Printable Quick Backgrounder
Landmines are silent, secret weapons. People can't see them and step on them, causing death and injury. Millions of landmines are lying in the ground in over 60 countries. Landmines claim thousands of victims each year, and many live in the poorest parts of the world.
Landmines and unexploded ordnances (also known as UXO) were originally developed for military use during times of war and conflict. However, long after these wars and conflicts have ended, landmines and UXO continue to kill and maim the individuals who live in the areas where they have been placed.
According to Landmine Monitor, there are now 15 - 20,000 casualties from Landmines every year. However, it's impossible to estimate exactly how many mines there are, or how many victims have been hurt or killed, because not all incidents are reported, and there's no way to accurately count how many millions of landmines have been placed in the ground through the years.
Landmines do more than kill and hurt people; they damage the entire life of a community. The fear of being hurt or killed by landmines often makes it impossible for refugees and displaced people to return to their homes. This prolongs suffering for everybody in the affected areas for a long, long time.
Fortunately, there are a number of United Nations organizations working to rid the world of landmines and making communities safer to live in--through detection and clearance, by assisting survivors, through education, and by banning future production. However, while progress has been made to ban and rid the world of landmines, there is much more work to be done. That's where you can help, if you want to.
In this website, Schools Demining Schools, you will find out about the use of landmines around the world, the destruction they cause, and what you can do about it. Kids like you are taking action to heal the world from these weapons.
You can start by:
·Learning everything you can about landmines and mine action.
·Questioning why they continue to be used.
·Imagining ways you might be able to help.
·Taking action by joining other children and activists around the world, who are taking "mine action." You can begin by joining this project and working with the United Nations and kids like you, to prevent landmines from further destroying the lives and communities of children around the world.
Getting involved makes a difference in the lives of those affected by landmines, and in your life as well. YOU CAN HELP!