A man stands at the front of a classroom next to a projector that shows a presentation on explosive weapons

Protecting communities at risk of explosive remnants of war

Humanity & Inclusion provides risk education and conflict preparedness and protection sessions to communities at risk of explosive ordnance in Ukraine.

Since February 2022, there have been roughly 18,000 civilian casualties from the war in Ukraine, including nearly 7,000 deaths. Ukraine is now one of the world’s most contaminated countries by explosive ordnance. Experts estimate it will take more than 100 years to successfully clear the country of mines.

Having initially fled their homes for safety, people are increasingly returning to areas contaminated by explosive ordnance. Adults and children living in impacted zones are regularly exposed to the fatal dangers of armed violence and explosive ordnances, including:

  • Explosive devices, which can be found in fields, roads, residential areas, underground, disguised as ordinary objects or hidden in plain sight
  • Shelling and aerial attacks, which can occur at any moment in any location

Surveys and observations of affected communities demonstrate that there are many misconceptions and knowledge gaps regarding safe behaviors related to explosive ordnance. An estimated 14.6 million people are in need of mine action support including explosive ordnance risk education (EORE) and victim assistance.

Aerial bombardments of cities are leaving behind heavy explosive remnants of war (ERW) contamination and there is reported use of landmines and cluster munitions. Life-saving EORE remains a high-priority protection need.

With people increasingly exposed to the dangers of explosive ordnances, there is an essential need for the community to understand where these devices can be found, the threats they pose, and what actions to take in order to best protect themselves. These dangers will not disappear with the end of the conflict, making basic explosive ordnance risk education a necessity for anyone in Ukraine for generations to come.

HI’s response

HI’s objective is to reduce the vulnerability and increase the resilience of local populations, displaced people and returnees as well as humanitarian actors affected by explosive ordnance due to the armed conflict in Ukraine. 

Several times per week, HI provides EORE sessions and Conflict Preparedness and Protection (CPP) sessions to children, adults and NGO staff in Chernivtsi, Vinnytsia, Poltava and Dnipro. HI conducts sessions in a variety of locations such as community centers, schools, shelters for displaced persons and offices.

These sessions teach people what to look for as signs of danger, what safe behaviors to adopt, how to prepare for active conflict, as well as how to protect both themselves and the people around them.

HI EORE and CPP sessions have reached over 15,000 people in Ukraine so far. HI has conducted over 500 sessions (online and in-person) and trained 29 humanitarian actors and 33 community focal points.


Myroslava, 10, EORE session participant

“Today I had a lesson about war and about mines. For me, it was very interesting, and it will probably help other people. I learned about the different types of mines and what to do if you see a mine, like, what number you should call for example. If I encounter a mine, I will stop, stay calm, back away very carefully, tell my mother, and call 101 (emergency service number). In my opinion, this information is very relevant. There is war in our country. There are mines and ordnances in some regions, and this lesson was very important for us because now we know how to behave in these situations.”