Broken Chair symbolises the fight to prevent armed violence against civilians during conflict.

Originally designed in 1997 to urge all the countries of the world to sign the Mine Ban Treaty, the Broken Chair project is the brainchild of the humanitarian aid organisation, Handicap International.

Founded in 1982 to assist 6,000 Cambodian refugees who had lost limbs to these weapons, Handicap International co-founded the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) in 1992 for which it was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997, along with campaign’s other founders. In 2003, it helped launch the international coalition to ban cluster bombs. In 2016, the organisation engaged in a new fight: the prevention of armed violence against civilians.

Combining activities in the fields of advocacy, mine clearance, risk education and victim assistance, Handicap International is now at the forefront of global action against the explosive remnants of war - landmines, cluster bombs and other unexploded ammunition - that continue to contaminate former combat zones.

Demining, UXO clearance and prevention

Since 1993, in Cambodia, Mozambique, Laos, Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lebanon, Chad, as well as Bosnia and Kosovo, Handicap International’s demining teams have been removing the threat posed by landmines, cluster bombs and other explosive devices and releasing land back to civilian populations.Handicap International also runs risk education projects and raises people’s awareness to the dangers of these weapons, especially for children.

© J.J. Bernard / Handicap International

Advocacy

It is Handicap International’s close involvement with affected populations and local partners that guarantees the legitimacy of its witness-bearing activities. Handicap International helped launch the fight against anti-personnel landmines in 1992 and cluster bombs in 2003. Today, the organisation is protesting against the use of explosive weapons in populated areas in violation of international human law. In the field, it works with local partners to promote disability rights and improvements to the living conditions of people with disabilities.

ONU© Genevetourisme-2

Victim assistance

Created in 1982 to provide orthopaedic devices and rehabilitation care for victims of anti-personnel landmines among Cambodian refugees, Handicap International has since perfected rehabilitation techniques adapted to emergency situations. During conflicts, the organisation delivers or reinforces care services for people with injuries. Specialist teams provide them with sustained support so they too can access social, educational, professional, sporting, civil and cultural activities and "stand tall".

© Jaweed Tanveer / Handicap International

Today, with over 300 projects in some 60 countries, Handicap International has expanded its mandate to cover all those in situations of disability or extreme vulnerability. Over one million people around the world now benefit from Handicap International’s support. In emergency and development settings, Handicap International champions their inclusion in aid and development initiatives.

In 2009, the eight national associations established over the years in France, Belgium, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada and the United States created the Handicap International Federation, followed, in 2014, by the Handicap International Foundation. Find out about the activities of the association in your own country:

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Influence and Ethic

Handicap International and Handicap International’s Foundation's blog