First International Day for Mine Awareness to be Marked on April 4

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The United Nations General Assembly has declared April 4th the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action.

The United Nations General Assembly has declared April 4th the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action. The day will raise awareness about landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) and progress toward their eradication.

The mine ban movement continues to make good progress toward eradicating antipersonnel landmines and saving lives and limbs in every region of the world. However, significant challenges remain.

Landmines are indiscriminate weapons that do not distinguish between the footsteps of a soldier and those of a child. Today there are still millions of landmines and UXO in approximately 80 countries worldwide according to Alison Bock, President of Landmines Blow. "Landmines are a hard sell in the United States because people don’t have to worry about stepping on them. It puts a whole new spin on things if you imagine having to worry about your kids getting blown away while walking to school or your spouse losing a leg while fetching a pail of water," Bock adds.

According to the Landmine Monitor Report 2005, 84 countries are affected to some extent by landmines and unexploded ordnance. The good news is that the number of reported new mine/UXO casualties has dropped significantly in some heavily mine-affected countries. Landmine Monitor's best estimate, given the lack of reliable records and under-reporting, is that there are between 15,000 and 20,000 new landmine/UXO casualties each year. But the important fact is that the number of landmine survivors continues to grow, and the assistance needed by mine survivors is inadequate in many countries.

Landmines Blow is a grassroots non-governmental organization (NGO) dedicated to raising awareness of the global landmine crisis, the education and engagement of civil society, and raising funds to build wells and latrines in mine affected communities. It is a proud member of The U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines (USCBL), a coalition of approximately 500 U.S.-based human rights, humanitarian, faith-based, children's, peace, disability, veterans', medical, development, academic, and environmental organizations dedicated to a total ban on antipersonnel landmines. It is one of 90 country campaigns that form the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL).

For information contact:

Alison Bock, President

Landmines Blow!

1-630-308-0131

http://www.landminesblow.org

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Alison Bock
LANDMINES BLOW!
1-630-308-0131
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