The Journal of CWD Volume 27: 2023

Issue 27.1 submissions due 15 December 2022

For the 27th edition, The Journal is accepting articles on a rolling basis about MA operations in Ukraine. How are organizations currently operating and planning for future operations in the country? How is the sector pivoting and adapting their work in response to the current conflict? In what ways will the situation in Ukraine shape the work of the sector for the foreseeable future?

Mine action is at the “nexus” of development, security, and peace. The Journal seeks articles on how HMA and CWD is contributing to conflict de-escalation, post-conflict development, and peacebuilding in conflict-ravaged environments. How is mine action positively contributing to sustainable landscapes (including environmental resiliency), capacity-building, economic empowerment, and national security?

How are organizations ensuring environmental considerations are being implemented in every stage of operations—from survey and clearance to stockpile destruction? The Journal is looking for contributions demonstrating innovative approaches to counteract the environmental impact of MA and PSSM activities.

How are organizations improving their PSSM programs? How are programs monitoring stockpiles to prevent their illicit diversion?

How can the MA sector create technology that is more accessible for disabled persons and inclusive for the general population? From cutting-edge to low-cost, what has already been incorporated and what does the future hold to make technology more accessible for more people?

Offshore, sustainable energy projects need to identify and remove underwater UXO in order to build necessary infrastructure. How are organizations working with recent advances in underwater survey techniques and research into how munitions age underwater, move with ocean currents, and impact the local fauna/flora continue to shape community best practices?

Hundreds of municipalities in Colombia are contaminated, and improvised landmines continue to be used by non-state armed groups in the country. According to the Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor 2021, there were 167 casualties in Colombia in 2020. How are organizations in Colombia seeking to minimize casualties and reduce contamination?

Mine action has made significant progress in advancing gender equality, from policy initiatives to ground operations. However, the same cannot be said for diversity in mine action, representing disability, race, nationality, ethnicity, socio-economic status, gender identity, etc. Minorities and marginalized communities continue to be represented within mine action as beneficiaries of our services and mine/UXO survivors as inspirational. How is mine action countering bias in its operations and services?

How are MA organizations adapting their procedures to account for IEDs? How has the scope of organizations work changed to account for IEDs within their area of operation? What are the specific technical challenges and how has the community overcome them?

Mobile demilitarization units or facilities are critical in reducing the threat of unwanted explosions or illicit diversions of stockpiles. The Journal seeks articles on how programs are destroying excess ammunition efficiently, expediently, and safely.

Issue 27.2 submissions due 1 April 2023

For the 27th edition, The Journal is accepting articles on a rolling basis about MA operations in Ukraine. How are organizations currently operating and planning for future operations in the country? How is the sector pivoting and adapting their work in response to the current conflict? In what ways will the situation in Ukraine shape the work of the sector for the foreseeable future?

With increased flooding events occurring or having occurred in Yemen, Vietnam, and the Balkans, how are organizations coping with the potential shifting of landmines due to flooding caused by landslides and mudflows?

Due to fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces in the South Caucuses, the conflict zone of Nagorno Karabakh is contaminated with landmines and UXO that kill and maim civilians, impede the return of displaced populations, and hinder economic development. Organizations working in the region are encouraged to submit.

In times of conflict, persons with disabilities face multiple challenges—barriers to evacuation/left behind in dangerous situations; inaccessible shelters; and an inability to access humanitarian aid. Additionally, stigma toward disabled persons has been shown to increase during times of and directly after conflict, and women/girls, children, and older persons with disabilities face even greater challenges. Before the war, Ukraine had the highest number of institutionalized children in Europe, and nearly half were children with disabilities. As the HMA sector mobilizes to assist Ukraine, how can we ensure that survivor assistance is not overlooked by donors, governments, and NGOs? How can we ensure digital EORE is accessible to disabled persons, and survivors have access to the care they need and are included in the planning and mobilization of services?

From Iraq to Ukraine, EOD technicians must remain vigilant of anti-handling, anti-lift, and anti-tamper techniques used by malicious actors. How are mine action operators relying on their training and active information sharing channels to be aware of known threats to safely clear landmines and improvised explosive devices?

The decline in casualties from CM since 2020 has recently been eclipsed by Russian CM attacks that have occurred since Russia’s re-invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, with a reported six types of CM used by Russia as reported by the Landmine & Cluster Munition Monitor. How are organizations preparing for survey and destruction of stockpiles in Ukraine? How is mine action tailoring risk education to reach those most vulnerable to munitions, including children, refugees, and pastoral communities?

