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Defusing War’s Perfect Soldiers

In 1997, Princess Diana brought public attention to land mine victims. But, almost two decades after her death, how much progress has been made in the worldwide fight against leftover munitions?

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Defusing War’s Perfect Soldiers

Produced by Kit Roane and Sarah Weiser
Original Release
October 30, 2016

In 1997, Princess Diana brought public attention to land mine victims. But, almost two decades after her death, how much progress has been made in the worldwide fight against leftover munitions?

Despite Princess Diana’s public crusade in the late1990’s to ban land mines, they, and other unexploded ordinances, remain an intractable problem around the world, killing and maiming thousands a year – most of them civilians, many children. Perhaps no country illustrates the problem more dramatically than Vietnam.

Nearly four decades after the Vietnam War ended, the country is still grappling daily with thousands of unexploded ordinances left behind. They continue to cripple the innocent, hamper agricultural development, and affect foreign policy.

But as Paul Heslop, director of the United Nations Mine Action Service, told Retro Report, finding an effective solution is not easy in a world still often at war. That future is being written today in conflict zones such as Yemen and Syria, one cluster bomb at a time.

This story was also produced by Sandy Northrop and Olivia Katrandjian.

Additional Resources:

Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor
Mine Action Gateway
Cluster Munitions
The HALO Trust
Project Renew
United Nations Mine Action Centre for Afghanistan
A Guide To Cluster Munitions

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