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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

2010 To Walk the Earth in Safety: Mine Action Programs

Bureau of Political-Military Affairs
July 1, 2010


The Center for International Stabilization and Recovery: Combining Knowledge with Action

Logo: Center for International Stabilization and Recovery (CISR)
Logo: Mine Action Information Center (MAIC).
The Center for International Stabilization and Recovery (CISR), and its subsidiary, the Mine Action Information Center (MAIC), are located at James Madison University. CISR focuses on six key services:

--Field Programs
--Web Development

CISR publishes the longest continuous source of mine-action information in the world, The Journal of ERW and Mine Action, which is read in more than 160 countries.

In addition, CISR developedreg and manages the MAIC web site, which is the premier global resource for mine-action lessons learned, current landmine news, and information. The MAIC web site also hosts the Internet’s largest free and unclassified database of ordnance in the world. The database provides information for the identification, recovery, transport, and disposal of more than 5,000 ordnance items in several categories.

CISR hosts and conducts Senior Mine Action Management training around the world. It has conducted six five-week courses for the United Nations Development Programme and the U.S. Department of State, training 125 participants from 36 countries. CISR is also conducting field programs on victim-assistance, especially focusing on peer-to-peer support programs. For more information, visit  or

Point of Contact:

Kenneth R. Rutherford, Ph.D., Director
Center for International
Stabilization and Recovery
James Madison University
MSC 4902
800 South Main Street
Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807
+1 540 568 2756
+1 540 568 8176
web site: or

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s International Emergency Refugee Health Branch

Logo: CDC - Safer, Healthier People.

The International Emergency and Refugee Health Branch (IERHB), part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, provides public-health assistance and interventions in the context of war and other humanitarian emergencies. Some of that work has focused on the prevention of injuries that result from armed conflict.

Since 2002, personnel from IERHB have worked in a variety of conflict and post-conflict settings, assisting with the development of injury surveillance systems, the implementation of health assessments and cross-sectional surveys, and the provision of assistance to victims of war-related injury. These settings have included countries such as Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Liberia, Mozambique, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.

During the last fiscal year, IERHB has provided over $3 million to a number of international organizations, nongovernmental organizations, and universities to implement programs or conduct research on topics related to injury and armed conflict. For instance, IERHB provided funds to UNICEF for the development of a training program and materials for mine-risk educators to improve their analytic skills and ability to effectively evaluate the impact of their programs. IERHB has worked closely with UNICEF and the World Health Organization in developing systems to monitor injury trends in conflict and post-conflict settings. In addition, Harvard University is using funds provided by IERHB to assess the psychological and economic impact of demining on communities in Lebanon and Angola.

Point of Contact:
Michael Gerber
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
4770 Buford Highway
Atlanta, GA 30341
+1 770 488 0695
web site:

International Trust Fund for Demining and Mine Victims Assistance

Logo: International Trust Fund for Demining and Victim Assistance (ITF).The International Trust Fund for Demining and Mine Victims Assistance (ITF) is a humanitarian, nonprofit organization devoted to the elimination of post-conflict threats, including landmines, explosive remnants of war (ERW), and the illicit ownership and use of small arms and light weapons (SA/LW), in Southeast Europe and other affected regions in the world.

Established by the government of the Republic of Slovenia in March 1998, the initial purpose of ITF was to help Bosnia and Herzegovina in the implementation of the peace agreement and to provide assistance and support for post-conflict rehabilitation. Since its inception, ITF has augmented its activities to include the rectification of landmine problems and helping landmine survivors with physical and socioeconomic rehabilitation across the region of Southeast Europe. ITF was asked for assistance by affected countries/donors and has expanded operations to other affected regions and countries as well, e.g., Central Asia, Cyprus, Latin America, the Middle East, and the South Caucasus.

ITF operates on funds provided by both public and private donors to carry out its various duties throughout the world. The U.S. Department of State and ITF have an agreement that the United States will equally match all donations that are made to ITF by other donors up to the amount authorized by the U.S. Congress for this purpose.

As the impact from landmines and UXO in Southeast Europe becomes less severe, there is a growing need to support security-sector reform and disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programs, and to combat violence and terrorism from the illicit ownership and use of SA/LW. Such challenges pose a serious threat to human security. ITF is poised to address these challenges.

