Edmund Rice Centre backs landmines petition
The Sydney-based Edmund Rice Centre for Justice and Community Education is urging support for an online petition calling on the Australian Senate to renew the country's ten-year commitment to mine action.
In 1995, the Australian Government pleged $100 million for integrated mine action programs, including the care and rehabilitation of landmine survivors, education and mine clearance. The ten-year commitment is due for renewal in 2005, and the petition urges an increase in the amount to $150 in the ten years to 2015.
The Edmund Rice Centre says 20,000 deaths occur annually due to landmines and other unexploded ordinance, material often left over from conflicts long since ended. One death or serious injury is attributed to landmines every 22 minutes.
It says landmines and unexploded ordinance are not only tragic in their consequences for individuals, they impose hardship on families who are forced to care for injured members and they alienate otherwise arable and productive land.
The Edmund Rice Centre is a work of the Christian Brothers. It is best known for exposing alleged corruption in the Australian Department of Immigration. A month ago, the Centre's researchers claimed on ABC TV's Lateline that Australian Government officials encouraged failed asylum seekers to use false passports to enter other countries.
When Church and community groups were active in the landmines campaign in the 1990s, they collectively submitted the second largest petition ever received by the Australian Parliament. The Edmund Rice Centre is urging support for the online petition.
Worldwide the 1990s campaign led to the Ottawa Treaty banning the production, sale and use of landmines by participating governments.
28ercA Promise worth Keeping (Edmund Rice Centre)
Edmund Rice Centre
Online Petition: A Request to the Australian Senate to Support Mine Action
International Campaign to Ban Landmines | International Campaign to Ban Landmines PetitionInternational Campaign to Ban Landmines (Australia)
Nun spells out Australia's landmines obligations (10/3/03)
The Ottawa Convention and Anti-Personnel Landmines (oneworld.org)
Ruddock says no evidence to support Catholic false passport claims (9/10/03)
28 Oct 2003