Handicap International works to clear landmines and cluster bombs, help victims, and educate vulnerable communities about the risks posed by these weapons in 20 countries such as Laos, Colombia, and Cambodia. We also advocate for an international ban on anti-personnel mines and cluster bombs, as well as a ban on the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.
Landmines and cluster bombs are a significant cause of disability. These weapons instill fear in whole communities, deepening poverty and acting as a lethal barrier to development. Contamination from landmines, cluster munitions and other explosive remnants of war terrorizes civilians in more than half of the world's countries.
In 1982, our co-founders realized that Cambodian landmine survivors were being overlooked by charities working in the refugee camps along the Thai border. They realized that the world needed to move urgently to ban these horrific weapons worldwide.
Handicap International played a key role in founding the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and pushing for the Mine Ban Treaty's creation in 1997. This work resulted in our being co-recipients of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize.
We are a founding member of the Cluster Munition Coalition, and actively campaign in support of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, which came into effect on August 1, 2010.
Handicap International is also a founder and coordinating member of the Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor, which monitors these two international treaties and produces annual reports on their implementation.
Handicap International has evolved into the world's most comprehensive "mine action" organization. Our prevention work and political campaigning aims to bring an end to the killing and maiming of farmers working the land or children on their way to school. Political action, health care, orthopedic fitting, assistance, awareness raising and mine-clearance have become the cornerstones of our anti-mine campaign.