All posts by Lia Morese

4 APRILE

Schermata 2018-04-02 alle 10.06.38

Video messaggio del Segretario Generale delle Nazioni Unite Daniel Craig in occasione della Giornata Internazionale dedicata al problema degli ordigni inesplosi e al sostegno alla Mine Action.

Il secondo è un video messaggio del testimonial Antonio Guterres  in occasione della Giornata Internazionale dedicata al problema degli ordigni inesplosi e al sostegno alla Mine Action.

 

 

FIRMA ANCHE TU

sdf

Schermata 2018-03-29 alle 17.06.44

CLICCA SULL IMMAGINE QUI SOPRA PER FIRMARE

In molti soffrono per causa delle mine antipersona e per le cluster bombs che causano morte e sofferenza. Il 94% delle vittime sono civili di questi il 40% sono bambini. Mettiamo fine alle speculazioni sulla pelle dei bambini.
Nel rapporto “Worldwide Investments in Cluster Munitions; a shared responsibility” curato dall’organizzazione Olandese PAX. (Maggio 2017) emerge che tra il 1 ° giugno 2013 al 17 marzo 2017 166 istituzioni finanziarie/banche sono state identificate come investitrici a favore dei 6 maggiori produttori di munizioni a grappolo nel mondo.
131 Miliardi di dollari sono stati investiti in produttori di munizioni a grappolo.
Il nostro Paese ha aderito a tutte e due le convenzioni di messa al Bando Mine e cluster bombs ma per impedire concretamente che operatori finanziari abilitati ( Banche, Sicav Società di risparmio) possano investire in produttori di questi ordigni indiscriminati c’è bisogno che la legge S 57 bis , “Misure per contrastare il finanziamento delle imprese produttrici di mine antipersona, di munizioni e submunizioni a grappolo”venga approvata con urgenza e senza bisogno di essere ripresentata in base all’articolo 136 del Regolamento del Senato .(Nuova deliberazione richiesta dal Presidente della Repubblica-capo xvii -di alcuni procedimenti speciali)
Approvato dall’Assemblea della Camera dei Deputati ( C.4096) il 3 ottobre 2017 con votazione nominale a scrutinio simultaneo: favorevoli 389, contrari 0, astenuti 3, votanti 389, presenti 392, in data 27 ottobre 2017 è stata rinviata alle Camere dal Presidente della Repubblica con messaggio motivato per una nuova deliberazione ai sensi dell’articolo 74 della Costituzione indicando un vulnus costituzionale al Comma 2 dell’art 6.
Assegnato in data 07 novembre 2017 alla VI Commissione Finanze e Tesoro del Senato (S.57 BIS) è stato emendato al fine di recepire l’appunto di nota di rinvio alle Camere apportando un emendamento al Comma 2 dell’art 6 (Sanzioni) della legge:
Originariamente il comma 2 dell’art 6 (Sanzioni) indicato nella nota Presidenziale riferiva:
1. I soggetti che svolgono funzioni di amministrazione o di direzione degli intermediari abilitati o che, per loro conto, svolgono funzioni di controllo, i quali non osservino i divieti di cui all’articolo 1, sono puniti con la sanzione amministrativa pecuniaria da euro 50.000 a euro 250.000.
Il medesimo – a seguito di riesame post rinvio- è’ stato variato da un solo emendamento premettendo le seguenti parole:
2.«Salvo che il fatto costituisca reato», i soggetti che svolgono funzioni di amministrazione o di direzione degli intermediari abilitati o che, per loro conto, svolgono funzioni di controllo, i quali non osservino i divieti di cui all’articolo 1, sono puniti con la sanzione amministrativa pecuniaria da euro 50.000 a euro 250.000.
La Commissione Finanze e Tesoro ha iniziato l’iter il 7 novembre 2017 ed ha concluso l’esame in data 13 dicembre 2017 ma il Ddl S 57 Bis non è stato ammesso alla calendarizzazione d’Aula del Senato a causa dell’imminente scioglimento Camere.
Attualmente la legge di ratifica della Convezione di Messa al Bando delle Cluster Bombs L. 95/2011 con l’art. 7 comma 1 (Sanzioni) prevede che:
«Chiunque impiega, fatte salve le disposizioni di cui all’articolo 3, comma 3, sviluppa, produce, acquisisce in qualsiasi modo, stocca, conserva o trasferisce, direttamente o indirettamente, munizioni a grappolo o parti di esse, ovvero assiste anche finanziariamente, incoraggia o induce altri ad impegnarsi in tali attività, è punito con la reclusione da tre a dodici anni e con la multa da euro 258.228 a euro 516.456».
La medesima legge però non stabilisce né indica i meccanismi di controllo e vigilanza delle attività di finanziamento svolte abitualmente dagli intermediari finanziari ( Banche, Fondi Sicav) garantendo così una condizione di assenza di vigilanza con una grave zona d’ombra ed impunità.
Approfittando di questa zona d’ombra e vuoto attuativo le banche ed agli altri intermediari finanziari rimangono praticamente in grado di autoregolarsi e decidere se costruire profitti notevoli in violazione concreta alle ratifiche delle Convezioni ratificate dal nostro Paese ed ai divieti già in essere.
Questa legge impedirà di speculare finanziariamente su ordigni che causano la morte ed il ferimento di civili, anziani, donne e bambini che muoiono ogni giorno anche a causa dell’avidità alla base di alcune scelte e speculazioni.
Il Ddl S 57 bis definisce tecnicamente le modalità di controllo degli intermediari autorizzati quali ( Banche, SGR, SIM, SICAV). Modalità di controllo necessarie in assenza delle quali si legittima di fatto una zona franca a favore degli intermediari finanziari autorizzati rispetto la piena attuazione di quanto previsto dalla legge 95/2011.

