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Mine action

Mine action is the core mission of FSD. It encompasses five pillars: demining, stockpile destruction, risk education, mine victim assistance and advocacy.

FSD deminer wearing a blue protective vest and visors conducts a survey in the UA Swiss Kharkiv Pryshyb Territory.

In Ukraine, millions of remnants of explosive devices litter the ground, threatening and obstructing people’s daily lives. (Ukraine, 2024)

Deadly remnants of war

Every day, people are killed or maimed
by remnants of explosive ordnance from past wars.

These devices include anti-personnel and anti-tank mines, which have been knowingly laid by parties to a conflict, but also all ammunition left behind that did not explode as intended. The “failure rate” can reach over 30%.

As a consequence, landmines and explosive remnants of war continue to kill while the armed conflict has been over for sometimes decades.

Another source of danger for civilians are abandoned stockpiles which are stocks of arms and ammunition, they can cause accidental explosions. They can also be looted and used in the manufacture of improvised mines.

Mine action


Demining includes: the neutralisation and disposal of explosive devices; the preliminary surveys aimed at determining the location of contaminated areas; the mapping and marking of these areas.

To date, FSD deminers have identified and destroyed nearly 1.4 million mines and unexploded ordnance. An area equivalent to more than four times the city of Paris.

Current operations
Iraqi deminer trained to the use of a detector
Mine action

Stockpile destruction

Some countries retain large quantities of old weapons and obsolete ammunition, often stored in inadequate conditions. Chemical reactions between the components, the storage environment and human interactions can give rise to spontaneous ignitions, dangerous for the surrounding populations and for the environment.

The destruction of obsolete weapons and ammunition is one of the pillars of humanitarian mine action. FSD led such a project in Tajikistan, destroying around 117 tons of weapons and ammunition.

Preparation for a controlled explosion of obsolete weapons and ammunition in Tajikistan
Mine action

Risk education

Mine clearance is a long and arduous work. Until the land is safe, the best way to prevent accidents is to educate people living near contaminated areas of the risks of explosive ordnance so they can adopt a safe behaviour.

Through presentations in villages and schools, more than 2.7 million people, most of them children, have learned to spot mines and unexploded ordnance and know what to do to stay safe when confronted to this danger.

Current operations
Explosive ordnance risk education video thumbnail
Mine action

Victim assistance

Mine victim assistance is not limited to emergency care and medical treatment. It also includes measures to improve the social, economic and psychological situations of mine survivors and their families.

FSD intervenes, more particularly in this respect, through personalised actions, for instance providing mine victims with access to appropriate professional activities on the basis of their disability.

Current operations
Mine accident survivor, Afghanistan
Mine action


In the context of mine action, advocacy
involves public support, recommendations,
and positive publicity aimed at eliminating
or reducing the risk and impact of explosive

As part of these efforts, FSD participates
in various mine action forums and working
groups. Additionally, FSD provides support to
countries in fulfilling their obligations under the
Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention.

FSD Presentation AP Mine Ban Convention
Mine action

Capacity building

Once a conflict ends, mine action programmes are often implemented quickly in countries still severely affected by years of fighting. International NGOs or the United Nations coordinate such programmes.

The aim, however, is for the governments of the countries concerned to be able to assume responsibility for mine action operations as soon as possible.

To this purpose, FSD helps to strengthen the national authorities’ capabilities so that they can coordinate mine action on their territory autonomously and efficiently.

Current operations
Capacity building with SHO, FSD's partner in Iraq
Mine action

Innovation and technology

For many years, FSD has actively pursued new technologies in its projects to improve safety and efficiency and to try lower costs.

Mapping, software and detection tools are now regularly used at all stages of demining operations to improve efficiency, transparency and precision in the work of our teams.

FSD has been active with satellite technology and drones combined with remote sensing for over ten years. Today, FSD is working closely with the Urs Endress Foundation on the FindMine Project, which aims to improve technical survey accuracy and reduce the size of potential explosive hazardous areas through the use of drones.

More information

In 2023, our deminers cleared an area equivalent to 781 football fields. The work required intense focus, even in challenging and sometimes extreme conditions.


Where is FSD currently working in Ukraine? What does a landmine look like? Answers to your questions, once a month.

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An FSD deminer in blue protective vest and visors conducts manual landmine clearance at Khamadoni