Even a hundred years after the start of the First World War, we still live in a world where the individual need for safety and development continues to be thwarted by conflict, new hot spots and never-ending wars. Explosive munitions are being used everywhere. Everywhere these threaten people long after the end of a conflict – mostly still decades after it.
In the last 20 years, international players have done an immense amount of work for humanitarian mine clearance. Great progress has been achieved in this time, such as 162 states signing up to the Ottawa Convention on the banning of anti-personnel landmines and 116 states signing up to the Oslo Treaty on the banning of cluster munitions. A worldwide ban on anti-personnel landmines would be an achievable aim and the participation of the United States in this effort is of crucial significance. In 2014, after decades of stalling tactics, the USA finally began to prepare to join the Ottawa Convention. This development will be closely monitored.
But international treaties are not the only focus of mine action organisations. Mine action programmes are increasingly adapted to the new challenges, e.g. humanitarian Mine action is linked to development programmes and designed comprehensively, e.g. with the aim of lessening armed violence or demobilisation and reintegration.