Clearing Cluster Munition Remnants 2021

Authored by: Nick Cumming-Bruce, Rula Daoud, Alex Frost, and Lucy Pinches

Categories: Conflict Prevention, Global Public Health, Human Rights, Humanitarian Emergencies
Sub-Categories: Access to Justice and Rule of Law, Climate and Environment, COVID-19, Economic Recovery, Human Development, International Law, Migration, Peacemaking, Post-Conflict Reconstruction
Region: No Region
Year: 2021
Citation: Cumming-Bruce, Nick, Rula Daoud, Alex Frost, and Lucy Pinches. "Clearing Cluster Munition Remnants 2021." The HALO Trust. September 2021.

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Executive Summary

Mine Action Review has launched Clearing Cluster Munition Remnants 2021, its seventh annual report monitoring progress in global cluster munition remnant clearance and analysing performance of national programmes.

According to Clearing Cluster Munition Remnants 2021, a global total of 135.1 square kilometres was cleared of unexploded submunitions in 2020, a new annual record. This is an exceptional achievement given the backdrop of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the public health management of which has impacted negatively on operations in several countries. More than 110,000 unexploded submunitions were destroyed globally during clearance, survey, and spot tasks in 2020.

This brings the total number of unexploded submunitions cleared globally since the Convention became legally binding in 2010 to more than 1 million, with more than 900km2 of cluster munition-contaminated area cleared. As well as saving countless lives and limbs, an untold number of communities have been freed from the fear of unexploded submunitions through cluster munition clearance, and a significant contribution has been made to development through the handing back of land for safe and productive use.

Four of the world’s most heavily contaminated States–Lao PDR, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Iraq–again saw the greatest clearance during 2020, together accounting for 95% of recorded global output.

This is in large part thanks to the methodology for the survey and clearance of cluster munition remnants which has significantly improved over the last decade, with high-quality evidence-based survey being increasingly employed to good effect, enabling the effective targeting of clearance and efficient use of resources.