• On April 4, 2006 the United Nations observed the first International Day of Mine Awareness. The day raises awareness about the threat of land mines and other explosive remnants of war. More than 155 nations have agreed to ban the use of land mines, but remnants remain in about 78 countries, mostly scattered in conflict-ridden parts of Africa, Central Asia, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. The nations of Colombia, Russia, and Yemen also endure hundreds of land-mine casualties every year.
     
    Land mines are explosive devices buried in the ground. They detonate when pressure is put on them, usually by people or vehicles. When conflicts are resolved, land mines are often forgotten or neglected. The only way to remove land mines is to individually deactivate them—a dangerous job where even trained experts are threatened by accidental explosions. Most victims of land mines—more than 80%—are civilians, mostly farmers and children. 
     
    Hidden land mines kill more than 15,000 people around the world every year. Thousands more lose legs as they step on the devices. Due to land mines’ association with these casualties, in 2012, the United Nations launched the “Lend Your Leg” campaign. By simply raising your pant leg, you can raise awareness of the devastating impact of land mines, and support survivors.
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    ban Verb

    to prohibit, or not allow.

    casualty Noun

    person who has been injured or killed in a specific incident.

    civilian Noun

    person who is not in the military.

    conflict Noun

    a disagreement or fight, usually over ideas or procedures.

    detonate Verb

    to cause something to explode.

    device Noun

    tool or piece of machinery.

    explosive Noun

    material that can quickly and violently expand due to a chemical change.

    fatal Adjective

    causing death.

    land mine Noun

    small explosive device hidden just under the surface of the Earth.

    neglect Noun

    failure to pay attention.

    remnant Noun

    something that is left over.

    resolve Verb

    to come to a definite decision.

    scatter Verb

    to disperse or distribute without a clear pattern.

    United Nations Noun

    international organization that works for peace, security and cooperation.

    war Noun

    large-scale armed conflict.