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Mine Action Programmes from a development-oriented point of view, Landmine Monitor Report 2000
LM Report 2000 Full Report   Executive Summary   Key Findings   Key Developments   Translated Country Reports

Mine Action Programmes from a development-oriented point of view


The “Bad Honnef” Guidelines were elaborated and adopted at the First International Conference of Experts in Bad Honnef, 23-24 June 1997. They were reconfirmed and adopted at the ICBL’s NGO Forum on Landmines in September 1997. The Guidelines were renewed and revised at the Second International Conference of Experts (Bad Honnef II) in Berlin-Kladow from 21-23 June 1999.

An abbreviated version of the full Guidelines follows. To obtain the full version, please go to http://www.landmine.de or contact: German Initiative to Ban Landmines, Markus Haake, Rykestr. 13, 10405 Berlin, Germany, Phone +49 30 421 36 86, Fax +49 30 428 01 688, Email: gibl.haake@t-online.de

The Guidelines are also available in Arabic, French, German, Portuguese, Spanish, Russian and Chinese.

Guidelines for Development-oriented Mine Action Programmes

Basic Principles

  1. The needs and aspirations of people affected by mines are the starting point for mine action programmes. Mine action programmes must be environmentally specific; they must be compatible, in form and content, with the conditions in individual countries.
  2. As much as any human being, mine affected people and communities have the right to shape their own lives and to participate in political and economic decision making which concerns their interests. The implementation of the humanitarian action in a spirit of solidarity designed to promote autonomy rather than creating new dependencies is crucial.
  3. Mine action programmes must be part of integrated response. They have to support peace-building including reconstruction and development of the community and aim at enhancing the socio-economic and cultural infrastructure. Empowerment of the community to carry out all aspects of mine action programmes by providing the proper training, equipment, standard and supervision is the ultimate goal.
  4. Social indicators that will determine the progress and success of a mine action programme should be defined in advance in consultation with the affected community and donors. Each programme should have well-defined goals, to be reviewed continuously.
  5. Mine action programmes should be designed on the basis of objective data obtained through accurate socio-economic taking into account indicators and factors particular to the cultural environment. There is a need to review and revise programme objectives in consultation with the community and donors as the programme evolves.
  6. The complex situation of societal destruction after war requires a coherent and simultaneous approach for all of the following elements of mine action programs:
  7. insertion in a national and local peace-building and development framework;
  8. community and victim/survivor participation;
  9. mine awareness and accident/incident prevention; mine surveying, marking and mine clearance
  10. effective emergency response capacities to accidents (emergency first aid);
  11. physical and psychological rehabilitation of mine victims;
  12. political, social, and economic reintegration of mine victims, families and their communities,
  13. empowerment of local communities, and
  14. political advocacy and support for the programmes.
  15. Mine action programmes should reflect the impact of landmines on the environment and wildlife providing appropriate support.

Participation and co-operation –

Integrated mine action programmes based on community participation

Awareness building, Surveying, Marking and Demining:

  1. It is essential that clearing mines and other explosive debris (UXO) is accompanied by information, education, and training, taking into account the specific cultural environment of each mine affected community. The population should be made aware of the dangers and consequences of mines in ways that are appropriate to the age, gender and social group of those being trained.
  2. Surveying and marking of mine infested areas, as well as the actual demining process, including the destruction of mines and UXO, must take place in close co-operation with the affected population and all relevant authorities and organisations.
  3. The guidelines (8) and (9) should be carried out by fully skilled and equipped local specialists trained by qualified trainers and planned and implemented in an integrated and co-ordinated manner.

