Clearance of landmines and explosive remnants of war
FSD clears explosive remnants of war so that people can again live in safety. Landmines are not the only explosive threats to civilian populations once a war ends. Often, bombs, artillery shells, mortars, rockets and grenades, or cluster munitions that did not explode when they were employed, still pose a risk of detonation, sometimes many decades after they were used or discarded. Also, many post-modernist conflicts have seen the wide-spread use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs). These are devices that can use conventional explosive charges or improvised home-made explosives; in addition to this they may utilise improvised switching mechanisms using simple or complex electronics, radios and remote triggers, long command wires, trip wires or “booby trap” pressure, or pressure release, type switches. The multitude of improvised mechanisms that may be adopted, combined with unpredictable and inherently improvised construction methods, present an entirely new and dangerous threat to humanitarian operators.
Operations: Iraq, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Colombia, Ukraine, Philippines
Destruction of landmines, weapons and ammunition stockpiles
FSD collects, secures and destroys stocks of landmines, weapons and munitions to reduce the risk to civilian populations. Many countries maintain obsolete stocks of munitions that might pose a risk of explosion due to poor storage standards and unpredictable characteristics of shelf-life expired explosive components. Once a conflict ends, disarmament campaigns may produce stockpiles of weapons that must be destroyed to protect against mass explosions at storage facilities, to prevent accidents in the use of expired ordnance and also so as to defend against obsolete bulk explosives and weapons falling into the wrong hands.
Children are amongst the first innocent victims of unexploded ordnance, landmines and explosive remnants of war in a post-conflict environment. In the absence of clearance, one of the best ways to prevent mine and explosive accidents is to mark dangerous areas and to educate the people living near-by in order to raise awareness and change behaviours around such hazards. While Mine-risk education does not eradicate the danger, it reduces the likelihood of accidents. FSD educates children, youths and adults in contaminated regions; often, mine-risk education is combined with community liaison and engagement, data collection, victim support, survey and clearance activities.
Operations: Afghanistan, Ukraine, Philippines
Victim assistance is a core component of mine action and an obligation of State Parties under the Antipersonnel Mine Ban Treaty. FSD provides for the care and rehabilitation, and the social and economic reintegration of mine victims in concert with its mine action operations worldwide.
Victim assistance is a set of concrete actions to meet the immediate and long-term needs of mine/ERW victims, their families, mine-affected communities and persons with disabilities. Victim assistance includes, but is not limited to, information management systems; emergency and continuing medical care; physical rehabilitation; psychosocial support and social inclusion; economic reintegration; and laws and public policies that promote effective treatment, care and protection for all disabled citizens, including landmine victims, with a human rights perspective.
Reducing Armed Violence
Logistic reinforcement of non-combat activities for the security sector
Once armed conflict ends, one of the priorities for stabilisation, is to re-establish human security. Civilian control over the army, the police and other security organisations needs to be re-established as a base function to achieve this. In many poor countries, security organisations lack the logistical know-how, infrastructure and support to again re-build their internal organisation. In such situations, FSD endeavours to assist and support in re-building the internal management capacities of armed forces in non-combat areas through the re-building and rehabilitation of infrastructure, logistics management and human resources management systems. FSD also helps to prepare former combatants to transition from conflict and return to civilian life.
Operations: Central African Republic
Armed violence reduction
In many conflict and non-conflict contexts, the overall level of violence in urban and rural communities has increased, particularly as a consequence of the rise of armed violence. FSD engages in prevention and protection activities that target norms and attitudes contributing to armed violence. This includes the following activities: Arms Control and Risk Education; Violence prevention; Capacity Building of Security Actors and Protection of the direct victims and vulnerable groups.
Operations: Central African Republic
Small arms and light weapons destruction:
As insecurity grows in post-conflict and humanitarian environments, many civilians hold small calibre fire arms and weapons. The wide-spread ownership and potential use of small arms and light weapons may contribute to increased levels of violence. Where possible, FSD actively engages in collection and destruction programs of small arms and light weapons.
Research and Development
Remote sensing with drones and satellites
FSD has been involved for many years in exploring the best use of drones and satellites for mine action, pollution control or more generally for humanitarian projects. Drones may help with surveying and mapping dangerous areas and disaster zones or by transporting medical supplies to remote locations. Satellites and other space assets may be used to prevent environmental pollution.
Projects: Drones in Humanitarian Action
Remediation of Extractive Mining and Heavy Metal Pollutants and Organic Pesticides
One of the objectives of FSD, in addition to its mine action and security Sector reform activities, is the clearance and remediation of legacy and post conflict environmental sites, including toxic heavy metals, nuclear mining waste, pesticides and chemical pollutants.
FSD is a regular member of the Coordination Group of Uranium Legacy Sites (CGULS), since 2014; this group is managed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). FSD’s remediation plans in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan have been presented and discussed at the level of CGULS on various occasions. FSD has established an advisory committee of international experts with extensive experience in remediation of uranium legacy sites and Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA), and receives advice and support from various assorted organisations (BGR in Hannover, Germany; Jozef Stefan Institute in Slovenia and others).