Landmine Awareness Day Marked for the First Time in the South Caucasus

On April 4, the South Caucasus is marking International Landmine Awareness Day for the first time, a worldwide campaign raising awareness about the danger and effects of landmines.

“On this International Day for Mine Awareness, let us reaffirm our commitment to eradicating the horrendous damage caused by landmines and assisting those who have been harmed by their use,”  UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stated. 

The region-wide campaign, running under the slogan 'Landmine Free South Caucasus', which will be held from 4 - 10 of April, will see events in a number of cities and districts of the region. Information material in Armenian, Azerbaijani, Georgian, Russian and English will be featured and distributed. The campaign aims to encourage governemnts, opinion formers and citizens to intensify their efforts to clean the South Caucasus from the scourge of landmines and unexploded ordinance. An important aspect is to take the message of the risks to children, young people and other vulnerable groups, especially when they still live in affected areas.

In the South Caucasus, more than five thousand people have been killed or injured through landmines in non-combat situations in the last 30 years. Landmines kill indiscriminately, often taking innocent civilians or even child lives. Landmines can strongly influence the economic development of a country, as they can limit the cultivation of agricultural land and restrict livestock breeding. 

Georgia was affected by significant contamination from cluster munition after the five-day war between Georgia and Russia in August 2008. Among the most affected regions was Shida Kartli, one of the main agricultural areas of the country, which thousands of people were forced to leave. Throughout the years, however, the danger has been reduced through minefield clearance, yet there still remain dangerous areas which need to be taken care of. 

A number of national and international organizations are participating in the campaign 'Landmine Free South Caucasus,' an initiative supported by the European Union. The campaign partner in Georgia is the Europe-Georgia Institute ( Information on the 'Landmine Free South Caucasus' campaign is available on social media under the hashtag #landminefreeSC.  

For further information, contact the co-ordinating office of the 'Landmine Free South Caucasus' campaign at

By Lisa Maier 

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04 April 2019 13:20