Last Updated: 29 November 2014

Mine Ban Policy


The Kingdom of Cambodia signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997 and ratified on 28 July 1999, becoming a State Party on 1 January 2000. Domestic implementation legislation—the Law to Prohibit the Use of Anti-personnel Mines—took effect on 28 May 1999.[1] In 2013, Cambodia submitted its 15th Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report, covering calendar year 2013.[2]

Cambodia has attended all of the Mine Ban Treaty’s Review Conferences held in 2004, 2009, and 2014 as well as most of the treaty’s Meetings of States Parties and many of the intersessional meetings held in Geneva, including in April 2014. It hosted the Mine Ban Treaty’s Eleventh Meeting of States Parties in December 2011.[3]

Cambodia is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) and its Amended Protocol II on landmines.


There were no allegations of new use of antipersonnel mines on the Cambodian border with Thailand in the second half of 2013 or first half of 2014.

Previously, in March 2013, three Thai soldiers were injured by what the Thai military described as newly planted mines near the Ta Kwai Temple in Phanom Dong Rak district. Cambodia investigated and in its report to States Parties found the mines were old, dating from the Cambodian civil war.[4] Cambodia provided a copy of its investigation report to the Mine Ban Treaty Implementation Support Unit and the ICBL at the May 2013 intersessional meetings, and to the government of Thailand through diplomatic channels.[5]

Other allegations made by Thailand of Cambodian use of antipersonnel mines on the Cambodian-Thai border in 2008 and 2009 were never resolved.[6]

Production, transfer, stockpile destruction, and retention

Previously, the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) destroyed its declared stockpile of 71,991 antipersonnel mines between 1994 and 1998, and in February 1999 the RCAF Deputy Commander in Chief formally stated that the RCAF no longer had stockpiles of antipersonnel mines.[7] In 2000, Cambodia reported an additional stockpile of 2,035 antipersonnel mines held by the national police that were subsequently destroyed.[8] In 2013, Cambodia reported that while there have been no antipersonnel mine stockpiles in the country since 2001, “police and military units are still finding and collecting weapons, ammunitions and mines from various sources, locations and caches.”[9] Discovered mines are supposed to be reported to the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA) and handed over to the Cambodian Mine Action Center (CMAC) for destruction.[10] A Cambodian official has previously stated that newly discovered stocks are destroyed immediately.[11]

Previous Article 7 reports document a total of 133,478 stockpiled antipersonnel mines that were found and destroyed from 2000 to 2008, including 13,665 in 2008; this included 9,698 by CMAC, 2,713 by HALO Trust, and 1,254 by Mines Advisory Group (MAG). Cambodia stated that these mines were “reported by local communities.”[12] It is not clear why significant numbers of stockpiled mines were discovered each year through 2008, but none have been discovered since.

Cambodia has each year reported transfer of mines removed from mined areas to the CMAC training center and other operators for training purposes.[13] In June 2011, the deputy secretary general of the CMAA told the Monitor that all mines held by Cambodia are fuzeless and that Cambodia retains no live mines for training.[14] In its 2014 Article 7 report, Cambodia reported the transfer of 60 inert antipersonnel mines for use to train animals in landmine detection.[15]


[1] The law bans the production, use, possession, transfer, trade, sale, import, and export of antipersonnel mines. It provides for criminal penalties, including fines and imprisonment for offenses committed by civilians or members of the police and the armed forces. It also provides for the destruction of mine stockpiles.

[2] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, undated, covering the period of 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2013. Previous reports were submitted in 2013 (for calendar year 2012), 2012 (for calendar year 2011), 2011 (for calendar year 2010), May 2010 (for calendar year 2009), April 2009 (for calendar year 2008), in 2008 (for calendar year 2007), on 27 April 2007, 11 May 2006, 22 April 2005, 30 April 2004, 15 April 2003, 19 April 2002, 30 June 2001, and 26 June 2000.

[3] Prak Sokhonn, Minister Attached to the Prime Minister and Vice-Chair of the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA), was elected president of the Eleventh Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty, which Cambodia hosted in Phnom Penh in November–December 2011 at Vimean Santepheap (the Peace Palace).

