Children killed by landmines in Ukraine

2015-04-01 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) The UN children’s charity UNICEF has said that at least 109 children are reported to have been injured and 42 killed by landmines and unexploded ordnance in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of eastern Ukraine since March 2014 .

Listen:

UNICEF says that the conflict in eastern Ukraine has seen many communities being exposed to the use of heavy weapons and that they are still at risk from items of ordinance.

Despite attempts to clear government controlled areas from mines and unexploded ordinance, children in particular are face danger from landmines which may be brightly coloured and seem to them like toys. The hazardous materials have already led to over 100 injuries and dozens of deaths in the past year.

UNICEF says the organization along with its partners have launched a mine-risk education campaign in affected areas of Ukraine to provide 500,000 children and their families with lifesaving information about the risks posed by landmines and explosives.

Christophe Boulierac is UNICEF Spokesperson in Geneva.

"The campaign includes risk educational messages in print, video and digital formats as well as the training of 100 teachers and school psychologists on mine-risk awareness. With the 4 April International Day of Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action just days away, the situation in Ukraine is a grave reminder that despite global progress in de-mining, children and communities continue to fall victim to mines and explosive remnants of war."

At least 5 million people in Ukraine are affected by the conflict, including 1.7 million children, while more than 1.1 million people have been internally displaced because of ongoing violence. 

(from Vatican Radio)