Mine action 2003: special report
As part of its mandate to protect and assist victims of armed conflict, the ICRC helps thousands of mine/ERW victims each year. It contributes to global efforts through its involvement in three areas of mine action: promoting international humanitarian law treaties relating to landmines and the development of new rules on ERW; conducting mine awareness programmes; and providing medical care and rehabilitation services to the war-wounded.
In the five years covered by its Special Appeal Mine Action 1999-2003, the ICRC has:
played a key role in efforts to achieve universalization and implementation of the Ottawa Convention banning anti-personnel mines
initiated the development of a legal instrument to reduce the damage wrought by explosive remnants of war (ERW) and was instrumental in the process leading up to its adoption in November 2003
reduced mine risks in 27 countries by working with National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to implement mine-action programmes
supported first-aid and surgical services for the war-wounded, enabling well over 4,000 mine/ERW victims to get the medical treatment they needed (870 in 2003)
assisted rehabilitation services in areas affected by conflict around the world, providing nearly 48,000 mine victims with prostheses and physiotherapy (over 9,000 in 2003)
In combination with measures taken by g overnments and the work of other organizations, these activities have begun to contain the epidemic levels of landmine injuries, and have helped mine survivors lead fuller lives. Even so, mines and ERW continue to maim and kill thousands of people each year, and ending these losses, which are still staggering, will require a good deal more commitment on the part of governments and international and national organizations.
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