[4] See Landmine Monitor 2013, Thailand Mine Ban Policy profile. According to a request made by the ICBL, Cambodia conducted a fact-finding mission to the site from 10–12 May 2013 that determined the Thai solders were injured by mines laid during the Cambodian civil war. It said its soldiers found indications of the incident on the same day, and recorded a GPS reference that differed from the reference declared by the Thai military. Cambodia stated that the incident took place to the side of, not on, a specially cleared path used for military-to-military meetings between the Thai and Cambodian military in the area. The Cambodian delegation provided copies of the report at the May 2013 intersessional meeting in Geneva.

[5] Statement of Cambodia, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on Compliance, Geneva, 30 May 2013. Notes by the ICBL; and Investigation Report on Thailand’s Allegation of New Mines Laid by Cambodia, 17 May 2013. Report copy provided to ICBL at the Mine Ban Treaty intersessional meeting, 31 May 2013. Report prepared by a five-person team from the Cambodian Mine Action Authority and the Cambodian National Center for Peacekeeping Forces and ERW Clearance.

[6] In October 2008, two Thai soldiers stepped on antipersonnel mines while on patrol in disputed territory between Thailand and Cambodia, near the World Heritage Site of Preah Vihear. Thai authorities maintained that the area was previously clear of mines and that the mines had been newly placed by Cambodian forces. Cambodia denied the charges and stated that the Thai soldiers had entered Cambodian territory in an area known to contain antipersonnel mines and were injured by mines laid during previous armed conflicts. In April 2009, another Thai soldier was reportedly wounded by an antipersonnel mine at the same location during further armed conflict between the two countries. In September 2009, Commander in Chief of the Royal Thai Army, Gen. Anupong Paochinda, stated that Cambodian troops were laying fresh mines along the disputed areas and close to routes where Thai soldiers make regular patrols. See Landmine Monitor Report 2009, pp. 243–244, 719–720; and also ICBL-CMC, “Country Profile: Cambodia: Mine Ban Policy,” 6 August 2010.

[8] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form B, 26 June 2000.

[10] Ibid.

[12] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2008), Form G (1). Mines destroyed in previous years included: 8,739 in 2000; 7,357 in 2001; 13,509 in 2002; 9,207 in 2003; 15,446 in 2004; 16,878 in 2005; 23,409 in 2006; and 20,268 in 2007.

[13] Cambodia reported in 2012 that 1,190 mines were transferred for development and training. See Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2012), Form D (2). Cambodia has reported a total of 7,679 mines transferred for training purposes from 1998–2010. All of the mines that are transferred each year are apparently consumed (destroyed) during training activities.

[14] Interview with Sophakmonkol Prum, Deputy Secretary General, CMAA, in Geneva, 24 June 2011.

[15] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, April 2014, Form D.

Last Updated: 12 August 2014

Cluster Munition Ban Policy


The Kingdom of Cambodia has not acceded to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

In April 2014, Cambodia repeated a statement that it first made at the convention’s Fourth Meeting of States Parties in September 2013 that “the lack of clearly defined definition of cluster munitions” in the Convention on Cluster Munitions requires that “a much more vigorous study among key national technical stakeholders must be made to explore technical matters and to seek a possible consensus.” Cambodia said that accession to the convention “shall be considered once it concludes all relevant assessments.”[1]

Cambodia has acknowledged the “meetings and workshops [that] have been continuously conducted by concerned national agencies to understand substance and discuss provisions” of the convention as well as the “documents and materials” provided. The “confusion” over what constitutes a cluster munition appears to stem less from a lack of understanding of the definition contained in Article 2 of the Convention on Cluster Munitions and more with lack of clarity over its stockpiled munitions (see Stockpiling section).

Cambodia was an early, prominent, and influential supporter of the Oslo Process that produced the Convention on Cluster Munitions. It hosted the first regional forum on cluster munitions in Southeast Asia, in Phnom Penh in March 2007. Cambodia advocated strongly for the most comprehensive and immediate ban possible and joined in the consensus adoption of the convention at the conclusion of the Dublin negotiations in May 2008. Yet, despite Cambodia’s extensive and positive leadership role, it attended the Convention on Cluster Munitions Signing Conference in Oslo on 3 December 2008 only as an observer and did not sign, stating that it needed more time to study the security implications of joining.[2]

Throughout 2009 and 2010, Cambodia cited several reasons, mostly security-related, for not joining the Convention on Cluster Munitions.[3] Cambodia’s position on accession to the convention showed signs of change in 2011 after Thailand fired cluster munitions into Cambodian territory on the border near Preah Vihear temple, killing two men and injuring seven.[4] Cambodia first indicated it was assessing the impact of joining in September 2011, at the time stating, “We sincerely hope that the ultimate signing is just…a matter of time.”[5]

Yet at meetings in 2012, government representatives repeated that “Cambodia is still assessing the impact of signing the Convention on Cluster Munitions on its defense capability and the ability to comply with all obligations.”[6] In September 2013, a government official said the assessment is believed to be the responsibility of the Ministry of Defense.[7]

The Cambodia Campaign to Ban Landmines and Cluster Bombs undertook a number of actions in 2013 and the first half of 2014 to promote Cambodia’s accession to the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Its representative Tun Channareth, ICBL Ambassador, raised the need for Cambodia’s accession with Prime Minister Hun Sen during a meeting in Phnom Penh on 10 December 2013.

Despite not joining, Cambodia has participated in every meeting of States Parties of the convention as an observer, including the Fourth Meeting of States Parties in Lusaka, Zambia in September 2013, as well as every round of intersessional meetings of the convention in Geneva, including in April 2014.

In April 2014, Cambodia strongly condemned reports of new use of cluster munitions in South Sudan.[8]

Cambodia is a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty. It is also party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.

Use, production, and transfer

Cambodia is not known to have used, produced, or exported cluster munitions. In June 2011, it stated, “Despite being confronted and threatened by forces, so far we have refrained from employing cluster munitions in our response.”[9]


The size and precise content of Cambodia’s stockpile of cluster munitions is not known. In December 2008, a Ministry of Defense official said that Cambodia has “some missile launchers that use cluster munitions that weigh more than 20 kg” and said there were also stockpiles of cluster munitions weighing 250kg left over from the 1980s that Cambodia intends to destroy.[10] Weapons with submunitions that weigh more than 20kg each are not defined as cluster munitions by the Convention on Cluster Munitions and are not prohibited.[11]

According to standard international reference publications, Cambodia also possesses BM-21 Grad 122mm surface-to-surface rocket launchers, but it is not known if the ammunition for these weapons includes versions with submunition payloads.[12] Cambodian officials have asked representatives from states that have joined the Convention on Cluster Munitions, as well as NGOs, if BM-21 rocket launchers are banned under the convention. BM-21 multiple barrel rocket launchers are capable of firing rockets with a variety of warheads, one of which is a cargo warhead containing explosive submunitions. The CMC has informed Cambodia that the rocket delivery system itself is not prohibited by the convention, and the convention would allow use of the BM-21 with unitary munitions; however, under the terms of the convention, a BM-21 rocket launcher could not be used to deliver any rockets containing explosive submunitions.[13]


[1] Statement of Cambodia, Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 7 April 2014; and statement of Cambodia, Convention on Cluster Munitions Fourth Meeting of States Parties, Lusaka, 10 September 2013.

[2] For details on Cambodia’s policy and practice regarding cluster munitions through early 2009, see Human Rights Watch and Landmine Action, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, May 2009), pp. 193–195.

[3] See ICBL, Cluster Munition Monitor 2010 (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, October 2010), p. 201.

[4] In June 2011, Cambodia informed the convention’s first intersessional meetings that its accession is “just a matter of time” and said the fact that it has not joined is “not an issue of our commitment” to the convention. Statement of Cambodia, Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 27 June 2011.

