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Action against antipersonnel mines

Comprehensive Action against Antipersonnel Mines (AICMA)

The Comprehensive Action against Antipersonnel Mines (AICMA) program supports a broad range of activities, including:

  • Support to humanitarian demining activities, such as advisory assistance, surveying, marking, and clearance of mines;
  • Preventive education for persons living in affected areas;
  • Victim assistance, including physical and psychological rehabilitation, and socioeconomic reintegration of mine-cleared zones;
  • Supervision of and assistance with the destruction of stockpiled mines;
  • Development of a databank; and
  • Support in prohibiting the use, production, sale, and transfer of antipersonnel mines and in stockpile destruction.

The program operates under a number of General Assembly mandates and promotes general interest in making the Americas an antipersonnel-landmine-free zone.

Overall program coordination is handled by the Department of Multidimensional Security of the OAS General Secretariat (Office of Humanitarian Mine Action), which also seeks financial contributions from the international community. The Inter-American Defense Board (IADB)   provides technical assistance through international monitors or supervisors in countries in the affected zones.

In 2004, over 12,000 mines and explosive devices were destroyed and approximately 1.5 million square meters were cleared in Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Ecuador, and Peru.  Military trainers and other experts have been provided to conduct training courses for mine clearers from affected countries.

Preventive education programs aim to reduce the number of accidents by promoting safety among inhabitants of mine-affected communities. They stress participation by the communities and how they will benefit by providing information on the location of mined areas and explosive devices. Preventive education campaigns involve visits to these communities, radio announcements, and school programs.  The country’s own personnel and AICMA staff have been trained to teach prevention in schools and communities in affected areas.  In each of the receiving countries, these campaigns are closely coordinated with mine-clearing operations.  Over 20,000 persons living in mine-affected areas have been reached.

Since 1997, nearly 600 victims of antipersonnel mines have received support.  Victims who have no social security of military benefits receive transportation between their communities and rehabilitation centers, lodging, meals, prostheses, therapy, and medication from AICMA.

AICMA cooperates closely with international and nongovernmental organizations such as the United Nations [through its Mine Action Service and its Children’s Fund (UNICEF)]; the Geneva International Center for Humanitarian Demining; the Mine Action Information Center at James Madison University; the World Rehabilitation Fund; Physicians for Human Rights; and the South Florida Landmine Action Group.


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