Two important messages concerning mine action emerge from this paper. The first is that after only a few years of mobilisation, campaigning and project initiation there are, in place, the forces and legislation to effectively address the threat of landmines in the coming years, rather than decades or centuries. The second is that mine action cannot be successful as an isolated, specialised sub-sector of the aid world but must be seen as a legitimate component of emergency, rehabilitation and development assistance.

This paper is specifically written for the aid community outside the mine action sector who may have had very little exposure to the details of mine action and its dramatic growth as a sector in the last ten years. The paper is also designed to present certain definitions, premises and issues that have emerged within the mine action sector in recent years. It may also serve as a resource document as it disassembles and identifies the issues and main players in global mine action.

The start of a new century and a decade after the initiation of humanitarian mine action programmes seems a suitable point to review progress to date, and open the issues facing the mine action sector to the wider aid community.


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