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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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"My only ambition is to be in good health"
© Ayman / HI
Emergency Explosive weapons Rehabilitation

"My only ambition is to be in good health"

Ali is thirty years old. A head trauma and fracture to his right tibia left him almost entirely unable to use his legs. Thanks to HI, he is now able to get about independently again.

Latin and Central America against the bombing of populated areas
© Thomas Dossus / HI
Explosive weapons Rights

Latin and Central America against the bombing of populated areas

On 5 and 6 December, HI will organise a regional conference in Santiago, the capital of Chile, on protecting civilians from bombing. Twenty-six governments and some thirty civil society organisations and international NGOs will attend. The organisation hopes to raise awareness of this crucial issue and encourage States to take a stand against the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.

Tawergha: a dead city, contaminated by missiles, rockets and bombs.
© Simon Elmont / HI
Emergency Explosive weapons

Tawergha: a dead city, contaminated by missiles, rockets and bombs.

A few kilometres south of Misrata, Tawergha has been a ghost town since it was hit by intense fighting in 2011. The streets are littered with missiles, rockets and other unexploded weapons and remnants of war. As the population gradually returns, HI has launched a clearance operation to reduce the threat to their lives.