In the U.S., it’s sometimes easy to forget how fortunate we are. We haven’t really seen a full-scale war that actually takes place on our soil since the Civil War. It becomes hard to imagine that violence and danger are everyday realities in people’s lives elsewhere, especially in regards to landmines.
Landmines are currently still residing in 60 countries all over the world. They claimed an average of 10 lives per day in 2014 according to the-monitor.org, and the United Nations reports that landmines permanently and severely injure over 15,000 people every year.
No one should have to put a price on their children or their personal safety. This can be accomplished, we’re very nearly there. Organizations like CISR are helping to stop this. Let’s see it through to the end.
The landmines create a vicious cycle. Towns are endangered in the act of performing the most basic tasks that they must to survive, and when they take the risk, sometimes they are hurt or killed. Because of the risk, it is difficult to receive supplies and aide for those who have been injured.
Landmines only perpetuate the isolation of the people who live in fear of them. With sustained resources, those 60 countries could be landmine free by 2025. The silver lining of this problem is that the goal is attainable in the very near future.
Ken Rutherford’s introduction to landmines was an abrupt one.
Five months into work, on Dec. 16, 1993, an SUV that Rutherford was traveling in was blown up by a landmine.
"That was my introduction, introduction 101,” Rutherford said. “And I ended up losing both my legs, and I almost lost my life."