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Abandoned explosive ordnance

Explosive ordnance that has not been used during an armed conflict, that has been left behind or dumped by a party to an armed conflict, and which is no longer under its control. Abandoned explosive ordnance is included under the broader category of explosive remnants of war.


Accession is the way for a state to become a party to an international treaty through a single instrument that constitutes both signature and ratification.


The act of becoming a party to a treaty. This can be through signature and ratification, or through accession.

Antihandling device

According to the Mine Ban Treaty, an antihandling device “means a device intended to protect a mine and which is part of, linked to, attached to or placed under the mine and which activates when an attempt is made to tamper with or otherwise intentionally disturb the mine."

Antipersonnel mine

According to the Mine Ban Treaty, an antipersonnel mine “means a mine designed to be exploded by the presence, proximity or contact of a person and that will incapacitate, injure or kill one or more persons."

Antivehicle mine

According to the Mine Ban Treaty, an antivehicle mine is a mine designed “to be detonated by the presence, proximity or contact of a vehicle as opposed to a person."

Area cancellation

Area cancellation describes the process by which a suspected hazardous area is released based solely on the gathering of information that indicates that the area is not, in fact, contaminated. It does not involve the application of any mine clearance tools.

Area reduction

Area reduction describes the process by which one or more mine clearance tools (e.g. mine detection dogs, manual deminers or mechanical demining equipment) are used to gather information that locates the perimeter of a suspect hazardous area. Those areas falling outside this perimeter, or the entire area if deemed not to be mined, can be released.

Battle area clearance

The systematic and controlled clearance of dangerous areas where the explosive hazards are known not to include landmines.


The person injured or killed in a landmine, ERW or IED incident, either through direct contact with the device or by being in its proximity.

Cluster bomb

Air-dropped cluster munition.

Cluster munition

According to the Convention on Cluster Munitions a cluster munition is “A conventional munition that is designed to disperse or release explosive submunitions each weighing less than 20 kilograms, and includes those submunitions.” Cluster munitions consist of containers and submunitions. Launched from the ground or air, the containers open and disperse submunitions (bomblets) over a wide area. Bomblets are typically designed to pierce armor, kill personnel, or both.

Community liaison

According to IMAS, “liaison with mine/ERW affected communities to exchange information on the presence and impact of mines and UXO, to create a reporting link with the mine action programme and develop risk reduction strategies. Community mine action liaison aims to ensure community needs and priorities are central to the planning, implementation and monitoring of mine action operations.”

Community-based rehabilitation

Programs in affected communities (often rural areas) that are designed to supplement facility-based programs in urban centers. These programs improve service delivery, equal opportunities, and protect human rights for a larger group of people with disabilities who have limited access to service, due to uneven service distribution, high treatment cost, and limited human resource capacity.


The set of activities that lead to the removal of mine and ERW hazards, including survey, mapping, clearance, marking, and the handover of cleared land.

Dual Purpose Improved Conventional Munition

A type of cluster munition which can be used against both personnel and material targets, including armor.

Explosive ordnance disposal

The detection, identification, evaluation, render safe, recovery, and disposal of explosive ordnance.

Explosive remnants of war

Under Protocol V to the Convention on Conventional Weapons, explosive remnants of war are defined as unexploded ordnance and abandoned explosive ordnance. Mines are explicitly excluded from the definition.

Failed cluster munition

A cluster munition that has been fired, dropped, launched, projected or otherwise delivered and which should have dispersed or released its explosive submunitions but failed to do so.


International mine action standards issued by the UN to improve safety and efficiency in mine action by providing guidance, establishing principles and, in some cases, defining international requirements and specifications.

Improvised explosive device

A device placed or produced in an improvised manner incorporating explosives or noxious chemicals. An improvised explosive device (IED) may be victim-activated or command-detonated. Victim-activated IEDs are banned under the Mine Ban Treaty, but command-detonated IEDs are not.


The UN’s preferred information system for the management of critical data in UN-supported field programs. IMSMA provides users with support for data collection, data storage, reporting, information analysis, and project management activities.


In relation to Article 21 of the Convention on Cluster Munitions interoperability refers to joint military operations with states not party to the convention that might engage in activities prohibited to a State Party.

Land release

The set of activities and methodologies intended to release previously suspect hazardous areas with the minimum possible risk.

Landmine Impact Survey

A national or regional assessment of the socioeconomic impact on communities caused by the actual or perceived presence of mines and ERW, in order to assist the planning and prioritization of mine action programs and projects.

Mine action center

A body charged with coordinating day-to-day mine action operations, normally under the supervision of a national mine action authority. Some MACs also implement mine action activities.

Mine/ERW risk education

Activities which seek to reduce the risk of injury from mines and ERW by awareness-raising and promoting behavioral change, including public information dissemination, education and training and community mine action liaison.

National mine action authority

A governmental body, normally interministerial in nature, responsible for managing and regulating a national mine action program.

Non-state armed groups

For Landmine Monitor purposes, non-state armed groups include organizations carrying out armed rebellion or insurrection, as well as a broader range of non-state entities, such as criminal gangs and state-supported proxy forces.

Oslo Process

The diplomatic process undertaken from 2006–2008 that led to the negotiation, adoption, and signing of the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Risk reduction

Those actions which lessen the probability and/or severity of physical injury to people, property, or the environment due to mines/ERW. Risk reduction can be achieved by physical measures such as clearance, fencing or marking, or through behavioral changes brought about by mine/ERW risk education.


Under the Convention on Cluster Munitions, automatically rendering a munition inoperable by making an essential component (e.g. a battery) non-functional.

Self-destruct mechanism

Under the Convention on Cluster Munitions an “incorporated automatically-functioning mechanism which is in addition to the primary initiating mechanism of the munition and which secures the destruction of the munition into which it is incorporated.”


Any munition that, to perform its task, separates from a parent munition (cluster munition).


A study of the assessment of the location and impact of mines and ERW at the local or national level. General survey focuses on the location of mined and battle areas and the type of contamination they contain. A landmine impact survey also assesses the impact of explosive contamination on nearby communities (see separate definition for landmine impact survey). Technical survey aims to confirm and identify the outer perimeters of the hazardous area using one or more demining tools and to gather other necessary information for clearance.

Unexploded cluster munitions

Submunitions that have failed to explode as intended, becoming unexploded ordnance.

Unexploded ordnance

Unexploded ordnance (UXO) refers to munitions that were designed to explode but for some reason failed to detonate; unexploded submunitions are known as “blinds” or “duds.”


The individual directly hit by a mine/ERW explosion, his or her family and community.

Victim assistance

Victim assistance includes, but is not limited to, casualty data collection, emergency and continuing medical care, physical rehabilitation, psychological support and social reintegration, economic reintegration, and laws and public policies to ensure the full and equal integration and participation of survivors, their families and communities in society.