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Iranian volunteers trained for mine awareness

16-08-2004 News Release

The Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS) and the ICRC have just concluded a training course in Tehran on awareness of mines and explosive remnants of war.

Such awareness-raising programmes are a priority in Iran where millions of landmines and other explosive remnants used mostly during the war with Iraq still exist and present a major threat to local communities. 

The thirty-five IRCS volunteers who participated in the workshop will soon begin visiting affected areas to inform people about the dangers and to explore ways to reduce casualties. This includes Afghan and Iraqi refugees, as well as Iranians travelling in Iraq for pilgrimage.

The workshop launched the second phase of the project, where IRCS volunteers received the training and tools necessary to perform need-assessments in their respective areas. It followed instruction on the dangers of different types of explosive remnants, on basic safety messages and on how to spread these messages among the affected population.

The cooperation between the Iranian Red Crescent Society and the ICRC in Mine Risk Education programmes started in March 2003, as part of preparations for the humanitarian response to the crisis in Iraq. Since then, training courses have been organized in six frontier provinces, with the participation of more than 200 IRCS volunteers.