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Ministry of Foreign Affairs pledges support to the international 'Lend Your Leg – Roll Up Your Pant Leg' campaign


Ljubljana, 4 April 2017 – On this date every year, we mark the International Day of Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has pledged its support for the international campaign also this year. Minister Erjavec and the staff of the Foreign Ministry rolled up their trousers and urged others to join the campaign aimed at cautioning against the danger of mines and calling on the public to express solidarity with mine victims and enhance efforts to ban the use of mines.

 

The International Day of Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action is an excellent opportunity to underline and present, at least in a symbolic way, the issue of landmines to the general Slovenian public and the international community, thereby reaching victims and those still living in the immediate vicinity of mine-polluted areas. Every one of us can help increase the awareness of the danger of mines by publishing a photo with a rolled up trouser leg on social media, accompanied by the note #PosodiSvojoNogo/#LendYourLeg. Mines and other unexploded ordinance and remnants of war all too often claim victims among the civilian population, which is still the case even in countries of Slovenia's immediate neighbourhood.

 

Slovenia was among the first countries to ratify the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction (Ottawa Convention). Today, the Convention has 164 signatories. The awareness of the international community that mines would claim no more victims only after the adoption of a comprehensive and global ban on their use is increasing, with a great deal of assistance from civil society.

 

Slovenia has been actively involved in the fight against the use of landmines and the remnants of war for two decades. In 1998, the Slovenian Government established ITF Enhancing Human Security, a non-profit, humanitarian institution aimed initially at helping Bosnia and Herzegovina in the implementation of the peace treaty and providing assistance to its population after the war. In the twenty years since its establishment, the ITF has extended its activity not only to other countries of South-Eastern Europe, but also to the South Caucasus, Central Asia, the Middle East, north and west Africa, Latin America and the Baltic states, thus becoming an internationally established non-profit organisation operating in 31 countries, with activities including mine clearance, assistance to mine victims and addressing other threats to human security.

 

To date, the ITF, assisted by donors, has carried out more than 3 100 projects, collected more than USD 430 million, cleared 148 square kilometres of mine-polluted territory, provided rehabilitation for 1 303 mine victims and included more than 500 000 persons, including children, in programmes to raise awareness of the danger of landmines.