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close this bookBanning Anti-Personnel Mines - The Ottawa Treaty Explained (International Committee of the Red Cross , 1998, 24 p.)
close this folder2. The Ottawa treaty
close this folder2.3 Addressing the problem: mine clearance and assistance to victims
View the document(introduction...)
View the document2.3.1 Clearing mined areas
View the document2.3.2 Assisting the victims

2.3.2 Assisting the victims

Regrettably, for thousands of men, women and children killed or injured by mines, the Ottawa treaty comes too late. The mine-injured, especially amputees, face a difficult future in many countries. They are often ostracized by a community unable to shoulder the burden of caring for them, and they are distressed by their own inability to contribute effectively to improving the conditions of life of their family and society. Perhaps one of the greatest challenges now facing the international community with respect to mines is how adequately to address the needs of the mine-injured in general, and specifically amputees, who form a significant percentage of the war-wounded.

Recognizing this challenge, the treaty calls upon all countries able to help to do their utmost to ensure the care, rehabilitation and reintegration of mine victims. A specific role in this process is accorded to the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement:

Each State Party in a position to do so shall provide assistance for the care and rehabilitation, and social and economic reintegration, of mine victims and for mine awareness programs. Such assistance may be provided, inter alia, through the United Nations system, international, regional or national organizations or institutions, the International Committee of the Red Cross, national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies and their International Federation, non-governmental organizations, or on a bilateral basis (see Art. 6, para. 3).

The ICRC, for its part, will continue to work with its partners to improve the assistance rendered to all war-wounded people and particularly mine victims, who both need and deserve a lifetime of care and assistance.5

5 For an overview describing the medical and rehabilitative needs of mine victims and the difficulties in providing care, see Assistance for victims of antipersonnel mines: needs, constraints and strategy, ICRC, Geneva, 1997.