The Slovenia Times

Foreign Ministry raising awareness on Landmine Day


The ministry's members rolled up their trouser legs to symbolically lend a leg and express their solidarity with mine victims.

They also pointed out that mine action continued to kill or injure people even decades after the end of war conflicts since emplaced landmines and explosive remnants only get more dangerous with time.

"What could be activated only by an armoured combat vehicle in the past can be set off by a children's play nowadays," said the Ministry.

ITF - Enhancing Human Security, the Slovenian-run demining fund, called on individuals to participate in the campaign, saying that every person could contribute to the ultimate goal of a world without landmines.

Assistance to mine victims is one of the most important aspects of humanitarian aid in the field, which requires increasingly more funding both by countries affected and foreign donors, the fund added.

Noting that funding was decreasing, ITF said assistance to mine victims required skills and professional competences and did not include only medical rehabilitation, but also psychosocial and socio-economic support.

Among more than 7,000 recorded mine victims in 2017, almost 90% were civilians, nearly half of them children. Humanitarian aid is often blocked in mine-affected areas, with refugees being dissuaded from returning to their homes after the end of military conflicts.

The United Nations' International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action is observed on 4 April every year and strives to eliminate the threat of remaining active landmines against people's security, health, and lives.

Everybody can contribute to raising awareness by rolling up a trouser leg and sharing a photo of that on their social media under the hashtag #LendYourLeg, said the Ministry.

Slovenia was one of the first countries to ratify the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, also known as the Ottawa Treaty. The convention was opened for signing in 1997 and turned effective in 1999, thus celebrating the 20th anniversary this year.

So far, 164 countries have become parties to the treaty.


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