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A mine-clearance agency, or demining agency, is an organization involved in removal of landmines and Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) for military, humanitarian, or commercial reasons.

Demining includes mine clearance (actual removal and destruction of landmines/UXO from the ground), as well as surveying, mapping and marking of hazardous areas. The broader realm of mine action also includes advocacy, victim assistance, antipersonnel mine stockpile destruction, mine risk education and research.


Humanitarian mine clearance agencies

Humanitarian mine clearance agencies are very different. The aim to clear land so that civilians can return to their homes and their everyday routines without the threat of landmines and unexploded remnants of war (ERW), which include unexploded ordnance and abandoned explosive ordnance. This means that all the mines and ERW affecting the places where ordinary people live must be cleared, and their safety in areas that have been cleared must be guaranteed. Mines are cleared and the areas are thoroughly verified so that they can say without a doubt that the land is now safe, and people can use it without worrying about the weapons. Humanitarian mine clearance agencies are usually funded by International Governments and Private Donations. The main governments that fund Humanitarian Mine Clearance Agencies are: USA, UK, Japan and the Netherlands.


The HALO Trust

The HALO Trust was founded in 1988

The HALO Trust is a non-political, non-religious, Non-Governmental Mine Clearance Organisation registered in Britain and United States. It is the largest humanitarian demining NGO in the world with over 7,000 deminers, mine clearers in 10 countries. By early 2006 HALO has cleared over 5,000,000 mines and UXOs around the world. HALO has a very simple mission statement “getting mines out of the ground, now”


APOPO trains Giant pouched rats from East Africa to detect landmines.[1] APOPO trains sniffer rats to detect explosives. This unusual idea has been developed into a competitive technology by a group of Belgian and Tanzanian researchers and animal trainers.[2] APOPO is a non-profit organization that has partnered with the Belgian Government, Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD), the EU, the Province of Antwerp, the Flemish Community, the US Army, the World Bank and private donors. It has further partnered in demining with Menschen gegen Minen (MgM), Norwegian Peoples Aid (NPA), Accelerated Demining Programme (ADP), Handicap International (HI) and Empresa Moçambicana de Desminagem (EMD).

DEMIRA Deutsche Minenraeumer e.V.

DEMIRA Deutsche Minenraeumer e.V. is an international, humanitarian, non-governmental organization (NGO) registered in Germany. DEMIRA NGO was founded in 1996 in order to provide humanitarian mine clearance, EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), emergency medical aid and disaster relief to people living in postwar countries and to victims of natural disasters and civil unrest.

DanChurchAid – DCA

The Logo of DCA

DanChurchAid (Folkekirkens Nødhjælp) is one of the major Danish humanitarian non governmental organisations (NGO), working with churches and non-religious civil organisations to assist the poorest of the poor. in dignity. DCA Mine Action is currently involved in comprehensive mine action programmes in Albania, Eritrea, Lebanon, Sudan and Ingushetia. Through its intervention in Kosovo and Eritrea, DCA's Mine Action [3]

Danish Demining Group – DDG

The Logo of DDG

Danish Demining Group (DDG) was established in 1997 as an independent organisation. It has since merged with the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) in order to create a Humanitarian Mine Action unit within the organisation, hence benefiting from synergies in cooperation but not being limited at the same. DDG’s programmes are mainly supported by Danida, Sida, MoFA of Japan, MoFA of Austria, EC, ECHO, UNMAS, UNHCR and UNDP, along with private donors. As of May 2008 DDG has been operating in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somaliland, Sri Lanka, North Caucasus, South Sudan and Uganda.

Handicap International

The Logo of Handicap International

Handicap International is one of the 6 founding members of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines which received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997. Handicap International France and Belgium are involved into Mine Risk Education and demining projects in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Mozambique, Somaliland.


Horizon is a Indian registered charity established in 2003 as a direct response to the conflict in neighbouring Sri Lanka. Since then they have been active in Sri Lanka carrying out humanitarian demining tasks in the North and the East of the country. They have also partnered with NPA in Jordan and provided trained personnel for the programme there. [4]


INTERSOS is an independent no-profit humanitarian organization committed to assist the victims of natural disasters and armed conflicts. It was founded in 1992 with the active support of Italian Trade Unions. INTERSOS has a flexible operational structure, with the central headquarters in Rome, in charge of planning and coordination of operations, and of field offices in the countries of operation.

MAG - Mines Advisory Group

The Logo of MAG

Operates since 1989 and having worked on a variety of conflict-related projects in around 35 countries, MAG is also co-laureate of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize, awarded for their work with the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. MAG has worked in around 35 countries since 1989 and currently has operations in Angola, Burundi, Cambodia, Cyprus, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Lao P.D.R., Lebanon, Republic of Congo, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Vietnam.

Mine Awareness Trust – MAT

The Mines Awareness Trust (MAT) is a charitable organisation that endeavours to save the lives and limbs of ordinary people from the unexploded debris of war. Ben Remfrey formed the Trust in May 1999 as a direct response to the war in Kosovo.

Menschen gegen Minen (People against Landmines)

MgM was founded on January 16 1996 in Germany. The goal was to establish a humanitarian mine clearance organization which would offer its services to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) dedicated to re-establishing the infrastructure of dangerous regions in post war scenarios. Hendrik Ehlers and Hans Georg Kruessen founded MgM together with others in 1996. Today they are Managing Directors and active Managers of all demining operations at the same time. They have been working since 1992 in the field of humanitarian mine clearance and the destruction of dangerous ammunition in Southern Africa. They possess a wealth of practical experience through operations management, mined area survey, demining and the destruction of explosives (EOD).

Norwegian People's Aid - NPA

The Logo of NPA

Norwegian People's Aid (NPA) is one of Norway's largest non-governmental organisations, founded in 1939. Based upon the principles of solidarity, unity, human dignity, peace and freedom, NPA is involved in more than 400 projects in 30 countries. NPA has been involved in mine action since 1992. Cambodia was the first country where NPA started mine clearance and the organisation has grown considerably since then. NPA sits in the CC of the ICBL and the core group of LM and participates in different activities with SWG and SAC. As of July 2002, NPA was involved in mine action in nine countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.

Response International

Response International is a UK registered charity established in 1993 to support victims of violent conflict. Over the last decade successful multi-sector programmes have been implemented in Angola, Bosnia, Chechnya, Kosovo, Lebanon and Pakistan. The objective of these programmes is to design and implement projects that offer immediate relief to victims of conflict and provide sustainable conditions to enable longer term development. Response International's projects have included landmine clearance and landmine awareness and victim rehabilitation.

Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD)

The Logo of FSD

The Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD) was formed in 1997, in Geneva, Switzerland. FSD - ( is a humanitarian organisation specialising in the removal of the hazardous remnants of war, such as land mines, unexploded shells from artillery and tank fire, air-dropped bombs, and all manner of dangerous, unexploded military ordnance. FSD's work is conducted for humanitarian purposes. FSD is a non-political, non-aligned, independent, non-government organisation based in Geneva.

FSD also conducts disaster relief work, with major interventions in Sri Lanka following the 2004 Tsunami, and during the January – March 2008 cold weather crisis in Tajikistan. FSD has conducted interventions in 21 countries since 1998, and is currently engaged in implementing 5 programmes worldwide, these are Lao, Lebanon, Sri-Lanka, Sudan and Tajikistan.[5]. FSD also conducted support operations for the World Food Programme (WFP) as a stand-by partner from 2001.

Commercial mine clearance agencies

Commercial mine clearance agency are profit-making organisations.

ArmorGroup International plc

ArmorGroup is a commercial leader in the environmental remediation of landmine and unexploded ordnance (UXO) pollution, clearing battlefields, ammunition stockpile reduction and controlling conventional weapons. ArmorGroup operates globally, supporting sustainable humanitarian and reconstruction programmes to remove the menace of landmines and assisting commercial clients to conduct their business safely in post-conflict regions. Over the last 10 years ArmorGroup teams have operated in 22 different countries including Bosnia, Cyprus, Iraq, Lebanon, Mozambique, Nepal, Sakhalin Island (Russia) and Sudan. ArmorGroup was acquired by G4S/Wackenhut in April 2008.

6 Alpha Associates

6 Alpha Associates provides independent consultancy in mine clearance, unexploded ordnance (UXO) and Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD). The company is based in the UK and operates globally, primarily working with the energy, extractives and construction industries. 6 Alpha also provides advice on security, risk management, business continuity and crisis management.

BACTEC International

BACTEC is the UK’s foremost Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) and Landmine Clearance Company. BACTEC was established in 1991 to provide risk mitigation services for unexploded ordnance and landmine clearance, supporting construction projects and worldwide explosive ordnance clearance initiatives.


The Logo of Crosstech

CROSSTECH SA is a commcial company that is 100 % owned by the FSD. It was set up to serve the needs of customers (such as the UN in Sudan) who prefer to deal with a commcerial entity, rather than a non-governmental organisation. The aim of CROSSTECH SA is to provide mine action services, and to provide services to FSD. Even though Crosstech CROSSTECH SA. Is a commercial company, it has to exercice its activity under the supervision of the Swiss government's department for foundations.


Mechem Demining [1] is a division of the South African aerospace and defence equipment company Denel [2]. Active in the field of humanitarian demining since 1991, Mechem utilises the considerable experience gained through three decades of involvement with the SANDF and other clients in providing landmine countermeasures and mine resistant vehicles and equipment. Mechem's demining operations are in full compliance with the International Mine Action Standards (IMAS).

MineTech International

MineTech International has over 22 years experience in mine and Unexploded Ordnance clearance. MineTech works for commercial companies (mainly from the oil and gas industry) and humanitarian organisations to enable them to conduct business in countries plagued by mines and UXO.

MineTech offers services including manual, mechanical and canine mine detection and clearance, Mine Risk Education and Explosive Detection Dog teams. MineTech's Headquarters are in the UK, with a recruitment base in Zimbabwe and a Dog School in South Africa.

Mine Clearing Corp.

Mine Clearing Corp. [3] is developing a landmine detection and mapping system. The system will scan contaminated areas using an Unmanned Airborne Vehicle using patented sensor arrays and GPS software. The results will produce a detailed map of land mine locations thus increasing the productivity of landmine detection.

RONCO Consulting

RONCO Consulting has undertaken mine and unexploded ordnance (UXO) clearance operations in over 35 countries since 1989. RONCO employs nearly 200 technical advisors skilled in the training and implementation of mine/UXO clearance and disposal, and improvised explosive ordnance disposal programs. RONCO specializes in the following fields: Manual Demining, Mine Detection Dogs, Explosives Detection Dogs, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Improvised Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Basic /Advanced Trauma Life Support, Security Management. Ronco was acquired by G4S/Wackenhut in March 2008.

Other commercial organisations

United Nations Mine Action

Fourteen United Nations departments, programmes, agencies and funds are directly or indirectly involved in mine action. They share a vision for a world free of the threat of landmines and explosive remnants of war, where individuals and communities live in a safe environment conducive to development and where the needs of victims are met. [6]

UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO)

DPKO is the department responsible for the UN Mine Action Service. The Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations chairs the Inter-Agency Coordination Group on Mine Action, which brings together representatives from all 14 UN mine-action entities. DPKO integrates mine action into peacekeeping operations in line with a November 2003 Presidential Statement of the Security Council.

United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS)

UNMAS is a division of Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the focal point for mine action in the UN system. It is responsible for ensuring an effective, proactive and coordinated UN response to landmines and explosive remnants of war through collaboration with 13 other UN departments, agencies, funds and programmes. In peacekeeping and emergency settings, UNMAS establishes and manages mine action coordination centres in mine-affected countries, plans and manages operations, mobilizes resources and sets mine-action priorities in the countries and territories it serves.

United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA)

UNODA advises and assists the UN Secretary-General in his work related to the Anti-Personnel Mine-Ban Treaty and the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons. DDA promotes universal participation in international legal frameworks related to landmines and explosive remnants of war and assists countries in complying with their treaty obligations. DDA views mine action as a key disarmament activity.

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)- Mine Action Team

Through its country offices and its New York-based Mine Action Team of the Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, UNDP assists mine-affected countries establish or strengthen national and local mine action programmes. In certain circumstances UNDP, at the request of authorities in mine-affected countries, manages some or all of the elements of mine action programmes and may undertake specific mine action projects. Because landmines and explosive remnants of war are an obstacle to sustainable development, UNDP is including mine action in the mainstream of its broader development programmes.

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)Landmines and Small Arms Team

UNICEF believes that nurturing and caring for children are the cornerstones of human progress. UNICEF was created to work with others to overcome the obstacles that violence, poverty, disease and discrimination place in a child's path. This includes children in mine-affected countries globally. In collaboration with governments, other UN bodies and international, regional and non-governmental organizations, UNICEF supports the development and implementation of mine risk education and survivor assistance projects and advocacy for an end to the use of landmines, cluster munitions and other indiscriminate weapons.

United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

UNOPS, working with UNMAS, UNDP, UNICEF and others, is a principal service provider in mine action, offering project management and logistics services for projects and programmes managed or funded by the United Nations, international financial institutions, regional and sub-regional development banks or host governments.

United Nations Mine Action is also supported by:

Food and Agricultural Organisation: The FAO has a mandate to provide humanitarian relief, which sometimes requires the organization to participate in mine action in complex emergencies, particularly in rural areas.

Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs: OCHA shares information with all other organizations about the humanitarian impact of landmines and works with UNMAS on resource mobilization. OCHA is manager of the UN Central Emergency Revolving Fund and coordinator of the "Consolidated Appeal Process," both of which provide or mobilize financial resources for mine action.

Office of the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women: OSAGI develops new strategies and programmes to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women in all sectors, including mine action. OSAGI's role is primarily in the areas of advocacy and policy support for gender mainstreaming in all of the United Nations' work.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: The OHCHR does not have any specific mandate in the field of mine action, but it does carry out several relevant projects. OHCHR, for example, seeks to protect the rights people with disabilities, including survivors of landmines or unexploded ordnance.

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees: UNHCR's involvement in mine action ranges from contracting and mine clearance services, to training, advocacy against the use of anti-personnel mines and victim assistance.

World Food Programme: WFP is involved in the clearance of landmines and unexploded ordnance to facilitate delivery of food assistance in emergency situations.

World Health Organisation (Injuries and Violence Prevention Department): WHO is primarily responsible for the development of standards, the provision of technical assistance and the promotion of institutional capacity building in victim assistance. It works with the ministries of health of affected countries and cooperates closely with UNICEF and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

World Bank: The World Bank helps address the long-term consequences of landmines and unexploded ordnance on economic and social development. It also plays a significant role in mobilizing resources.

Military mine clearance agencies

Military mine clearance agencies focus on the process undertaken by soldiers to clear a safe path so they can advance during conflict. The military process of mine clearance only clears mines that block strategic pathways required in the advance or retreat of soldiers at war. The military term used for mine clearance is breaching. This process accepts that limited casualties may occur.

See also


External links


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