There are more than 100 million land mines in almost 70 countries around the world and they kill or maim approximately 26,000 people annually, inflicting physical and psychological damage to individuals, families, and communities. Seventy-five to 80 percent of land mine victims are civilians in countries at peace, the majority of them women and children in poor, rural areas. Although land mines are inexpensive to manufacture, they are extremely difficult and dangerous to remove. Women have taken leadership roles in worldwide efforts to ban their use and to aid land mine survivors through organizations such as the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL). These activists argue that land mines’ limited military usefulness is countered by their great humanitarian costs.

Antipersonnel land mines are often buried weapons ...

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