DEVELOPMENT OF INTERNATIONAL MINE ACTION STANDARDS
Artios has provided the primary external research and authoring support to the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) for the production of the new International Mine Action Standards (IMAS) for Improvised Explosive Device Disposal (IEDD) and Building Clearance.
The use of IEDs by armed actors in countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Yemen is resulting in ever increasing numbers of civilian casualties. This has been illustrated in UNAMA’s report for the first quarter of 2019 in which Non-Suicide IEDs were attributed to 13% of civilian causalities in Afghanistan, compared to 7% as a result of Explosive Remnants of War (ERW).
Since 2001 IMAS have been the cornerstone of all mine action interventions, working as a framework of interlinked chapters to provide guidance to affected countries so that they can develop National Standards relating to Mine and ERW contamination. IMAS enable donors to have confidence that their support is being effectively delivered to those most in need, as well as being the standards in force for all UN mine action operations. In the absence of National Standards IMAS provide the foundation from which mine action implementing organisations develop programme specific Standard Operating Procedures and how outputs and outcomes are measured and reported.
With a gap identified by the IMAS review board in the level of detail provided in IMAS relating to IEDD and Building Clearance, Artios was tasked by GICHD to form and manage a team of consultants. This team had extensive recent humanitarian mine action survey and clearance experience in IED affected countries and in programmes operating largely in the urban environment. The team conducted focused qualitative research, observed the GICHD-run working group, authored the primary material and conducted iterative reviews based on feedback from interested parties.
There are already early indications of success linked to the development and publishing of the new IMAS, with National Authorities using them to establish their own standards, including those recently released by Afghanistan’s Directorate of Mine Action Coordination. As with all new IMAS it is recognised that these documents will need to be reviewed and updated as the sector makes use of them but it is hoped that what has been developed so far will be found to be beneficial by the sector.
Artios look forward to working with a broad range of interested parties across the Mine Action sector as together we face up to the evolving nature of explosive hazards, however and wherever they occur.
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End note: Due to legal reasons in Afghanistan all IEDs are currently referred to as Abandoned Improvised Mines (AIMs) by the MA sector.