Global Protection Risks

Presence of Mine and Other Explosive Ordnance

This risk refers to the level of social, economic and environmental impact on communities and affected populations resulting from the harm or exposure to harm caused by Explosive Ordnance (EO) hazards and hazardous areas. This includes mines, cluster munitions, unexploded ordnance, abandoned ordnance, booby traps, improvised explosive devices and other devices (as defined by the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons: Amended Protocol II). They are inevitably found during and after armed conflicts and, when activated, they can incapacitate, injure or kill one or more persons, as well as prevent them from accessing resources, livelihood and opportunities due to fear of presence of explosive ordnance.

What factors must be identified for monitoring? 

The identification and monitoring of this protection risk can include events, accidents, as well as the presence of suspected or confirmed hazardous areas. Some level of reporting on the risk should be maintained according to the degree of residual risk identified following non-technical surveys, technical surveys and clearance. This protection risk includes all cases including victims: persons either individually or collectively who have suffered physical, emotional and psychological injury, economic loss or substantial impairment of their fundamental rights through acts or omissions related to the use of mines or the presence of EO. Victims include directly impacted individuals (casualties), families and affected communities in the short and long-term term, and their primary and secondary, intended or unintended effects. In the context of mine action, the term ‘survivor’ refers to a person who was injured as a result of explosive ordnance and has survived the accident. It is fundamental to identify all hazardous areas or explosive ordnance that have not been marked or fenced off, for the immediate threats to life they pose, as well as determining if devices are active (still used by a party to a conflict) or remnant (e.g., abandoned IEDs after hostilities have ceased). 


What information & data can illustrate the presence of the risk? 

The presence of this protection risk is backed up by data, reports and information illustrating effects and impacts, for instance: a) inaccessibility or inability to use essential infrastructure such as roads and markets; b) inability or reduced ability to pursue livelihood activities such as use of agricultural land or water sources; c) the psychological, physical, social and economic consequences of injuries caused by explosive ordnance. This risk can be identified first by consulting available sources of information such as the Information Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA), the National Mine Action Authorities (NMAA), previous surveys, victim assistance databases, residential, agricultural or infrastructure damage assessments (e.g., bridges). If the existing source of information is incomplete, the risk can be further identified by asking questions to identify victims and contaminated areas through assessments, field visits and community liaison. Suspected hazardous areas need to be reported and surveyed by technical specialist to confirm presence of EO. Civilians or untrained personnel should not attempt to identify, move or destroy EO. A list of guiding questions has been compiled in the Displacement Tracking Matrix Mine Action Field Companion. The establishment of a hotline is advised so that the population can report suspected hazardous areas or accidents involving explosive ordnance. The Mine Action AoR can help to organise surveys to define the level and nature of the contamination and design risk reduction strategies. 


You can download the definition here.