Aiutaci ad ottenere che questo Ddl già deliberato all’unanimità nella precedente legislatura divenga definitivamente legge dello Stato come primo atto della XVIII legislatura , firma e fai firmare la petizione.

FIRMA ANCHE TU

Villaggio per la Terra

Schermata 2018-03-20 alle 15.40.45

Dal 21 al 25 aprile 2018 a Roma
Terrazza del Pincio – Galoppatoio di Villa Borghese

La manifestazione ambientale più partecipata d’Italia 5 giorni di sport, concerti, esposizioni, mostre, convegni, spettacoli, laboratori didattici, attività per bambini e buon cibo

#waiting4villaggioperlaterra
#VillaggioPerLaTerra18
#iocitengo
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Russia Backs Syria in Unlawful Attacks on Eastern Ghouta

Schermata 2018-03-19 alle 18.11.08

(Beirut) – With Russia’s continued support, the Syrian government is using unlawful tactics in its assault on Eastern Ghouta, including what appears to be the use of internationally banned weapons, Human Rights Watch said today. There are significant concerns about how government forces will treat residents in areas that come under its control, given past reports of reprisal executions.

The UN Security Council should urgently demand a United Nations monitoring team be granted immediate access to areas of Eastern Ghouta, now under government control. The team should document any crimes already committed; their presence may deter further violations. They should also visit sites to which the government is transferring Eastern Ghouta residents, as there are significant concerns about their treatment. If Russia again vetoes council action, the UN General Assembly should call for the immediate deployment of monitors.

“Instead of just watching while the Syrian-Russian military alliance annihilates Eastern Ghouta, the UN Security Council should act to put a stop to these unlawful attacks,” said Lama Fakih, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “If Russia again tries to protect the Syrian government by preventing council action, the General Assembly should demand monitors for Ghouta’s residents. For weeks these people endured starvation and bombardment and now they’re at risk of detention and even execution.”

Eastern Ghouta, a suburb of Syria’s capital, Damascus, and home to an estimated 400,000 civilians, has been under attack by the Syrian-Russian military alliance since February 19. Syrian government forces have besieged Eastern Ghouta since 2013, severely restricting humanitarian aid in violation of the laws of war and preventing civilians from leaving. The alliance has bombarded Eastern Ghouta, failing to distinguish between civilian and military targets, hitting residential areas, hospitalsschools, and markets. According to the Ghouta United Relief Office, at least 1,699 residents have been killed since February 19.

On March 17, Human Rights Watch received a distress call from a member of the Syrian Civil Defense who told Human Rights Watch that he and 19 colleagues, five of whom are wounded, have been surrounded by government forces. According to him, in addition, there are 90 members of the Syrian Civil Defense and their relatives trapped in a second location, and they are all requesting safe passage to non-government-held areas. He said they fear retaliation, including summary execution, when the government takes the area.

After government forces retook Aleppo, Human Rights Watch and the United Nations received reportsof reprisals and mass executions. Human Rights Watch has not been able to verify the Aleppo reports and has not yet documented reprisals against Eastern Ghouta residents who have come under government control, but it has previously reported mass executions of civilians by Syrian government forces in areas that have come under their control.

The UN General Assembly’s landmark decision in December 2016 to establish a quasi-special prosecutor mechanism for Syria was prompted by outrage at the way Russia prevented the council from taking action to protect civilians during the brutal Syrian-Russian operation to retake Aleppo.

On February 24, the Security Council passed a resolution calling for a 30-day ceasefire in Eastern Ghouta, to allow in humanitarian aid and stop indiscriminate attacks on civilians, as required by international law. But the resolution was never fully implemented and the council has taken no action. Russia, which shares responsibility for violations committed by joint operations of its military alliance, has used its veto 11 times to shield Syria from accountability.

