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4 April: International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action

Ljubljana, 4 April 2016 – Today marks International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, which is dedicated to educating the public of the risks of landmines.Slovenia is actively engaged in mine action through ITF – Enhancing Human Security, which covers a wide spectrum of international activity and has become one of Slovenia's most successful projects concerning human security. The Foreign Ministry and ITF have once again joined forces to commemorate this important international day. The activities include the campaign 'Lend your leg – roll up your pant leg', which seeks to highlight the issue, urge the Slovenian public to express solidarity with mine victims and strengthen efforts to achieve universal application of the Mine Ban Treaty. Collaboration and joint efforts will only reinforce our fight against the use of mines.

 

Slovenia was among the first countries to ratify the Mine Ban Treaty, imposing on countries a commitment to comprehensively ban the use, stockpiling, production, and sale of landmines. The number of parties to the Treaty has been increasing and is currently at 162. However, the only way to guarantee a world free of landmines and their victims is to impose a comprehensive and global prohibition on landmines.

 

Mines and other explosive remnants of war constitute a serious threat long after the end of a conflict. Mine victims endure a lifetime of physical and psychological hardship. They go through long and painful rehabilitation, and their reintegration into society depends primarily on the environment and the available assistance.

 

Combined with other unexploded ordinance and explosive remnants of war, mines laid during conflicts over recent decades in various parts of the world, including in Slovenia's immediate neighbourhood, still claim innocent victims, especially women and children.

 

In the eighteen years since its inception, ITF has raised USD 400 million, of which Slovenia contributed 12.8. Through donations, ITF has cleared over 135 million m2 of areas contaminated with mines and other unexploded ordnance, enabled rehabilitation for 1,251 victims and carried out many other activities within various humanitarian and development projects.