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Humanitarian Demining

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OEA- Departamento de Seguridad Publica- Desminado Humanitario

> Desminado> Areas de acción

Areas of Action
Humanitarian Demining

One of the principle tasks of the OHMA is to support OAS member states in fulfilling their national demining plans. The mine clearance efforts supported by the OAS are carried out by the national authorities through their respective armed forces with financial and technical support through the OAS. Military trainers and other technicians, provided by the IADB, carried out courses for demining personnel of affected recipient countries of the program. While the manual demining technique has been the most prevalent method of clearing minefields because of the geographic and climatological characteristics of the areas where mines are most frequently found, heavy demining equipment has also been utilized in areas conducive to using this methods. In specific situations, the use of this equipment has increased the efficiency, speed and safety of clearance operations.

Mine Risk Education


The mine-risk education programs supported by the Program aim to reduce the number of accidents by promoting safe behavior among inhabitants of mine-affected communities. The programs emphasize involvement by affected communities in mine awareness initiatives and benefit from their participation through the exchange of information about the location of mined areas and explosive devices. Mine-risk education campaigns have been carried out through community visits, a variety of national radio messages and school programs. Additionally, national personnel and AICMA staff have been trained to provide mine-risk education in schools and communities in affected areas. In each of the recipient countries, these campaigns are closely coordinated with humanitarian demining operations, and over the course of 2006 alone, more than 70,000 people living in mine-affected areas have been contacted.



Victim Assistance

The AICMA Program has supported antipersonnel mine victims since the establishment of the program in 1997. Since its initiation,the program
has attended the necessities of affected communities, providing victims with transportation from their communities to rehabilitation centers, lodging, nutrition, prosthetics, therapeutic services, and medicine. Furthermore, the AICMA Program supports an innovative training and labor placement program in the country, in collaboration with the national institutions.  During the training courses, mine survivors are trained in the areas of automobile mechanics, computers, carpentry, shoemaking, tailoring, cosmetics, and agriculture.


Stockpile Destruction


One of the Program's most important achievements has been accomplished through technical and financial support to Member States for the destruction of their antipersonnel mine stockpiles. More than one million stockpiled antipersonnel mines have been destroyed in Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Peru, with the technical advice of AICMA and financial contributions from the governments of Canada and Australia. Although this effort was largely completed in 2004, the Program is also studying requests from Member States to extend this support to the destruction of excess or expired stocks of ammunition.

Munitions Destruction

As a natural progression frommine action activities AICMA has initiated support to Member States in their efforts to destroy excess or obsolete munitions stockpiles. A pilot project focused on coordinating destruction efforts was recently launched in Nicaragua, where more than two thousand tons of munitions require disposal to eliminate the threat of accidents or other undesired outcomes. The initial stage of the project is scheduled for completion in August 2007.

Support for the Ban on Antipersonnel Mines

AICMA promotes the interest expressed in OAS General Assembly Resolutions to make the Americas a landmine-free zone by coordinating mine action issues and assisting Member States with the preparation of reporting requirements under the Ottawa Convention. During the most recent Meeting of the States Parties to the Convention, which took place in Geneva in September 2006, AICMA representatives participated in order to share practical achievements of the Program and lessons learned with other global mine action programs, as well as to strengthen contacts with international donors. Additionally, AICMA participated in a workshop on the role of the Caribbean Community in pursuing the aims of the Ottawa Convention held on 29-30 June 2006 in Trinidad and Tobago.

Coordination with International Entities

A notable element of the AICMA Program relates to collaborative efforts with other international and non-governmental organizations. Cooperation with international entities over the past year, has improved the efficiency and effectiveness of mine action programs throughout the Hemisphere by marshalling available resources from these organizations, particularly in the fields of mine risk education and victim assistance.


Last Update: July 20, 2009

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