Georgia Murphy from the Victorian SafeGround group attended the launch of One Step at a Time at “The Venny”, Kensington, Victoria, last week.
Below are some of the latest facts and figures which SafeGround have published about landmines.
As of October 2014, 56 states and four other areas were confirmed to be mine-affected. Every day, nine people are killed or suffer horrific injuries because of landmines and other explosive remnants of war. It is estimated that there are 110 million land mines in the ground around the world right now. Mine and explosive remnant of war casualties occur in every region of the world, causing an estimated 15,000 – 20,000 injuries each year.
Most affected countries:
Egypt (23 million)
Angola 9-15 million
Iran 16 million
Afghanistan 10 million
Iraq – 10 million
China – 10 million
Cambodia – up to 10 million
Mozambique – 2 million
Bosnia – 2-3 million
Croatia – 2 million
Somalia – 1 million
The Mine Ban Treaty is a legally binding international agreement that bans the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of landmines and places obligations on countries to clear affected areas, assist victims and destroy stockpiles. It is one of the worlds most widely accepted treaties with 80% of countries are party to the treaty.
SafeGround is now researching and documenting the impact of explosive remnants of war in the Pacific region.
Nine Pacific Island states are still contaminated by massive amounts of World War Two ordnance, nearly 70 years after the war ended.
Like landmines, not only do remnants of war pose an explosive risk to communities, the weapons are corroding, leaking dangerous chemicals into sea and soil. This legacy has both a human and environmental effect, limiting farming, damaging industry and tourism, and perpetuating the poverty cycle.