Approximately every hour, somewhere in the world, someone falls victim to a landmine. That person is not usually a combatant: the most common victim is a civilian, man, woman, or child of the developing world. Apart from leaving thousands dead or injured each year, these indiscriminate and inhumane devices create a climate of fear and pose a barrier to development, cutting off access to arable land, water and fuel, hampering development of useful infrastructure, preventing movement of populations such as returning refugees, and further burdening already-strained health-care systems.
On December 3, 1997, Canada became the first nation to sign the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction, also known as the Ottawa Convention.
Since then, Canada has taken a leadership role in the struggle to create a world free of landmines, abiding not only by its domestic commitments but also helping developing nations to meet the obligations of the Convention.
Working closely with the Department of National Defence (DND), DFATD builds national and local capacity in the areas of victim assistance, mine clearance and mine-risk education.
In order to achieve this, Canada provides assistance to mine-affected countries through bilateral programs in Afghanistan, Cambodia and Sudan, as well as through multilateral and international institutions such as:
and Canadian NGOs and institutions including Collège Montmorency (in French only).