Committee on Victim Assistance

Posted on September 19, 2014

Update – 26 November 2014 (Convention’s ISU)

“On Monday 24 November, the Convention’s Committee on Victim Assistance briefed representatives of States Parties on Maputo Action Plan commitments to ensure that measurable improvements have been made in the well-being and the guarantee of the rights of landmine victims, in time for the Convention’s Fourth Review Conference in 2019. At the briefing, the ISU presented a conceptual tool to assist the States Parties in meeting their commitments by 30 April 2015, a date which coincides with the Convention’s deadline for the submission of annual transparency reports.

The Committee on Victim Assistance

States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty have a 15 year history of adapting the workings of the Treaty to changing circumstances in order to better facilitate Treaty implementation processes.  In this way, in 2014, States Parties took the decision to establish new committees including the Committee on Victim Assistance.

The Maputo Review Conference outcome documents include the following information about the new Committee on Victim Assistance and its mandate:

The Committee on Victim Assistance will be composed of a representative group of four States Parties, serving overlapping two-year terms. Each year, the Committee will select a chair among the States Parties serving the second year of their two-year terms. The Chair of the Committee will be responsible for convening and chairing meetings, issuing communications on behalf of the Committee and directing the Implementation Support Unit to assist the work of the Committee.

Working methods
The Committee will draw on the expertise of the ICBL and ICRC and involve them in its work, as observers, as well as invite other States Parties, the United Nations and other relevant international and non-governmental organisations to participate on an ad hoc basis. The Committee will strive to reach general agreement in all aspects of its work.

• Building upon the solid foundation the States Parties have constructed on the issue of victim assistance, the purpose of the Committee on Victim Assistance is to support States Parties in their national efforts to strengthen and advance victim assistance, in particular in States Parties with mine victims in areas under their jurisdiction or control.
• In doing so, the Committee will ensure balance between ongoing discussions on pertinent aspects of victim assistance within the framework of the Convention itself, and taking the discussion on meeting the needs and guaranteeing the rights of mine victims to other fora where relevant and related issues are debated.

• The mandate of the Committee on Victim Assistance is to carry out the following:
» a.» Provide advice and support in a cooperative manner to States Parties in the fulfillment of their commitments under the Maputo Action Plan, draw observations in consultation with the States Parties concerned and assist these States Parties in making their needs known.
» b.» Present conclusions and recommendations, following consultations with the States Parties concerned, at intersessional meetings if need be, Meetings of the States Parties or Review Conferences, including on progress, achievements and challenges, in order to strengthen victim assistance.
» c.» Take other relevant initiatives to facilitate discussion on ways and means of enhancing victim assistance and to ensure the wellbeing of mine victims.
» d.» Raise awareness, in relevant fora, of the importance of addressing the needs and guaranteeing the rights of mine victims in broader domains such as health care, disability and human rights, development, poverty reduction, and employment, drawing from the breadth of understandings agreed to by the States Parties on victim assistance.
» e.» Remain transparent and accountable, including by reporting on activities at both intersessional meetings and Meetings of the States Parties or Review Conferences.


Banner image: ‘Standing Committee on Victim Assistance’ (c) Convention’s ISU.

Posted in: VA processes