The temporarily occupied territories and areas of the Anti-Terrorist Operation and Joint Forces Operation will be deemed as potentially mined; public, private and international organizations will be allowed to do the demining works. It is planned to coordinate actions and act according to the unified standards. This is provided for in the bill on mine action.
An area of about 7,000 km² in the east of Ukraine is mined, including 15,000 km² on the territory uncontrolled by Ukraine, as well as at the administrative border with Crimea. However, the information about the area and location of dangerous zones is incomplete and unsystematic. It endangers people, including children, obstructs travels and land cultivation.
The demining is carried out with the involvement of partner countries, but there are many issues here: lack of state standards, of a single database of mined and "clean" territories, lack of specialists and necessary equipment. According to the Defense Ministry, since the beginning of the hostilities, 1,858 people suffered from mines’ explosions and 482 people were killed. The explanatory note to the bill states that information on such victims is not systematized, and because of this, they cannot obtain official status and compensation from the state (the bill provides that relatives of the deceased are considered victims of mine explosions).
On the fourth year of the conflict in the east, a draft law on demining was submitted to the parliament. The Defense Committee of Verkhovna Rada worked on it.
The purpose of the document is to establish the principles of mine clearance in Ukraine. According to the explanatory note, the authors of the document relied on the experience of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The bill provides for the creation of a system of bodies that will plan, coordinate and carry out the demining works, allow certain companies to do such works, and then check the quality of the work.
The Verkhovna Rada and the Cabinet of Ministers will do the planning. The Parliament will adopt the national mine action program for 5 years (upon governments’ filing). The Cabinet will establish the national demining standards, as well as the list of mined and potentially mined areas. Such information will be input in the Unified Register on inspection, detection and clearance of the territories, neutralization/elimination of explosive objects.
The national body on mine action has to coordinate activities of all other organizations involved in such works; to inform the population about the mined areas and cooperate with the international partners of Ukraine. The commission that would accredit the demining companies will be a part of this body.
In addition, it is provided to create a center of demining operations, which would in particular control the quality of such works. The center will include the inspection of quality control of mine action. The administrative office will ensure the operation of the center.
It is supposed that through public procurement the center of demining operations shall select campaigns for further demining of the territory. At that the community shall control spending budgetary funds (excluding secrets of state according to the Law on Donbas reintegration).
Operators shall be entitled to perform the following types of work:
- demining (detection, deactivation, destruction and transportation of explosive hazards);
- training people to counteract the risks associated with explosives;
- explosive hazards nonuse propaganda;
- destruction and disposal of mines unsuitable for further use;
- medical care delivery to those injured, medical/ professional rehabilitation;
- training, retraining and proficiency enhancement of the experts in mine action and demining.
In order to perform the services from listed above the company shall get the license. The country from its side plans to create a register of the demining operators – the companies that obtained the license and lost it (secretary of demining operations to deal with it).
The license is only a permission to perform demining, and not a 100% guarantee to be employed. The decision shall enable companies to participate in public procurement – the draft law binds the center for demining operations to choose these contractors this way only
The demining experts’ lives and health shall be insured – the minimum sum assured to be 1,000 minimal wages (which is over $130,000 as of the current year).
The demining of the territories shall be funded by the state, grants, international repayable and non-repayable financial aid. Apart from that, instead of the direct funding the “donor” companies shall be able to provide their experts, equipment, materials and funds.
International standards shall be active until Ukraine creates its own state standards in the sphere of mine action.
As we reported earlier, a draft law on demining by the vice speaker Iryna Gerashchenko was registered in Ukrainian Parliament on September 19. The draft law shall be adopted by the end of the current parliamentary session.