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					          General Assembly Report On: Landmines
Report by: Stefanie Reinsch, Hieu Phung, and Jeff Stevens
Report Date: May 26, 2003

       "What will happen to my family...to my mother and father? Why couldn't I have died? It
would have been better if the mine had just killed me. Now I am useless and a burden on
everyone, including myself." - Ahmed, 13 years old. Both of his legs were blown off in a
landmine explosion.
       Imagine that you are walking across a field; knowing that if you take a wrong step your
legs could be blown off, or you could lose your life. This is the terrifying thought that thousands
of people, including children, have everyday when they go somewhere because of landmines. A
landmine is an explosive weapon planted in the ground that causes death or injury when contact
triggers trip wires or pressure switches. It is used times in war to slow down large scale enemy
attacks; however, most landmines remain active long after the fighting has stopped. A landmine
is either anti-personnel (AP), designed to maim or kill enemy troops, or anti-tank (AT), designed
to destroy enemy tanks. There are over 344 types of AP landmines that have been produced by
over 100 companies in 52 countries around the world. Today, only 16 countries produce
landmines, and they are Burma, China, India, North Korea, South Korea, Pakistan, Singapore,
Vietnam, Russia, Turkey, FR Yugoslavia, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Cuba, and the US. Although figures
vary, there is somewhere between 60 million and 110 million mines in the ground in 70 to 90
countries.
       What makes landmines so dangerous is that they are indiscriminant. They cannot
distinguish a soldier from a child. Mines cannot be aimed at a specific enemy, unlike a bullet or a
bomb, rather it targets whoever triggers its detonating system. Landmines kill or maim roughly
26,000 people per year, and 10,000 to 19,000 of the 26,000 people are civilians. Many of those
who survive the initial blast die in the fields from loss of blood or lack of transport to get medical
help. Those victims that survive usually require amputations, long hospital stays, and extensive
rehabilitative services. Survivors also have to endure a lifetime of physical, psychological, and
economic hardship. Unfortunately about one third of all landmine casualties are children.
Children usually suffer greater trauma when injured. Compared with adult landmine victims,
children have higher fatality rates, experience more serious physical damage and permanent
disabilities as a result of their injuries. Children are particularly at risk because they are curious
and adventurous; they can easily mistake a landmine for a toy or a strange object too interesting
not to investigate. Children in many developing countries also have to fulfil tasks that by
necessity take them into mined areas, such as tending to animals, getting water, or collecting
firewood. Many more lose parents or other family members because of landmines and suddenly
find themselves responsible for providing for the family.
The impact of landmines, unfortunately, goes beyond the physical injury and death of
individuals. The presence of mines can devastate a community's social and economic life. People
will not be able to use the farmland, roads, and rivers even if an area is suspected of containing
mines, therefore creating food shortages. The people will live in constant fear that they or their
children may be blown up at their next step. Landmines also inhibit tourism and other potential
investments and development opportunities in some of the world's poorest countries. In addition,
landmines hinder infrastructure development, they increase a country’s dependency on
international aid, block the delivery of relief goods to areas most in need. It can cost as much as
$1,000 to remove a single landmine, which is a price that is usually unaffordable for landmine
infested countries.
        As mentioned before, around 70 to 90 countries have a problem with landmines. The
countries with the most severe landmine problems are Afghanistan, Angola, Bosnia, Cambodia,
China, Croatia, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Kuwait, Laos, and Vietnam. Countries with lesser
mine problems include Georgia, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan,
Chad, Liberia, Mauritania, Morocco, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Falklands, Guatemala, Honduras,
Iran, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Tadjikstan, Botswana, Djibouti,
Guinea-Bissau, Libya, Malawi, Namibia, Senegal, South Africa, Tunisia, Uganda, Chile,
Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, South
Korea, India, Pakistan, Jordan, Oman, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia,
Germany, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Moldavia, The Nederlands, Poland, Russia,
Serbia, Slovenia, Turkey, Ukraine and El Salvador. Obviously, the reason that all of these
countries have land mine problems is because of some kind of war.
        The United Nations has said that the landmine situation will most likely continue to
worsen. They have recently gotten help agencies into Lebanon and Vietnam and have a
wonderful program called "adopt a landmine field". These programs have helped to reduce the
threat of people stepping on landmines by allowing people to spend their own money to put of
fences and warning signs around landmine fields. There will hopefully be less landmine
accidents because of this program. But these programs still do not reduce the landmine threat
sufficiently. For every 100,000 landmines the UN actually succeeds in removing, somewhere in
the world someone else plants 2 million more. Many countries refuse to comply with the UN’s
advice by continuing to ship more and more landmines into their countries. It usually takes hours
to clear only a few square meters of ground and the cost of clearing the landmines is crazy! A
landmine usually costs between $3 and $10 to manufacture and deploy but it costs approximately
$1,000 to clear each and every mine. Many sources have said that it will take over 1,000 years to
clear all the landmines currently in the ground. But if more landmines are put in the ground than
are cleared it will take far longer than that before the world is rid of them. We believe that the
problems will just continue to worsen in most landmine-infected countries.
       The landmine problem in Southeastern Asia, Europe, and Africa has been on a swift
down hill roll for a long time. There have been many proposed solutions to this growing
problem. There have been proposed treaties and the United Nations has allied different countries
to sweep for mines in countries where they are present. It has been a joint effort for several years
but the landmines from past conflicts and present terrorists still exist. Countries such as Egypt,
Bosnia, and Croatia are proposing many solutions to ban landmines. The Mine Ban Treaty, also
known as the "Ottawa Convention", bans the use, production, transfer, and stockpiling of
landmines and became an international law on March 1, 1999, faster than any other international
treaty in history. Since the early 1990's, a coalition of more than 1,400 organizations in over 90
countries has signed onto this treaty in hopes of completely eliminating land mines. However,
several countries have not signed on to the treaty. Non signatories include the United States,
Russia, Cuba, North and South Korea and many others. Princess Diana of Wales had also made
pushes to eradicate it by visiting war torn Angola and Bosnia to speak out against the cruel use
and abundance of the mines.
Five Main Facts
      There are an estimated 26,000 deaths and injuries every year. Approximately half are
       killed and half are injured. Virtually all survivors require at least one amputation.
      There is somewhere between 60 million and 110 million mines in the ground in 70 to 90
       countries.
      Eighty five per cent of all the injured children die before they reach hospital.
      At least 75% of landmine victims are civilians
      Landmines damage the environment, render farmland, roads, and rivers unusable, inhibit
       tourism, hinder infrastructure development, increase a country’s dependency on
       international aid, block the delivery of relief goods to areas most in need.
          COUNTRY                       Ecuador
NUMBER OF LANDMINES             60,000-80,000 landmines

