It stands in balance on just three legs against all the challenges… the broken chair, a symbol for struggling to live.
It was built in 1997 by the NGO Handicap International the co-founder of International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), to urge all countries to sign the Ottawa Landmines Ban Treaty.
The Handicap International decided to build it at the Place des Nations in front of the United Nations headquarter to support the landmine ban treaty and shed light on landmines victims who still standing tall despite all what they faced.
This 12m high chair symbolizes fragility and strength, violence and dignity, it was established for a three months period but it still there until this day!
The use of landmines has begun long time ago on 14th century, but mines were developed during World War 2 into anti-personnel mines to protect anti-tank mines, strategic areas such as borders, camps and to restrict the attacks of enemies.
Since then they have been used in many conflicts: the Vietnam War, the Korean War, the first Gulf War and the Cold War.
Over time, anti-personnel mines began to be used on a wider scale, specifically targeting civilians to terrorize communities. Many countries have planted a series of landmines and most of them haven’t been discovered yet!
As a result, many civilians are being killed or maimed everyday because they have no idea if they entered a mined area or not!
According to Landmine Monitor Report, high numbers of casualties were recorded in 2016, with a total of at least 8,605 people killed or injured by landmines. Civilians represented the majority of casualties. 78% of casualties were civilians in 2016, comparable to 79% in 2015.
The broken chair is an alert to remind governments to take steps towards eliminating this long-lasting problem that has been created by themselves throughout these conflicts.
Minesweepers by its turn is doing the best to help eliminate this hidden killer by motivating youth and developers to build a robot and detect landmines. Join our journey towards a landmine free world and wait our international finals updates!