This was announced by the head of Mine Countermeasures Departmen, deputy chief of the Main Mine Countermeasures, Civil Protection, and Environmental Security Department at the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Colonel Oleh Shuvarskyi during a briefing, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.
"To date, 18 mine action operators have been certified, of which five are donor-funded operators (119 demining groups) – Halo Trust, the Swiss Foundation for Mine Action in Ukraine (FSD), the representative office of the Danish Refugee Council in Ukraine (DRC), Demining Solutions, a branch of the Norwegian Refugee Council in Ukraine (NPA), a representative office of DanChurchAid in Ukraine (DCA) and three commercial operators (11 demining groups) - Ukroboronservice, International Demining Group, and Patron Demining," said Shuvarskyi.
In addition, according to his data, certification is pending for 30 organizations, of which 18 are governmental (AFU – 2, SSTS – 8, and SES – 8).
Shuvarskyi recalled that by the end of 2022, only six operators were certified in Ukraine, of which five operators were performing tasks as part of 64 demining groups numbering a total of 546 people. Currently, the total number of operators involved in humanitarian demining measures stands at nearly 1,100. Thus, from the beginning of 2023, the number of operators more than doubled, noted Shuvarskyi.
As of now, the certification of mine countermeasure operators is carried out by accredited conformity assessment bodies, namely the Mine Countermeasures Center with the SSTS, Chernihiv; Merefa Interregional Humanitarian Demining Center with the State Emergency Service; and Demining Center of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Kamianets-Podilskyi.
Certification of mine action operators is a process of verifying the compliance of the organization's capabilities to run demining operations in accordance with the requirements of Ukraine’s legislation and national standards, while guaranteeing the safety of personnel and quality performance.
During certification, compliance by the applicant with the requirements of Ukrainian legislation and provisions of international mine action standards (IMAS — International Mine Action Standards) is duly evaluated.
As reported by Ukrinform, in the 2024 budget draft, UAH 2 billion was allocated for humanitarian demining.