|© UNICEF/ HQ96-0851/Semeniuk|
|In Cambodia, youth march in the 1996 national landmine awareness day celebrations in Phnom Penh.|
Each year upwards of 20,000 people are casualties of landmines. Typically victims are the poorest and most vulnerable members of society. They are farmers, fleeing refugees, displaced families and those returning home after a conflict ends to villages and lands that are riddled with mines.
The Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Antipersonnel Mines and Their Destruction, otherwise known as the “Mine Ban Treaty”, imposes a total ban on anti-personnel landmines.
States Parties (signatories to the Treaty) meet annually to examine its status and the specific challenges related to its implementation. They also discuss the global landmine problem in general. Previous Meetings of State Parties were held in Maputo, Mozambique (1999), Geneva, Switzerland (2000 & 2002), and Managua, Nicaragua (2001).
This year’s meeting is taking place 15-19 September in Bangkok, Thailand in the East Asia and the Pacific region, where 14 countries have signed or ratified the Convention. In this region, the countries most severely affected are Cambodia, Viet Nam, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Thailand. Countries also affected include the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North) and the Republic of Korea (South), the Philippines and China. In preparation for this year's fifth Meeting of State Parties, UNICEF prepared an assessment of the impact of landmines on children living in the region (see below).
UNICEF also plays a wider role in the global effort to eliminate the landmine and unexploded ordnance (UXO) scourge. Within the UN family, UNICEF acts as the focal point for mine risk education. In addition, UNICEF assists mine survivors and advocates for a total ban of anti-personnel landmines.Related document
Impact of Landmines on Children in the East Asia and Pacific Region