Unless otherwise specified all photographs are courtesy of John Rodsted AUSTRALIAN NETWORK TO BAN LANDMINES AND CLUSTER MUNITIONS     The Mine Ban Treaty The Mine Ban Treaty The Mine Ban Treaty, sometimes called the Ottawa Treaty, came into force on March 1 1999 Under the treaty’s guidance States Parties have cleared and returned to productive use large tracts of land; educated mine-affected communities about the risk of antipersonnel mines and other unexploded ordnance; provided support to and protected the rights of landmine survivors; and destroyed millions of stockpiled antipersonnel mines, ensuring they can never be planted in the earth again. Today, use of antipersonnel mines is the exception rather than the rule, and the trade in these weapons has virtually stopped. Thanks to the advance of mine clearance and risk education programs, the number of new landmine casualties has steadily decreased. However, many challenges still remain on the road to a mine-free world, especially in the areas of mine clearance, stockpile destruction, and ensuring real and lasting change in the lives of landmine survivors, their families and communities. Antipersonnel landmines are explosive devices designed to injure or kill people. They lie dormant for years and even decades under, on or near the ground until a person or animal triggers their detonating mechanism.  What are Landmines? A landmine blast causes horrific injuries such as blindness, deafness, loss of limbs and extensive burns. Survivors face severe pain and extensive surgery, social  difficulities and psychological trauma. To find out more about the global landmine situation go to:                        http://www.icbl.org/index.php  Unless otherwise specified all photographs are courtesy of John Rodsted