There is evidence that Syria’s operation with Russia in Eastern Ghouta involves the use of internationally banned weapons, including cluster munitions, incendiary weapons, and chemical weapons.

Human Rights Watch spoke to three witnesses who said that on March 7, 2018, the military alliance attacked residential areas in al-Hammouriyeh with ground-launched and air-dropped cluster munitions, among other munitions. According to local doctors and first responders, at least 20 residents died in the attack. Human Rights Watch examined photos of weapon remnants taken by a local media activist at one of the strike sites and identified the munition as an OTR-21 “Tochka” surface-to-surface, short-range tactical ballistic missile. A first responder told Human Rights Watch that there were several consecutive attacks with cluster munitions that day, including in al-Hammouriyeh, but that he could not recall precise details of their location because he had responded to many such attacks. He said the Syrian Civil Defense rescued more than 40 victims that day.

There is evidence that cluster munitions have been used in several attacks on Eastern Ghouta in March. Photographs shared by Syria Civil Defense of weapons remnants from a reported attack on March 11 show unexploded AO-2.5RT submunitions delivered in RBK-500 cluster bombs. A witness to an air attack on Hammouriyeh on March 7 gave Human Rights Watch a photograph of a AO-2.5RT submunition he said was left over from the attack. Human Rights Watch has documented Syrian government use of banned cluster munitions since 2012.

Syria Civil Defense reports that at about 11:48am on March 16, air-dropped incendiary munitions were used on the Eastern Ghouta residential area of Kafr Batna, killing at least 61 and wounding more than 200. It said that most victims were women and children who were burned alive. Photographs and video provided to Human Rights Watch by doctors, and publicly available, show at least 15 bodies with serious burns.

Photographs reported by the Syrian Civil Defense to have been taken immediately after the attack show multiple small fires burning brightly, indicating the possible use of ZAB submunitions which are delivered by Soviet or Russian-made RBK-500 bombs.

Since November 2012, Human Rights Watch has documented civilian harm from Syrian government use of air-dropped incendiary weapons. Attacks using air-delivered incendiary weapons in civilian areas are prohibited under Protocol III of the Convention on Conventional Weapons, which Syria has not ratified.

Doctors in Eastern Ghouta told Human Rights Watch that they have treated symptoms of chlorine use from multiple attacks, including on February 25 in Chifouniya, March 7 in al-Hammouriyeh, and on March 11 in Arbin. Human Rights Watch has not independently corroborated the use of chlorine in these strikes but has previously documented use of chlorine as a chemical weapon in Syria, including during the government’s operation to re-take Eastern Aleppo. Syria acceded to the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention in 2013.

As Syrian government forces entered the town of al-Hammouriyeh on March 14, there was a frenzied aerial bombing campaign, witnesses said. Among the casualties was Ahmad Hamdan, a media activist and resident of al-Hammouriyeh, reported to have been killed by an airstrike. One witness told Human Rights Watch that on March 14: “I was trying to escape with my family, and I saw an entire family get blown up in front of my very eyes. I immediately turned back and took my children back to the basement.”

As government forces retake territory in Eastern Ghouta, civilians have started to evacuate. On March 15, Syrian and Russian media livestreamed the evacuation of what was claimed to be 12,000 residents from al-Hammouriyeh crossing to government-held areas. Human Rights Watch reviewed the footage which showed many people leaving. According to one witness and media reports, residents who have moved into areas under government control are being transported to sites around the enclave, including camps and schools, where they are being screened.

International law unequivocally prohibits summary and extrajudicial executions. In situations of armed conflict, combatants are legitimate targets as long as they take part in hostilities, but deliberately killing injured, surrendered, or captured soldiers (those hors de combat) would constitute a war crime. Any evacuation must be safe and voluntary, and protected by guarantees of security and non-reprisals. Civilians are entitled to protection whether they choose to leave or stay in an area, and parties to the conflict should not block civilians from leaving. Parties must allow impartial humanitarian relief reach civilians in need, regardless of whether the civilians have an option to leave.

The Syrian government should verifiably guarantee that the fundamental rights of individuals who were living under the control of non-state armed groups in Eastern Ghouta will be respected and protected, in particular when they are subject to security screenings and in detention. Authorities should ensure that the screening process is limited to a period of hours rather than days, and that anyone held longer is treated as a detainee and afforded all protections to which detainees are entitled under international law. No one should be presumed to be a combatant based on age or gender absent individualized evidence of criminal wrongdoing. The authorities should allow UN and other independent monitors access to all screening and detention centers.

