Over half of the world's countries are affected by contamination from landmines, cluster munitions and explosive remnants of war.
These weapons can lie dormant for many years, claiming victims long after a conflict has ended. They are a significant cause of disability, instilling fear in whole communities, deepening poverty and acting as a lethal barrier to development.
Faced with the devastation caused by antipersonnel landmines and cluster munitions, Handicap International soon realised that medical care alone would not be enough. We therefore made a commitment to work on all levels to help mine victims and their communities lead independent lives.
Weapons clearance, risk education, and victim assistance
Over the years, Handicap International has evolved into the world's most comprehensive mine action organisation, working to prevent accidents and support the victims.
Our teams of deminers identify and clear weapons including landmines and cluster bombs. We work to educate the local population about the risks.
We also support the rehabilitation of survivors, through artificial limb fitting, physiotherapy, and psychological support. And we help survivors back into society through projects including them in education, income-generating activities, and sport.
Decades of campaigning to protect civilians
Handicap International was created in 1982 in response to the horrific landmine injuries suffered by Cambodian refugees. Soon, we realised that action needed to be taken at an international level to ban these indiscriminate weapons.
Handicap International played a key role in founding the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, for which we were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, following the signing of the Mine Ban Treaty in 1997.
We are a founding member of the Cluster Munition Coalition we actively support the Convention on Cluster Munitions, which came into effect on 1st August 2010.
Handicap International is also a founder and co-ordinating member of Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor, which monitors these two international treaties and produces annual reports on their implementation. And we are a founding member of the International Network on Explosive Weapons.
STOP Bombing Civilians
During recent armed conflicts, explosive weapons have been used on a massive scale, killing and injuring thousands of civilians. When explosive weapons are used in populated areas, a shocking 92% of casualties are civilians.
Handicap International is working to build a massive movement to stop the bombing of civilians. Find out more