One of the key components of the Mine Action Program of the Organization of American States (OAS) is mine risk education (MRE). It is the belief of the program that the most important measure one can take to ensure that affected communities practice safe behavior is to educate them on the risks associated with landmines and UXO. The objective of this component is to not solely attain the reduction of the risk of injury or death by promoting safe behavior, but also provide solutions to high-risk behavior that is observed in some affected communities. This is done through a number of mechanisms including mass media, visits to communities and a variety of school programs. It is also important to highlight the reciprocal relationship of MRE with the affected communities. The members of a community not only learn about the dangers of anti-personnel mines, but also, in specific cases where no mine registry exists, are the principal source of information for locating mined areas and UXO. Mr. Porfirio Gomez, a mine awareness expert in Nicaragua, lent valuable insight into the MRE campaign in Nicaragua.



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