Humanitarian Demining Medal - Petition

Discussion in 'Sappers' started by k13eod, May 31, 2007.

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  1. We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to commission
    and strike an official government medal to be awarded to all
    British citizens who have been, or are, actively engaged in the
    humanitarian clearance of landmines and unexploded ordnance in
    countries around the world in this year of the 10th anniversary
    of the signing of the Mine Ban Treaty and of the death of Diana
    Princess of Wales.

    The deadly legacy of landmines and unexploded ordnance left
    over from conflict causes injury and death to tens of thousands
    of innocent people every year. British civilian 'deminers' employed by various charities, organisations and companies work
    (or have worked) in countries such as Afghanistan, Angola,
    Lebanon, Iraq, Sudan, Kosovo, Bosnia, Laos, Vietnam (to name a
    few) to clear land and ensure that others may live in peace and
    without fear. This dangerous work comes at a cost and several
    have lost lives and limbs. In this the 10th year since the
    signing of the Mine Ban Treaty and the death of Princess Diana
    (an international figurehead against landmines), support this
    petition to have these unsung heroes recognised with the issue
    of an official medal. Join me, a landmine accident survivor, in
    getting the government to issue this medal for such an
    important humanitarian effort ... after all a lot of that
    ordnance was dropped on behalf of the British government.
  2. Will this be retroactive and include Kuwait 1992 onward??
  3. napier

    napier LE Moderator Reviewer

    How much do civilian deminers get paid? In what way do they differ from other private military company personnel? (motivation aside)
  4. Cuddles,

    The idea is to first get the government interested ... we all know how tight they are about giving out medals or awards (unless of course you make a hefty donation to the election campaign!).

    If they agree (big if) then we need to form a commitee of the HMD Action Group to decide design and qualifying criteria such as:

    From what date the medal should be issued (I would suggest back to 1988 when the term 'Humanitarian Demining was termed and the UN first asked for funds).

    Qualifying period of time spent on humanitarian demining.

    Proof of qualifying from accredited mine action organisation or company.

    But it is all a big 'if' and the main issue is to get enough signatures to push it further.

    Hope that helps!
  5. I notice there's a link to Andy McKnobhead's website "with exclusive audio war stories written by McNab" at the bottom of this thread. Hope he gives some of his fortune to the cause.

    Looks a bit Waltish to me - no offence to the deminers, mind. The Afghans working on the Charikar road or up at Bibimaru were being paid $200 a month by Halo, which is not a lot in return for poking at anti-personnel mines with bayonets.

    The South Effrikens in Kandahar were stealing other people's dogs to retrraaain for de-mining work. Most of the chaps I met had several fingers missing.

    Some say that the deminers in Afghanistan are actually REMINERS, pulling the things up and replanting just down the road them to keep the contracts rolling their way.
  6. Signed
  7. There's good and bad practice in every walk of life! I worked in Afghanistan and didn't see any 're-mining'!
  8. I was being facetious in my last post, k13eod, as I suspect you twigged!

    However I think this is a very valid cause. If DfiD and NGO types involved in reconstruction can have their own version of the OSM for Iraq, then de-miners operating for humanitarian causes should also be recognised. I believe going back to Angola in 1988 would be a great starting point for qualification.

    I also, despite ruling myself out, think the Kuwait "commercial" demining should not be included as a qualifying service. I have nothing against BAESYSTEMS in principle but I do believe that the character of the qualifying service should reflect the humanitarian and NFP nature of the demining in particular.
  9. Cuddles,

    I disagree with the last paragraph, as much as the commercial and Humanitarian side of Mine and UXO Clearance are different the end result is the same i.e. both have cleared areas and ultimately saved countless lives and injuries, to discriminate one from the other wouldn't be right for the lads who have been killed or severely injured in the hazardous field of Mine and UXO clearance.

    Just my opinion and possibly not one that will be agreed with by the majority.

  10. diplomat

    diplomat War Hero Book Reviewer

    Signed, but chances of anything happening are about zero.

    Individuals within the mine action community have received the odd OBE, MBE or Royal Humane Society award, but not enough.

    The problem is that the MBEs etc for mine action work tend to come off the FCO allocation, and there is usually no one who either knows, or is influential enough, to make the mine action case for such awards.
  11. Totally agree with you Napier -

    Civilian deminers do it for the money and not for the 'humanitarian' aspect - so I find it quite embarrasing that they now want a medal for it? What about a Humanitarian Demining VOLUNTEER medal? I bet there would be ZERO candidates for that....

    How about giving the money to the poor locals who actually have to prod for mines?

    Why don't we get an 'Iraq Private Security' medal struck too while we're at it ????

  12. diplomat

    diplomat War Hero Book Reviewer

    A little harsh BD. As you know the pay is not as good as people seem to assume it is!
  13. A little harsh - but true.

    I know exactly how much ex UK Mil EOD people are being paid.... anyone who isn't on over £200 a day is in the wrong job.... there are Companies screaming for EOD personnel who are paying over £200 a day....

    But I do find the whole idea of a medal disgusting and to even try and bring Princess Diana into it....... beyond the pale.
  14. Dear oh dear, what a pitiful statement! Everyone does things for money feller. I don't see any servicemen , policemen, firefighters or other public service members volunteering to hand their pay packets over to the 'poor locals'! Yes, the wages are reasonable (but I could make just as much or more selling stuff on e-bay).

    Most guys I know in the demining sector, and maybe I might know a few more than you, don't do it for the money. Otherwise when you get a fcuking limb blown off you would'nt go back and do it ... like most injured guys do. The fact is everyone who WORKS gets paid (you see that's the idea of it) and for some who work ... and get paid ... there is a humanitarian by-product ie lives and limbs get saved.

    So don't try to judge other people by what you yourself may have experienced whilst 'bomb doctoring' and do not insinuate that people are 'bluffers'. All you had to say was I won't sign!
  15. I won't sign......

    (but that would have been a boring post)