Why Landmines Are Still a Problem
In 2016, an average of 23 people around the world lost their life or limb to a landmine or another explosive remnant of war, every day.
That means over 8,605 people were hurt or killed in 2016.
Still some 61 countries and areas around the world are contaminated by landmines and thousands of people continue living with a this daily threat of losing their life or limb.
In addition, emplaced landmines deprive families and communities of land that could be put to productive use, such as agriculture. They maintain a sense of insecurity long after conflicts end, delay peace processes, and impede countries’ development for years.
Though the majority of states worldwide the world have renounced landmines and joined the Mine Ban Treaty, still 33 states remain outside of the treaty, however most of them are nonetheless abiding by the treaty's key provisions. The stigma against landmines remains strong.
The majority of the countries remaining outside the treaty keep stockpiles that collectively total around 50 million landmines. If not destroyed, those landmines remain ready to be used any time. The biggest stockpiles of antipersonnel landmines are held by: Russia, Pakistan, India, China, and the United States.
There is also a small group of countries that still continues producing antipersonnel landmines, likely including India, Myanmar, Pakistan, and South Korea, with a few others reserving the right to produce the weapon.
Though new use of antipersonnel landmines is rare and limited, it still happens. Myanmar/Burma is the only government that has persistently continued laying antipersonnel mines over the years. In addition Libya (under Gaddafi) and Syria used antipersonnel mines during recent conflicts. There is also a number of non-state armed groups in a handful of countries that have continued using antipersonnel mines.
Use of antipersonnel landmines by anyone, anywhere, under any circumstances is unacceptable and triggers an international outcry. Each new mine in the ground can mean another lost life and or limb.
It is time to finish the job and put a final end to landmines!