Andy Smith
MIne-action specialist
Introducing humanitarian demining

Humanitarian demining is just a small part of Humanitarian Mine Action. Click here to read a paper explaining how Humanitarian Mine Action differs from Humanitarian Demining.

Ignorance has been identified as a major cause of many demining accidents. It is also the cause of a lot of misplaced effort by members of the Research community.

No one has all the answers - and the more experience I get, the fewer answers I have.... But I do have a lot of photographs and materials that I have produced for training along the way. Some of these are reproduced here, not so much to suggest solutions as to provide the context in which you may begin to have an accurate idea of the problems.

If nothing else, they should stop anyone thinking that minefields are golf-courses or that mine clearance is only about removing simple pressure-operated devices. It should make most people think twice about simple solutions - and may inspire them to come up with new methods and processes to improve the job.

Of course, a lot of what I know I have learnt from others. My thanks to all those in the industry who have helped me around the world - especially the field deminers.

Most of the photographs in these presentations were taken by me, but a few have come from other people. My thanks to them.

Two articles on this site introduce in general terms what Humanitarian Demining is, and give some background to its development as an industry.

Myths, mines and ground clearance

Humanitarian Mine Action and Humanitarian Demining

For the way that demining should be conducted, see Global SOPS.




1: Mined areas

2: Metal detection

3: Detecting what?

4: Excavation

5: Demining

6: Injuries excavating

7: Safer HD tools

8: AP mine blast

9: Mined area
marking systems

10: Machines in HD
part 1

11: Machines in HD
part 2

12. Machines in HD
Part 3
: armouring

13: Using animals
as detectors

14: Why we need
independent standards