Landmines are explosive wartime weapons. People bury them or leave them on the ground for their enemies to step on or drive over. Yet once peacetime arrives, some of these buried bombs may remain behind. They’re often in empty fields, where they can maim or kill innocent civilians. But a new technology can make it easy to find landmines — even from a safe distance. And this might let bomb crews disarm these weapons before someone gets hurt.
The International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) is a group based in Geneva, Switzerland. It aims to end the use of these explosives. These mines had become such a big problem that an international Mine Ban Treaty was enacted in 1997. ICBL played a major role in getting countries to agree to the ban. For its success, ICBL and its coordinator — Jody Williams — shared the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize. Yet even today, millions of these bombs may still be buried out of sight across the world, according to the United Nations. In 2015 alone, the group notes, landmines and similar bombs killed or injured more than 5,000 civilians. Almost four in every 10 of the victims were children.
Trained workers typically go into a field with metal detectors to find and remove mines. But sometimes they don’t find the mines until they’re right on top of them, which can be very dangerous. That’s why the new technology is so promising. Using it, scouts now can identify landmines from a distance. Then they can send in experts to cautiously defuse or detonate the bombs.
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About Oliver Briscoe
Oliver Briscoe is a 20+ year veteran of the Informational Technology field. He understands his first principals and loves teaching others.