Bärbel Kofler, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement to mark International Mine Awareness Day (4 April):
Landmines, cluster munitions and booby-traps still present a daily and especially perfidious danger in many countries: they can affect anyone, in particular however children out playing, young people or individuals tending their fields or gardens. There can be no justification for the use of these murderous weapons.
Many states have now banned anti-personnel mines and cluster munitions – a real success story! Nevertheless, we cannot afford to slacken our efforts.
I call on all states to prohibit the production and spread of cluster munitions and landmines and to accede to the relevant international conventions. We owe this to the victims and their families.
Landmines, unexploded ordnance and booby-traps kill or maim thousands of people around the world each year. That is why Germany is actively working for the global prohibition of anti-personnel mines and cluster munitions, and supports projects around the world in the field of humanitarian mine and ordnance clearance. Alongside the actual clearance and disposal of ordnance, the aid measures focus on victim care and efforts to raise public awareness among the population groups affected. The countries prioritised include Colombia, Myanmar, Iraq, Libya and Ukraine. In 2016, the German Government provided around 33 million euros for projects and is thus one of the most important donors.