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Signature of the peace agreement in Colombia: there is still much to do to demine the country

Explosive weapons
Colombia

On the occasion of the historical peace agreement between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Handicap International call to mind that there is still much to do to decontaminate the country.

Carlos Filo, an anti-personal landmine victim, is sitting in his home.

Carlos Filo, an anti-personal landmine victim, is sitting in his home. | © Gaël Turine / VU - Colombia 2008

According to the 2013 Landmine Monitor Report, Colombia is the 2nd country of the world in terms of victims of mines, just behind Afghanistan. 50 years of civil war have contaminated 31 of the 32 departments of the country and generated thousands of victims of anti-personnel mines. Between 1990 and 2013, more than 10.000 victims have been counted. Almost half of them was civilians including 26% of children.

Handicap International is acting in Colombia since 1998 but the NGO is fighting against landmines in the country since 2005. The association is supporting the victims so they have access to assistance, especially putting them into relation with the healing structures, rehabilitation sessions, psychosocial help and support to get a job and a place in society.

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HI Mapping Challenge: innovation to support humanitarian response
© HI
Explosive weapons

HI Mapping Challenge: innovation to support humanitarian response

Maps contain information essential to the deployment of humanitarian teams in the field, but in areas isolated due to natural disasters, conflicts or sanitary crises, they are often incomplete or non-existent. To map every part of the world, HI and CrowdAI launched a Mapping Challenge - the first stage of which was completed at the end of May.

A frightening increase in the number of victims of explosive weapons
(c) E. Fourt/HI
Explosive weapons

A frightening increase in the number of victims of explosive weapons

On the occasion of the International Day for Mine Awareness, HI is alarmed by the frightening increase in the number of civilian victims of explosive weapons : 32,008 civilians were killed or injured by explosive weapons in 2016 (out of a total of 45,624 victims), according to Action on Armed Violence (AOAV). The toll looks even heavier for 2017, as civilians account for 90% of the victims of explosive weapons when they are used in populated areas. Landmine Monitor has recorded a dramatic increase in casualties of mine and explosive remnants over the past three years. Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, Ukraine and Yemen are among the main countries affected.

7th anniversary of the Syrian conflict: After the death of partner organisation’s employee, HI condemns continuous bombings
© AFP PHOTO / AMER ALMOHIBANY
Explosive weapons

7th anniversary of the Syrian conflict: After the death of partner organisation’s employee, HI condemns continuous bombings

A staff member from a Syrian organisation that Humanity and Inclusion (HI) partners with was killed yesterday. Mustafa, his wife and their two children – both under the age of 8 years old – were killed by shelling in Hamouriyeh, Eastern Ghouta. As today marks the 7th anniversary of the Syrian conflict, HI condemns once again bombing and shelling of populated areas and calls on all parties to the conflict to protect civilians.