Journal Article

Effective mine risk education in war-zone areas—a shared responsibility

Joanne Durham, Sue Gillieatt and Bounpheng Sisavath

in Health Promotion International

Volume 20, issue 3, pages 213-220
Published in print September 2005 | ISSN: 0957-4824
Published online June 2005 | e-ISSN: 1460-2245 | DOI:
Effective mine risk education in war-zone areas—a shared responsibility

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The focus of this paper is effective health education and promotion in the field of mine awareness, or what has more recently been re-titled ‘mine risk education’. According to the United Nations, mine risk education comprises educational activities that aim to reduce the risk of injury from landmine/unexploded ordnance (UXO) through raising awareness and promoting behavioural change and includes public information dissemination, education and training, and community mine action liaison. Specifically, this paper is an empirical study of mine risk education practices using data collected during the implementation of a mine risk education programme that commenced in Lao PDR in 1996 and is ongoing. In particular, it considers lessons learned from the programme's monitoring and evaluation process. The authors argue that in a country such as Lao PDR, where communities have lived with UXO infestation for over 25 years, more mine risk education is not necessarily needed. This paper concludes that common programmes of mine risk education using top-down educational methods, based on the assumption that ignorance of landmine/UXO risk is the key factor in mine accidents, are inadequate. Evidence from the literature on health promotion and the experience of the programme indicate that there is a need to supplement or replace existing common mine risk education practices with techniques that incorporate an understanding of the economic, social and political circumstances faced by communities at risk.

Keywords: injury prevention; Lao PDR; landmines; UXO

Journal Article.  4709 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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