Point of Contact:
Dorijan Maršic, Director
Zabrv 12 / 1292 IG
+386 1 479 6585
+386 1 479 6590
web site:

Mine Detection Dog Center for South East Europe

Logo: Mine Detection Dog Center for Southeast Europe (MDDC).Established in December 2002 by the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political- Military Affairs (PM/WRA), Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) Ministry of Civil Affairs, and the International Trust Fund for Demining and Mine Victims Assistance, and endorsed by the South- Eastern Europe Mine Action Coordination Council, the Mine Detection Dog Center for South East Europe (MDDC) is located in BiH at the former Territorial Defense Center in Borci village. The center was created in response to the growing need for improved demining methods and the need for well-trained, mine-detecting dog teams. For the center’s first three years of operation, PM/WRA provided funds for its development, but it is now fully self-sustaining.

The center’s trained staff teaches dogs to detect bombs, explosives, mines, and narcotic drugs. In addition to helping persons with disabilities, dogs are prepared for search-and-rescue operations for local BiH police forces and the Bosnian Border Service. MDDC also proposed a set of technical and safety guidelines for working with dogs in the region. Using its own mine-detection dog teams,

MDDC provides services and support for demining operations in Albania, Azerbaijan, BiH, Croatia, Iraq, Kosovo, Lebanon, and Serbia. MDDC also engages in special seminars and workshops, and developed a mine-risk education program for rural children. Other activities include renting dog teams to organizations and offering support to mine victims.

MDDC mainly employs German shepherds, Belgian shepherds, and Labradors between 13 and 18 months of age. Training time lasts from six to eight months or shorter, depending on the dogs’ work environment. Since its inception, the MDDC has trained more than 150 dogs. On 11 November 2009, MDCC completed a successful transfer of seven dog teams to the Armed Forces of BiH. PM/WRA provided the funds for the donation, as well as the dog equipment.

Point of Contact:
Marija Trlin
Public and Donor Relations Officer
Mine Detection Dog Center for
South East Europe
Borci b.b., 88400 Konjic
Bosnia and Herzegovina
+387 36 739 860
web site:

Organization of American States

Logo: Organization of American States (OAS).The Organization of American States (OAS) officially formed with the signing of the Charter of the OAS in 1948. All 35 independent states of the Americas have ratified the OAS Charter, with another 63 permanent observer countries (including the European Union) contributing to OAS programs.

The goal of the OAS is to promote democracy, security, development, and human rights in the Western Hemisphere through the use of political dialogue and cooperation. The OAS is also involved in carrying out mandates established during the Summits of the Americas, multilateral meetings on issues such as corruption, terrorism, the drug trade, and poverty.

The OAS supports demining in Central and South America, where numerous member countries continue to suffer the negative effects of landmines and other explosive remnants of war (ERW). To assist with the removal of hundreds of thousands of anti-personnel mines, the OAS established the Comprehensive Action Against Antipersonnel Mines, or Acción Integral contra las Minas Antipersonal (AICMA) in 1991. Funded entirely by donors such as Belgium, Canada, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and the United States, AICMA supports humanitarian demining, victim assistance, mine-risk education, stockpile destruction, and promotion of the Ottawa Convention in the Americas. With the help of AICMA, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, and Suriname are now deemed mine safe. In addition, Nicaragua is nearing completion of its demining tasks. Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru are still undergoing demining, with Ecuador and Peru aiming to meet their Ottawa Convention obligations by 2017 and Colombia expected to request a 10-year extension to its March 2011 deadline.

Point of Contact:
Carl E. Case, Director
Office of Humanitarian Mine Action
Organization of American States
1889 F Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20006
+1 202 458 3631
web site:

Regional Centre on Small Arms and Light Weapons

Logo: Regional Centre on Small Arms.Located in Nairobi, Kenya, the Regional Centre on Small Arms and Light Weapons (RECSA) aims to coordinate action against small arms/light weapons (SA/LW) proliferation in Africa’s Great Lakes and Horn of Africa regions, and the bordering states. The organization’s mission is to achieve a peaceful, safe, and secure African sub-region free of arms proliferation.

RECSA’s core activities involve preventing, combating, and eradicating stockpiling and illicit trafficking of SA/LW. Arising from the 2000 Nairobi Declaration on the Problem of Illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons in the Great Lakes Region and the Horn of Africa, RECSA provides a comprehensive institutional disarmament framework to combat the availability of SA/LW that cooperates with national focal points in its member states of Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda.

RECSA’s goals are guided by the implementation of the Nairobi Declaration. Objectives for fulfilling the Declaration include developing governmental, civil, and donor partnerships, raising public awareness, building police and law enforcement capacities, and coordinating interagency action to combat SA/LW proliferation and enhance the prospects of sustainable regional development.

In July 2009, RECSA held a regional seminar on SA/LW brokering in Rwanda with U.S. sponsorship to initiate dialogue and open channels of cooperation between member states to further enhance SA/LW brokering control measures. RECSA also hosted the 5th Regional Civil Society Forum in Tanzania, held in September 2009, to provide a seminar for interaction and exchange of information between civil society and national focal points on current activities to address regional proliferation of illicit SA/LW.

