The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child held its 71st session from 1 to 29 January 2016 in Geneva.

The Islamic Republic of Iran was the first country to be heard by the committee on 11 January.

The experts of the committee had many questions to ask to the Iranian delegation but many remained unanswered.

“What do you do concretely for children wounded by mine blasts in Iran?” the committee asked the Iranian delegation, the only answer of which was an endless silence.

Children are the main victims of war and its outcomes and it is Children who make up most of the victims of land mines in Iran’s Kurdistan Province, where land mines from the Iran-Iraq War have been remained in the ground.

Most Iranian have heard about the tragedy of Neshkash, a small village in the central district of Mariwan County in Kurdistan Province, where a land mine explosion on 18 October 2013 severely injured seven Kurdish children.

The children of Neshkash

The children of Neshkash

Schools were closed that day for the Muslim Eid al-Adha celebrations, and the seven children were busy playing outside their homes because a friend had arrived from a neighboring village.

They were playing football near road of the village but accidentally kicked a landmine next to the ball that instantly exploded.

Nine-year-old Geshin lost her leg. Ala, who had come from the neighboring village, lost one of her eyes while Khebat and the rest of the children were injured.

Over two years has passed since the tragic accident occurred; but all of the children are still traumatized by the explosion of the PTSD mine.

Geshin had her leg amputated and after her sores became infectious,she underwent a surgery that amputated a few centimetres more of her leg.

And, the hospital asked her family to pay an astronomical price for the second surgery.

She comes from a poor family. Her father is a seasonal worker, who has no other choice other than going to neighboring Iraqi Kurdistan Region to find temporary jobs to feed his family.

The situation of the other families of the victims is even worse.

Although the National Janbazan (Veterans) Foundation had pledged many promises to the families of the children, they have not yet received anything from the government.

The only thing the government did was providing them a ‘Social Security Voucher” for use only in public hospitals, which usually do not provide good-quality medical care for these cases.

Geshin has been coping with disability and unbearable pain because she needs expensive prostheses that het family cannot afford to buy.

Geshin (right ) and her friend

Geshin (right ) and her friend

Ala is at imminent risk of complete blindness. She had lost one of her eyes during the mine blast, but she is now on the verge of completely losing sight in her other eye.

According M. Issa Bazyar, human rights activist and specialist of the land mine issue in Iran, the authorities are to be blamed.

“Negligence, incompetence and lethargy of Iranian authorities (central and local) to clean this mine-polluted area and to assist the victims have worsened the situation,” Bazyar has said.

Last summer a child was killed by a mine explosion in Kani Dinar area and a few months earlier two children has lost their lives in a village near the city of Mariwan.

The main problem is that the victims, who are mostly school children, are absolutely not prepared and do not have the basic education to avoid being near landmines.

Education and prevention can offer substantial efforts to avoid the repetition of mine blast tragedies.

However, it appears that there is no awareness on land mine explosions in Iran.

According to clause 3 of Article 10 of of the national Mine Action Canter Program, mine-clearance operations must be marked with appropriate billboards.

The International Mine Action Standards (IMAS) has published a guide for the application of such standards.

The IMAS says that the mine clearance of areas must be marked by billboards with simple messages or signs.

However, it’s easily noticed that no such actions have been made to protect the population, especially the children, of the Kurdistan Province in Iran.