Eclectic Curiosity

Posted on June 23rd, 2003, by Steve Hardy in Archives, Uncategorized. No Comments

Support the removal of landmines around the world simply by purchasing a wickedly funny book of cartoons, Get Your War On by David Rees.

Mine Facts: Global Landmine Crisis

The Problem

• 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.

Landmine Survivors

• 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.

Socio-Economic Toll

• 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.

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