        Afghanistan                      Egypt
                                 22.5 million landmines
   5-7 million landmines
          Angola                         Eritrea
  6-15 million landmines
                                  1 million landmines
        Azerbaijan                      Ethiopia
    100,000 landmines
                                   500,000 landmines
   Bosnia & Herzegovina        Falkland Islands (Malvinas)
600,000- 1 million landmines
                                   25,000 landmines
          Burundi                       Georgia
                                   150,000 landmines
     50,000 landmines
         Cambodia                      Guatemala

   4-6 million landmines            2,000 landmines
           China                       Honduras
                                   35,000 landmines
   10 million landmines
         Colombia                         Iran
                                  16 million landmines
     1,500 landmines
        Costa Rica                        Iraq
                                  10 million landmines
  1,000-2,000 landmines
          Croatia                        Israel
                                   260,000 landmines
    400,000 landmines
          Cyprus                         Jordan

     17,000 landmines              206,193 landmines
         Denmark                        Lebanon
      9,900 landmines           8,795-35,000 landmines
                                         Libya
100,000 landmines            Sudan
    Mauritania        1 million landmines
 10,000 landmines
                              Syria
     Morocco
                       100,000 landmines
200,000 landmines          Tajikistan
   Mozambique          100,000 landmines

1 million landmines         Thailand
     Namibia
                       100,000 landmines
 50,000 landmines
                             Uganda
    Nicaragua
                        50,000 landmines
 85,000 landmines           Ukraine
      Panama
                      1 million landmines
 5,000 landmines
                            Vietnam
     Rwanda           3.5 million landmines

250,000 landmines            Yemen
     Somalia           100,000 landmines
1 million landmines
                           Yugoslavia
   South Africa
                       500,000 landmines
250,000 landmines
                              Zaire
   South Korea          50,000 landmines
                             Zambia
250,000 landmines
                       100,000 landmines
     Sri Lanka
                           Zimbabwe
 25,000 landmines
                      2.2 million landmines
                                          Works Cited

Adopt-A-Minefield. Landmine Problem. 23 Oct. 2002. 16 May 2003

<http://www.landmines.org.uk/6>.



- - -. Minefacts: Landmines. 2003. 15 May 2003 <http://www.landmines.org/glc/index-glc.asp>.



Aware. Aware. 15 May 2003 <http://members.iinet.net.au/~pictim/mines/aware/page2.html>.



Clear Landmines. About Landmines. 17 May 2003

<http://www.clearlandmines.com/aboutlandmines.htm>.



Hubbard, Paul, and Joseph Wehland. Landmines-The Invisible Goliath. July 1997. 18 May 2003

<http://library.thinkquest.org/11051/>.



International Campaign to Ban Landmines. The Problem. 16 Aug. 1999. 15 May 2003

<http://www.icbl.org/>.



Landmine Monitor. Landmine Problem. 14 Dec. 2001. International Campaign to Ban

Landmines. 16 May 2003 <http://www.icbl.org/lm/2001/maps/problem.html>.



Landmine-Awareness.Org. Frequently Asked Questions. 2002. 17 May 2003

<http://www.landmine-awareness.org/faq/>.
ProfessorLandmine. Landmine Problem In The World: Geographic Location and Numbers. 18

May 2003 <http://www.professorlandmine.com/problem.html>.



Save the Children. Children and Landmines. 2003. 17 May 2003

<http://www.savethechildren.org/landmines/>.

				
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