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MINE ACTION ENTAILS MORE THAN REMOVING LANDMINES FROM THE GROUND

It includes actions ranging from teaching people how to protect themselves from danger in a mine-affected environment to advocating for a mine-free world.

Mine action is not just about landmines. In many countries, unexploded ordnance, or UXO, poses an even greater threat to people's safety. UXO comprises bombs, mortars, grenades, missiles or other devices that fail to detonate as designed but remain volatile and can kill if touched or moved. Some of the main sources of UXO are cluster bombs. Today, mine-action programmes typically address problems of landmines, UXO and "explosive remnants of war," which includes UXO and "abandoned ordnance," or weapons and remnant Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) left behind by armed forces when they leave an area.

There are five aspects or "pillars" of mine action:

CLEARANCE

Removing and destroying landmines and explosive remnants of war and marking or fencing off areas contaminated with them. READ MORE

EDUCATION

Mine-risk education to help people understand the risks they face, identify mines and explosive remnants of war and learn how to stay out of harm's way. READ MORE

VICTIM ASSISTANCE

Medical assistance and rehabilitation services to victims, including job skills training and employment opportunities. READ MORE

ADVOCACY

Advocating for a world free from the threat of landmines and encouraging countries to participate in international treaties and conventions designed to end the production, trade, shipment or use of mines and to uphold the rights of persons with disabilities. READ MORE

STOCKPILE DESTRUCTION

Helping countries destroy their stockpiles of mines as required by international agreements, such as the 1999 anti-personnel mine-ban treaty. Landmines and explosive remnants of war affect over 70 states. Casualties are at a level far below earlier estimates of more than 20,000 casualties per year, with recorded casualties in 2008 under 5,200. READ MORE