Every year, United Nations member states celebrate the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action.
Most of the world’s governments have banned this horrific weapon.
However in Myanmar, there is nothing to celebrate on this day. Instead it becomes yet another day to commemorate the dead and injured from landmine warfare, and now the Covid-19 crisis.
This year, the UN Secretary General stated, “Now, the world is facing a daunting pandemic. The dangers posed by COVID-19 are forcing every country, and every person, to take steps that would have seemed unimaginable mere weeks ago. …Yet, even in the midst of an unprecedented crisis, we cannot let this Day go unnoticed,?nor can we allow the rights of persons with disabilities to go unacknowledged. Mines, explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devices threaten some of the most vulnerable people in society: women traveling to markets, farmers herding cattle, humanitarian workers trying to reach those most in need.”
Landmine contamination in 90 of Myanmar’s townships create a barrier to the movement of healthcare workers.