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.
- background on the problem of landmines from the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL)
- background on the solutions to landmines from ICBL
- MAPW policy on landmines