Mine Action

Last Updated: December 17, 2008

This sub-section examines mine action within the framework of peacebuilding. The section begins by exploring the definitions of mine action and the various terminological derivations that have framed operational activities in the field. The history of the use of landmines is briefly traced and the historical context of weapons bans is provided. Earlier efforts to ban landmines and the reframing of the issue to encompass a humanitarian and development agenda are then examined. The succeeding sections take a look at the integration of mine action within other peacebuilding activities and discuss the implementation of mine action activities along with the corresponding challenges. The cases of Cambodia, Afghanistan, Mozambique, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Lebanon illustrate different aspects of the mine action process.
Overall, the general consensus within the mine action community has been to expand the scope of activities to encompass a broader humanitarian and developmental approach, as well as to find ways to reduce and prevent armed violence. There has been increasing realization that mine action activities need to be integrated into the broader framework of peacebuilding activities to be able to improve coordination and collaboration in the field. At the same time, despite embracing a people-centered perspective, which stems from the way in which the landmine issue has been framed, mine action programs continue to demonstrate only incremental success in guaranteeing the safety and well-being of civilians in landmine-affected regions.  
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