Center for International Stabilization & Recovery

CISR envisions a world where people can build peaceful and prosperous futures free from the repercussions of conflict and disaster.

We help communities affected by conflict and trauma through innovative and reliable research, training, information exchange, and direct services such as:

Mine Risk Education
Peer Support
Management Training
Scientific Research
Who I Follow
Posts tagged "victim"


Whilst traveling in Cambodia, i was told there are no wild elephants left in the country. The only place they are sometimes found is on the border with Thailand which is still riddled with landmines left by the Khmer Rouge. This young elephant is being measured for a prosthetic. 


Colombian victims of the armed conflict Angela Maria Giraldo and Jose Antequera hold a press conference on August 16, 2014, in Havana, during peace-talks between FARC-EP members and Colombian government delegation (AFP Photo/Yamil Lage)

Victims of the decades-old conflict pitting FARC rebels against government forces testified at peace talks Saturday, pushing for “truth” to form the foundation of any accord.

The 12 victims, some of whom came face-to-face with representatives of the perpetrators for the first time, testified during a closed-door session that lasted nearly nine hours.

"During the day, we agreed that truth is the basis for peace," they said in a statement presented to the press by six of the victims.


"I have seen people blown up by landmines before, firsthand… In every conflict that I’ve ever covered, landmines are an issue. It’s just a menace that never goes away." 

 Brent Stirton, Reportage photographer, on documenting landmine cleanup efforts in Mozambique.

Having experienced an 11-year war of liberation, a civil war and the armed violence of its neighboring countries, Mozambique was one of the most heavily landmined countries in the world. The organization HALO Trust has cleared over 22,700 anti-personnel mines and reclaimed over 500,000 square meters of land as the country tries to become landmine-free by the end of 2014. See an interview with Brent about Mozambique’s landmine problem and its cleanup initiative by clicking here.

In late 2013 and early 2014, five of our Reportage photographers undertook a group project, commissioned by the ICRC, to document landmines, cluster munitions, and unexploded remnants of war. For this project, Brent Stirton worked in Mozambique, Veronique de Viguerie in Bosnia, Marco Di Lauro in Iraq, Sebastian Liste in Nicaragua, and Paula Bronstein in Laos. Watch this space in the following week for videos about landmine clearance in these other countries.

You can also view still images from this project as published recently by


Bashar works with an HI physiotherapist following a shrapnel injury. Photo courtesy of Giles Duley and Handicap International.


Bashar, 13 years old, was injured in July 2011 during the early stages of the Syrian crisis. Engulfed by the fighting in Deraa, the family was forced to flee their home with their children and look for a safer place to stay. As they were leaving their home a tank shell landed nearby. Shrapnel from the blast shattered Bashar’s left leg and also wounded his brother.

Bashar was rushed to the hospital in Deraa where they put an internal fixture in his left knee and sutured the wound. He already suffered from juvenile arthritis and, as time went on, it became clear that he was not getting the care he needed to recover from his injury. In February 2012, as the conflict escalated, the family decided to leave Syria and seek treatment for Bashar in Jordan.

Once in Jordan, Bashar had further surgery, and his leg was put in a cast, leaving him bedridden for many months. As a result, he was unable to move his left knee joint, his muscles weakened further, and both legs became stiff from lack of use.

HI’s mobile team found Bashar in desperate need of rehabilitation. Having not received proper rehabilitation care for more than a year following his injury, Bashar’s recovery has been painful and slow, made worse by arthritis that makes all of the joints in his body very painful to touch.

As a young boy growing up in Syria, Bashar was often in pain from the inflammation in his joints, but he received treatment for his condition. He could still walk and play football.

Now confined to his family’s rented fifth floor apartment in a small town near the Syrian border, Bashar rarely gets to go outside and can only dream of attending school. If he had received physical therapy sooner, many of his current difficulties could have been avoided.

Muhammad, an HI physical therapist, visits Bashar once a week to provide physical therapy. “We have fitted Bashar with orthoses to help him stand and walk. He can only walk a short distance at the moment, but it’s good. I think he will be able to regain full movement in his legs.”

Muhammad showed the family simple exercises that they do with Bashar every day. HI has also provided Bashar with an adapted wheelchair, a bed and a pressure-relief mattress to keep him comfortable, as well as blankets and a hygiene kit.

It may take another six months for Bashar to stand unsupported, but he is already seeing the benefit of proper care and, after a difficult period, he is happy to finally be on the road to recovery.



Tom Shelton, communication officer for HI U.K., wrote this case study based on his field reporting in northern Jordan in late March 2013. The full names of beneficiaries and HI staff were not used for security reasons.

CISR Director Ken Rutherford is in Italy for a landmine symposium and will speak on Friday at the JMU–Florence campus to James Madison University students and the broader Florence community.

Ottawa urged to ratify cluster munitions treaty


A poster for Handicap International’s “Fashion Victim” campaign. The group says some countries continue to use landmines and cluster bombs, which leave many innocent victims in their wake. (CNW Group/Handicap International)

They have been called “weapons of mass destruction in slow motion” and have killed or maimed hundreds of thousands over the past century. 

Today, landmine accidents claim about 12 lives per day in over 80 countries and territories around the world. There are an estimated 250,000 to 300,000 landmine survivors globally—most of whom are innocent civilians who have lost limbs or suffer permanent disability from their injuries.

Anti-landmine group Handicap International Canada aims to change these grim statistics with its new “Fashion Victim” campaign, which raises awareness of the ongoing use of landmines and cluster bombs and the many innocent victims they leave in their wake.

Read more …

A short video from The Cluster Project that raises awareness of cluster munitions in Vietnam from a farmer-survivor perspective

Portraits of Peace: Middle school students raise landmine awareness through art

Monongalia Arts Center
Benedum Gallery
107 High Street
Morgantown, WV 26507

Jan. 11-26, 2013
Opening Public Reception
Friday, Jan. 11, 6-8 p.m.

PSALM student guides available from 6-7 p.m.

The Monongalia Arts Center in Morgantown, W.Va. presents "A Nobel Cause: Portraits of Peace". WVCBL/PSALM students (West Virginia Campaign to Ban Landmines and Cluster Bombs/Proud Students Against Landmines and Cluster Bombs) painted portraits of  International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) campaigners, including a painting of CISR Director Ken Rutherford.

Rutherford was a cofounder of Landmine Survivors Network, which was a leader in ICBL, and spoke as a survivor advocate in the 1990s. In October 2012, he gave a speech at West Virginia University on how medical students can alleviate the negative impact of landmines.

The exhibit also features photographs that depict a timeline celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Nobel Prize-winning ICBL.

To learn more about the Campaigns to Ban Landmines and Cluster Munitions, please visit: 

International Campaign to Ban

United States Campaign to Ban

West Virginia Campaign to Ban Landmines and Cluster

Kabibi Tabu, a 23-year old young woman who lost both legs and her six-month old baby in a landmine blast in Bunia, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

(via queseraxx-deactivated20140414)

She is now married mother-of-three and works for local government


Raising Awareness: Princess Diana strokes landmine victim Sandra Tigica’s face in 1997

She was 13 and about to receive a prosthetic leg when Princess Diana visited her.

Poignant images of Sandra Tigica’s 1997 meeting with the Princess of Wales were beamed around the globe, highlighting the appalling problems in Angola, which had the world’s highest rate of death and disability caused by landmines.

Sandra’s left leg had been blown off by a landmine three years earlier as she fled from fighting in her country’s civil war. 

Read more…