Removing Landmines

 

Preferred State: Landmine-free world for 100% of humanity

Problem State: 110 million landmines in 64 countries killing or maiming about 26,000 people per year

Strategy 15: Stopping Further Use/Manufacture; Removal of Existing Landmines

More than one million children, women and men have been killed or maimed for life by exploding landmines since 1975; 80% are civilians. Twenty-six thousand people are maimed each year. Afghanistan has 10 million anti-personnel mines; Angola 9 million; Cambodia 4 million; Mozambique, Somalia and the Sudan each 2 million; Ethiopia and Eritrea 1 million. An additional 2 million mines are produced each year, mostly in Europe, the US and the CIS, and then shipped to and planted in Asia, Africa and the Mid-East. The losses to human life, quality of life and economic productivity (due to victims' being unable to work and formally arable lands not being farmed for fear of setting off mines) are tremendous, especially considering that affected areas are already coping with their recent status as a war zone.

A comprehensive international treaty outlawing the production, stockpiling, export, sale and use of anti-personnel landmines, along with an international organization to monitor compliance, accompanied by severe and swift global economic sanctions by governments and the private sector would be a low-cost means of stopping the further use, manufacture and trade in landmines. Boycotts of any corporation dealing in landmines would also bring the pressure of the global market place to bear on the economics of landmine profitability. Only outlaw regimes or a global pariah would dare use these anti-civilian weapons. With effective sanctions and boycotts such regimes would be short-lived. With universal accord on the evil of landmines such effectiveness would be possible.

Part of the international treaty will be a section that deals with existing, already planted mines. Many militaries keep accurate records of minefield locations, in some cases down to the detail of where individual mines are laid. The treaty would ensure that this information were made immediately available.

A reward or bounty on landmines currently stockpiled and already deployed in the countries of the world would be offered. Cottage industries would be set up in all 64 countries where there are landmines in the ground. Local residents would be intensively trained by US or UN experts in how to locate mines using sophisticated detection equipment and then how to remove and defuse the mines. These local cadres would be provided with all necessary materials as well as training. A Global Landmine Reclamation Corporation would establish a buying office in each country and would purchase the mines from the local trained and certified landmine removal entrepreneurs. Each mine turned in would be worth more then an average day's wages in the specific country.

Cost/Benefit

The cost of stopping the manufacture and continuing use, and the removal of existing landmines from the world would be $2 billion per year for ten years-a little less than the cost of a B-2 bomber, less than half what the US spends on perfume,(119) 8% of arms sales to developing countries, and 0.25% of annual military expenditures, or less than half the cost of surgery and care for the amputation victims resulting from landmines.

Benefits would include the halt to the loss of life and limb, arable land restored to its former productive uses, and higher food output as a result of bringing more land into cultivation. Employment and income for mine-clearing personnel will provide an economic boost for the local and national economy. Furthermore, the physical and psychological safety provided through the removal of the mines will be unmeasurable but of great importance.

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Eighteen Strategies...

...for tackling the major problems confronting humanity:

1. Eliminate Starvation and Malnourishment >
2. Provide Health Care & AIDS Control >
3. Provide Shelter >
4. Provide Clean Safe Water >
5. Eliminate Illiteracy >
6. Provide Clean, Safe Energy: Efficiency >
7. Provide Clean, Safe Energy: Renewables >
8. Retire Developing Nations Debt >
9. Stabilize Population >
10. Prevent Soil Erosion >
11. Stop Deforestation >
12. Stop Ozone Depletion >
13. Prevent Acid Rain >
14. Prevent Global Warming >
15. Remove Landmines
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16. Refugee Relief >
17. Eliminating Nuclear Weapons >
18. Build Democracy >

*Sources:
The What the World Wants Project is by Medard Gabel and the research staff of the World Game Institute. The material in this section of Media Hell is quoted directly from that research. Credits, Major References & Footnotes >