Third Global Conference on Victim Assistance
Global Conference on Assistance to the Victims of Anti-Personnel Mines and Other Explosive Ordnance in a Disability Rights Context
The Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Cambodia to the UN Office in Geneva, the Permanent Delegation of the European Union in Geneva and the Implementation Support Unit have the honour to ask all those interested parties of the Convention community, to save-the-date for the upcoming conference. Read on!
- “Victim assistance” (VA) is the name given to the obligation to “provide assistance for the care and rehabilitation, and social and economic reintegration, of mine victims” within the framework of the 1997 Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction.
- The term ‘victim’ refers to persons either individually or collectively, who have suffered physical, emotional, and psychological injury, economic loss or substantial impairment of their fundamental rights through acts or omissions related to the use of explosive ordnance (EO). Victims include people injured and killed, their families, and communities.
- Victim assistance is not only a humanitarian issue, but a human rights matter that should be addressed in conjunction with implementation efforts under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), along with efforts to meet the Sustainable Development Goals. The CRPD connection is of extreme importance as many survivors acquire disabilities as the result of the explosion of a mine or other explosive ordnance.
- Victim assistance is therefore a cross-cutting matter and needs to include ministries, entities, and organisations that can integrate VA implementation into health, disability, education, labour, development, and social protection strategies among others.
- The third global conference will build on those hosted by Colombia (2014) and Jordan (2019). It will be hosted by Cambodia, through its Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA), thanks to financial support provided by a global project sponsored by the Council of the European Union.
- The EU global project seeks to support States Parties to the Convention to implement various aspects of their treaty obligations, including victim assistance.
- The conference will provide a platform for representatives of affected communities and survivors, disability and VA rights practitioners representing state and civil society, to discuss global challenges faced in the VA implementation.
- Inputs will result in a call for action and may feed into a new Action Plan that the States Parties are to adopt at the Fifth Review Conference in November 2025.
- The global conference is expected to gather more than 150 VA and disability/human rights experts, mine victims and survivors or their representative organisations, and health, labour, development, and other practitioners from more than 45 countries.
All States (Parties or not party to the Convention) are invited to attend as all have a responsibility for integrating persons with disabilities in their societies on an equal basis with others.
States with survivors of anti-personnel mines and/or other explosive ordnance living in territories under their jurisdiction or control, or those implementing victim assistance aspects are particularly encouraged to attend through their national victim assistance and/or disability rights experts.
As called for in the Oslo Action Plan, to “ensure the inclusion and full and active participation of mine victims and their representative organisations in all matters that affect them,” and thanks to EU support, a number of representative organisations will be invited and sponsored to attend.
At time of writing, it is envisioned that the conference will provide interpretation to/from Arabic, English, French, and Spanish.
Additional information will be made available in the upcoming days/weeks here including on the formal invitation and sponsorship for organisations’ and States’ representatives, registration, hotel, and visas.