To commemorate 2010 Landmine Awareness Day (last weekend - April 4), soldier-turned-designer Craig Alun Smith has launched 3rd World Toys, a series of "stylized" toy replicas of antipersonnel landmines.
According to the designer:
"I designed these toy landmines, as replicas of the "parrot" and "butterfly" antipersonnel mines. These are common mines that children in the developing world mistake as toys. The mines are produced by the US and Russia, two civilized nations that still refuse to sign The Ottawa Treaty outlawing the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines Internationally. I wanted to make a statement and help bring attention to the fact that while most of the nations of the world have signed the treaty and recognize the global landmine crisis as one of the most pervasive problems facing the world today, most of the permanent members of the UN Security Council have still to sign or ratify the treaty."
It is estimated there are between 45 and 50 million landmines in the ground in of at least 70 countries. Landmines maim or kill 10,000 civilians every year, a large number of who are children who pick up the mines mistaking them as toys.
The little replicas, in playful primary colors, are made of cast rubber, and can be purchased directly from his Etsy shop. All proceeds will be donated to Mines Action Canada.