Point of Contact:
Angela Baiya-Wadeyua
Communication Officer
PO Box 7039-00200
web site:
+ 254 020 3877456
+ 254 020 3876023
+ 254 020 3877397

U.S. Agency for International Development’s Leahy War Victims Fund

Logo: U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).First established in 1989 by Senator Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vermont), USAID’s Leahy War Victims Fund (LWVF) aims to respond to the needs of civilian victims in war-affected countries. The LWVF aids persons with disabilities, particularly those who have sustained mobility-related injuries from unexploded ordnance (UXO) and anti-personnel landmines. In addition, the LWVF provides assistance for other direct and indirect causes of disability, such as preventable diseases that may arise from interrupted immunization campaigns during or following a war.

During 2009, the LWVF provided $13 million for programs to help those victims with physical disabilities as a result of civil strife and warfare. The majority of the funds collected by the LWVF are allotted for affordable prosthetics and orthotic services, in addition to essential medical, rehabilitation, and vocational assistance for landmine victims.

The LWVF is comprised of dedicated individuals who work closely with Congress to manage the funding implementation. Since its establishment, the LWVF has disbursed over $165 million to 30 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Central America, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, South Asia, and Southeast Asia.

Over the years, the LWVF has expanded its scope beyond caring for only those who need immediate aid. It also designs and implements development programs that address the changing needs of the populations while establishing the foundations for sustainable services in developing countries. The LWVF strives to strengthen the quality of care for survivors, ensuring that the treatment and equipment provided are used effectively to increase the mobility of disabled persons in conflict-affected countries.

Point of Contact:
Lloyd Feinberg, Manager
Leahy War Victims Fund
U.S. Agency for International
Washington, D.C. 20523
+1 202 712 5725
web site:

United States’ Defense Threat Reduction Agency

Logo: Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA).The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) is a combat support agency for the United States Department of Defense. First established in October 1998, DTRA aims to reduce the global threat of weapons of mass destruction (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and highyield explosives). DTRA accomplishes this by mitigating these weapons’ effects and by providing capabilities to reduce, eliminate, and counter the threat. To effectively carry out its mission, DTRA is comprised of several offices and enterprises, each with their own specific objectives and responsibilities.

DTRA became involved with small arms/light weapons (SA/LW) removal in 2001. The SA/LW branch of DTRA aims to reduce proliferation by aiding foreign governments with security improvements and the management of state-controlled stockpiles of man-portable air-defense systems, SA/LW, and conventional ammunition.

The organization is able to do this by employing teams of SA/LW experts to provide foreign governments with assessments and technical advice, while also orienting them with the best practices for physical security and stockpile management. As a result of this, the efforts of the SA/LW branch have decreased the availability of weapons to terrorists and insurgents, reduced cross-border weapons transfers that threaten regional stability, and lowered the risk of ammunition accidents.

Since 2001, the need for the DTRA SA/LW branch has increased significantly due to the types and number of SA/LW missions that have developed. Today, the SA/LW branch provides assistance to over 50 countries.

Point of Contact:
Defense Threat Reduction Agency
DTRA Public Affairs
8725 John J. Kingman Road
Stop 6201
Fort Belvoir, Virginia 22060-6201
web site:

U.S. Department of Defense’s Humanitarian Demining Research and Development Program

Logo: Humanitarian Demining Research and Development Program (HD R&D).The United States Department of Defense created the Humanitarian Demining Research and Development (HD R&D) Program in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, to focus on the development, testing, demonstration, and validation of various technologies that increase the safety and efficiency of humanitarian demining operations. These include areas such as mine detection, area reduction, vegetation clearance, mechanical mine clearance, and mine neutralization. The HD R&D Program fulfills its objectives through the adaptation of commercial, off-the-shelf technology, the application of mature technologies, and the leveraging of current developments from the U.S. Army’s counter-mine mission area. The program’s main goal is to field as many prototype systems as possible, so the demining community can use them to assist in the global landmine problem. Understanding the most serious problems facing deminers around the world and then developing applicable technology to help overcome these problems is the HD R&D Program’s greatest challenge, which is addressed by executing and developing a plan that achieves the greatest results in the shortest possible time.

The program offers a humanitarian demining requirements workshop each year to representatives from global governmental mine-action centers and nongovernmental organizations, where country assessment and needs determine upcoming developmental efforts for prototype technology. All prototypes undergo extensive testing and field evaluations in actual minefields, which are integral aspects of the HD R&D Program. The evaluations allow host countries to operate the equipment and determine if it is useful, cost-effective, and efficient. The evaluations also provide feedback that could ultimately result in future R&D improvements.

