4th commemorates the International Day for Mine Awareness. The campaign brings to light the destruction and human suffering antipersonnel landmines have caused. Often used in war antipersonnel landmines are activated when the victim steps on the explosive device, and causes great injury of even death. Often not detonated during a war they lie dormant for years and even decades under, on or near the ground until a person or animal triggers them. Antipersonnel mines are not bias and do not distinguish between a soldier or a civilian, between an adult or a child. Check out a map after the break showing where most landmines are located.
According to the website Lendyourleg.org most antipersonnel landmines are made of plastic, metal or other materials and contain explosives or shrapnel. “They can be activated by direct pressure from above, by a tripwire, or even simply by the proximity of a person within a predetermined distance. Some landmines are designed to maim, some to kill. When triggered, a mine unleashes unspeakable destruction. The blast can cause blindness, severe burns, destroy limbs, and generate devastating shrapnel wounds. Sometimes people who trigger mines die due to loss of blood or because they don’t get to medical care in time. Those who survive and receive medical treatment often need amputations, long hospital stays, and extensive rehabilitation.”
Most victims suffer foot and leg injuries as they step on the landmine. The “Lend Your Leg Campaign” works with the The International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) – a global network, in more than 90 countries that “works for a world free of antipersonnel landmines and cluster munitions, where landmine and cluster munition survivors can lead fulfilling lives. Here is map showing the countries most effected by landmines.
Both celebrities and global leaders and many many citizens have joined online with one goal: to ban the use of landmines. The Ban Landmine Treaty in fact is the main goal of the campaign. The treaty is officially titled: the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction and is the most comprehensive international instrument to work towards a landmine free world. The treaty would ask participating states to do these (80 % of the Worlds states already agree):
1. never use antipersonnel mines, nor to “develop, produce, otherwise acquire, stockpile, retain or transfer” them;
2. destroy mines in their stockpiles within four years;
3. clear mined areas in their territory within 10 years;
4. in mine-affected countries, conduct mine risk education and ensure that mine survivors, their families and communities receive comprehensive assistance;
5. offer assistance to other States Parties, for example in providing for survivors or contributing to clearance programs;
6. adopt national implementation measures (such as national legislation) in order to ensure that the terms of the treaty are upheld in their territory.
By lending your leg, participants can virtually join a great voice that shouts: NO MORE LANDMINES. I lent mine, I was leg 2012, what number are you?