International Day for Mine Awareness – April 4
International Day for Mine Awareness observes 4th April around the world. This day aims to raise awareness about landmines and progress toward their eradication. On 8 December 2005, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly declared that April 4 of each year would be officially proclaimed and observed as International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action. It was first observed on April 4, 2006.
It called for continued efforts by states, with assistance from the UN and relevant organizations, to help establish and develop national mine-action capacities in countries where mines and explosive war remnants constitute a serious threat to the safety, health and lives of people, or hinders social and economic development at the national and local levels.
According to the Landmine Monitor Report 2005, 84 countries were affected by landmines and unexploded ordnance, which together kill or maim between 15,000 and 20,000 adults and children annually. The UN works together with countries to find and destroy these devices. It also helps to provide various mine-action services in many countries.
Awareness programs and activities to mark the day take place in many countries around the world on April 4 every year. Activities for these awareness-raising events include photo exhibits, press conferences, film screenings, educational displays and community chats. Public events may include public statements from land mine surivivors, mine action theatre performances and mine risk education demonstrations.
The day aims to raise awareness about landmines and progress toward their eradication. “Mine action” refers to a range of efforts to clear landmines and explosive remnants of war and to mark and fence off dangerous areas. It also includes assisting victims, teaching people how to remain safe in a mine-affected environment, advocating for universal participation in international treaties related to landmines, explosive remnants of war and their victims, and destroying landmines stockpiled by governments and non-state armed groups.