Emergency first aid and physical rehabilitation

  1. Access to prompt medical attention and the availability of surgical care is imperative. Local paramedics and physicians should be trained to competently provide emergency first aid, ambulance care and longer-term treatment to victims of mine explosions.
  2. Prostheses and wheelchairs or other aids for the victims must be provided through the development of local production capacities. The highest possible quality standards, adapted to local circumstances, should be reached.
  3. Physiotherapeutic and other rehabilitative measures should be carried out with an emphasis on the training of local specialists.
  4. In order to guarantee continued success of the medical measures, the affected communities should be supported in their efforts to provide medical support and follow-up care for people with disabilities.

Socio-economic, cultural and psychological rehabilitation

  1. Personal suffering and rupture of the social fabric must be countered by
  2. offering appropriate accompaniment, educational and vocational training and/or other income generating possibilities for economic reintegration;
  3. providing psycho-social care for the disabled and their kin (with the care tailored to the cultural traditions), helping to generate community capacities in this regard;
  4. supporting healing cultural activities (such as sports, cinema, theatre, dance, newspaper, etc), as the realm of social integration, with a balanced participation of disabled and non-disabled;
  5. supporting local organisations and particularly the efforts of the affected people to organise themselves.
  6. Mine action programmes must address peace-building, reconciliation and needs of mine affected communities. This means for example to guarantee access to education and justice systems as well as creation of citizen security. Access to water, rural credit schemes, village roads, provision of primary health care should also be ensured, in order to sustain livelihoods.
  7. Efforts at psychosocial rehabilitation should be accompanied by basic and further training of local monitors (social workers, health workers, teachers, and other community monitors).
  8. Mine victims and landless people must be given priority in the allocation of demined land.

Institution building, co-operation and synergy

  1. To correspond as best as possible with the needs and aspirations of affected communities, local institutions implementing individual parts of mine action programmes should be supported both in establishing themselves as well as in their work (capacity enhancement).
  2. Close co-operation between organisations is required in planning and implementing mine action programmes, mobilising different organisational competencies. A practical division of labour and responsibility in different aspects of projects contributes to an integrated and participatory approach.
  3. Since no single organisation or international institution has the overall knowledge and competence to fulfil all elements of the integrated and comprehensive approach close co-operation between national and local authorities and organisations which take responsibility for a specific component of the mine action programme is crucial.
  4. Co-operation between institutions of the North and the South (North-South-co-operation) as well as between institution from the South (South-South-co-operation) should be supported to build mutual confidence. An improved and mutual transfer of organising ability and other competencies is therefore required. Exchanges of community based experiences should be encouraged.
  5. Non-local workers need to be sensitised in local culture and language in recognition of the demandingly holistic approach. They are a guest in a foreign country, and working for the benefit of that country. They should contribute to insuring sustainability.
  6. The creation of local campaigns for the banning of landmines should be supported, for instance in helping to bring about an awareness of a collectively suffered injustice, or in averting the possible renewed use of mines.

Coherence and sustainability –

Mine action programmes as part of peace-building, reconstruction and development programmes

General requirements

  1. Mine action programmes are part of national reconstruction and development programmes guided by the goal to create a community empowerment, social confidence and a development-oriented civil society.
  2. Mine action programmes are part of peace building programmes. Beyond victim assistance, they should take into consideration the need for fully reintegrating refugees, displaced persons, and demobilised soldiers. There should be no discrimination of ex-soldiers, particularly of victims of mine accidents and other war disabled.
  3. The participation of diverse social groups in mine action promotes both the sustainability of programmes and national reconciliation. The success of reconciliation, particularly among war victims, is an indicator of progress.
  4. Efforts on the part of the victims (and their dependants) to establish a reparation fund, and financial aid such as pensions, should be supported. States are required to draw up and implement appropriate legislation regarding war victim and disabled rights, including the rights of veterans.
  5. Mine action programmes require the creation of national data management systems including archives, mine related records, Geographical Information Systems, and national-wide databanks. Data should not only cover planted and stockpiled mines but also victims, internally displaced, demobilised soldiers. Comprehensive data collection and transparency with free access for all participants needs to be assured.

