The next UK General Election will be held this Thursday, 4 July. MAG has been calling on the country’s political parties to commit to taking the actions needed to reduce the impact of conflict and armed violence on communities around the world.

In a world increasingly plagued by violent conflict, governments play a vital role in addressing the causes and impacts on ordinary people.

In 2023, there was a 122% increase in the number of civilians killed by explosive weapons. The proportion of women and children killed in armed conflict doubled and tripled, respectively, compared with 2022.

These tragic casualties serve as a reminder that protecting people in conflict is needed now more than ever.

As one of the founding signatories to the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty – a cornerstone of International Humanitarian Law – the UK has played a major role in tackling the legacy of landmines and explosive remnants of war. 

This makes a substantial contribution to the peace and wellbeing of millions of people living in countries scarred by bitter conflicts.

It means that MAG has been supported to clear land so it can be used for schools, hospitals and agriculture – from Angola to Cambodia, Lebanon to Zimbabwe, and Vietnam to South Sudan. You can read more stories below about the people who have benefitted.

The work to protect those affected by conflict must continue under the next Government so that people can continue to rebuild their lives and livelihoods in safety.

Read more about what MAG has been calling for in the MAG Manifesto

MAG has been speaking to candidates about our manifesto, will you join us and ask candidates in your area? 

Here are three questions to ask prospective parliamentary candidates at your local hustings or if they knock on your door!

questions to MPs

For email updates about our work across the world and how you can get involved in projects and fundraising activities, sign up here!

Meet the men, women & families supported by our work, thanks to donor support…

Nicholas, South Sudan

Nicholas’s family returned to their ancestral home just five weeks ago after enduring an on and off exile in the refugee camps of Uganda for 28 years.  

They first fled their village in Ayii, South Sudan, in 1995 when civil war tore through their community.  

They returned 13 years later, in 2008, but then fled again in 2013, when further conflict broke out shortly after the country gained its independence.  

“There was peace for five years and then we had to flee again and go back the refugee camps in Uganda. It was not safe for us – the soldiers and the fighting swept through this village because it is close to the main highway. So we escaped.  

I came back a couple of months ago to plant crops and within just a few days I found an unexploded cluster bomb. I told the authorities and MAG was called in. They have been clearing this land – our ancestral land - ever since and the progress has enabled the rest of the family to leave the refugee camps in Uganda and come home.”  

Nicholas has now been joined by his sister Santa, 62, and niece Grace, 34, and her nine children. Their crops are emerging from the soil they have tilled and they are rebuilding their houses which were destroyed in the conflict and which also claimed the life of Grace’s husband.  

He says: “I am feeling positive and happy now. I am encouraging others from the village to also return as soon as MAG has finished making the fields safe.  

We will grow cassava, maize and fava beans. My hope is that will grow enough to be able to sell some produce as well and pay for the children to go to school. We want to rebuild our village and I have plans to set up a co-operative so that the villagers can work together to ensure we are sharing our resources.”  

The family is in the process of rebuilding their homes that were destroyed in the conflict.  

Nicholas’ sister Santa said: “In the refugee camps the rations have been cut and they are not giving people enough food and we were always hungry. We worried about the children.  

It would be impossible to live here and grow crops because of the bombs but we know that when MAG has finally cleared all of the land we will be able to thrive as a family.”  

Minga, Angola

“When I had my accident I was just a small child. I found something that I thought was a tin and I tried to knock the sand off it. It just exploded. I thought my life was over."

Some 13 years ago, in a small Angolan village, Minga's life changed in the violent flash of an explosion. 

As a six-year-old, Minga picked up a small shiny object she thought was a toy. It exploded in her hands. The explosion permanently blinded Minga and her right arm had to be amputated. 

Minga's story is, sadly, similar to that of thousands of children in the region. 

Thanks to the generous support of our donors, MAG has been able to provide life-changing services for Minga, including a scholarship to attend a school for deaf and blind students in the Angolan capital Moxico. 

Minga is now proficient in reading and writing in Braille and has mastered a custom-made, one-handed Braille typewriter for completing her classwork. 

Today she is one of MAG’s risk education specialists, travelling around Moxico province – an area that was at the epicentre of the war – and visiting small villages to teach communities about the hazards of unexploded ordnance and landmines. 

She is also a new mother, with a five-month-old baby son, Edevaldo Daniel, to care for. 

She says: “I am happy that my son will not face the same dangers as I did and that he will be safer thanks to the work that people like I and my colleagues do. He gives me hope for the future – for me personally and also for my country. 

"Now I speak to people about my personal experience so they can learn from it, telling my personal story is always the last thing we do in our risk education sessions.” 

Minga’s delivers her sessions in partnership with colleague Reeta, now a close friend as well as a colleague. 

Reeta says: “When Minga talks about her experience as a child and the effect it had on her whole life, I can see that some people are in tears. We are a good team – we really get the message across to people who still have to live with this danger."

Meet UK-funded MAG staff clearing land for their communities…

Klang, Cambodia

"I grew up with bombs. We would find them in the fields."

Klang is 25 and has been working for MAG for almost a year.  

“I can support my family and help the community. I am very happy to work with MAG. 

"My family are farmers, we grow cassava, and my father also weaves and sells baskets. This is an old village, and all the people are farmers. They have risked their lives farming the land every day for many years. There were 15 families here before the war. UXO has killed six people and injured three.

"I found out more about them when MAG came and presented an exploded ordnance risk education session  in the village. 

"I have a great opportunity to make a difference, I know that. After MAG clears land people are happy and they feel safer. I hope MAG will be able to continue its work helping people in Cambodia. I hope I can keep working with MAG and learn more skills. "

Ngoie, Angola

Ngoie Mulunda Groyca is 34 and has been a deminer for five years. She now has her senior Explosive Ordnance Disposal qualifications and is a supervisor.

She leads almost 30 staff across two teams comprising deminers and key support staff such as medics. 

Ngoie says: “When I first started I was ready to resign. During the training we were shown videos and pictures of the consequences of landmine accidents and then we actually got into the field I was constantly worried about snakes and insects. It’s really tough work, especially when it’s very hot, because of the heavy protective equipment we have to wear. 

“My family and friends were also nervous and really didn’t want me to do the job. I can understand that. 

“But then I became used to the work, I guess, and I started to really enjoy it. My family also became more confident as I reassured them about how strict we are in the way we operate. We have such a good team spirit and my colleagues are my friends. 

“We’re all very proud to be doing such important work for our country and our communities. Every day we can see the progress we make, the number of metres we’ve made safe, the landmines we’ve found and destroyed. You can see the difference.”