Take action to get rid of landmines!

The placement of landmines is a reality of modern warfare and particularly worrying because it is difficult to warn people of their unknown locations. The distressing reality of landmines is their existence after a war conflict. Landmines due to their size and characteristics can be hidden almost anywhere, in a field, mountains, near a well; all prime areas in which children may play or visit. Landmines continue war, even when peace is declared.

In 1999, the Mine Ban Treaty was agreed; the international agreement that bans antipersonnel landmines. The treaty is the most comprehensive international instrument for ridding the world of the scourge of mines and deals with everything from mine use, production and trade, to victim assistance, mine clearance and stockpile destruction ( find out more about this treaty here). However, not all countries have signed the treaty, and many have signed it but are not complying with its laws. There are hundreds of campaigns taking place across the world to ban the use of landmines and also to detonate existing landmines. The campaigns include governments, non-governmental organizations and ordinary citizens. Get involved in the campaigns here!

From Mines to Vines: Founded in 1997, Roots of Peace works with the vision to transform minefields into thriving farmland. In 2002 Roots of Peace began working in the Shomali Plains in North Kabul, Afghanistan, replacing landmines with fields of grapes and raisins. During summer 2003 Roots of Peace funded 315 Afghan de-miners who successfully removed over 100,000 landmines and other remnants of war. Roots of Peace also works in Cambodia and Iraq.

The International campaign to ban landmines (ICBL) is a worldwide campaign to ban landmines. The campaign consisits of more than 1400 NGOs in 90 Countries. It calls for universal agreement to the Mine Ban Treaty compliance with the provisions of this treaty, and increased and sustained resource commitments (e.g., government, international financial institutions, etc.) for mine clearance, mine risk education and victim assistance, and for stockpile destruction.

'Adopt a minefield' transforms landmine areas into productive liveable areas (using the UN identification for minefields in need of urgent clearence). Sponsors raise funds in communities to clear adopted minefields.

Children campaigning to ban landmines!During August 2004, in Japan, a convention of 1300 Japanese youth and also others from countries littered with landmines such as Afghanistan, Angola, Cambodia, Djibouti and Laos met for the "Ban Landmines! International Children's Conference." The conference aimed to encourage young people to not only exchange views but also action strategies concerning problems of landmines.

The children's conference will feed in to the Narobi Summit happening from 29 November to 3 December 2004 of this year. The Nairobi Summit on a Mine-Free World is the name given to the First Review Conference of the Mine Ban Treaty. Five years after the treaty was adpoted, the convention will review the implementation of the treaty and will seek to end the suffering caused by antipersonnel mines - by prohibiting their use, requiring the destruction of existing stockpiles, and obliging States to clear mined areas and assist victims.

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