Please read the whole text on the website for History of Anti-Landmine Efforts.
The United States views the following as the “pillars” of humanitarian mine action: 1) mine detection and clearance; 2) mine risk education to populations threatened by landmines and unexploded ordnance; 3) survivors assistance to those maimed by landmines or other explosive remnants of war; and 4) research and development to improve the effectiveness of all aspects of the first three pillars.
Linked to our presentation of International Campaign to Ban Landmines ICBL on January 2, 2006.
Also linked to our presentation of Jemma Hasratyan – Armenia on January 2, 2006.
1862 – One of the earliest known casualties of a landmine as defined today–a victim-activated device filled with explosive–is a Union soldier killed by a Confederate landmine during the U.S. Civil War. Five lethal Confederate landmines were discovered near Mobile, Alabama in the 1960s still lying in wait.
1914 – 1918 – Landmines are employed on a relatively small scale in some 19th century colonial campaigns and during the Russo-Japanese War (1902-1906) but do not become a major weapon of war until about 1918, late in the First World War. Anti-vehicle (anti-tank) mines are deployed to protect against tanks, a new invention at the time, and anti-personnel landmines are used to protect the anti-vehicle mines from destruction by opposing infantry units.
1939 – 1945 – During the Second World War, anti-personnel and anti-tank mines are employed in large quantities in all of that war’s theaters. Significant quantities that were laid in some former war zones remain a menace to this day.
1945 – France, employing 49,000 German POWs as well as French civilians and military personnel, begins one of the earliest post-war efforts to methodically and comprehensively clear landmines and unexploded ordnance.
1970s – The U.S. Department of Defense begins replacing persistent (”dumb”) anti-personnel and anti-vehicle landmines in its stockpiles with self-destructing and self-deactivating (”smart”) landmines to prevent enemy use of U.S. landmines against U.S. forces and to minimize the threat to non-combatants.
October 1980 – The “Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons which may be deemed to be excessively injurious or to have indiscriminate effects,” commonly known as the Convention on Conventional Weapons or “CCW,” is created to regulate the use of all manner of non-detectable fragments, incendiaries, blinding laser weapons, and anti-personnel landmines (also see May 1996, December 1998, May 1999, June 2001, and December 2001 entries). This marks the first time there has been an effort to regulate the use of landmines. The United States takes the lead in drafting Protocol II, known as the Amended Mines Protocol, specifically to address landmines, booby traps, and other delayed-action devices.
- U.S. Army Special Forces, deployed from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to south-central Honduras during the “Operation Lempira” foreign internal defense exercise, train Honduran Army engineers to clear landmines in civilian agricultural areas affected by conflict in Nicaragua that spilled over onto Honduran soil. The Special Forces’ focus is training in humanitarian, rather than military, mine clearance. This marks the first recorded effort by the United States to engage in what is now commonly known as humanitarian mine action. An image of the operation can be viewed at http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/pix/events/b/22970.htm
October 1988 – Following careful analysis of the immense landmine threat in Afghanistan stemming from the Soviet occupation, the United States helps establish a comprehensive program to clear landmines there. Today, this program, the UNMAS Mine Action Program for Afghanistan (MAPA), is the world’s largest and most productive demining effort, staffed almost entirely by Afghans themselves. MAPA’s use of local managers and employees, transparency, and diversified funding sources has served as a model for many other humanitarian mine action programs elsewhere. The term “humanitarian demining” is coined (now increasingly superseded by the term “humanitarian mine action”) to differentiate the activities in Afghanistan from traditional military mine clearance and to reflect the degree of the landmine threat to civilians, their land and infrastructure.
1989 – The U.S. Agency for International Development establishes the War Victims Fund to respond to the needs of victims of conflict, to include survivors of accidents with landmines, unexploded ordnance and other explosive remnants of war. Since 1989, the Fund, now called the Patrick J. Leahy War Victims Fund in honor of Senator Leahy of Vermont who espoused its establishment, has striven to expand access to affordable and appropriate prosthetic and orthotic services, providing more than $92 million of such aid to 26 countries. To learn more, visit www.leahywarvictimsfund.org.
