7. Children are often victimised, some never return to school. They require a new prothesis to be fitted each year, which is very costly for families in some areas. Often child victims of land mines are not considered fit to marry and are shunned by their communities.
8. The positioning of land mines is often not accurately documented, plus rain and floods can mean that they shift over time. This means that there is no way of knowing the exact locations of mines, and anyone can be affected.
9. Often the very soldiers who are tasked to set these weapons are harmed by them. It is questionable whether they really give any military advantage. According to a Red Cross Study “their use in accordance with military doctrine is time-consuming, expensive and dangerous and has seldom occurred under combat conditions.”
10. Land mines were first used on a wide scale in World War 2, and since then have become a regular choice of weapon, typically placed along land the borders countries or areas in conflict.
11. They were initially designed to damage enemy tanks – and considered a strategic form of defense.
12. The intention was to maim victims rather than kill them, as more resources would be needed to care for a wounded soldier.
13. More recently they have been used to control and terrorise communities, by preventing access to farm land for example.
14. The United States has a stockpile of around 10.4 million anti-personal land mines – the 3rd largest arsenal in the world.
15. Land mines cost somewhere in the region of $3 to produce, and a staggering $1,000 to clear per unit.
16. Land mines last long past the end of a conflict – with some from World War 2 still killing and maiming civilians.
17. Military mine clearance is not intended to be thorough – it is done under time pressure and dangerous conditions, with the intention of clearing a path for military vehicles to pass through minefields.
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