Laos celebrates the 14th anniversary of Mine Ban Treaty with the “Lend Your Leg” campaign

Lao Ban Advocates celebrated International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action with the “Lend Your Leg” campaign. According to Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Alounkeo Kittikhoune, “Lend Your Leg” is a worldwide campaign that has been launched to celebrate this day and for people to show their support for the cause.

Hundreds of people took in the mini marathon organised by the National Regulatory Authority to celebrate International UXO/Mine Awareness Day on April 6 at Patuxay Park in Vientiane. The gathering attended by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Alounkeo Kittikhoune, international representatives from EU and UNDP and the public.

Official said, the Lao Ban Advocates, a group of cluster munitions survivors supported by Handicap International is running the campaign to inform people about land mines and cluster munitions and invite the Lao government to accede to the Mine Ban Treaty. International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action aims to raise awareness about land mines and UXO and the serious threat caused by land mines to the safety, health and lives of civilian populations.

They are asked by a symbolic action of rolling up a pant leg or sleeve to demonstrate to all countries that they condemn any use of land mines and other indiscriminate weapons and to encourage every country to sign both the Mine Ban Treaty and the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Lao Ban Advocates, representing unexploded ordnance (UXO) survivors, came from their hometowns in various provinces to Vientiane to advocate for this campaign. This year, the Lao Ban Advocates are contributing to the global campaign through every media channel they have such as Facebook the International Campaign to Ban Landmines network and their website (www.handicapinternational to show their support from Laos.

The Lao Ban Advocates belong to a global network of cluster munitions survivors who draw on their own experiences to campaign for the universalisation and implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, a global treaty banning the use, stockpiling and transfer of cluster bombs. Supported by Handicap International, they have been key spokespeople for the Convention on national, regional and international levels, advocating for assistance to victims and the allocation of funds for UXO clearance in Laos and worldwide.

LNTV Lao News broadcast on 8/4/2013