“The Most Vulnerable”
Portraits of Children Survivors of Landmines and Cluster Munitions By PSALM Students opened Friday, January 9th,at the MONONGALIA ARTS CENTER, 107 High Street, MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA, USA. PSALM students displayed portraits and presented an art installation to raise awareness about the most vulnerable members of society, children and the after effects of these weapons of war. The exhibit included artworks by PSALM students and painted sculptures.
A PSALM spokesperson explained, “We want people to understand the indiscriminate nature of these weapons. Children are especially vulnerable due to their size and curiosity. We are outraged that children are all too often the victims of these weapons coming upon them in the most innocent of activities like playing or going to school. We cannot stand by and not make known what these children, and others, face day in and day out.” The exhibit will be on display until January 31st.
This short film looks at the affect landmines have on children all over the world. © Handicap International:
According to Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor 2014 Report there were 1,112 child casualties in 39 states and three other areas from landmines, victim-activated improvised explosive devices (IEDs), cluster munition remnants, and other explosive remnants of war in 2103.
Of this total, 333 children were killed and 779 were injured. Children accounted for almost half (46%, 1,112 of 2,403) of all civilian casualties for whom the age was known in 2013. This represented an increase from the 39% recorded for 20125 and was also the second highest percentage of child casualties—after 49% in 2007—since specific data became available in 2005. The average annual rate of child casualties since 2005 is 43% of civilian casualties.
In some of the states with the greatest numbers of casualties, the percentage of child casualties in 2013 was much higher than the global average of 46%. Children constituted 90% of all civilian casualties in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), 82% in Yemen, and 75% in South Sudan.
Between 2012 and 2013, significant increases in the number of child casualties were seen in Afghanistan, Syria, and South Sudan. There were 487 child casualties in Afghanistan in 2013, representing almost half of all civilian casualties in that country and also making up nearly half (44%) of all child casualties recorded globally in 2013. Furthermore, greater numbers of children became casualties of mines/ERW in 2013 in Afghanistan than in 2012, although the total number of casualties decreased, indicating a possible shift in the risk factors children faced in that country. In Syria—where the number of mine/ERW casualties had been quite low in the years prior to the start of armed conflict in 2011—50 children were reported as killed or injured by mines/ERW in 2013, which was more than eleven times the number of children recorded in casualty data for 2012. In South Sudan, the number of child casualties followed the trend of increased overall casualties recorded with 33 child casualties in 2013, compared to 10 in 2012; children accounted for 72% of all civilian casualties in 2013 and 45% in 2012 in the country.7 Since monitoring began in 1999, every year there have been about 1,000 child casualties from mines/ERW, with significantly greater numbers of children recorded as killed and injured in 1999 and 2001.8. Given the lack of age-disaggregated data available in the initial years of Monitor casualty research, it is certain that the number of child casualties from 1999–2004 was in fact much higher than the reported figures. See full report below: