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UNMAS provides trainings to mine action sector on use of mine-detection dogs. Photo: UNMAS Colombia

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As a result of more than fifty years of conflict involving various non-state armed actors, Colombia suffers from widespread landmine and explosive remnants of war (ERW) contamination. Despite a declining trend in the number of mine and ERW victims, Colombia still registered 50 new casualties in 2017. Since 2010, UNMAS has assisted Descontamina Colombia and humanitarian demining organizations to increase the sector’s capacity and develop its coordination and regulatory frameworks. Following the ratification of the 2016 Peace Accord between the Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC-EP), mine action has benefitted from improved access to previously inaccessible contaminated areas and increased funding. It contributes further to building and sustaining peace in Colombia through the reintegration of ex-combatants through employment in demining.


UNMAS provides technical assistance to mine action authorities and state entities, supporting the Government’s efforts to meet its 2021 Ottawa Treaty deadline to clear antipersonnel landmines. Assistance focuses on strategic and operational planning, sector coordination, sharing international best practices, the development of national mine action standards and accreditation capacity, as well as the institutional strengthening of Descontamina Colombia.

UNMAS also promotes the capacity development and growth of humanitarian demining organizations. With a particular emphasis on supporting Colombian civilian organizations, UNMAS provides assistance on the development of standard operating procedures, training of personnel and compliance with accreditation processes. UNMAS funds survey and clearance operations by local and international demining organizations.

In the peace accord between the Government of Colombia and FARC-EP, demining is recognised as a pre-requisite for post-conflict rural development, an occupation for reintegrated ex-combatants and a method for their provision of victim reparations. As such, UNMAS is currently managing a project to support the technical and administrative capacity development of Humanicemos DH, a humanitarian demining organization established by former FARC-EP combatants.


UNMAS Colombia’s activities for 2018 are fully funded. UNMAS is thankful to Australia, the European Union, Germany, Italy, the Republic of Korea, Switzerland and the Colombia Post-Conflict UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund for their contributions. For 2019, UNMAS is seeking USD 1.8 million to fund its core activities.

Updated: March 2018

Programme of:



The Mine Action sector in Colombia evolved substantially in the past year, playing a key peace-building role following the ratification of the 2016 Peace Accord. UNMAS, providing technical assistance to national mine action body Dirección Descontamina Colombia, has contributed to the following results in support of sustaining peace in Colombia:

  • -Launch of the National Mine Action Strategic Plan 2016-21 and the operational demining plan.
  • Tasks in 263 municipalities with suspected ERW contamination assigned to demining organizations.
  • Expansion of demining capacity through the accreditation of 10 civilian organizations, with 5,468 men and women accredited to conduct humanitarian demining operations.
  • Socio-economic reintegration of ex-combatants through humanitarian demining.
  • Start of demining operations in 77 highly-impacted municipalities since the establishment of the UNMAS Colombia Programme in 2010.
  • 1,845 landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) destroyed since 2010.
  • 3.49 km2 of landmine/UXO contamination cleared since 2010.


Press Release