Explosive Ordnance Victims and Risk Education: Lessons Learned from Colombia 2012-2019
In Colombia, the use of anti-personnel mines is the result of more than sixty years of armed conflict. The Office of the High Commissioner for Peace - Descontamina Colombia (OACP-DC), the current national mine action authority in Colombia, recorded 11,828 explosive ordnance (EO) victims between 1985 and 2019. Furthermore, Colombia is one of nine countries where new anti-personnel mines are still being emplaced by non-state armed groups, which presents a challenge for the mine action sector. The aim of explosive ordnance risk education (EORE) is to reduce the risk of accidents by raising awareness and promoting safe behavior among EO-affected communities, which also helps to strengthen communities’ relationships with mine action operators and facilitates information gathering during non-technical survey. This study, funded by The Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Political-Military Affairs (PM/WRA), aims to provide a characterization of EO victims and EORE activities between 2012 and 2019 in Colombia, and to identify the lessons learned and challenges faced.