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34 % of Myanmar mine explosion casualties are children: UNICEF

Narinjara News, 7 April 2023

The number of victims from landmines and war remnants explosions in Myanmar continues increasing and shockingly 34 percent of the total victims are children, said a report of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

As the current conflict in the southeast Asian country escalates, reports about planting of more landmines surface and so the people need to be cautioned for mine-blast risk, added UNICEF Myanmar.

The UN general assembly on 8 December 2005 declared 4 April as the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action.

According to the UNICEF statement, 102 people were killed and  288 others injured in 2022 due to landmines and remnants of explosive weapons. A total of 390 dead and injured were reported. Among them, 133 are children and 257 adults.

In 2021, there were 284 casualties and injuries in the country due to landmines and explosive weapons and most of the victims hailed from Chin, Sagaing, Shan, Kayah and Rakhine State.

On 10 January, a woman was killed and five children were injured when a landmine exploded in a field near Sapa Htar village in Min Bya township.

Between January and September 2020, 49 children were killed and 134 were maimed due to landmines and remnants explosions.

Ko Tun Tun, a project officer working on education over the danger of explosive weapons, informed that the current situation in Myanmar becomes more challenging with every passing day.

“One of the main problems here is that the safe space for children to play is gradually shrinking. They can no longer fully enjoy their childhood," said the UNICEF Myanmar.

Landmine Awareness Day, held every year on 4 April, signifies the danger of landmine blasts and it allows countries to sign the 1997 Landmine Ban Convention.

The treaty prohibits the use of mines, production & stockpiling, and also emphasises on clearing the mines.

Although 164 countries have signed the convention on preventing landmines, but Myanmar is yet to sign the convention. (Photo by UNICEF)


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