[5] Statement of Cambodia, Convention on Cluster Munitions Second Meeting of States Parties, Beirut, 14 September 2011.

[6] Statement of Cambodia, Convention on Cluster Munitions Third Meeting of States Parties, Oslo, 11 September 2012; and statement of Cambodia, Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 17 April 2012.

[7] Peter Sombor, “Cambodia Still Undecided About Signing Cluster Munitions Treaty,” The Cambodia Daily, 9 September 2013.

[8] Statement of Cambodia, Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, April 2014.

[9] Statement of Cambodia, Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 27 June 2011.

[10] The official was Chau Phirun of the Ministry of Defense. Lea Radick and Neou Vannarin, “No Rush to Sign Cluster Munition Ban: Gov’t,” The Cambodia Daily, 5 December 2008.

[11] Article 2.2 states: “‘Cluster munition’ means a conventional munition that is designed to disperse or release explosive submunitions each weighing less than 20 kilograms, and includes those explosive submunitions.”

[12] International Institute for Strategic Studies, The Military Balance 2011 (London: Routledge, 2011), p. 229; and Colin King, ed., Jane’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal 2008, CD-edition, 3 December 2007, (Surrey, UK: Jane’s Information Group Limited, 2008).

[13] Letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen from Steve Goose, CMC, 30 November 2011.

Last Updated: 09 October 2014

Mine Action

Contamination and Impact

Mine Action Performance Ranking: GOOD AND IMPROVING[1]

Performance Indicator


Problem understood


Target date for completion of clearance


Targeted clearance


Efficient clearance


National funding of program


Timely clearance


Land release system


National mine action standards


Reporting on progress


Improving performance




The Kingdom of Cambodia is affected by mines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) left by 30 years of conflict that ended in the 1990s. The full extent of contamination is not known. A Baseline Survey (BLS) of Cambodia’s 124 mine-affected districts completed in 2013 estimated total mine and ERW contamination at 1,915km². The survey will be extended in 2014 to cover another 51 ERW-contaminated districts. Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA) data does not, though, disaggregate mine and battle area clearance (BAC) permitting a calculation of the remaining mine-affected area.[2]


Cambodia’s antipersonnel mine problem is concentrated in, but not limited to, 21 northwestern districts along the border with Thailand. These account for the great majority of mine casualties, but in 2013 mines still caused casualties on the other side of the country in the southern province of Takeo, bordering Vietnam. Contamination includes the remains of the 1,046km-long K5 mine belt installed in the mid-1980s in a bid to block insurgent infiltration, which ranks among the densest contamination in the world with, reportedly, up to 2,400 mines per linear kilometer.[3]

The BLS completed in 2013 identified 12,982 polygons or hazardous areas affected to some degree by mines, covering a total of 1,112km2, of which 1,043km2 were affected by antipersonnel mines. This included almost 892km2 containing “scattered or nuisance” antipersonnel and antivehicle mines.[4]

Baseline survey results for 124 districts[5]


Area (m²)

A1 Dense AP mines


A2 Mixed AP and AV mines


A2.1 Mixed dense AP and AV mines


A2.2 Mixed scattered AP and AV mines


A3 AV mines


A4 Scattered or nuisance mines




Note: AP = antipersonnel; AV = antivehicle

Cambodia also faces a troubling issue with antivehicle mines, which are killing more people than antipersonnel mines, often on paths or tracks that have been well-used by local inhabitants. The BLS identified a total of 68km2 contaminated only by antivehicle mines, often on paths of tracks that have been well-used by local inhabitants. The BLS identified a total of 68km2 contaminated only by antivehicle mines.[6] A number of incidents, however, have occurred outside BLS polygons, raising the possibility of residual antivehicle mine contamination on land already cleared of antipersonnel mines. The CMAA has called on local mine action planning units to pay attention to areas such as old road alignments that may have antivehicle mines.[7]

Casualties by device in 2009–2013[8]









































