October 1992 – The United States unilaterally bans the export of its anti-personnel landmines. The U.S. Congress later formalizes this ban, per Public Law 102-484, Section 1365; 22 United States Code, 2778 note. In 2001, Congress amends the law, which was to expire in 2003, to expire on October 23, 2008. To examine this law on-line, go to http://uscode.house.gov/usc.htm, enter the word “landmines” in the search engine, click on “22 USC Sec. 2778″ and scroll to Landmine Export Moratorium.
October 1992 – The International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) is formed by a steering committee of non-governmental organizations consisting of Handicap International, Human Rights Watch, Medico International, Mines Advisory Group, Physicians for Human Rights, and the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation. Eventually, the ICBL brings together over 1400 human rights and humanitarian mine action organizations in one of the most thorough information-gathering networks for mine action. To learn more, visit www.icbl.org.
October 1993 – The United States formally establishes the U.S. Humanitarian Demining Program, an inter-agency (Department of State, Agency for International Development, Department of Defense) effort to provide a full range of assistance to mine affected countries that request U.S. help. Previously established U.S. humanitarian demining programs (Afghanistan 1988, Cambodia 1991, Kuwait 1991, northern Iraq 1992, Somalia 1991, El Salvador 1993, Mozambique 1993) are brought into the Program. It is difficult to quantify U.S. humanitarian demining funding outlays prior to October 1993, but since then the U.S. has spent over $700 million. In December 2002, the program is formally renamed the U.S. Humanitarian Mine Action Program to more accurately reflect the scope of its activities.
September 1994 – In an address to the UN General Assembly, President Bill Clinton becomes the first world leader to call for the eventual elimination of anti-personnel landmines.
December 1994 – The U.S. Department of State’s Office of Humanitarian Demining Programs releases HIDDEN KILLERS: The Global Landmine Crisis, the first report to estimate the magnitude of the landmine threat in terms of numbers of mines laid and numbers of mine-related deaths and injuries. The fourth and final edition of HIDDEN KILLERS, released fall 2001, with statistics on the generally reduced numbers of extant landmines and landmine casualties is still available at http://www.state.gov/t/pm/rls/rpt/hk/2001/6961.htm.
1995 – U.S. Special Operations Forces, who are adept at teaching various skills to foreign troops, begin training foreign deminers around the world in the techniques of humanitarian demining as a part of the U.S. “Train-the-Trainer” program.”
1995 – The U.S. Army’s Night Vision and Sensors Directorate (NVESD) at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, is tasked with performing research on promising new technologies to detect and clear landmines for humanitarian demining programs using everything from cutting edge science to off-the-shelf equipment that can be adapted for robust clearance operations. Prototypes are made available for rigorous field tests, funded by the NVESD, in mine affected countries. Plans for locally producing equipment that has passed these field tests are freely given to interested countries. To learn more, visit www.nvl.army.mil/text/technology.html.
March 1995 – Belgium becomes the first country to pass domestic laws banning the use or production of landmines as well as their export.
1996 – DC Comics mine awareness comic books, commissioned by the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency, are distributed in Bosnia-Herzegovina. This is the first attempt to disseminate mine awareness information (now called mine risk education) on a large scale using the easily accessible and attractive device of comic book heroes depicted in former war zone settings to help inculcate in children greater respect for the dangers of landmines and unexploded ordnance. Subsequent customized editions are distributed in Central America in 1998 and in Kosovo in 1999-2000.
1996 – The first edition of Jane’s Mines and Mine Clearance, edited by Colin King, is published by the Janes Information Group. This annually updated encyclopedia contains illustrations and technical detail on nearly all landmines and booby traps in existence along with the means to detect and clear them.
