Landmines

Antipersonnel landmines are still being laid today in war and conflict zones. Combined with those mines laid in past conflicts, these weapons are indiscriminate killers of civilians and soldiers alike.

  • It is estimated that there are between 15,000 and 20,000 new casualties caused by landmines and unexploded ordnance each year, which means about at least two new casualties per hour.
  • A landmine blast causes injuries like blindness, burns, destroyed limbs and shrapnel wounds.
  • Sometimes the victim dies from the blast, due to loss of blood or because they don’t get to medical care in time.
  • Those who survive and receive medical treatment often require amputations, long hospital stays and extensive rehabilitation.
  • These injuries are no accident, since landmines are designed to maim rather than kill their victims.
  • Landmines deprive people in some of the poorest countries of land and infrastructure.
  • More than 75 countries are affected to some degree by landmines and/or unexploded ordnance.
  • Some of the most contaminated places are Afghanistan, Angola, Burundi, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Cambodia, Chechnya, Colombia, Iraq, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

But there is hope! In 1997 a Mine Ban Treaty came into force after much international campaigning. It is one step in towards a solution to this devastating problem, though both the causes and effects of the use of landmines will take many years to address.

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