February 28, 2007 09:46 ET

UNICEF Canada Marks Canadian Landmine Awareness Week by Highlighting "Ticking Time Bomb" for Children

Canadian talks about firsthand experience visiting children in cluster bomb-affected areas in Lebanon

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Feb. 28, 2007) -

Attention: Assignment Editors, News Directors, Producers


WHAT: UNICEF Canada is marking Canadian Landmine Awareness Week (Feb
25 to March 3) by highlighting the ongoing humanitarian issue
of unexploded cluster bombs in southern Lebanon. Six months
after the summer conflict in Lebanon, unexploded cluster bombs
continue to pose a major threat to children, youth and their

Following the August ceasefire, UNICEF and its partners
launched a massive awareness, education and behavioural change
Mine/Cluster Bomb Risk Education campaign aimed at more
than one million civilians in South Lebanon, Bekaa Valley and
the southern suburbs of Beirut. Thanks to the support of
donors, this critical work continues today.

WHY: Over the past six months, cluster bomb explosions have been
responsible for the injury or death of 216 people in Lebanon,
including 70 children and youth under the age of 18. These
"ticking time bombs" are threatening the physical, socio-
economic and psychosocial wellbeing of children and families.

WHO: UNICEF Canada spokesperson Nicole Ireland just returned from a
four-month assignment in Lebanon, where she met children, youth
and families affected by cluster bombs, as well as teachers and
mine-risk trainers working to minimize the risk for children
and youth. She is available for interviews prior to her return
to Lebanon in March.

WHEN: Interviews with Nicole Ireland are available this week for
journalists interested in a timely human-interest angle on
Canadian Landmine Awareness Week (CLAW) - a civil society
initiative led by Mines Action Canada to mark the anniversary
of the entry-into-force of the Ottawa Convention banning
antipersonnel landmines (March 1, 1999) and highlights the
contributions of Canadians to global mine action efforts.
February also marks six months of post-conflict recovery work
in Lebanon.

Field photos from the ground in Lebanon are available, as well as B-roll. Recent video footage is available to broadcasters for free download at www.thenewsmarket.com (searchword UNICEF).

Contact Information

  • UNICEF Canada
    Simone Dalton
    (416) 482-4444, ext. 866
    Email: sdalton@unicef.ca