Photographer Giles Duley, who lost three limbs and almost his life to a landmine, talks to Channel 4 Television in 2013. Two years earlier, Giles travelled to Afghanistan to document the life of soldiers there. While on dawn patrol with the US Army, he stepped on a landmine, losing his left arm and both legs. His extensive injuries almost killed him. Giles has since used his photography to champion the plight of those affected by conflict and humanitarian disaster.
"My [Angola] experience was to see what has been done, slowly and perilously, to get these mines out of the earth. It is the men of the Mines Advisory Group who do this hazardous work… and I take this opportunity to pay my tribute to the work these men do on our behalf."
Diana Princess of Wales, in her keynote speech to "Responding to Landmines: A Modern Tragedy and its Solutions", June 1997. Seminar co-hosted by MAG and the Landmine Survivors Network
"I have an eleven-year-old boy. My family had a very hard time in the [Sri Lankan civil] war and fled from place to place – many, many times. I was hit in the stomach by shrapnel in the war. My father was hit three days later. We are both okay now though. I am really happy about my work with MAG. We are women together in this team and we share a lot together and help each other. I am not sure how our clearance compares with other teams, but I would be surprised if our clearance rate is not the same or faster. If we didn’t do this work it would be impossible for people to come home. MAG pays us and the donors pay MAG. The donors can be proud of what we are achieving here."
Kandeepan Sutharsini, deminer in MAG Sri Lanka's all-female Mine Action Team, 2011
"I have known MAG from my time as a war reporter and remained involved with them during my time as MP. They are universally respected. I know of no aid agency or non-governmental organisation, relative to its size, which has saved more lives than MAG, helped more people and done more around the world to tackle the scourge of the landmine."
Martin Bell OBE, former BBC World Correspondent and UK Member of Parliament
"I’ve seen MAG’s work in the field first-hand and to my mind there is no other mine action agency that approaches mine clearance in the way MAG does. MAG’s priority is saving human lives, helping communities, employing landmine survivors, giving back control to those who live on dangerous land. MAG doesn’t clear barren minefields, it targets minefields where people live and builds relationships with the communities, works with them and helps them prosper. It’s quite unique and deeply humanitarian at its core."
Stuart Hughes, BBC World Affairs Producer and landmine accident survivor
“MAG’s quick response to the danger was very encouraging. We are a new country, with many problems. While others are here to make money, MAG is here only to help us and our children. MAG’s quick response has lowered the risk of our children being hurt.”
Okee Simington, Deputy Headmaster of Magwi Central Primary School, South Sudan, 2011
"My mother died of disease when I was 10 and my father died of malaria in 1999. I married in 2000 and I have one daughter. Being an amputee caused many problems in my marriage and I split up with my wife. I tried to live a normal life after becoming an amputee, but I felt as if I was going nowhere and doing nothing, stuck with feeling useless. I want to thank MAG and World Vision for giving an amputee like me the opportunity to get a job, especially a job like demining which helps society. Perhaps people will stop looking down on amputees like me, and believing we can’t do anything useful with our lives. I really want to continue in this job, because I have a real purpose in my work, I want to help reduce the number of people like me who may be disabled by landmines."
Sok Kheurn, member of MAG Cambodia’s Mine Action Team ‘MAT 9’, funded by World Vision Cambodia
"Even in very difficult operating environments, MAG’s quality of service is always performed at an exceptional level."
Dennis Haddrick, Program Manager, Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement, U.S. Department of State, 2009
"During my field visit in Luena, MAG demonstrated that its work has a direct impact on its beneficiaries: the local communities of Moxico, living in either urban or rural areas. Through demining of the region and the assistance given to the local government and communities, MAG helps to clear the way to development."
Machteld Cattryse, Policy Officer for the Royal Embassy of the Netherlands, following her visit to MAG’s Angola operations in 2010
"My visit to Moxico and, most especially, to the MAG work site outside Luena was a powerful moment for me. There is something so deeply moving about seeing farmers tilling land that once was untouchable, about seeing children playing in an area where mines had earlier been removed, about watching villagers traversing areas that had once been no-go areas. MAG's wondrous legacy in Moxico is everywhere to see as local people resume lives that fear of landmines had until recently made impossible. As the representative of the United States in Angola, I was proud that American taxpayers were helping make possible the fine work that MAG is doing to make Angola, once one of the most heavily mined countries in the world, free from landmines."
Dan Mozena, US Ambassador to Angola, 2010
Landmines are generally divided into two main groups - anti-personnel and anti-tank - and have four main component parts: an outer structure made of either plastic, wood, metal, Bakelite, rubber or even glass; a fuse or firing mechanism; a detonator; and high explosives.
Some contain thousands of pieces of shrapnel, designed to fire out to great distances, while others have been made with a minimum amount of metal and are therefore difficult to detect using metal detectors.non-governmental organisationA non-governmental organisation, or NGO, is a not-for-profit group, principally independent from government, which is organised on a local, national or international level to address issues in support of the public good.
[Source: United Nations, www.unrol.org]