1996 – Sweden establishes the Swedish EOD and Demining Center (SWEDEC) in Eksjö with responsibility for training Swedish and foreign personnel in all aspects of military explosive ordnance disposal and in conducting research and development. SWEDEC staff have deployed to support humanitarian mine action programs in Afghanistan, the Balkans, Eritrea and Sri Lanka. SWEDEC helped establish Cambodia’s mine detection dog program. To learn more, visit www.swedec.mil.se.
January 1996 – Menschen gegen Minen (MgM), a German non-governmental organization engaged in humanitarian demining in Angola, Mozambique and Namibia, sets up the MgM Network, a free, real-time Internet forum in which demining practitioners, international relief workers, researchers, and others from around the world with an interest in human mine action, may exchange vital information, post inquiries or simply monitor Network traffic in order to gain additional knowledge about this field. To subscribe to the forum, visit www.mgm.org, click on “Network,” agree to abide by the rules, and follow the prompts.
May 1996 – The Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons Review Conference adopts the Amended Mines Protocol (AMP), which significantly improves the original 1980 Protocol. The AMP is made applicable to internal armed conflicts as well as international armed conflicts. To examine the AMP in detail, visit www.ccwtreaty.com/amendedmineprotocol.htm.
June 1996 – The U.S. Secretary of Defense directs implementation of the President’s new policy on anti-personnel landmines (APL). Key elements of the policy include: research and procurement of alternatives to APLs, exploration of operational doctrine, tactics and plans to reduce or eliminate the reliance on APLs, removal of non self-destructing anti-personnel landmines from basic ammunition loads (South Korea excepted), and expansion of humanitarian demining research and development and humanitarian demining training efforts.
September 1996 – The United States unilaterally begins removing its anti-personnel and anti-tank mines from the perimeter of the U.S. Naval Base, Guantanamo, Cuba. Clearance of the United States’ last permanent minefield is completed in 1999. Quality assurance/verification is completed in May 2000.
September 1996 – The Mine Action Information Center (MAIC), funded by the U.S. Department of Defense (and also now the U.S. Department of State), is established at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, to collect, process, analyze and disseminate information on all aspects of humanitarian mine action. An information clearinghouse with a comprehensive website (http://maic.jmu.edu/about_us.htm) useful to laymen and specialists alike, the MAIC also hosts conferences and symposia on landmine-related topics, develops mine awareness materials, produces Geographic Information Services (GIS) products and conducts surveys to improve mine action. The MAIC’s Journal of Mine Action, published three times a year, is available online at http://maic.jmu.edu/journals/htm.
January 1997 – Princess Diana (1961-1997) visits Angola, a seriously mine-affected country, and helps to draw international attention to the global landmine problem.
February 1997 – The U.S. Department of Defense establishes the Humanitarian Demining Training Center (HDTC) at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri. The HDTC serves as the U.S. Government’s training and information center for humanitarian mine action, researches techniques on landmine use and demining, and incorporates current data into training programs to meet U.S. Department of Defense requirements. All programs of instruction are taught in accordance with internationally recognized standards. U.S. military graduates of the HDTC have trained foreign deminers in all aspects of humanitarian mine action in over 32 countries. HDTC trains deploying personnel of other U.S. Government agencies prior to their posting to areas of risk. HDTC also manages a public outreach program (for example Landmine Studies students at Southwest Missouri State University have participated in hands-on familiarization events at the HDTC). To learn more visit www.wood.army.mil/hdtc/.
October 1997 – The United States designates a Special Representative of the President and Secretary of State for Global Humanitarian Demining and establishes a supporting office, now called the Office of Mine Action Initiatives and Partnerships in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, at the U.S. Department of State. The mission is to increase international cooperation and coordination for humanitarian mine action, raise U.S. public awareness of and support for humanitarian mine action via public-private partnerships, and coordinate research and development in humanitarian mine action. Visit www.state.gov/t/pm/maip/. Lincoln P. Bloomfield, Jr., Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs, currently also serves as the Special Representative of the President and Secretary of State for Mine Action. Access his biography at www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/biog/4303.htm.
