Mine action is not only about clearing mines. It is also about improving access to blocked resources, providing assistance to affected people, and about strengthen local community capacities.
We are assisting with resources, knowledge, and capacity where needed and with local participation we are building strong, resilient and safer communities. Making communities safer not only improves human security, it also facilitates sustainable long-term development.
We call this approach Safer Communities (1.01 MB). That is what DCA mine action is all about.
Our approach builds on the integration of the following elements:
Landmines and ERW remain dormant in the ground long after wars have ended, waiting for their next potential victim; a farmer who is working the field, a woman collecting water or a playful child. Many hostilities and much fighting take place in populated areas – either urban or rural – and innocent civilians often become unintended victims of landmines and ERW.
While clearance and other mine action activities have progressed steadily over the years, communities and local capabilities still need to be strengthened, and much remains to be done.
DCA Mine Action has been operational since 1999, working worldwide in countries such as Albania, Angola, Burundi, Burma/Myanmar, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Kosovo, Iraq, Laos, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, and Turkey.
The essential element of our work is community participation and local ownership. We are committed to national capacity building and work closely with national authorities to ensure in-country capacity remains in order to deal mine action after we exit a country. The positive change is generated locally.
We are working closely together with DCA Development counterparts and other ACT Alliance partners in order to build safer communities and facilitate sustainable long-term development. We are working to achieve this through:
Clearance of Mines and ERW conducted in accordance with community needs, national priorities and International Mine Action Standards.
Risk Education in order to keep at-risk populations safe through disseminating safety messages.
Armed Violence Reduction reduces and prevents occurrence of armed violence and reduce the social and psychological impact of armed violence through advocacy within the national authorities.
Victim assistance enables victims of armed conflict to be reintegrated into society; either through direct support – e.g. prosthetic legs – or through longer-term psychosocial support.
Physical Security and Stockpile Management removes the threat posed to communities by unsafe storage of weapons and explosives.
Emergency response means being able to deliver time-critical humanitarian responses in crisis and conflicts areas.
The diversity of our approach and the cooperation with our partners is the key to a successful transition of mine action functions to national structures since they provides us with the essential access and local knowledge.
Field operations and advocacy are mutually reinforcing activities aiming to change realities on the ground. DCA is active in both areas, helping to ensure that contamination from mines and cluster munitions will not reoccur once removed through clearance operations.
We are active in the International Campaign to Ban Landmines as well as the Cluster Munitions Coalition. Through this work, we advocate for legal instruments, which are or should be in place to prevent or reduce further contamination with mines, cluster munitions and other ERW.
Only with the continued, sustained effort of affected countries, partners and donors, is it possible to build safer communities and to reach our goal:
A world without mines and other deadly remnants of war.
DCA mine action activities have been funded by numerous private, institutional, and government donors over the years. Regardless of size, each donation contributes to saving lives and improving livelihoods.
DCA would like to thank all of our past and current donors: