SAVE THE CHILDREN: Child Landmine Survivors

Have just read this report. Here is a small quote from it:

“Typical landmine injuries in children include loss of limbs, injuries to the genital area, loss of sight and hearing, as well as psychological shock and emotional distress. Children continually risk encountering landmines as they go about their daily lives, working in fields, herding animals, fetching water, playing or going to school. For example, in Cambodia in 1994 three girls were severely injured by mines when playing volleyball on a playing field.The natural curiosity of children leads them to stray off clear paths and explore their surroundings, often with deadly results.

Most at risk are refugee or displaced children returning home, as they lack knowledge of dangerous local areas and often do not understand that the ordnance or mines left behind by retreating armies can maim or kill. For example, there are currently 37,000 Cambodian refugees in Thailand waiting to return home to the heavily-mined areas of Samlot, Samroung and Anglong Veng.

In children, the loss of a limb causes special problems.The rapid growth of their bones means that pros- theses have to be regularly refitted and new amputations may be necessary. Injuries to the genital area and urinary tract often require specialized surgery that may not be available locally.

However, many of the problems facing mine-injured children are similar to those facing all children with disabilities, particularly in countries where health services are damaged, inadequate and under-funded.All these children face the challenge of social reintegration, as well as the psychological problems that can arise from humiliation, rejection, and depression about the loss of life opportunities.”



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