More than fifty years of conflict involving various non-state armed actors has left Colombia with extensive mine and ERW contamination problem. According to national estimates there are still 322 municipalities with mine problem (with more than 4 million sq. meters of mine suspected areas identified so far).
The government of Colombia and the FARC-EP (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia - People's Army) signed a peace accord in September 2016. The signed agreement stipulates that as part of the reintegration into civilian life, specialized training and training needs will be offered in the areas of managerial and operational training in order to create and train humanitarian demining organizations.
Colombia signed the Mine Ban Treaty in December 1997 and became a State Party on 1 March 2001 with the deadline for achieving mine free status set by 31 December 2025 (Article 5 deadline).
What we do
ITF and POLUS Center are implementing the project “Improving Livelihoods for Landmine Survivors in Colombia” with purpose to help build vocational pathways and cultivate small business development projects for landmine survivors in the Department of Cauca, Colombia. Once the project is implemented conditions for meaningful work and legitimate economic opportunities for the survivors and their families will be created – through improvement of local economies.
Other projects that are being currently developed by ITF for Colombia are aimed at the development and at strengthening of communication between local authorities and mine action authority in order to improve planning, coordination and implementation of procedures and activities in the field of mine victim’s assistance and mine risk education.
In September 2016, ITF signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Cooperation with the Administrative Department of the Presidency of the Republic of Colombia (DAPRE). This MoU represents the basis for ITF’s cooperation with Colombian counterparts in the development and implementation of activities contributing to the realization of the peace agreement. By strengthening local capacities in humanitarian demining and in order to enhance our presence in Colombia, ITF‘s aim is to establish and develop local demining structures which will be, when fully capacitated, actively engaged in clearance operations.
In 2017/2018, ITF and the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD), implemented a project to facilitate DAICMA (Dirección para la Acción Integral contra Minas Antipersonal) to monitor the implementation of humanitarian demining projects in territories with severe mine contamination problem. The project comprised activities related to recruitment and engagement of DAICMA quality management team, which was directly responsible for carrying out quality assurance and quality control activities during demining operations. The aim of the project was to improve DAICMA’s quality assurance and quality control systems during demining operations that are managed under its direct authority.