„Disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind.“
– UN Declaration of Human Rights
MAG is a neutral humanitarian organisation. It works to clear landmines and unexploded ordinance (UXO) in areas where conflict has taken place. It’s also involved in building education, reconstruction and employment programmes.
In 2013, MAG moved to these headquarters on Peter Street. It has been based in Manchester since its first international headquarters were set up in 1996. The city’s museums have benefitted from MAG’s education resources, outreach and exhibition work, further raising public awareness and support for MAG’s work.
MAG formed in 1989 in response to UXO left by the Soviet War in Afghanistan. At first, MAG published reports to raise awareness about landmines in areas including Afghanistan and Cambodia. 1992 MAG’s delivered its first landmine clearance programme in Iraq. MAG has since worked in more than 40 countries and is currently active in countries including the Democratic Republic of Congo Libya and Vietnam.
In 1997 MAG joined other non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and formed the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. It led to the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, sometimes referred to as the Ottawa Convention – the international agreement that bans anti-personnel landmines. MAG shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for the achievements of the Campaign.
When armed conflict ends, many problems remain, preventing people from living peaceful, productive lives. The number of landmines in an area may be few, but the effect on communities can be devastating. When UXO do not kill, they can cause serious injury, life-changing amputations and disabilities. Children are particularly at risk; almost all casualties are ordinary citizens. MAG offers mine risk education alongside mine clearance, to help reduce risks to local people in their daily lives. MAG programmes provide work and training for many people in areas affected by landmines, including landmine victims and/or their families. MAG supports self-sufficiency, so local people don’t need to depend on outside help in the long term.
MAG concentrates on local people and communities, consulting with them in order to make the best possible improvements in daily life: releasing land for food production increasing safe access to vital resources like water, education and health services; building a better future.