Social media is a powerful tool through which HMA organizations tell their stories, highlighting their operations in countries, beneficiaries, and money well spent.  When highlighting recipients of our programs and operations, are we doing so with the input, opinions, knowledge, and experiences of those individuals and communities we’re aiding? Are we cognizant of not using an individual’s disability, socioeconomic status, and/or trauma to highlight our needs and successes? How closely have we evaluated the language we use, and have we taken an intersectional lens to the way in which we use images and stories of the men, women, and children we ‘assist?’

Advances in 3D printing and augmented reality help EOD instructors communicate abstract concepts more easily. With synthetic munitions, software engineers can train datasets for image recognition; using virtual reality, they’re able to create realistic environments that convey empathy and communicate risk to promote awareness and educate. The Journal seeks articles on how operators are using innovative training aids for mine action and risk education.

Frequently, humanitarian demining and CWD programs rely on the technical capacity, necessary expertise, local knowledge, and financial resources of multiple entities to make connections, build relationships, grow capacity, and strengthen regional security. The Journal seeks articles on how programs are building bonds and developing capacity to create operational and strategic benefits.

Events in Ukraine demonstrate the value of open-source intelligence. With ubiquitous access to social networks and mobile phones with high-quality cameras, an overabundance of images and video need careful, technical scrutiny. How is mine action using advances in computer vision to make object detection and object identification integral tools for organizations looking to gather and analyze data from public sources?

Issue 27.3 submissions due 15 July 2023

For the 27th edition, The Journal is accepting articles on a rolling basis about MA operations in Ukraine. How are organizations currently operating and planning for future operations in the country? How is the sector pivoting and adapting their work in response to the current conflict? In what ways will the situation in Ukraine shape the work of the sector for the foreseeable future?

How are organizations mitigating the effects of environmental impacts of operations on vegetation, wildlife, soil, and air? How is mine action positively contributing to the protection of natural resources, creatively contributing to local socio-economic development, and improving environments once contaminated with explosive hazards?

Urban settings and destroyed buildings present mine action actors with incredible challenges. With the need for battle area clearance and debris disposal in the Middle East and Ukraine, how are organizations using best practices in urban settings where explosives and other hazardous materials present unique problems for detection, clearance, and disposal activities?

As noted by the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs, securing SALW and reducing their circulation, trafficking, and illicit use among the population, removes a frequent choice of weapons used in gender-based violence. Additionally, the misuse of SALW can have differing effects on men, women, and children. How have organizations employed gendered analysis when planning for PSSM and in weapons identification, marking, and tracing activities? How have organizations worked to employ women in these activities and what have been the effects on the programs as well as the local population? What role does CWD play in aiding gender equality?

How has PSSM evolved over the past decade? The Journal seeks articles on changes detailing risk assessment, effective accountability/inventory systems, conducting training/risk assessments; maintaining physical infrastructure of storage sites; destruction of surplus and obsolete stockpiles, etc. What have we learned and what is the way forward?

With the ever-evolving nature of artificial intelligence (AI), what measures are in place and/or necessary for MA organizations using AI? Is there a need for standards within IMAS? How are organizations using this technology working within national and international legislation?

In post-conflict scenarios, key infrastructure with known explosive hazards is prioritized for clearance. However, in situations where large-scale contamination impacts critical industries such as agriculture and energy, how should mine action organizations allocate their resources?

When dealing with surplus or obsolete stockpiles of ammunition or SALW, how can countries efficiently dispose of munitions? What techniques or equipment are programs using to ensure these weapons are destroyed at minimal cost while maximizing safety? 

When hostilities cease, landmines, booby traps, and UXO are immediate threats to displaced persons/refugees returning home. What kinds of resources can the global community employ to quickly address high-risk explosive contamination to civilians and ongoing recovery efforts? Whether it’s BAC or PSSM, how are organizations using best practices and cost-effective measures to protect civilians and infrastructure?

For the past five years, improvised mines accounted for the highest number of casualties of all explosive devices, with civilians making up 71 percent of casualties, 59 percent of whom were killed. From terminology to record-keeping, how can we improve the community’s reporting of improvised mine casualties so that transferring data between different organizations is seamless and the likelihood of errors is minimal?

Mine action is grounded in humanitarian principles and maintains strict policies of neutrality and impartiality. When MA organizations find themselves in areas with immediate security concerns, does the scope of their activities change? How do priorities shift to the protection of staff, and how can organizations ensure the safety of their personnel while mobilizing critical resources to still pursue humanitarian objectives?

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