The HD R&D Program is performing field evaluations of its equipment in Afghanistan, Angola, Cambodia, Chile, Ecuador, Tajikistan, and Thailand. Some of the technologies being evaluated include the Multi-Tooled Excavator, Explosive Harvesting System, Rotary Mine Comb, HSTAMIDS Handheld Mine Detector, and the Mini MineWolf.

Point of Contact:
Sean Burke, Program Manager
Department of the Army
10221 Burbeck Road
Fort Belvoir, Virginia 22060
+1 703 704 1047
+1 703 704 3001
web site:

U.S. Department of Defense’s Humanitarian Demining Training Center

Logo: U.S. Department of Defense Humanitarian Demining Training Center (HDTC).The United States Department of Defense’s Humanitarian Demining Training Center (HDTC) is located at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri and is the training and information center for the U.S. Humanitarian Mine Action (HMA) Program. Established in 1996, the mission of HDTC is to train and prepare U.S. Forces for overseas deployment supporting the U.S. Government (USG) HMA strategy. HDTC collects, analyzes, and disseminates HMA-related information to USG and international organizations in support of program and instructional course development, which is performed in accordance with USG policy, International Mine Action Standards (IMAS), and other open-source documentation.

Training at HDTC develops ability in HMA training support package development and instructional methods to execute train-the-trainer sessions in landmine clearance and other explosive remnants of war (ERW) mitigation. Training focuses on the deploying force mission, and the operational and organizational HMA procedures and practices of the host-nation HMA program. Students, upon completion of the two-week HMA or ERW course, are required to demonstrate proficiency in subjects ranging from U.S. code and USG policy governing the U.S. HMA Program, to deminer training tasks in minefield clearance lanes. Recently, HDTC expanded the curriculum to include battle area clearance for Explosive Ordnance Disposal Level 1 training, and basic and advanced combat lifesaver courses in partnership with the U. S. Center for Disaster and Humanitarian Assistance Medicine.

HDTC training is supported with Overseas Humanitarian Disaster and Civic Aid (OHDACA) funding appropriated through congressional mandate and public law. U.S. Forces attending HDTC use OHDACA funding to attend HMA resident courses, conduct requirements and pre-deployment surveys, and HMA training operations. HDTC equips U.S. Forces with a training methodology toolkit to conduct train-the-trainer HMA missions, with the vision to “render landmine and ERW-affected countries mine and ERW safe via holistic and comprehensive training,” so that others may “walk the Earth in safety.”

Point of Contact:
Jonathan D. Green, Director
U.S. Department of Defense
Defense Security Cooperation Agency
Humanitarian Demining Training Center
Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri 65473
+1 573 563 6199
+1 573 563 5051
web site:

U.S. Department of State Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement

Logo:  Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement.

The Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs (PM/WRA) was founded in October 2003 to develop, implement, and monitor efforts that contribute to post-conflict recovery by eliminating humanitarian risks from conventional weapons. PM/WRA works within a local, regional, and international context to promote peace, stability, and prosperity by mitigating the negative effects brought by the proliferation of conventional weapons of war. Furthermore, PM/WRA works to remove and destroy weapons that continue to pose hazards in post-conflict environments.

There are three pillars of PM/WRA’s mission: curb the illicit trafficking and indiscriminate use of conventional weapons of war that contribute to internal instability; pursue such weapons and help the clean-up efforts that occur in post-conflict settings; and engage civil society to expand support for U.S. efforts abroad. Landmines, unexploded ordnance, man-portable air-defense systems also known as MANPADS, and other small arms/light weapons and conventional munitions are some of the weapons PM/WRA addresses, with the goal of limiting their humanitarian impact and availability to criminal and terrorist groups.

The office also provides grants for many humanitarian and research projects. Half of PM/WRA’s humanitarian assistance is provided through grants to nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), which carry out numerous initiatives and programs around the world. In addition, through public-private partnerships, PM/WRA works with more than 60 NGOs, civic groups, educational institutions, and philanthropic foundations to help make the world safe from the threat of illicit weapons. Organizations such as the Danish Deming Group, The HALO Trust, MAG (Mines Advisory Group), and the United Nations Mine Action Team collaborate with PM/WRA to create a multilateral approach to mine action and weapons mitigation.

Point of Contact:
Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (PM/WRA)
U.S. Department of State
Bureau of Political-Military Affairs
SA-3, Suite 6100
2121 Virginia Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20522
+1 202 663 0100
+1 202 663 0090
web site:

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