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Published: 17 February 2017

Improving approaches to humanitarian demining

The remains of anti-personal landmines and cluster munitions from armed conflicts represent a significant issue for affected countries, particularly in regards to health and safety, land use and community relations.

As part of a collaborative EU project D-BOX, led by Airbus, Professor Rosalind Malcolm was the legal ethics expert, informed by her experiences as an environmental lawyer and as Director of the Environmental Regulatory Research group at the University of Surrey.

Through the project, Rosalind and her colleagues held two prominent CEN Workshops on campus with a range of industry partners, forming consensual agreement on techniques to be used in the field in two main areas:

  • Non-technical surveys in the land release process
  • Cultural Guidelines for Humanitarian Demining

The cultural guidelines have now been officially published by crisis and security management company CBRNE. Various cultural aspects are highlighted which might affect the project management of de-mining schemes including religion, dress, environmental protection and citizen’s rights.

In shaping European standards, industry guidance and best practice, Rosalind’s work is contributing to improved land release techniques and an awareness of the ethical, legal and cultural approaches to communities affected by unexploded ordinances. Her work highlights the importance of considering such factors in demining projects, to help form goodwill between the local community and the contractors, ultimately leading to more efficient and sensitive demining.

For more information, you can access the Handbook of Cultural Guidelines for Humanitarian Demining (PDF) or visit Professor Rosalind Malcolm’s academic profile.

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