Jody Williams (1950 – )

Jody Williams is an American political activist, which has fought for human and civil rights, and most of all, was the founder of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL). Her relation to peace causes started with protesting against the war in Vietnam, but rapidly moved on to work on the field. She played an important role in Central America, in the El Salvador conflict, where she provided humanitarian relief, and was a co-coordinator of the Nicaragua-Honduras Education Project. In 1991, she was called to start the development of a campaign to ban antipersonnel landmines. In 1992, the ICBL was officially launched, advocating for the end of the trade, use and production of landmines, and working towards demining former war zones. Making the world aware of the dangers and costs of mines, she was able to rally the support of numerous non-governmental organizations to her cause, as well as of personalities such as Princess Diana. In December 1997, thanks to her work, 121 countries signed an international treaty banning antipersonnel landmines, known as the Ottawa Treaty. All of her work made of her the 10th woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, in 1997.

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