Andy Smith
Mine action specialist
Introducing Humanitarian Demining (HD)

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.

Most of the photographs in these pages 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, and
Humanitarian Mine Action and Humanitarian Demining

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

For some slide show presentations about demining, see Powerpoint downloads.



Mined areas

Metal detection

Detecting what?


Common demining

Injuries excavating

Safer HD tools

AP mine blast

Mined area
marking systems

Machines in HD
part 1

Machines in HD
part 2

Machines in HD
Part 3
: armouring

Using animals
as detectors

Why we need
independent standards