Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) present significant risks to mine action (MA) operators and the programmes within which they work. Such risks can be managed through well-informed risk identification and assessment, the avoidance of some activities, and the procurement/development of the necessary skills, equipment and procedures to address others.
This study focuses primarily on improvised devices of the types that are currently encountered by MA organisations during humanitarian operations. The use of IEDs for terrorist purposes or as part of active conflict is not addressed in this study. While it is recognised that MA organisations may be present in places where there is a risk of terrorist attack, such events generally fall under the heading of security/law and order and are dealt with by military, security or police forces. The study draws especially on information relating to humanitarian IED disposal (IEDD) operations in northern Iraq, but it considers issues of importance to MA operators encountering improvised devices anywhere in the world.