Today we recognize two types of mine clearance: military and humanitarian. Military mine clearance is the process undertaken by soldiers to clear a safe path so they can advance during conflict.The military process of mine clearance only clears mines that block strategic pathways required in the advance or retreat of soldiers at war. The military term used for mine clearance is breaching. This process accepts that limited casualties may occur.
Humanitarian mine clearance is very different. It aims to clear land so that civilians can return to their homes and their everyday routines without the threat of landmines and unexploded remnants of war (ERW), which include unexploded ordnance and abandoned explosive ordnance. This means that all the mines and ERW affecting the places where ordinary people live must be cleared, and their safety in areas that have been cleared must be guaranteed. Mines are cleared and the areas are thoroughly verified so that they can say without a doubt that the land is now safe, and people can use it without worrying about the weapons. The aim of humanitarian demining is to restore peace and security at the community level.
Depending of the laws of the specific country, the job is either done by the military, Non-governmental organizations (NGO’s), or commercial companies. In addition, a variety of intergovernmental, international and regional organizations, as well as international financial institutions, also support mine action by funding operations or providing services to individuals and communities affected by landmines and explosive remnants of war.
The humanitarian demining program includes training of host nation deminers, establishment of national demining organizations, provision of demining equipment, mine awareness training, and research development.
The most known international expert organization working for the elimination of mines, explosive remnants of war and other explosive hazards is The Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD), a non-profit organization based in Switzerland.
A number of UN departments, agencies, programs and funds play a role in mine-action programs in 30 countries and territories. There is also a number of academic institutions and government agencies involved in demining programs such as Humanitarian demining training center of western Africa, Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB), or Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich.
Among NGOs forming demining world network the most active are Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD), Norwegian People’s Aid, Association for Aid and Relief of Japan, CARE international, Danish Demining Group, Landmine Action from London, International Mine Initiative from Greece, HELP from Germany, Canadian landmine Foundation and Mine Action Canada, but also a number of lesser known and strong organizations from Vietnam, Belgium, France, Italy, Cambodia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sudan and Australia.
Every year, landmines kill 15,000 to 20,000 people — most of them children, women and the elderly — and severely maim countless more. Scattered in some 78 countries, they are an ongoing reminder of conflicts which have been over for years or even decades.
United Nation Department of Human Affairs (UNDHA) assesses that there are more than 100 million mines that are scattered across the world and pose significant hazards in more than 78 countries. The international Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) estimates that the casualty rate from landmines currently exceeds 26,000 persons every year. It is estimated that more than 800 persons are killed and 1,200 maimed each month by landmines around the world. Humanitarian demining demands that all the landmines (especially AP mines) and ERW affecting the places where ordinary people live must be cleared, and their safety in areas that have been cleared must be guaranteed.
The countries severely affected by mine problems are Afghanistan, Sudan, Iraq, Lebanon, and Cambodia (ICBL Landmine Monitor), Ethiopia, Egypt, Libya, Somalia, Iran, Burma, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, and Croatia (E-Mine).
The International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) is a global network in over 100 countries that works for a world free of antipersonnel landmines, where landmine survivors can lead fulfilling lives.
The Campaign was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of its efforts to bring about the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty. Since then, ICBL has been advocating for the words of the treaty to become a reality, demonstrating on a daily basis that civil society has the power to change the world.
Since landmines are all explosive devices, concealed under or on the ground and designed to destroy or disable enemy targets as they pass over or near the device, today we differentiate anti-personnel and anti-vehicle weapons. There are also many types of improvised explosive devices ("IEDs"), technically classified as land mines, but those are used as makeshift devices assembled by paramilitary, insurgent, or terrorist groups.
This classification of landmines indicates the needed technology for mine clearance.
Anti-Personnel mines are destroyed by the force of impact of the flail tool attachment. The flail tool attachment is a hardened steel shaft with hammers attached at the end of the chains. During mine clearance activities, the shaft rotates and the hammers strike the ground and shatter or activate embedded mines. The force of the flail hammers are calculated to enable cutting through dense vegetation and digging into soil. The chains and hammers can be replaced quickly in case of damage.
DOK-ING is a global leader in mechanical humanitarian demining. Both of our systems with a range of different tool attachments are purposely built for mine clearance, they have optimal performance in the most dangerous conditions.
DOK-ING's demining systems are also optimized to be cost-effective for governments, agencies, NGOs and commercial companies. Mechanical demining provides significant savings over manual demining. Not only can more land be cleared, but human lives are saved as the process of manual demining is extremely dangerous. The most important feature of our demining systems is that they are remotely controlled tracked vehicles that can be operated from a safe distance.