“For every hour that a potential Russian veto prevents any decisive action by the UN Security Council, civilians on the ground in Eastern Ghouta are facing a real threat of reprisals,” said Fakih “The least the Security Council can do now is to deploy monitors to offer some protection for civilians. If the council can’t do so, the General Assembly should act as it did for Aleppo.”

https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/03/18/russia-backs-syria-unlawful-attacks-eastern-ghouta

Newsletter n.1/2018

Schermata 2018-03-14 alle 17.02.13

L’ANGOLO DEL DIRETTORE

Non chiamateli effetti collaterali.

Il 1 febbraio si è celebrata la prima edizione della Giornata Nazionale delle vittime civili delle guerre e dei conflitti nel mondo, istituita con legge dello Stato 25/01/2017 n°9.

Come Campagna Mine abbiamo condiviso il sostegno alla legge che ne ha istituito la celebrazione promossa dall’Associazione Nazionale Vittime Civili di Guerra (ANVCG) ottenendo questo importante riconoscimento, felici di poter portare la nostra testimonianza di ambito internazionale come parte della ICBL-CMC alla prima celebrazione della Giornata partecipando alla Conferenza “Stop alle bombe sui civili”.

Riteniamo che, coerentemente con quanto espresso dai Trattati sul disarmo come la Convenzione di Ottawa sulla messa al bando delle mine, la Convenzione di Oslo sulle Munizioni Cluster ed ora anche del Trattato per la messa al bando delle armi nucleari, al centro del nostro lavoro, al cuore delle nostre attività devono esserci sempre le vittime, di tutte le guerre e di tutti i conflitti, come ricordato dal titolo della Giornata Nazionale.

L’evoluzione della natura dei conflitti, come ho avuto modo di descrivere durante la Conferenza, ha dimostrato il grande fallimento di leggi e norme, che non tutelano nel concreto i civili. Purtroppo, infatti diversi Paesi, i gruppi non statali, i gruppi terroristici, molti tra i ribelli ed i rivoluzionari abdicano al principio di umanità prima che a qualsiasi altro tipo di legge e non si sentono vincolati da Trattati né da altri principi di consuetudine. Questo ha reso le comunità “drasticamente vulnerabili” come definite dal Presidente della Repubblica Mattarella, ma l’eleganza della diplomazia mal si accorda con le sofferenze umane di chi è vittima inerme.

“Drasticamente vulnerabili” può essere tradotto agli occhi di chi quelle pene le soffre nel paradosso di un’elegante biasimo internazionale vuoto e privo di conseguenze per i carnefici. In sintesi, poco o niente.

Non riesco ad immaginare il peso in chilogrammi degli studi, linee guida, raccomandazioni, risoluzioni etc. di cui a rotazione Paesi che pongono veti incrociati fanno virtuale carta straccia da tirare in faccia ai civili sopravvissuti sbeffeggiandoli. I civili colpiti, in fondo, sono solo “effetti collaterali” secondo principi di proporzionalità di cui nessuno conosce l’esatto coefficiente. I barbari sono meno diplomatici uccidono e poi negano, bombardano e poi disconoscono l’errore. Le coscienze si anestetizzano in fretta …

Se non proviamo ribrezzo per questo sistema, ammettiamolo i malati siamo noi.
Estendendo lo spazio di riflessione e non limitando il ragionamento alle vittime di conflitto, vulnerabili siamo tutti, perché ad essere preso di mira è il principio di umanità, che subisce attacchi su più fronti e livelli.

Giuseppe Schiavello

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Giornata Internazionale delle Donne

festa donna-3

Comunicato stampa
Giornata Internazionale delle Donne: il momento di agire è ora!

(Roma 8 marzo 2018): Time is now, il momento è ora! Il momento di cambiare la vite delle donne ovunque esse siano. Questo il motto scelto dall’Ente delle Nazioni Unite (UN Women) per celebrare la Giornata Internazionale delle donne.

“Per noi agire ora per trasformare la vita delle donne significa chiedere a gran voce la fine delle violenze di genere e dell’uso dello stupro come arma di guerra durante i conflitti” afferma Tibisay Ambrosini coordinatrice di Stop Rape Italia membro della International Campaign to Stop Rape and Gender Violence in Conflict1.

La violenza sessuale durante i conflitti rappresenta una strategia di guerra in grado non-solo di colpire la singola persona, ma di distruggere tutta la comunità. È un fenomeno sottostimato, poco denunciato a causa della stigmatizzazione a cui sono spesso sottoposte le vittime o della paura che queste provano nel denunciare personale in uniforme, ma la mancanza di denunce non significa assenza della violenza. Come riportato a seguito della recente missione in Sudan della Rappresentante Speciale del Segretario delle Nazioni Unite Pramila Patten la cultura della negazione alimenta la cultura del silenzio che molto spesso porta le vittime di questo crimine a non denunciare e a non cercare assistenza.

Questa tattica “terroristica” consiste nel mettere in atto un insieme di azioni e comportamenti che vanno dalle offese verbali di carattere sessuale allo stupro, gli stupri di gruppo, la schiavitù sessuale, la prostituzione forzata, le mutilazioni genitali, la sterilizzazione e le gravidanze forzate, l’inserimento di oggetti nelle parti intime delle vittime così come le uccisioni provocate da colpi sparati al loro interno, il tutto collegato direttamente o indirettamente ad un conflitto armato e al desiderio di annientamento psicologico e fisico del nemico.

“Lo stupro come arma di guerra è stato largamente impiegato ad esempio contro le donne della minoranza Rohingya, vittime due volte, per essere donne e per appartenere ad una minoranza. In molti casi gli stupri, anche di gruppo, venivano compiuti unitamente ad altri atti di violenza, crudeltà ed umiliazione, espressione di una vera e propria logica dell’annientamento, della pulizia etnica” prosegue Ambrosini.

“Purtroppo, questa tortura non risparmia neanche le bambine ed i bambini” afferma Giuseppe Schiavello direttore della Campagna Italiana contro le mine, associazione che ha curato l’avvio di Stop Rape Italia “la Siria purtroppo è un esempio di come gli abusi sui minori siano un’arma per umiliare, ferire e far pressione sui genitori considerati ribelli affinché si costituiscano o rilascino una confessione forzata. I bambini vengono trattenuti in centri di detenzione ufficiali e non, insieme agli adulti, dove avvengono violenze annoverate tra le “sei violazioni gravi” dal Consiglio di sicurezza dell’Onu. Del tutto insufficiente l’impegno internazionale per mettere fine a questo scempio.” conclude Schiavello.

Nella Giornata Internazionale delle Donne vogliamo essere la voce di tutte le donne, madri, mogli, figlie, che hanno subito e stanno subendo queste atrocità durante i conflitti. Raccontare le storie di chi ha avuto il coraggio di parlare. Donne nella condizione più vulnerabile, che hanno perso tutto anche il senso del futuro, che non solo non devono “essere lasciate indietro” ma a cui deve essere garantito accesso alle cure psicologiche e fisiche, ai servizi, alla giustizia comprensivo di risarcimento. Farlo è un prerequisito per la costruzione di un future in pace.

Per interviste
M. Tibisay Ambrosini 34971049619 t.ambrosini@campagnamine.org www.stoprapeitalia.it

1 –  La International Campaign to Stop Rape and Gender Violence in Conflict nasce nel 2012 dalla volontà della Nobel Womens’s Initiative una piattaforma composta da alcune Donne Nobel per la Pace (Jody Williams, Shirin Ebadi, Tawakkol Karman, Mairead Maguire, Rigoberta Menchù, Leymah Gbowee, Wangari Maathai, Betty Williams) per rispondere alla diffusione sistematica dello stupro durante i conflitti.

Sri Lanka bans cluster bombs

Schermata 2018-03-02 alle 16.18.39

Sri Lanka officially renounced cluster bombs yesterday when it joined the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Congratulations! The instrument of accession to the Convention was deposited at the United Nations headquarters in New York, and the Convention will enter into force for Sri Lanka on 1 September 2018.

“I’m proud of this demonstration of leadership by my government,” said Vidya Abhayagunawardena, head of the Sri Lanka Campaign to Ban Landmines. “This sends a clear signal to others in South Asia: cluster bombs do not belong in the arsenals of modern armies. They are outdated, indiscriminate, unacceptable weapons.”

Sri Lanka had officially announced in September 2017 that it agreed “on principle” to join the Convention. Sri Lanka has participated as an observer in every Convention’s meetings since 2011, and in December 2017 it voted in favor of United Nations General Assembly resolution 72/41 that calls on states outside the Convention to join as soon as possible.

Sri Lanka is not known to have produced or exported cluster munitions. It has repeatedly denied allegations that its armed forces used cluster munitions in the 2008–2009 operation against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

In South Asia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal and Pakistan must still join the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

http://www.stopclustermunitions.org/en-gb/media/news/2018/sri-lanka-bans-cluster-bombs.aspx

Operazione Parakram

Schermata 2018-02-23 alle 10.59.38

Yeshua Moser-Puangsuwan while interviewing an insurgent about mines used by his group in Myanmar

Antipersonnel minefields have never discouraged an attacker despite the fact that mines constitute a psychological hazard, according to a recent study by Indian Centre for Land Warfare 

A research coordinator with Landmine & Cluster Munition Monitor, Yeshua Moser-Puangsuwan has worked in a dozen countries, spending most of his life in Southeast Asia. In 1995, he co-founded the Thailand Campaign to Ban Landmines and has been associated with the Monitor since its inception in 1998. Since 2005, Yeshua has worked for Mines Action Canada, providing ban policy research coordination to the Monitor for Asia, the Pacific, and Middle East and North Africa regions, and on Non-State Armed Groups globally.

A co-founder of the International Action Network on Small Arms, he also serves voluntarily as a consultant to the International Peace Bureau and on the grant making Advisory Board of the International Nonviolence Trainers Fund of the AJ Muste Institute.

Here’re the edited excerpts from his interview with the National Herald:

Q: When did the world wake up to the landmine crisis and what has been India’s response to it since then?

A: The International community began to seriously discuss the global landmine crisis in the mid-1990s. In 1996 the UN General Assembly passed a resolution urging states to vigorously pursue an international agreement banning anti-personnel mines. India voted in favour of that resolution, however, since 1997 when the Mine Ban Treaty came into existence, India has remained outside it. This is a surprising choice for the world’s largest democracy, given that now 80 per cent of governments in the world have joined this treaty.

Q: How do you examine the main reasons provided by Indian diplomats in explaining it’s position?

A: India has stated it has abstained and remains outside the global landmine ban due to the lack of “the availability of militarily effective alternative technologies that can perform cost effectively the defensive function of antipersonnel mines”. This is a surprising explanation for abstaining, since certainly Indian military engineers are aware that such technologies already exist.

Q: And what are those alternatives?

A: Trip flares serve the same function as an anti-personnel mine detonation it alerts soldiers to a possible crossing of an area by someone or animals. Trip flares have the added advantage of illuminating the area in the dark. As they are nonlethal they do not have the humanitarian consequences of anti-personnel mines, which can and do regularly kill or maim civilians and soldiers in India. Other alternatives to anti-personnel mine fields which exist are a combination of other weapons, such as command detonated mines combined with more intensive patrolling practices which eliminate the humanitarian consequences of anti-personnel mine fields. India should certainly benefit from the rich experience available within the 163 nations who have joined the mine ban treaty, and who do not use anti-personnel mines along their borders, many of whom have similar concerns of long rugged borders and irregular cross border movement, smuggling and insurgency.

Q: Does India need landmines to deter incursion by armed militants, especially in Jammu and Kashmir?

A: Has this proved effective? Mines laid long ago along the Line of Control (LoC) were in the ground during the rise of the insurgency in the 1990s as well as during its subsequent decline- it seemed to have no clear impact on the increase or decrease of militant activity. The role existing mines played in suppressing insurgency is speculative at best. However, what is clearly measurable, and reported in the Landmine Monitor’s annual report on India, is that hardly a month goes by without reports of deaths or injuries to Indian soldiers or civilians due to anti-personnel mines laid — many of them Indian made — along the LoC in Kashmir. In the past 5 years, despite continuing Indian military and civilian casualties in these mine fields, the Indian government has not reported even one insurgent casualty. A recent Indian Centre for Land Warfare study found that, “Anti-personnel minefields have never prevented an attacker from assaulting an objective despite the fact that anti-personnel mines-constitute a psychological hazard.

On the contrary, they impose restrictions on the defending force as the defender is conscious of the fact that the area concerned is mined and tends to avoid the same. In conflict after conflict, own minefields have impeded the movement of friendly forces and resulted in fratricidal accidents. In many instances,patrols were frightened of using the ‘‘safe lanes’’ through minefields and patrolled up to the minefield edge and no further, thus reducing rather than enhancing the security of the position. Yet we continue to lay them.”

Q: Indian Army planted landmines along its Pakistan border in Rajasthan, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir following a terrorist attack on its Parliament in 2001. What have been the consequences?

A: The largest known use of antipersonnel mines, by any government since the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty came into existence, was India’s deployment of hundreds of thousands of anti-personnel mines along the international border during Operation Parakram in December 2001. Land forces were mobilized on a large scale and mine-laying covered a huge parcel of agricultural land along the border, thereby disrupting the lives of lakhs of Indian citizens. According to an April 2005 report of the Lok Sabha Standing Committee on Defence, the Indian Army suffered 1,776 casualties while laying and removing its minefields on the border between December 2001 and April 2005.

The total number of civilian casualties remains unknown. However, an Indian NGO survey in 2004 counted at least 1,295 civilian casualties from Operation Parakaram-laid mines. Despite many rounds of manual and mechanical mine clearance, by 2004 the Army declared that at least 3 lakhs of its mines planted along 400 kilometres of the international border in Punjab and Rajasthan were untraceable, and proposed that the area be permanently cordoned off.

This needs to be seriously reflected upon. If Pakistan were held responsible for a military attack which killed and maimed a combined total of 3,000 Indian officers and citizens, what would India’s military response have been? When India’s military activities and defense policy causes the same number of casualties, what has its response been? This damage was not inflicted by a terrorist group or by an enemy; it was the outcome of the Indian Army’s unquestioned reliance on mine warfare.

Q: A recent Monitor report claims that India continues to be the third largest stockpiler of anti-personnel landmines. Does it also export these antiquated weapons?

A: India has a very large antipersonnel landmine stockpile. Precise amounts are unknown, but is likely one of the largest in the world, especially since the US and China have been destroying many of their anti-personnel landmines. While India has stated that it has not exported its anti-personnel landmines, that does not appear to be the case. Declaration and destruction of landmine stockpiles by Mine Ban Treaty signatories is required, and five of them have reported Indian-made mines in their stockpiles during destruction: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Mauritius, Sudan, and Tanzania.

Q: What is India’s current position on the Mine Ban Treaty?

A: India frequently highlights in its statements the fact that it joined the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on Conventional Weapons, a limited regulatory measure on anti-personnel landmines. The Optional Protocol does not remove the hazard posed by antipersonnel mines or the humanitarian cost associated with the use of antipersonnel mines. But since 1997, India has repeatedly abstained from voting in favour of an annual UN General Assembly resolution in support of the global landmine ban. During the past two decades, India has regularly attended, as an observer, meetings of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty. India has also regularly delivered a statement which has noted that the Mine Ban Treaty’s humanitarian goal has universal appeal, and that India supports a world free of landmines. It is time to act on that appeal. India needs to undertake a public policy debate on its stand on the global landmine ban, and that debate must include the voices of India’s many civilian landmine casualties.

NO ONE LEFT BEHIND!

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“Linee Guida per la disabilità e l’inclusione sociale negli interventi di cooperazione 2018”

20 Febbraio  11.30 – 13.00

INCONTRO STAMPA

presso la SNA (Scuola Nazionale dell’Amministrazione) in  Via Maresciallo Caviglia n. 24  - Sala eventi 1 – piano terra

Alla  conferenza stampa per il lancio del documento interverranno:

-       Laura Frigenti, direttrice AICS (Agenzia Italiana Cooperazione allo Sviluppo)

-       Luca Maestripieri, Vice Direttore DGCS – MAECI

-       Mina Lomuscio AICS (Comitato editoriale)

-       Maura Viezzoli Link 2007 (Comitato editoriale)

La Cooperazione Italiana è da sempre attenta alla promozione e protezione dei diritti delle persone con disabilità. Sulla scorta del lavoro svolto nell’ultimo decennio, le presenti Linee Guida intendono fornire un quadro di riferimento aggiornato sulle policy, indicare approcci e strategie, e fornire raccomandazioni utili per includere la tematica dei diritti delle persone con disabilità nell’ambito degli interventi della cooperazione italiana. Le linee guida sono volte alla promozione dei diritti delle persone con disabilità negli ambiti della formazione, dell’accesso al lavoro, alla salute e all’educazione.

Intendono accompagnare tutti gli attori della cooperazione (Organizzazioni della società civile, Istituzioni, mondo imprenditoriale, Università etc.) nel rafforzare le organizzazioni delle persone con disabilità, nel fare advocacy sui diritti delle persone con disabilità, nel proteggerle dalla violenza. Sono basate sulla centralità della persona umana e sulla valorizzazione e inclusione delle persone con disabilità nell’ambito di società e comunità che promuovono le pari opportunità.

Il documento è stato redatto dal gruppo di lavoro *composto da vari attori italiani impegnati nel settore nel  periodo maggio-settembre 2017 e ha lo scopo di dare indicazioni affinché gli interventi siano orientati all’eliminazione o alla riduzione delle barriere di diversa natura,  culturali, strutturali, o ambientali, che possano ostacolare l’accesso ai diritti delle persone con disabilità di natura fisica, mentale, sensoriale e/o intellettuale, in linea con l’obiettivo “no one left behind”   dell’Agenda 2030.

 

*AICS, DGCS/MAECI, RIDS, Link 2007, Agenzia per l’Italia Digitale, AOI, Global Forum on Law Justice and Development WB, CINI, Conferenza Universitaria Nazionale dei direttori di Scienze della Formazione, Forum Terzo Settore, INAPP, Ministero della Salute, MIUR, Ministero del Lavoro e delle Politiche Sociali, Presidenza del Consiglio Ministri. 

Syria: Landmines Kill, Injure Hundreds in Raqqa

Schermata 2018-02-13 alle 12.34.03

(Beirut, February 12, 2018) – Homemade landmines have killed and injured hundreds of civilians, including more than 150 children, in Raqqa, Syria since the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) was pushed out of the city in October 2017, Human Rights Watch said today.

