn more about how the United Nations supports assistance to survivors, read about the Policy of the Inter-Agency Coordination Group on Mine Action here.