Note: APM = antipersonnel mine; AVM = antivehicle mine

Cluster munition remnants

The United States (US) dropped at least 26 million explosive submunitions on Cambodia during the Vietnam War, mostly in eastern and northeastern areas bordering the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) and Vietnam. The bombing is estimated to have left between 1.9 million and 5.8 million cluster munition remnants, including unexploded BLU-24, BLU-26, BLU-36, BLU-42, BLU-43, BLU-49, and BLU-61 submunitions.[9]

The BLS of 124 districts identified 1,002 suspected cluster munition-contaminated areas covering an area of 492.66km2, but that figure was expected to rise as the survey continued to other districts not included in the BLS, including some heavily bombed districts close to the border with Vietnam.[10]

Other explosive remnants of war

The US dropped more than a million tons (one billion kilograms) of general purpose bombs during the war, mostly in eastern Cambodia. In other parts of the country, operators encounter mainly land-fired ordnance, including artillery shells, rockets, and mortars.[11] This contamination has for some years caused most of the ERW casualties. The BLS recorded 310.59km2 of unexploded ordnance (UXO) contamination, not including cluster munitions but results of survey in eastern provinces will add to this figure.[12]

Mine Action Program

The CMAA, set up in September 2000, regulates and coordinates mine action, responsibilities previously assigned to the Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC).[13] The CMAA’s responsibilities include regulation and accreditation of all operators, preparing strategic plans, managing data, quality control, and coordinating risk education and victim assistance.[14] Prime Minister Hun Sen is the CMAA President, and a senior government minister, the Minister of Post and Telecommunication, Prak Sokhonn, who is CMAA vice-president, leads dialogue with donors as the chair of a Joint Government-Development Partners’ Mine Action Technical Working Group.[15]

Mine clearance is undertaken mainly by the national NGO operator, CMAC, and two international mine action NGOs, HALO Trust and Mines Advisory Group (MAG). A national NGO, Cambodian Self-help Demining, has been active since 2011, while at the start of 2014 three commercial companies active on a small scale were BACTEC, Viking, and D&Y. The Cambodian army’s National Centre for Peace Keeping Forces, Mine and ERW Clearance (NPMEC) had 13 demining and two explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) teams accredited with the CMAA.[16]

Strategic planning

Cambodia’s National Mine Action Strategy 2010−2019 (NMAS) aims to “free Cambodia from the threat of landmines and to minimize risks from anti-tank mines and ERW.” To achieve that the strategy sets four supporting general goals:

·         Reduce mine/ERW casualties and other negative impacts.

·         Contribute to economic growth and poverty reduction.

·         Ensure sustainable national capacities to address residual mine/ERW contamination.

·         Promote stability and regional and international disarmament.[17]

A review of the NMAS in 2013 found that Cambodia had “achieved significant learning on how to organize mine clearance operations to achieve the greatest efficiency” and that its application of land release ranked among the most comprehensive of any major mine action program. It also found that performance had been compromised by lack of annual coordination and planning and noted the mine action sector “increasingly views the NMAS as an irrelevant paper exercise.”[18]

The CMAA hired a consultant in 2013 to draft a national strategic plan that would support implementation of the NMAS. The draft National Strategic Plan (NSP), observing that Cambodia’s mine action has moved from an emergency phase to a development phase, proposes that “much of the remaining contamination will be dealt with” within the present Article 5 deadline extension request. It would make casualty reduction the priority for mine action but states that most resources should be allocated to supporting development and poverty reduction.[19] As of April 2014, the draft plan was still under discussion by CMAA.

The CMAA currently identifies priority communes for clearance on the basis of casualty data and BLS data, but Mine Action Planning Units (MAPUs) in the eight most mine-affected western provinces and seven mainly ERW-affected eastern provinces are responsible for preparing annual clearance task lists, working with local authorities to identify community priorities and in consultation with operators. The task lists are reviewed and approved by Provincial Mine Action Committees (PMAC) and the CMAA. In provinces without MAPUs, mine action is coordinated with provincial authorities. The CMAA was preparing to set up nine more PMACs and MAPUs in 2014.[20] MAPUs are also responsible for quality-assuring land before release and verifying post-clearance use. However, MAPUs reportedly do not have BLS datasets to support decisions on prioritization and are acutely short of resources, from computers to vehicles, which result in delays releasing land on which survey or clearance have been completed.[21]

