You’ve seen the devastating effects of landmines in Windy Borman’s documentary “The Eyes of Thailand.” What most people don’t realize is that landmines are still posing a threat to millions of civilians, and in Mosha and Motala’s case elephants, everyday around the globe.
Here are some little known facts about landmines:
- Around 4,000-5,000 people were maimed or killed by landmines last year alone
- There are tens of millions of landmines in the ground in 78 countries
- 30-40 percent of mine victims are children under 15 years old
- The United States has 10.4 million Anti-Personnel Landmines (APLs) stockpiled, the third largest mine arsenal in the world
- Landmines cost as little as $3 to produce and as much as $1,000 per mine to clear
- Landmines have injured and killed thousands of U.S. and allied troops in every U.S.-fought conflict since World War II, including recently in Iraq and Afghanistan
- U.S.-made or supplied APLs have been found in 32 countries, including Afghanistan
- Landmines are indiscriminate killers that target civilians long after a conflict has ended. Most kinds of landmines last forever. Mines laid during WWII are still killing and maiming civilians
- At the beginning of the 20th century, nearly 80 per cent of landmine victims were military personnel. Today, 90 per cent of landmine victims are civilians
- Landmines set in motion a series of events that leads to environmental damage in the forms of soil degradation, deforestation, pollution of water resources with heavy metals and altering entire species’ populations through degrading habitats and altering food chains
Stay tuned for more in this bi-weekly Guest Blog series from the U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines and Handicap International U.S.