In April 2021, UNICEF USA joined a group of organizations and individuals on a letter to President Biden urging him to set the United States on course on landmines. This letter urged the U.S. government not just to curtail the use of landmines, but to ban their use, production, acquisition and transfer, leading to U.S. accession to the 1997 Mine Ban Convention.The letter was an initiative of the U.S. Coalition to Ban Landmines, of which UNICEF USA is a member, serving on its steering committee.
UNICEF has consistently maintained a stance of universal, global and unequivocal objection to the use of landmines due to their indiscriminate nature and propensity to severely maim or kill innocent children. The fact is, at least 40 percent of civilian victims of landmines are children. Two-thirds of landmine victims survive the blasts, but most are left with permanent disabilities.
When battles and wars are over, landmines remain behind. They threaten children’s lives, and deprive children and their families of access to land, water, schools and play areas.
UNICEF USA remains a strong advocate for the Mine Ban Convention, and urges the United States to join the 164 nations—including all NATO allies—already parties to this treaty.
Top photo: On November 22, 2019, adolescent boys use wheelchairs in an outdoor basketball court at Abdul Ahad Karzai Orphanage in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Many of them were injured in conflict and lost limbs in landmine accidents. © UNICEF/UNI230364/Bouvet, VII Photo