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When Liz Bernstein was working in the late 1980s in the refugee camps in the border region between Thailand and Cambodia, she saw that people who went out to collect firewood often returned severely injured or did not come back alive. These were the effects of landmines-weapons whose cruel function is such that they cannot be seen until they explode. Since then, Ms. Bernstein and many others around the world have taken up the fight against landmines. Some 15 years later, this horror is still present; however, as of September 2004, 143 countries had formally committed themselves to eradicate it.
Land mines left in the ground long after a war is finished often are set off by local residents, who then are wounded or killed. The countries that planted the land mines should be responsible for removing them, but few are ever removed or marked. Manufacture and trade should be greatly regulated.
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