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 is 51.2 square kilometres of mined and ERW contaminated land in Colombia (31 out of 32 departments).
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 and has set the deadline for achieving mine free status by March 2021 (Article 5 deadline).
What we do
In September 2016, ITF Enhancing Human Security 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.
ITF and the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD), are implementing a project with purpose to allow DAICMA (Dirección para la Acción Integral contra Minas Antipersonal) to monitor the implementation of humanitarian demining projects in territories that with severe mine contamination problem. This project is comprised of activities related to recruitment and engagement of DAICMA quality management team, which will be responsible for carrying out quality assurance, and quality control activities during demining operations. The aim of the project is to improve DAICMA’s quality assurance and quality control systems during demining operations that are managed under its direct authority.
Other projects currently developed by ITF in Colombia are aimed at the development and at strengthening of communication between local authorities and DAICMA as well as enhancement of information management systems in order to improve planning, coordination and implementation of procedures and activities in the field of mine victim’s assistance and mine risk education.