Mine action is a broad set of efforts both to prevent and to address the problems caused by mines, cluster munitions and other explosive remnants of war.
The International Mine Action Standards (IMAS) refer to mine action as ‘activities which aim to reduce the social, economic and environmental impact of mines and (other) ERW including cluster munitions.'
According to the United Nations, mine action comprises five complementary groups of activities or ‘pillars’:
- Mine/ERW risk education
- Demining, ie. mine/ERW survey, mapping, marking and clearance
- Victim assistance, including rehabilitation and reintegration
- Stockpile destruction
- Advocacy against the use of anti-personnel mines and cluster munitions
Mine action activities are designed to:
- Reduce real and perceived risks to affected populations of landmines, cluster munitions, ammunition stockpiles and ERW
- Address consequences of accidents upon victims
- Reduce economic, social and developmental consequences of contamination
- Advocate developing, adopting and complying with appropriate instruments of international humanitarian law (IHL)