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Abstract

Readers of this Journal need no schooling in the acceleration of the use of improvised explosive devices (IED) over the last 20 years. However, what has become obvious in the last few years is the degree to which the spheres of counter-IED (C-IED) and humanitarian mine action (HMA) now overlap. Danish Demining Group (DDG), for example, recently calculated that an estimated 67 percent of the countries where DDG is present also have an IED problem. In countries such as Afghanistan, IEDs are now the major cause of explosive-related casualties among the general population, the very constituents nongovernment organizations (NGO) and HMA sectors support. This raises questions of whether or not an NGO engaged in C-IED efforts can be classically impartial in circumstances where these IEDs are active. This is a significant difference for a sector primarily focused on dealing with the legacies of conflict that are explosive remnants of war (ERW). Yet, while undertaking a series of risk assessments to help identify an appropriate approach for an NGO active in HMA, it became clear that there was a need for better common terminology in order for HMA actors to identify the appropriate response. The aim of this article is to outline how this thought process evolved in DDG in order to set the ground for subsequent discussion of these risk- analysis processes.

 

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