Unicef Logo and the text: Children Under Threat. The State of The World's Children 2005.

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Christine Nesbitt



Landmines

A worldwide advocacy campaign, led by the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and involving more than 1,000 non-governmental organizations, culminated in the 1997 adoption of a treaty banning their use – and won campaigners the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize. The ‘Mine Ban Treaty’ entered into force in March 1999 and by September 2004, 143 countries had formally agreed to be bound by the treaty.

Figure 3.4 Figure 3.4: Landmines: The global picture.
Click here to view this figure.

Another positive step was the adoption in late 2003 of Protocol V to the ‘Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons’, which requires parties to a conflict to clear up explosive remnants of war, provide warnings to civilians about their dangerous nature and assist casualties. As increasing numbers of countries accept the moral necessity of banning weapons with such indiscriminate and pernicious effects, the number of reported incidents of landmine use continues to decline: 13 governments deployed them in 2000-2001, 9 in 2001-2002, and 6 in 2002-2003.

The challenge now is to maintain this steady improvement while sustaining pressure on those governments that have not yet endorsed the treaty, which includes three of the five members of the Security Council. Meanwhile, the necessity for mine risk education remains. This does not simply mean teaching people basic mine-recognition skills and warning messages. Increasingly mine-risk education also involves uncovering, through detailed qualitative surveys, the main factors that contribute to landmine accidents and risk-taking such as poverty, displacement and social exclusion. Since the late 1990s, there has been an increasing emphasis on communities themselves determining what the local priorities in risk education about landmines should be – as well as on including mine-risk education in the school syllabus and in public health programmes. Improving data collection will not only result in better advocacy but also in more effective programmes to help and protect affected children.


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UNICEF’s work on child protection [Web]

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No Guns, Please: We are Children! [PDF]

“…exploitation of children’s rights to study, loss of warmth and love in a family, cause terrible feelings of trauma for kids and the beloved.”
girl, 12, Indonesia

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The number of children trafficked each year is the same as the number of children under five living in Australia: 1.2 million.

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