By Mike Kendellen, Mine Action and Funding Editor, Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor.
At a side event at the program directors meeting in Geneva in April and in the most recent edition of the Stability Journal, the question has been raised whether adding armed violence reduction projects to mine action programs is mission creep. In 2012, GICHD conducted 12 case studies on armed violence reduction in which all the major NGO mine action operators were involved. Further, Australia has indicated it will include armed violence reduction in its next mine action funding strategy and DFID (UK) is considering including it in its next funding strategy. It’s not too early to wonder if adding armed violence reduction to the mine action agenda will put the squeeze on funding to clear landmines and cluster munitions and further stall States Parties from meeting their Mine Ban Treaty Article 5 obligations according to agreed upon deadlines. Is the mine action sector, and national mine action centers, the right place to address armed violence reduction?