We welcome 4th of April, the International Day of Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, with the recently adopted BiH Mine Action Strategy 2018-2025, which foresees fulfillment of remaining Mine Ban Treaty’s obligations regarding identification and clearance of the mined territories by 2025.
Clearing the mines in BiH by 2025 is an enormous challenge, considering the size of the contaminated territory, the number of mine affected communities as well as the number of mines and explosive remnants abandoned after the war. The solution of this problem will largely depend on the capacity of the competent institutions to improve the management of mine action and to mobilize communities for additional contribution in meeting the remaining obligations.
World Vision and Organization of amputees “UDAS”, as implementing partners of the EU funded project "Integrated socio-economic support to landmine victims in BiH", call upon the relevant authorities to fulfill not only their mine clearance related obligations, but also Mine Ban Treaty’s obligations regarding support to mine victims for their physical rehabilitation and socio-economic integration. At present, the number of mine victims far exceeds 8.000, and is increasing every year due to new mine incidents with human casualties.
While it is important to create a safe environment, it is necessary to make the environment accessible to mine survivors and other persons with disabilities. It is also necessary not only to prevent new mine incidents with human casualties but also to empower mine victims and persons with disabilities. Landmine survivors should enjoy their rights and fulfill their potential by participating in the development of their communities as fully integrated members.
The civil society and all land mine survivor advocates expect from the competent authorities to provide their support to the development of the new BiH Mine Action sub-Strategy regarding assistance to mine victims.
We could hardly envisage a more suitable moment to deal with these issues than the present, when we mark the 20th anniversary of the entry into force of the Mine Ban Treaty and joint global action towards “mine free world”, to join efforts to achieve "Mine, barrier and victim free BiH by 2025”.
Featured image: Clearing the mines in BiH by 2025 is an enormous challenge, considering the size of the contaminated territory, the number of mine affected communities as well as the number of mines and explosive remnants abandoned after the war.