Mine Facts: Global Landmine Crisis
• The true measure of the global landmine crisis is the impact that landmines have on mine-affected communities
• Estimates of the number of landmines deployed vary widely because the precise location of mines is not known.
• A minefield is an area suspected of containing mines – an area that is rendered uninhabitable or that cannot be cultivated or put to productive use because local populations fear entering the area.
• Tragically, fundamental human instincts and the need for food all too often compel adults and children alike to enter mined areas.
• Traditionally, antipersonnel landmines were used for military defense purposes, but increasingly they are used as offensive weapons.
• Landmines are designed to target civilian populations, disrupt people’s lives, and displace entire communities from their homes and agricultural bases.
• The purpose of landmines is to inflict maximum harm on victims and to create a state of military, political, social, and economic imbalance in war-torn societies.
• Landmines can be laid anywhere, including roads, paths, fields, buildings, waterways, bridges, forests, and deserts.
• Number of estimated landmines: 45 to 50 million.
• Number of countries affected by landmines: up to 70.
• Cost of producing a landmine: $3 to $30.
• Cost of removing a landmine: $300 to $1,000.
• Landmines are indiscriminate weapons of war — they do not distinguish between a soldier’s footstep and a child’s footsteps.
• Children are particularly vulnerable to landmines. Their small size places them closer to the source of a mine’s explosion and, consequently, they often sustain more severe injuries than adults.
• At least 75% of landmine victims are civilians.
• Over half of landmine victims die from the initial explosion of a landmine.
• One-third of landmine victims survive, but suffer the loss of at least one limb.
• A person is maimed or killed by landmines at least once every hour and as often as every 22 minutes.
• The international effort to address the landmine problem is beginning to reduce the incidence of landmine accidents.
• Cost of providing an artificial limb to a landmine survivor: $100 to $3,000.
• Estimated number of mine survivor amputees living in developing countries: 300,000.
• The consequences of landmines are felt years after hostilities cease.
• Landmine survivors suffer debilitating physical and emotional injuries.
• Families of landmine survivors, and their communities, are plagued by psychological and economic burdens.
• Landmines damage the environment.
• Landmines prevent the return of refugees and internally displaced persons to their homes.
• Landmines inhibit political reconciliation and peace.
• Landmines impede long-term reconstruction of war-torn societies.
• Landmines render fertile farmland unusable, creating food shortages and severe malnutrition.
• Landmines restrict access to medical services, safe water and food, leading to diseases.
• Landmine survivors often find themselves unable to work, to go to school, or even to take care of their basic needs.
• Reintegration of landmine survivors into their communities can be an overwhelming challenge.