2001 © Jane Evelyn Atwood  

Because records and maps of buried landmines are often lost, exact figures are difficult to ascertain. Yet according to the US State Department, every year approximately 10,000 people, including many women and children, are killed or maimed by 50-60 million landmines buried in 80 countries. Many of these mines can remain lethal for over 50 years. In 1997, the year the International Campaign to Ban Landmines was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, 122 countries signed the comprehensive Mine Ban Treaty in Ottawa, Canada. Notable non-signers include China, Russia and the United States, which are also among the 16 nations that still produce landmines.

The five countries Jane Evelyn Atwood visited are among the most heavily-mined in the world:

Afghanistan: estimated 4 million landmines*

Angola: estimated 200,000 – 6 million landmines

Cambodia: estimated 300,000 – 1 million landmines

Kosovo: number unknown

Mozambique: estimated 800,000-1 million landmines

* figures as to their number from the US Department of State

for more information about landmines, visit