ISIS had planted the antipersonnel mines when it controlled the city. They include devices often called booby traps or improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Most appeared to be victim-activated and therefore banned under international law.

“The defeat of ISIS in Raqqa was heralded as a global international victory, but international support for dealing with the aftermath of the battle, and notably the deadly legacy of mines, has not risen to the challenge,” said Nadim Houry, terrorism/counterterrorism program director at Human Rights Watch. “Explosive devices have already killed and injured hundreds of civilians, but these numbers will most likely increase as more people return.”

During a visit to the city in late January 2018, Human Rights Watch collected information from the Kurdish Red Crescent and international medical organizations working in the area. They found that between October 21, 2017 and January 20, 2018, mines injured at least 491 people, including 157 children, many of whom died. The actual number of victims is surely higher, as many people have died before reaching any medical assistance and those deaths were not necessarily reported.

Some members of the anti-ISIS coalition have donated funds for demining efforts, notably for clearing “critical infrastructure.” But local authorities in Raqqa and medical providers expressed concerns about the limited effort to clear residential areas and said there was a shortage of demining equipment and expertise. The situation has led Raqqa residents to pay local people, who are often ill-equipped, to risk their lives to demine homes.

According to local authorities, more than 14,500 families had returned to Raqqa, notably to neighborhoods on the outskirts of the city, like al-Meshleb, by December 20, 2017. The authorities expect that substantial numbers of people will continue to return, despite the high level of mine contamination and the limited services available in the heavily damaged city.

The Raqqa Civilian Council, which is in charge of the city, issued a directive on November 21 urging people not to return to their homes before neighborhoods had been cleared of mines and other explosive devices. However, many local residents whom Human Rights Watch interviewed said that they had returned to check on their homes despite the risks because they feared looting or wanted to avoid remaining in camps for the displaced.

Residents said that relatives and neighbors were injured by explosives that detonated when they opened their refrigerator or washing machine, moved a large bag of sugar left behind, or simply pushed open a bedroom door. These accounts show that most of the victims were injured or killed by victim-activated improvised explosive devices, rather than by explosives detonated by a vehicle or by remote-control.

Victim-activated devices that explode due to the presence, proximity, or contact of a person fall under the definition of an antipersonnel landmine and are banned by the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, which prohibits any use of antipersonnel landmines under any circumstance. Even if labeled as improvised explosive devices or booby traps, such mines are prohibited by the Mine Ban Treaty, which Syria has not joined.

According to one demining organization working in Raqqa, a common switch or detonator used by ISIS relied on passive infrared sensors, an electronic sensor that measures infrared light radiating from objects in its field of view and detonates when a person merely passes through a particular area. The group noted that such improvised mines have been found in “building doorways, under stairwells, debris piles, roadside, rubble piles and even buried in open fields.”

The United States and other members of the anti-ISIS international coalition, including the United KingdomGermany, the Netherlands, and France, have provided or promised support for demining efforts, particularly to clear “critical infrastructure sites” while training local residents to take the lead in clearing residential areas. But the local demand for demining is far outstripping existing services.

A member of the Raqqa Civilian Council indicated that families could ask their local neighborhood council to request an inspection of their homes before returning, but that the ability to respond did not meet the demand. In just one Raqqa neighborhood, the local council reported receiving about 10 requests for house inspections a day, while they said that the local authorities’ ability to respond is about 10 clearance tasks a week across the entire city.

The discrepancy has driven many local residents to simply pay someone to clear their homes. During its visit, Human Rights Watch saw young men waiting at a roundabout to offer their services to inspect houses and remove rubble, at great risk to their own lives. One local resident said that he paid 25,000 Syrian pounds (about US$50) for a man to check his house. “It’s like playing Russian roulette, but these young men are desperate for money,” the resident said.

Some efforts to educate residents about the mine risks were visible in the city, with posters at key intersections and on administrative buildings. But many residents were still taking a risk by returning.

International donors should make mine clearance and mine risk education a priority to protect people from these avoidable deaths and injuries, Human Rights Watch said. Countries bordering Syria should facilitate access for demining organizations and for humanitarian assistance to survivors.

“Visiting Raqqa, one is struck by the discrepancy between the international support to militarily defeat ISIS and the very timid support to deal with the aftermath,” Houry said. “If the situation does not change, the ISIS legacy of landmines will continue to kill for years.”

Human Rights Watch is a founding member of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, which received the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts to bring about the Mine Ban Treaty and for its contributions to a new international diplomacy based on humanitarian imperatives.

https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/02/12/syria-landmines-kill-injure-hundreds-raqqa