October 1997 – The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) is formed to serve as the UN focal point for humanitarian mine action. At the global level, it is responsible for coordinating all aspects of mine action within the UN system to ensure an effective and proactive response to landmine contamination. At the field level, UNMAS is responsible for providing mine action assistance during humanitarian emergencies and peacekeeping operations. To learn more, visit www.mineaction.org.
November 1997 – The United Kingdom Mine Information and Training Center (MITC) is a British military initiative established at the Combat Engineer School in Surrey, England, to facilitate the flow of information about landmines between military and civilian organizations, and to train military, government and non-government organizations, civilians and students both at the MITC and overseas. Courses are given in Basic Humanitarian Demining and the delivery and receipt of Mine Risk Education. To learn more, visit www.mitc.royalengineers.com.
December 1997 – The 1997 “Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction,” commonly referred to as the Ottawa Convention, is opened for signature in Ottawa, Canada. The United States participates in the Convention but ultimately declines to sign it due to unmet concerns relating to the protection of its forces and allies and the lack of exemptions for mixed munitions. To learn more about this Convention, visit http://www.mineaction.org, click on “Advocacy and Conventions,” then click on “AP Mine Ban Convention.”
December 1997 – The first edition of ORDATA, “The International Deminers Guide to Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) Identification, Recovery and Disposal” is released to the public in CD-ROM format by the U.S. Department of Defense. It achieves immediate success in providing the international demining community with a free, first-of-its-kind unclassified reference tool for identifying, recovering and disposing of UXO and landmines. Over 18,000 copies of the ORDATA series database have been distributed free of charge to the international demining community, as well as U.S. and foreign military and civilian bomb disposal technicians. ORDATA has since been followed by ORDATA II and KORDATA, and went on-line in May 2002 at http://maic.jmu.edu/ordata/mission.asp.
1998 – The Geneva International Center for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD), is established to support the mine action efforts of the international community and United Nations via mine action research, operational support for demining in the field and advocacy of the Ottawa Convention. The GICHD is an independent organization supported by Austria, Belgium, Cambodia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and the Republic and Canton of Geneva. To examine the results of the GICHD’s research on mine detecting dogs, socio-economic approaches to mine action, mechanical mine action systems, etc., visit www.gichd.ch.
May 1998 – The U.S. Congress appropriates $28 million for the International Trust Fund (ITF) for Demining and Victims Assistance, based in Ig, Slovenia, to assist mine affected countries in the Balkan region. The U.S. has since deposited a total of $52 million as a match to contributions from other donor nations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), corporations and individuals, enabling contributors to double the impact of their funding. In 2001, the ITF broadened its mandate to also support humanitarian mine action in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. Contributions to the ITF, which have been matched by the United States, have come from a number of companies and NGOs, community-based organizations, schools, civic associations, faith-based groups and individuals, as well as the European Union, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Canada, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Norway, Qatar, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. To learn more about the ITF, visit www.itf-fund.si.
June 1998 – The United States completes destruction of over 3.3 million of its non-self-destructing anti-personnel landmines, retaining only those necessary for training, research, and the defense of South Korea.
June 1998 – The United States establishes the Office of Humanitarian Demining Programs in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. This Office is the lead U.S. Government entity that, as of July 2003, now manages humanitarian mine action assistance in 37 countries. This Office also publishes To Walk the Earth in Safety, an annual overview of the U.S. Humanitarian Mine Action program that includes a synopsis of U.S. humanitarian mine action assistance to each country in the program, the nature of each country’s landmine and unexploded ordnance problem, and progress being made in solving those problems. The publication is available online at www.state.gov/t/pm/hdp/rls/rpt/walkearth/2002/. For additional details about the Office of Humanitarian Demining Programs, visit www.state.gov/t/pm/hdp/.
June 1998 – The first annual edition of Landmine Monitor Report, compiled under the auspices of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (see 1992 entry for ICBL), a comprehensive reference guide to landmine facts and statistics around the world including landmine casualties, is released. It is a valuable reference tool for all interested in humanitarian mine action. On-line issues may be downloaded from www.icbl.org/lm.
August 1998 – The Canadian Center for Mine Action Technologies (CCMAT) is established at the Canadian Forces Base Suffield in Southern Alberta to develop low cost, sustainable technology for humanitarian mine action as well as to support the development of the Canadian demining industry. CCMAT also now contributes its expertise and facilities to the International Test and Evaluation Program (see July 2000 entry for ITEP). To learn more, visit www.ccmat.gc.ca.
September 1998 – Drawing on public data collected while under contract to the U.S. Department of Defense, AVS Consultants UK devises and disseminates the first database of demining accident victims. It includes details of the injuries sustained and how the accidents occurred. After its utility as a reference and training tool is established, the Geneva International Center for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) and the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) support the release of an approved version in May 2002. Further updates are planned. The latest release is called the Database on Demining Accidents and is available from Mr. Paul Ellis at the GICHD. Email requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.
December 1998 – The U.S.-drafted Amended Mines Protocol to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (AMP/CCW) enters into force.
1999 – The University of Denver’s Center for Teaching International Relations (CTIR) develops a curricula about the global landmine problem commissioned by the U.S. Department of State for use by educators to help students advance their knowledge of geography, history and other social sciences in general while becoming aware of the landmine problem in particular. The curriculum is available in modules for upper elementary, middle and high school students and is now online. To download the modules, go to www.du.edu/ctir/pubs_freeForm.html and follow the instructions.
January 1999 – The Information Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA) to improve humanitarian deminers’ capabilities for decision-making, coordination and information policy becomes the UN-approved standard for information systems that support humanitarian demining. Data is collected and evaluated in mine-affected countries’ Mine Action Centers and entered into the IMSMA Field Module. Countries can then better coordinate, prioritize and execute demining activities. Information can also be transferred to the IMSMA Web Services where consolidation and analysis is performed. IMSMA was developed by the Center for Security Studies and Conflict Research at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich on behalf of the Geneva International Center for Humanitarian Demining (see 1998 entry for GICHD). To learn more about IMSMA or to examine IMSMA Webreports for Chad and Yemen, visit www.imsma.ethz.ch.
March 1999 – The Royal Military College of Sciences at Cranfield University in Shrivenham, England, part of the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom, forms the Cranfield Mine Action unit (CMA) to support mine action work of the British government and of the UN. CMA’s mine action professionals, academicians, and management experts also train mid-level and senior program managers of foreign national mine action centers. The U.S. Department of State’s Office of Humanitarian Demining Programs has underwritten some of this training (see www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2002/10989.htm for an example.) To learn more, visit www.rcms.cranfield.ac.uk/cma.
April 1999 – Flail machines, originally not thought by many practitioners to be of use in humanitarian demining, prove their efficacy in vegetation clearance in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia in order to prepare the ground for manual and mine detecting dog team operations, significantly reducing the cost of clearance.
May 1999 – The United States ratifies the Amended Mines Protocol of the Convention on Conventional Weapons (AMP/CCW).
May 1999 – The First Meeting of States Parties to the 1997 Ottawa Convention takes place in Maputo, Mozambique. A key outcome is the creation of “intersessional meetings” throughout the year to address thematic and technical issues. Meetings of nations that are signatories to this Convention continue to be held annually in mine-affected nations.
February 2000 – A Study on Deminer Injuries, conceived, initiated and sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense, is released to the international demining community. Initially intended to help the U.S. Government design personal protective equipment, it breaks new ground in the medical analysis of deminer injury data. To examine the study, visit www.humanitariandemining.org, click on “Personal Protection and Tools,” then on “Personal Protection and Tools Publications,” then on “Landmine Casualty Data Report: February 2000.”
July 2000 – The United States, European Commission, Belgium, Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Sweden sign a Memorandum of Understanding establishing the International Test and Evaluation Program (ITEP) for Humanitarian Demining Equipment, Processes and Methods. ITEP provides the framework for a global network to develop universally accepted standards for test methodology, collecting, generating and disseminating objective data on humanitarian demining technology, and testing and evaluating demining equipment and systems in a cost-effective program. Germany became an ITEP participant in June 2002. To learn more, visit www.itep.ws/.
August 2000 – The U.S. Department of Defense releases the final report of its Lower Extremity Assessment program which utilized full-body human cadavers to fully evaluate the mechanism of injury and determine current levels of protection provided by commercially produced landmine protective footwear. The research breaks new ground in the use of test instrumentation, in particular high-speed radiographic imaging (cineradiography). To examine this study, visit www.humanitariandemining.org, click on “Landmine Injuries,” then click on “Publications,” then scroll to “Volume II – Final Report of the Lower Extremity Assessment Program (LEAP 99-2).”
October 2000 – The first-ever national landmine survey in a mine-affected country is completed in Yemen. This landmark event, funded by the United States, Canada, Germany, Japan and the private United Nations Foundation, is carried out by the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, the Survey Action Center, and the Mine Clearance Planning Agency, an Afghan non-governmental organization. To learn more, see http://secretary.state.gov/www/briefings/statements/2000/ps001004a.html.
November 2000 – During the first visit to Vietnam by a U.S. President since the end of the conflict there, President Clinton pledges U.S. Government support to help eliminate landmines and other explosive remnants of war in Vietnam. Subsequently, the U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Department of State provide three demining computer/software suites and related training in the first U.S. military training deployment to Vietnam since 1975. The U.S. continues to assist Vietnam in conducting decontamination of mine and UXO-affected areas and to begin a series of socio-economic impact surveys of affected priority areas.
2001 – The French Army Engineer School creates the National Center of Humanitarian Demining Training, an outgrowth of its “Centre MINEX” first established in Angers, France in 1992 for post-war mine clearance. The Center’s expertise is available to mine affected countries and mine action organizations. To learn more, visit www.genie-militaire.com, click on “L’Ecole Supérieure et d’Application du Génie,” click “Expertise,” then click on “National Center for Humanitarian Demining Training” (toggle the appropriate flags for English, French or Spanish text).
March 2001 – Dr. Ken Rutherford, a landmine survivor and co-founder of the Landmine Survivors Network, establishes Landmine Studies in the Department of Political Science at Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield. Each semester, his students receive a hands-on orientation at the U.S. Department of Defense’s Humanitarian Demining Training Center (see February 1997) in order to briefly experience the meticulous, thorough and safety-conscious operating procedures that characterize properly managed humanitarian demining operations. HDTC experts regularly lecture the Landmine Studies students as well. To learn more, visit www.smsu.edu/polsci/landmines.
April 2001 – In cooperation with the Republic of Mozambique, the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Humanitarian Demining Programs establishes a “Quick Reaction Demining Force” (QRDF). The QRDF is a permanent, professional humanitarian demining cadre composed primarily of 40 Mozambican mine clearance specialists who can deploy worldwide within 14 days of activation to provide immediate demining assistance in emergency humanitarian situations. In between deployments beyond Mozambique, the QRDF engages in humanitarian demining in support of Mozambique’s National Demining Office, performing valuable service in that mine-affected nation while keeping its professional skills finely honed. To learn more about the QRDF, visit www.state.gov/t/pm/rls/rpt/walkearth/2002/14876.htm. Also see April 2002 entry.
June 2001 – The United States proposes a Protocol to the Convention on Conventional Weapons to deal with mines other than anti-personnel landmines (MOTAPM), in particular anti-vehicle mines.
June 2001 – “Broken Earth,” a documentary produced by the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Humanitarian Demining Programs on the global landmine problem, which includes vignettes on three mine-affected countries, is released. “Broken Earth” is broadcast by the PBS television network in approximately 70 U.S. markets and overseas in 26 countries.
