Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Mines kill, injure over 500 kids in Iraq



Mines kill, injure over 500 kids in Iraq

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
An instructor of Global Clearance Solutions (GCS) private demining firm gives a workshop to children on how to report suspected cases of landmines and UXOs Hassan-Jalad, north of Mosul, in November. AFP

Mines kill, injure over 500 kids in Iraq

At least 519 children have been killed or injured by landmines and unexploded ordnance in Iraq in the past five years, UN agencies have warned.

“More than 80 per cent of children affected are boys,” the rights groups UNICEF, the world body’s children’s agency, and the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) said in a joint statement on Monday night.

They added that boys were “disproportionately impacted due to incidents of child labour, such as grazing animals or collecting scrap metal to sell”.

The statement said although Iraq has not “suffered from open conflicts” over past years, “the effects of explosive weapons will reverberate for years to come”.

A report by the charity Humanity & Inclusion said: “Iraq is considered one of the countries most contaminated by explosive devices in the world,” with more than 3,225 square kilometres of land contaminated with unexploded ordnance.

The material is particularly present near the borders with Iran, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, all areas where Iraq has been involved in armed conflicts over the past four decades.

Baghdad fought a war with Iran between 1980-1988, as well as the first Gulf War triggered by the invasion of Kuwait in 1990.

The Iraqi military between 2014 and 2017 backed by an international coalition fought a war against the Islamic State jihadist group.

In the joint statement, UNICEF and UNMAS urged “all parties to accelerate every effort to clear existing mines and unexploded ordnance” and called on “all parties to accelerate their efforts to remove mines and explosive remnants, to strengthen victim assistance and to support children’s right to a safe, secure and protected environment”.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Pursat Ford assembly plant opens

    The Kingdom’s first Ford assembly plant was inaugurated on June 16 in Pursat province amid rising demand for brand-new vehicles among Cambodians. The facility is seen as a game changer for the domestic automobile industry, which could bring a wave of investors seeking to cash

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • $50B infrastructure plan en route

    The government’s upcoming $50 billion,10-year infrastructure master plan will provide tremendous investment opportunities for domestic and foreign entities, transport experts and economists say. Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol revealed the plan to Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami on June 15. At

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro