The U.S. government is being urged to conclude a review of national policy on landmines that has dragged on for more than four years, a lag that some say has indirectly led to the injury or death of more than 16,000 people.
Aadil Khan and his two siblings had been playing as usual behind their house in the village of Diver, 110 kilometres north of Kashmir’s capital, Srinagar, when they came across what they thought was a “plaything” laying on the ground. But no sooner had they picked the object up than it literally shattered their innocent lives into pieces.
When international human rights groups launch a global campaign next week to ban "fully autonomous weapons", they will follow in the footsteps of the highly-successful 1990s collective worldwide effort to ban anti-personnel landmines and blinding lasers.
Efforts to clear Afghanistan of landmines have been painfully slow. At least 45 people on average lose their limbs every month to deadly anti-personnel mines, according to the Mine Action Coordination Centre of Afghanistan, formerly a project of the UN Mine Action Service, and now a national entity.