2002 United Nations and Mine Action in Sri Lanka
Since the aftermath of the conflict, land mines have increasingly become a primary concern for the Sri Lankan Government. As a countermeasure, the National Mine Action Programme was launched in 2002 with the support of the international community to remove the dangers of anti-personnel mines to the newly resettled families in the North and East. The United Nations has administered assistance to the Mine Action Programme since 2002.
It has provided essential mine clearance and survey equipment and aided in the forming of Sri Lanka’s first National Mine Action Strategy and the National Mine Action Standards, both of which provide a framework in line with international standards. The establishment of the National Mine Action Centre in 2010 was another key achievement of the UN’s longstanding goals towards creating a mine free Sri Lanka.
The Mine Risk Education carried out with the support of UNICEF and the Ministry of Education since 2003 also played a significant role in safeguarding the lives of children, youth and construction workers who often fall victim to landmines. The success of this led to Mine Risk Education becoming a part of the school curriculum in affected areas. In 2015, the United Nations’ and the Sri Lankan Government’s shared vision of a mine free world was brought closer to reality, as the 10th International Day of Mine Awareness marked the country’s admirable feat of acquiring a nearly complete clearance of landmines.