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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 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. The reintegration of ex-combatants through employment in demining adds further value to the sector’s contribution to building and sustaining peace, and is enabling the further expansion of its operational capacity.


UNMAS provides technical assistance to mine action authorities and state entities more broadly, supporting the Government’s efforts to meet its 2021 Ottawa Treaty deadline to clear antipersonnel landmines. Assistance is focussed on sharing international best practices, strategic and operational planning, sector coordination, 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. In addition to technical assistance, UNMAS also funds demining organizations to implement survey and clearance operations.

In the Government–FARC-EP peace accord, demining is recognised as a pre-requisite for post-conflict rural development, as an occupation for reintegrated ex-combatants and as a method for their provision of victim reparations. To that end, UNMAS is supporting the establishment of Humanicemos DH, a humanitarian demining organization formed by ex-combatants and manages a critical project in support of the organization’s technical and administrative capacity development.


UNMAS Programme in Colombia’s planned activities for 2018 are fully funded. UNMAS is thankful to Australia, the European Union, Germany, Italy, 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: January 2018

Programme of:



Through the provision of technical assistance to national mine action body Dirección Descontamina Colombia, UNMAS has contributed to the following results:

  • National Mine Action Strategic Plan 2016-21 and operational demining plan launched in 2016.
  • 15 new national mine action standards adopted since 2015 and a further 10 under development.
  • 242 impacted municipalities assigned to demining organizations.
  • Demining capacity expanded through the accreditation of 10 civilian organizations, with 5,297 men and women accredited to conduct humanitarian demining operations.
  • 24 dog-handler tandems have been accredited to conduct mine detection dog clearance.
  • Demining operations started in 73 highly-impacted municipalities since the establishment of the UNMAS Colombia Programme in 2010.
  • 1,704 landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) destroyed since 2010.
  • 3.47 km2 of landmine/UXO contamination cleared since 2010


Press Release