July 2001 – The results of the International Pilot Project for Technology Cooperation are published. The U.S. Department of Defense conceived this milestone report, also known as the metal detector “consumer report,” the first-ever attempt to conduct a multinational test and evaluation venture. Canada, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the European Commission’s Joint Research Center eventually joined the U.S. in evaluating 25 different detector models from 13 manufacturers. The project determined the best detector(s) for a given set of operational parameters and served as a pilot project for the International Test and Evaluation Program. To examine the ultimate findings, visit www.humanitariandemining.org, click on “Publications,” then click on “International Pilot Project for Technology Cooperation Final Report.”
September 2001 – The European Commission’s Directorate-General Joint Research Center establishes the Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen (IPSC) in Ispra, Italy, one of whose Humanitarian Security Unit functions is to develop and apply appropriate technologies for minefield survey, and improved mine detection and clearance/destruction. The Secretariat of the International Test and Evaluation Program (see July 2001 entry for ITEP) is also hosted by the Unit. To learn more, visit http://humanitarian-security.jrc.it.
November 2001 – “Landmines: Clearing the Way,” a comprehensive resource of information and field experience on the global landmine issue in CD-ROM-format, is released by Huntington Associates. The CD-ROM is a cooperative effort by the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Defense, National Committee on American Foreign Policy, and the Rockefeller Foundation, produced by Huntington Associates.
December 2001 – At the Second Review Conference pertaining to the Convention on Conventional Weapons, 11 countries co-sponsor the U.S.-proposed protocol on anti-vehicle mines. In the most recent subsequent meeting in June 2003, the co-sponsoring countries, now numbering 14, agree to continue work on the proposed protocol. To learn more, visit www.ccwtreaty.com.
April 2002 – The Quick Reaction Demining Force (see April 2001 reference) makes its first deployment outside of Mozambique to Sri Lanka in order to assess the landmine threat there and perform short-term clearance to protect some 200,000 internally displaced persons being resettled pending the start of UN relief operations. See www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2002/14849.htm. Later, the QRDF makes subsequent emergency deployments to Sudan and Iraq.
June 2002 – Large format “Mined-area indicator” photographic portfolios, commissioned by the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Humanitarian Demining Programs, are released by the Golden West Humanitarian Foundation. The portfolios, depicting typical indicators for Angola and Mozambique, provide detailed color photos of a variety of clues — such as valuable window and door frames left in abandoned structures; the presence of discarded arming pins or landmine detonator containers; improvised warning signs, etc. — which indicate that land or infrastructure have been mined. The portfolios, designed to complement existing mine risk education programs in Angola and Mozambique, are to be used by people attending mine risk education courses and by those training deminers and mined-area surveyors. Programa Acelerado de Desminagem, Menschen gegen Minen, Mines Advisory Group, The HALO Trust, and Norwegian Peoples Aid contributed their expertise to this project.
September 2002 – The U.S. Department of State’s Office of Mine Action Initiatives and Partnerships commissions the Mine Action Information Center to establish a Global Mine Action Directory (www.maic.jmu.edu/gmar) listing non-governmental organizations that are engaged in one or more forms of support for or direct involvement in humanitarian mine action and to compile The Landmine Action Smart Book (http://maic.jmu.edu/Products/items/Smartbook/1Introduction.pdf), a primer to provide the general public with an overview of humanitarian mine action.
May 2003 – Two Warner Bros. public service messages in the Khmer language commissioned by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs and USAID’s Leahy War Victims Fund, starring Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and a Cambodian mine survivor specially created by Warner Bros. animators, are televised nationally in Cambodia and distributed in rural areas via videotape and other means. One has a mine risk education message; the other deals with mine survivors social reintegration. These innovative messages that blend animation and real film footage of Cambodia are designed to reinforce existing mine risk education and war victims rehabilitation programs already in place in Cambodia. See the press release at www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2003/20554.htm. To view the messages, visit http://maic.jmu.edu, click on “U.S. Government,” click on “U.S. Department of State,” then click on “Bugs and Daffy Mine Awareness Film” under the Articles, Publications and Reports heading.
This document is not necessarily endorsed by the Almanac of Policy Issues. It is being preserved in the Policy Archive for historic reasons.
(U.S. Department of Defense, Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, July 29, 2003).