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International Day for Landmine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action – April 4, 2023

International Day for Landmine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action is annually observed on April 4. It recognizes the achievements of the global mine action community and aims to raise awareness about landmines and highlight their dangers. The holiday also seeks to bring attention to other explosive remnants of war — as by bringing attention to the devastation and harm they cause, we can ensure individuals and communities can live and survive in a safe landmine-free environment.

History of International Day for Landmine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action

On December 8, 2005, the General Assembly declared that April 4 of each year would be the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, and the ensuing century paid tribute to the movement.

The work of the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) has been motivated by the needs of the people affected by the threat of explosive hazards. For over 20 years, they have tailored their work to the threat of explosive hazards faced by civilians, peacekeepers, and humanitarians. However, aside from the United Nations, another major player in the quest to eradicate landmines globally is the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) — founded in 1992 and awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997. It is a network in about 100 countries that works for a world free of anti-personnel landmines, where landmine survivors can lead fulfilling lives.

“Safe Ground, Safe Steps, Safe Home” is the theme for International Day for Landmine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action. It was launched by the Secretary-General of the United Nations in 2019. The theme refers to the concept of clearing the world of landmines and other explosive hazards. It highlights the fear many people experience when they walk across areas affected by war, unaware if they could potentially detonate an explosive. The theme also describes the work de-miners do when approaching sites that contain explosives and includes the new technology to remove these hazards. “Safe Home” is about restoring the security and community of individuals in post-conflict areas.

International Day for Landmine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action timeline

1997
The Anti-personnel Mine Ban Convention

The Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention opens for signature, and 164 countries ratify or accede to it.

1999
The Mine Ban Convention

The Mine Ban Convention comes into force.

2008
The Convention on Cluster Munitions

The Convention on Cluster Munitions opens for signature in Norway and is joined by 108 states.

2018
The United Nations Mine Action Strategy

UNMAS drafts convene and coordinate the United Nations Mine Action Strategy 2019–2023.

International Day for Landmine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action FAQs

What is a mine in war?

A mine is a stationary explosive device designed to destroy personnel, ships, or vehicles when they come in contact with it.

What was the theme of International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action of 2021?

“Safe Ground, Safe Steps, Safe Home” was the theme for the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action in 2021.

What is the meaning of “mine awareness”?

Mine awareness means mine risk education. The program seeks to equip people with information to reduce deaths and injuries from landmines and other explosives.

How to Observe International Day for Landmine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action

  1. Donate to an organization

    Donate to an organization involved with International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action. You can choose an international or local organization — whatever suits you best.

  2. Post on social media

    Spread awareness online by posting about International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action. You can talk about it on Twitter and Instagram or spark conversations on Reddit.

  3. Research the history of the affected areas

    Research and expand your knowledge about the areas and people affected by landmines. You could start by searching for specific keywords online.

5 Surprising Facts About Landmines

  1. They’re active for more than 50 years

    Landmines are buried about seven inches underground and can remain active for more than 50 years.

  2. They come in two categories

    There are two types of landmines: anti-personnel and anti-tank landmines.

  3. There’re over 100 million mines

    It is estimated that 110 million anti-personnel mines are under the ground, and another 250 million are stockpiled worldwide.

  4. We produce millions of mines per year

    Each year, the world produces about five to 10 million mines.

  5. Complete mine removal will cost billions

    It would cost $50 to 100 billion to remove all currently existing mines.

Why International Day for Landmine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action is Important

  1. It teaches us about the past horrors of war

    We can take International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action to educate ourselves on previous worldwide conflicts and their lasting effects. It can help us realize that war should never be the answer to any problem — no matter what.

  2. It’s an international endeavor

    Hundreds of countries support the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action. It’s a holiday that allows us to show solidarity and unity with dozens of nations across the world.

  3. It’s saving lives

    Every year, hundreds of people unwittingly lose their lives to hidden mines. By creating awareness about them on International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, we save lives and livelihoods.

International Day for Landmine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action dates

YearDateDay
2023April 4Tuesday
2024April 4Thursday
2025April 4Friday
2026April 4Saturday
2027April 4Sunday

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