Humanitarian Demining

In 1992, the Organization of American States created the Central American Demining Assistance Program (PADCA) in response to requests from Central American states affected by antipersonnel mines such as: Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Honduras and Guatemala. Since then, the Program has evolved within an eminently humanitarian vision so as to restore safe and productive living conditions free of mine-threats in previously mine-affected communities. Considering the importance of the theme, due to the impact mines pose on different areas like development, human rights, gender equality and the needs of children and young people, the initial program, after six years being in force, was enhanced in 1998, to become the Program of Integral Action against Antipersonnel Mines (AICMA).

The issue of humanitarian demining in the Americas has evolved since 1992, when the OAS created the Central American Demining Assistance Program (PADCA). The program was a response to requests from Central American states affected by antipersonnel mines such as Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Honduras and Guatemala. PADCA has also evolved over time, taking into account the need to restore human security conditions and the development of populations affected by the presence of antipersonnel mines.

In view of this evolution, the Program expanded its assistance capacity becoming, in 1998, the eminently humanitarian Program of Integral Action against Antipersonnel Mines (AICMA). It seeks to restore living conditions and confidence, reducing the threat and danger posed by explosive devices and antipersonnel mines, as well as recovering the use of affected land for productive activities. AICMA is a multilateral program in which, in addition to the countries supported, a considerable number of donors and contributing nations as well as international organizations and non-governmental entities share the effort.

The IADB, in its role in the OAS military and defense matters, provides technical advice to the AICMA and OAS Program. The Board has its foundings in the Ottawa Convention and in the guidelines approved by the Council of Delegates as legal frameworks for agreements between the OAS and the beneficiary countries. To do this, IADB performs the following tasks:

  • Control and coordinate the ongoing Humanitarian Demining missions;
  • Select technical advisors provided by member countries of the IADB;
  • Provide training and training courses for military personnel involved in demining activities;
  • Advise teams and procedures for the work to be performed, in accordance with international standards; and
  • Advise the OAS on the purchase of supplies and technical equipment.