Mine Awareness Day Around the World

From Afghanistan to Ukraine, HALO's staff marked Mine Awareness Day with activities, events and public awareness campaigns. Explore the highlights from our programmes across the world.

Afghanistan: Explore the Map

Thanks to UK Aid, HALO cleared landmines from Herat province between 2008 to 2018. To coincide with Mine Awareness Day, we launched an interactive map to show how the area has been transformed.

Explore Map

Our staff in Afghanistan marked the day by hosting an event at our Mazar office. In Kabul we attended a celebration at the Marble Palace, where several of our deminers were honoured to receive letters of appreciation for their work.

HALO Ukraine shared their mine risk education materials in locations around the country, helping to explain the dangers landmines cause. In Kyiv, Mariupol, Kramatorsk and Bakhmut our staff also gave demining demonstrations and local children had the chance to try out our safety kit for themselves!

In Cambodia, Mine Awareness Day is marked on 22nd February. HALO attended an event hosted by the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority at Kamrieng in north-west Cambodia. It was a great opportunity to share our mine risk education materials – in 2018 HALO Cambodia taught over 84,000 people how to stay safe from landmines.

Our staff were doing their refresher training before returning to the minefields following the winter break and were keen to mark Mine Awareness Day. Team Leader Lilit explained: “I am very proud of my work and am excited to be helping prepare other deminers as I was in the same position last year."

In the Martuni region, our mine risk education team visited Tsovategh secondary school. Students like Alan were curious to know about the work done by HALO and if mines affected other countries too.

This was a time for camaraderie and cooperation as non-government landmine clearance organisations and the Sri Lankan Army participated in an event organised by the National Mine Action Centre. Significantly, the predominantly Sinhalese Army and the mainly Tamil staff of the non-government organisations were all marking the occasion together—showing mine action to be a force for reconciliation. It was a day of games and friendly rivalry, including egg throwing, coconut shaving and an obstacle race. HALO were on form – winning 5 out of 8 events!

In Myanmar, HALO attended the national event for Mine Awareness Day in Naypyidaw, as well as supporting local events in Kayin and Shan where we are currently based. We demonstrated the different tools that are used to clear landmines so land can be returned to communities.

“The fight against landmines is a task for everyone, a moral task, an ethical task.” HALO Colombia were honoured to be at an event in Tolima, attended by President Ivan Duque to celebrate the handover of 75 municipalities declared free from landmines.

Colombia: Watch the Video

Hasbleidy, a deminer with HALO Colombia shared a message of hope with landmine victims like herself: "Continue to fight for your dreams. I am proud to carry out this work as it means fewer people will be hurt by landmines."

Watch Video

HALO held an awareness event in Sukhumi with our staff on hand to answer questions (and share some amazing landmine themed cupcakes!) We were able to show photos of the incredible progress that has been made to make Primorsky safe following the explosion of an ammunition store in 2017.

South Caucasus: Watch the Video

Landmines continue to threaten the lives of people in the South Caucasus and we were delighted to be able to share this animation, (created by our friends at LINKS and the Europe-Georgia Institute) designed to raise awareness of the landmine problem in the region.

Watch Video

HALO Syria were at an event hosted by the Norwegian Ambassador to Jordan and Iraq and attended by HRH, Prince Mired, Special Envoy of the Mine Ban Convention. Saeed, a senior Risk Education Trainer in Syria, himself a survivor of an explosive accident, gave a powerful talk about his first-hand experiences.

Husam is part of HALO’s team in Sirte, Libya, mapping the explosive contamination so work can begin to make the city safe. To mark Mine Awareness Day, he spoke at the Canadian Embassy in Tunis, hosted by the Canadian and British Ambassadors to Libya: “Every minute of work I dedicate means that we are one step closer to rejoicing in Sirte becoming mine free.”

HALO joined our partners in Washington as the Congressional UXO/Demining Caucus held an exhibition on Capitol hill to raise awareness, celebrate the achievements of demining organisations and launch the new edition of the State Department publication, To Walk the Earth in Safety.

Kosovo released its Mine Action Strategy for 2019 – 2024 and HALO were pleased to attend an event with the Kosovo Mine Action Centre (KMAC), Security Forces and other mine clearance organisations. Ahmet Sallova, Director of KMAC, spoke of the work being done by HALO and other organisations to create a safer environment and sustainable future for Kosovo.

In Iraq, we participated at an event in Baghdad, hosted by UNMAS and the Department of Mine Action. It was an opportunity to speak with other organisations and demonstrate our work in Iraq to clear landmines and explosives from streets and homes so families can return safely.

In Somaliland, HALO has been training deminers from the National Mine Action Authority since 2011 to build local capacity. To celebrate Mine Awareness Day, the deminers demonstrated their work to visitors from the UK Department for International Development, the UN and Axiom International. The land they are clearing will improve access to water and grazing and allow the nearby military academy to expand.