unexploded missiles, cluster bombs,
etc., can make access to open country hazardous. Neither farmers nor cattle dare enter. Children cannot wander in.
Despite record global investment in land mine clearance in 2017, exceeding $770 million worldwide, nearly 2,800 people were killed and thousands more injured by mines and other explosive remnants of war (ERW). Civilians, half of them children, accounted for 87% of all casualties.
Over half of 62 countries known to have mine contamination are committed to the Mine Ban Treaty, also known as the Ottawa Treaty, but only four are on track to meet their clearance deadlines. At the current rate of mine clearance, some estimates suggest that it will take over 200 years to clear the world, at a cost of over $100 billion.
Conventional mine clearance relies on dangerous manual labour. A new Israeli company, 4M Analytics, offers a new approach based on artificial intelligence and autonomous robots. This is claimed to offer faster, safer and cheaper results.