The International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action is commemorated on 4 April each year. This day aims to raise awareness about landmines and progress toward their eradication.
It is an opportunity for the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) and other organizations to reflect and raise awareness on, inter alia, landmines, explosive remnants of war (ERW), improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and act further toward their eradication.
On 8 December 2005, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly declared that April 4 of each year would be officially proclaimed and observed as International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action. It was first observed on April 4, 2006.
It called for continued efforts by states, with assistance from the UN and relevant organizations, to help establish and develop national mine-action capacities in countries where mines and explosive war remnants constitute a serious threat to the safety, health, and lives of people, or hinders social and economic development at the national and local levels.
According to the Landmine Monitor Report 2005, 84 countries were affected by landmines and unexploded ordnance, which together kill or maim between 15,000 and 20,000 adults and children annually. The UN works together with countries to find and destroy these devices. It also helps to provide various mine-action services in many countries.
“Mine action” refers to a range of efforts to clear landmines and explosive remnants of war and to mark and fence off dangerous areas.
It also includes assisting victims, teaching people how to remain safe in a mine-affected environment, advocating for universal participation in international treaties related to landmines, explosive remnants of war and their victims, and destroying landmines stockpiled by governments and non-state armed groups.