Years of war and internal conflict have left a dangerous legacy of landmines and unexploded ordnances (UXOs). The widespread contamination is one of the largest in the world.
Contaminated sites cover an estimated 1,730 square kilometres and affect around 1.6 million people in over 1,600 communities. Landmine contamination is particularly concentrated in Iraqi Kurdistan, major oil infrastructure and areas bordering with Iran, while UXOs plague other areas in the southern and central governorates.1 There may be many more mined areas that data gathering efforts have not yet covered.2
Depleted uranium also presents a radioactive hazard which can cause severe health complications.3 The extent and effect of depleted uranium has not been comprehensively assessed.
Landmines, UXOs and depleted uranium are a major threat to the Iraqi people's "right to life, liberty and security of person" enshrined in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child,4 and inhibit Iraq's economic development.