Campaigners all over the world including those in Thailand will be taking part in Lend your Leg- an inspirational global day of action launched last month – to call for an end to the curse of antipersonnel mines.
Lend your leg today
“With this simple action of rolling-up your pant leg we want to remind the world that landmines still present a huge danger and is still devastating many innocent lives. In Thailand, we want all landmines in Thailand to be cleared by 2018 as our deadlines for the obligation of article 5, Mine Ban Treaty," Aksel Steen-Nilsen, Norwegian People’s Aid Thailand Programme Manager, said.
In 2001, Thailand has around 2,557 square kilometers mine-affected areas. After 10 years of operation mainly by Thailand Mine Action Center (TMAC) and demining NGOs, around 528 sq.km. of suspected and confirmed hazardous areas is now left to be cleared according to the Level 1 Survey by Norwegian People’s Aid. Besides four Humanitarian Mine Action Units, four demining NGOs are working using the Land Release methodology.
“We believe this approach will speed up mine clearance operation and if Thailand has commitment from the high level, this will enable Thailand to meet its deadline, added Aksel.
“Raising awareness and providing assistance for mine action and victims are very important. Thailand has developed significant progress in the past 13 years. Survivor’s quality of lives has been increased significantly but some of my friends still could not easily access the services. We really hope the effort would continue and victims in the ground would receive more benefit from this. I want to see Thailand having zero new victims (either person or elephant) in a very near future.” Said Chusak Saelee, Leader of the Pong Nam Ron Landmine Survivor Network in Chanthaburi province.
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