The human impact
• In 50% of cases, the traumatic consequences are fatal. The damage done to the body by these weapons is not only caused by the explosion itself but also by the earth, bacteria, pieces of clothing and fragments of metal and plastic that find their way into the body tissue. Not only can they lead to the amputation of the limb(s) affected but they may also cause permanent damage to the hands, arms, genitalia, face, eyes and ears.
• Mutilation may limit a person's physical capacities, which in turn prevents them from playing a part in the social life of their community.
• Survivors encounter psychological difficulties following the trauma.
• Disability can reduce the person's chances of getting married, having children and finding work.
• Negative social attitudes towards people with disabilities lead to exclusion.
• Local communities are scared to use fields and roads or send their children to school.
• Communities often have to choose between poverty, starvation and dehydration or risking their lives by cultivating dangerous fields.
• The number of people with disabilities increases in already impoverished countries.
• The return of refugees and internally displaced people is hindered.
The impact on socio-economic systems
• Survivors with disabilities face a loss of income. If they were the main earner, the whole family may suffer extreme poverty. Relatives may also have to stop working to look after him or her.
• Most survivors cannot afford expensive medical treatment. Families may have to make a choice: receive no treatment or sell their possessions.
• The presence of landmines and unexploded cluster bombs prevents communities from using their land, restricting agricultural production and rural development.
• The national economy is affected as countries face an increased need for medical and rehabilitation services and a decrease in accessible farmable land.
• Countries also suffer a lack of economic development, as trade within rural communities, between urban centers and the countryside, and between neighboring states is disrupted when their borders are mined or contaminated with cluster bombs.
• These weapons obstruct access to natural resources, raw materials and the development of transport networks.