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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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From landmine victim to pro athlete
© Bas Bogaerts / HI
Rehabilitation

From landmine victim to pro athlete

Flavio is one of thousands of mine victims in Colombia. He lost his leg, but can move independently thanks to the prosthesis he received from Humanity & Inclusion. And his steps often lead him to the pool, because Flavio is a competitive swimmer who is seeking Paralympic participation.

Explosive weapons: risk education to protect local people
© Benoit Almeras / HI
Explosive weapons Prevention

Explosive weapons: risk education to protect local people

After decades of armed conflict, the Lake Chad region remains littered with explosive remnants of war. HI puts up warning signs around hazardous areas and runs risk education sessions to protect local people from explosive remnants.

Cluster munitions victims more than doubled since 2015
© Z. Johnson / HI
Explosive weapons

Cluster munitions victims more than doubled since 2015

The Oslo Convention banning the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of cluster munitions entered into force eight years ago, on 1 August 2010. Despite the success of the convention, which has been signed by 119 countries, cluster munitions victims doubled in recent years.