Humanitarian mine action (HMA) and humanitarian forensic action (HFA) have had a global impact in recent decades. However, these two areas could work more closely together in view of some of the contexts in which they operate. Often when HMA operators clear explosive ordnance (EO) after conflict, they find human remains, especially in urban areas. When human remains are encountered, operators have responsibilities to ensure that they are dealt with appropriately. When both HMA and HFA actors are present, there is a need for an increased awareness and understanding of each other’s role. Human remains should be returned to families without disruption or compromising humanitarian principles wherever possible and any relevant evidence assisting identification should be recovered. Similarly, when forensic scientists work to recover human remains, they may encounter explosive devices. When HFA operations encounter mines, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), or explosive remnants of war (ERW) they should also actively enable HMA support. This article examines the extent of the cooperation to date and identifies ways in which it can be improved. Recommendations and practical measures are provided to encourage a higher degree of collaboration going forward.



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