What is Mine Risk Education?
Mine risk education helps people living
near landmines learn how to recognize, avoid, and live with the dangers
of landmines and UXO. This idea, also
know as “mine awareness,” was first developed in the mid
1990’s by landmine activists. It became clear that in addition
to securing a ban
on landmines, it was essential to
educate people living near landmines about safety, using techniques
they would easily understand and could use to teach others. Since
then, mine risk education has helped many people during times of conflict
and long after wars and conflicts have ended.
importantly, mine risk education helps children learn about
mine safety. 30% of landmine victims are under the age of 15,
and many are injured by landmines designed to look like toys.
According to the ICBL, “Some kids cannot resist the temptation
to play with these new ‘toys’ even if they are aware
of the dangers. Children are also injured while doing every
day activities in mine-affected areas, like collecting firewood
and scrap metal, taking animals to graze, walking to the market,
and picking fruit. In addition, Young children can't see mines
like taller adults can, and they may not be able to read or
recognize warning signs as they stray off safe routes while
playing games or taking short-cuts.”
Example of butterfly mine. Butterfly
mines are scattered from helicopters or planes onto the ground
in a wide area, lying dormant in the ground. As other scatter
able mines, they are very dangerous because the exact locations
of these mines are unknown.
Theatre play for School in Tompojevci,
||Mine risk education integrates
materials and classes into the school curriculum, and offers
risk education workshops to adults in the community.
Games, posters, songs, and theatre are
often used for both children and grown ups.
Big awareness campaigns also spread information through television
spots, radio messages, and large-scale poster campaigns. When
these efforts are conducted in conjunction with mine clearance,
the number of casualties is greatly reduced.
mine risk education, people are taught to recognize signs marking
unsafe areas. They also learn how to avoid mines, and
to adjust their everyday habits, so they know what to do if
they come near a mine. Mine risk education addresses the fact
that some people take risks near landmines, even when they are
aware of the dangers. According to the ICBL, “individuals
will take risks around landmines, while knowing they are dangerous.”
Risk Reduction Education program in
A local angolan instructor in mine
risk education warn people to be careful of suspicious devices.
||The best results over
the long term, are achieved through a teaching approach that
asks people to teach other people and come up with their own
educational projects. This way,
those who are at risk of landmines and UXO decide themselves
the best way to pass on the message to others and become active
partners in mobilising their communities.
UNICEF is the lead agency for mine risk
education within the United Nations system.
It has programmes in several countries. In 2001, UNICEF, together
with UNMAS, the ICRC and various non-government organisations, established
a Mine Awareness Working Group to develop international standards
on mine awareness and risk reduction education, as well as technical
notes for the monitoring and evaluation of programmes. The Mine Awareness
Working Group is open to all mine awareness organisations and provides
a place to share experiences on programmes and best practices.