Nepali children facing daily threat of explosion
United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) has said that Nepal is among the most contaminated country where children face the daily threat of explosion.
A statement issued on the first International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action the UNICEF said, the most contaminated countries include Colombia, Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Russian Federation (Chechnya), Iraq, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
"Explosive remnants of war, including landmines and unexploded ordnance, pose a huge threat to children and their communities in more than 80 countries, most of which are no longer in conflict," the statement said.
At least 20 per cent of the estimated 15,000-20,000 people who are killed or disabled each year by these deadly weapons of war are children, the statement adds.
The statement further said recent progress has renewed hope that the threat of explosive devices can be eliminated sooner than previously thought.
"Wars are not truly over until children can play safely and walk to school without fear of landmines and other explosive remnants of war," the report quoted UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman as saying. "We cannot afford to reverse the gains that have brought us closer to making the battle against landmines a success story," Veneman added.
The statement further said, "An estimated 85 per cent of child victims die before they can get medical attention. Many disabled victims lose opportunities to go to school, and often cannot afford rehabilitative care. The persisting threat of mines takes its toll on entire societies, perpetuating poverty and underdevelopment."
More than three-quarters of the world's nations have ratified the Mine Ban Treaty since it came into force in 1999, outlawing the production, stockpiling and use of antipersonnel landmines.
According to the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, the number of countries thought to be producing, stockpiling and using landmines has dropped significantly over the last decade.
Von: 03.04.2006, www.nepalnews.com