Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action ? Yes, by involving armed non-State actors
4 April 2014
To mark the International Day of Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, Geneva Call would like to highlight one of the biggest remaining challenges : the use of anti-personnel mines by armed non-State actors. It is urgent to engage them on the ban to bring about a truly ’mine free world’.
Anti-personnel mines maim and kill civilians and combatants indiscriminately. Hundreds of thousands of people, mainly civilians, are directly victims of landmines and other explosive remnants of war, or indirectly as they can no longer look for firewood, collect water or simply cultivate their fields.
On the ground, Geneva Call enters into dialogue with armed non-State actors and negotiates their commitment towards a total ban on the use of these weapons and the facilitation of mine action efforts such as demining operations in areas under their control. Geneva Call has developed an innovative tool – the Deed of Commitment – to support this approach including and involving armed groups in the mine action processes.
As long as armed non-State actors are not engaged and brought on board the mine ban, civilians will continue to be affected by these indiscriminate weapons.
Geneva Call has developed an illustrated booklet in different languages based on the rules of the Deed of Commitment, and used to support training for combatants on the anti-personnel mine ban. The booklet can be viewed here.
Geneva Call is currently engaging 43 armed non-State actors on the anti-personnel mine ban in more than 13 countries.