International Mine Awareness Day
Every year since 8 th December 2005, when the General Assembly of the United Nations declared
the 4 th of April as International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action is
dedicated to raising awareness about the problems caused by mines in war affected and postwar
However, the fight lasts much longer than the 8 th of December, over 20 years now. Main actor in
tackling down the consequences and casualties is UNMAS United Nations Mine Action Service.
UNMAS saves lives, protects civilians, supports the voluntary return to the internally displaced
and refugees, UN missions and the delivery of humanitarian aid and assistance, it works to
enable humanitarian and recovery activities and it advocates for international and human rights
Mine Action besides removing landmines and explosive remnants means education including
risk education, identifying mines and explosive remnants, as well as victim assistance, meaning
medical assistance, rehabilitation services like job skills trainings and employment, advocacy for
a world free of landmines, encouraging countries to take part in international treaties and
conventions, and last but not least, stockpile destruction. When talking about the stockpile
destruction the most important treaty there is to mention is the anti-personnel mine-ban treaty
from 1997. It prohibits the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel mines, as
well as providing for their destruction.
Before 2005 there was 20 000 casulties per year, and since then the number has fallen immensly.
Theme for 2018 is Advancing Protection, Peace and Development. Secretary-General calls for
humanitarian, peace building and sustainable development continuum.
When talking about the postwar problems and victims it is very important to mention our region
as well. Our past is filled with wars, war victims, and the economic and social problems it
causes. Center for demining of Republic of Serbia in its last report stated that last cleared area
was one around Cuprija. However, we should not talk only about the mines and explosive
remnants. Beside wars, our country was bombed in 1999, and the impact of it is, besides
everything else remained uranium which is believed to be a huge threat for the nations health.
But, we are not the only affected country in the region. One of the most decontaminated
countries in the world by the words of the Chief Executive of Federal governance for Civil
Protection, is Bosnia. He also stated that people are still dying today, with 1000km2 affected by
With all this being said, it is important to stress what it the purpose of this day’s observance. It is
not only the Mine action itself, but reahter the awareness itself. As soon as the war is over, it is
thought that all of the number of victims stopped rising, and that we should work on developing
better relations between the two parties in question. When the most important soluition, which is
essential to social and economical development, for recovering all of the individuals is paying
attention to what is happening to the affected area, to every victim, to every km2 of the territory.
It is awerness that the fight for normal life has only just begun, and we have to take into
consideration all of the questions that are not answered and all of the problems which remain
after the conflict.
Quoting the Secretary-General, Antionio Guterres "I urge all Governments to provide political
and financial support to enable mine action work to continue, wherever it is needed. In our
turbulent world, mine action is a concrete step towards peace."
https://www.una.org.uk/get-involved/learn- and-teach/international- days/mine-awareness- day
https://globaldimension.org.uk/event/international-day- for-mine- awareness-and- assistance-in- mine-action/2018- 04-04/
https://unisfa.unmissions.org/international-day- mine-awareness- and-assistance- mine-action
https://www.wtv.ba/medunarodni-dan- borbe-protiv- mina/
https://www.bljesak.info/vijesti/flash/zivimo-s- minama-a- od-mina- se-i- dalje-strada/192959
Author: Ana Vesić