The role of NGOs and community based organisations in implementation and monitoring

  1. NGOs and community based organisations welcome the steps taken so far on the path towards prohibiting mines, especially the Ottawa Convention for the prohibition of anti-personnel mines. However, they regard the results achieved to date as a first step that has to be followed by further steps:
  • extending the prohibition to include all mines and weapons covered by the effect-oriented definition;
  • ensuring transparency of information on research into mines and weapons similar to mines and on the sale, transfer or export of mines;
  • verifying the destruction of all mines;
  • ensuring transparency in funding the research, development and procurement of new mines and mines delivery systems;
  • rededicating funds allocated to the research and development of new mine technologies to mine action programmes.
  1. NGOs and community based organisations support the universalisation of the Ottawa convention and beyond this the comprehensive banning of landmines and weapons with similar effect. Relevant work by local, regional and national campaigns towards an overall ban should be supported.
  2. NGOs and community based organisations should demand international and national standards for the main elements of mine action programmes, such as demining and the rehabilitation of victims. NGOs and community based organisations should be part of the relevant negotiations on these and should bring their influence to bear.
  3. National control mechanisms such as legislation should include NGOs and community based organisations in verifying compliance with these standards.
  4. NGOs and community based organisations should monitor the overall impact of mine action programmes put into practice, in order to ensure compliance with the holistic approach.

Solidarity and financing –

Promotion of autonomy instead of creation of new dependencies

General principles

  1. The NGOs and community based organisations demand that governments or warring parties, who developed, produced, exported and/or used landmines, accept their responsibility for the eradication of mines and addressing the impact of mines.
  2. Comprehensive, integrated, participatory mine action programmes should become the norm for development policy in mine-affected societies. Plain demining cannot be the only goal of developmental or humanitarian considerations in the face of the pervasive destruction wrought on these societies. It is important that civil institutions are involved in all aspects of demining and mine action. The NGOs and community based organisations will strive continuously for this.
  3. For the provision of additional funds, the principle that the polluter pays should be considered: companies that have profited from the development, production and sale of mines, could pay into a reparation fund.

Standards for the allocation of funds

38. Resources for mine action programmes should be allocated according to humanitarian considerations and according to these guidelines. If commissions are given to commercial enterprises, profits must not go into weapons production or into activities that are counter to these guidelines.

  1. The comprehensive, integrated approach of mine action programmes demands a long term planning perspective, which needs to be considered when providing funds. Funding decisions should be made as close to the field as possible. Funds should be released rapidly to ensure programme coherence and timely implementation. Donors should practice direct funding to implementing organisations and take greater and closer responsibility for programme monitoring.
  2. Funding allocation decisions must be based on the needs and aspirations of mine victims and their communities. These decisions should involve mine action protagonists at all stages of the allocation process. Vested interests of the donor or recipient countries should not play a decisive role.
  3. While NGOs and community based organisations accept appropriate research into new mine clearance technologies based on end-user requirements and existing technologies, the ratio of funding should be balanced in favour of community-based mine action programmes. New mine clearance technology should reflect local capacities and be locally manageable.
  4. Donors should be fully transparent about the funds allocated to mine action. The purpose of the grants should be specifically designated in different categories: these should include mine clearance, research and development of new mine clearance and detection technology, and mine victim assistance. This will clarify whether humanitarian funds are being used to fund non-humanitarian work, and/or commercial and military research and development.
  5. NGOs and community based organisations encourage mine-affected countries themselves to create, in full transparency, their own mine action budgets commensurate with the extent of the landmine problem. Such budgets should include corresponding decreases in military spending for mine technology.
  6. Development, commercial and other investments in mine-affected countries should include appropriate mine-action elements in project planning, budgeting and implementation. In particular, all mine clearance organisations and commercial investments in affected areas should privilege local capacity-building.

Changes and improvement of these guidelines

  1. Changes to these guidelines will make use of experts representing the diverse elements of integrated mine action programmes.