CMAA guidelines and criteria for planning and prioritization, which came into effect at the start of 2012, specify that priority is given to clearing hazardous area polygons identified by the BLS and where casualties have occurred in the past five years. The guidelines call for MAPUs and operators to deploy 75% of assets to communes identified as priorities leaving the remaining 25% available for other tasks. They also foresee the CMAA giving guidance and direction to MAPUs on the criteria that define clearance priorities.[22]

Cambodia’s mine action program has achieved significant productivity gains but has yet to lay out a coherent strategy harnessing the full range of mine clearance assets to clearly defined humanitarian and development goals. Cambodia is further ahead than many countries in integrating mine action into national development strategies on paper, but in practice demining priorities framed by MAPUs at community level are only weakly linked to national goals for infrastructure development and land use. Moreover, MAPUs need far more resources and training to support planning, prioritization, and land release. Meanwhile, mine clearance reporting only encompasses operations by national and international NGOs engaged on tasks agreed upon by MAPUs and some donors.

The army has significant demining capacity, often discussed as the appropriate mechanism for dealing with residual contamination in the long term, but there is no reporting, transparency, or discussion of the verification and/or clearance that is or could be undertaken by the army on national infrastructure and development projects.

UNDP has supported the CMAA through a “Clearing for Results” program since 2006. The first phase under UNDP management ended in March 2010 and a second phase (CFRII), advised by UNDP but managed by CMAA, started in January 2011 and is due to run until the end of 2015. The program introduced a process of awarding contracts for clearance by competitive bidding, although in practice international NGO operators have felt unable to compete with the square-meter clearance costs bid by national operators—CMAC and NPMEC—that have lower equipment overheads, and they have largely stayed out of the bidding.[23] In 2013, CFRII spent US$4.6 million, including $3.7 million on three clearance contracts, two awarded to CMAC in Battambang and Bantheay Meanchey provinces and one to NPMEC in Krong Pailin, which resulted in release of a total of 17.3km2 of land, three-quarters of it due to be used for agriculture. CMAA/UNDP reported that mine casualties in the three provinces were two-thirds lower in 2013 than the previous year.[24]

Land Release

After years of accelerating productivity in Cambodia, the pace of mine clearance has levelled off but the amount of mined area released has continued to rise as a result of survey and application of land release procedures.

Operators appear to have released a total of around 109km2 of land in 2013, including up to about 90km2 of mined area, but lack of clarity about some land release data does not make it possible to give precise figures or a comparison with last year. The amount of mined land subjected to full clearance remained at a little over 45km2 but increased donor funding, particularly by the US, for clearance of ERW in heavily-bombed areas of eastern Cambodia is raising the amount of BAC.

Cambodia reported release of a total of 2.76km2 through non-technical survey and 16km2 through technical survey by CMAC but data available did not indicate how much of this was mined or battle area.[25]

In 2014, CMAA set a target of clearing or releasing 1,083 minefields covering 82.87km2.[26]

Mine and battle area clearance in 2013

Total mined area clearance remained about 45km2 in 2013, similar to the previous year, but the number of antipersonnel and antivehicle mines destroyed dropped while commitment of more assets to clearance of battle area and cluster munition remnants saw the number of items of UXO rise close to 15%.

Demining NGOs have largely maintained rates of clearance despite most having to trim staff in the past two years as a result of fluctuating donor support. CMAC started 2014 with some 1,800 staff and, with steadier funding commitments for 2014−2015, expected to maintain that level of staffing.[27] HALO reduced capacity in the second half of 2013, ending the year with 929 staff, including 671 deminers, and similarly expected to keep that staff level in 2014.[28] A third international operator, APOPO, received a provisional license from CMAA in January 2014 and the same month, in agreement with CMAC and with Germany, as donor, took on management of its Siem Reap-based Demining Unit 6, with 302 staff, including 284 deminers.[29]

CMAC, accounting for more than half the total mined area clearance, reported a slight (4%) increase in the amount of land subjected to full clearance in 2013 and says it does not see room for further big increases after the growth in clearance achieved in recent years with improved equipment and approaches to land release.[30] Its 2014 work plan, however, targeted release of 66km2 of mined area and 14km2 of battle area through clearance and survey, an increase of around half on its 2013 results.[31]

HALO and MAG both reported slight reductions in area and items cleared in 2013. HALO has continued to commit resources to clearing antivehicle mines, including in areas outside the suspected hazardous areas (SHAs) identified by the BLS. Moreover, one-third of the antipersonnel mines HALO destroyed in 2013 were picked up in EOD call-outs. However, in 2014 local authorities have allowed HALO to return to a number of task areas on the densely-mined K5 mine belt where work was previously suspended because of border tensions.[32] MAG, with 12 mine action teams, has focused operations on Battambang, Bantheay Meanchey, and Pailin. In 2014, it has also received financing to revive two EOD teams in northern Rattanakiri province working in conjunction with CARE and responding to villager call-outs and has added BAC/EOD capacity in Mondulkiri province.[33]

Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA), after working with CMAC, started operating its own teams in February 2013 and cleared three BAC tasks covering a total of 87,874m2 in response to requests from provincial authorities. NPA focused mainly on conducting its cluster munitions remnants survey in eastern Cambodia, identifying 53 SHAs covering 45km2. It expected technical survey in 2014 would result in confirmed hazardous areas up to 90% smaller. In May 2014, NPA won a US$2.5 million contract from the US to conduct survey and clearance in eastern Cambodia in partnership with CMAC over a period of 17 months.[34]


Mined and battle area clearance in 2013[35]


Mined area cleared (km2)

BAC (km2)

Antipersonnel mines destroyed

Antivehicle mines destroyed

Submunitions destroyed

UXO destroyed


















































Article 5 Compliance

Under Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty (and in accordance with the 10-year extension granted by States Parties in 2009), Cambodia is required to destroy all antipersonnel mines in mined areas under its jurisdiction or control as soon as possible, but not later than 1 January 2020.

Cambodia’s national strategy for 2010−2019, released in 2010 a year after submission of the extension request, called for demining operations to clear some 649km2 of mined land and to release 1,097.8km of suspected land “through baseline survey and technical survey.”[37] These targets have been superseded by the results of the BLS, but no new plan or strategy has yet emerged to replace them. The BLS in 124 provinces identified 73km2 of dense mine contamination and 892km2 of scattered contamination , but although it added clarity on the extent of Cambodia’s mine problem, BLS findings do not determine clearance priorities; MAPUs may give higher priority to clearing polygons with scattered mines than to densely mined areas.[38]

The draft NSP proposes that “much of the remaining contamination” will be dealt with within the current extension request but does not distinguish between mine and ERW contamination.[39] Based on clearance and funding patterns, Cambodia can expect to clear more than 200km2 of mined area in the coming five years.

Mine clearance in 2009–2013 (km2)


Mined area cleared













Support for Mine Action

CMAA reports international support for mine action in 2013 amounted to US$22.76 million while the Cambodian government contributed an additional $3.1 million in costs and equipment.[40]

 Most international support for Cambodian mine action is agreed bilaterally between donors and recipients. Funding of $4.6 million provided through UNDP’s Clearing for Results in 2013 represented one-fifth of total international support for that year. CFRII had received or been pledged a total of US$25.7 million, exceeding the Phase II budget of US$24.5 million.[41]


·         Cambodia should develop a national strategic plan to take account of the findings of the Baseline Survey and include a realistic assessment of the time needed to address remaining mine contamination and comply fully with Article 5.

·         CMAA should improve external reporting and dissemination of mine action data to provide accurate, up-to-date information on the progress of survey, clearance, and land release.

·         The capacity of the MAPUs to support planning, prioritization, and land release should be developed to help ensure that the humanitarian benefits of clearance are achieved.

·         The roles of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and NPMEC in mine action in Cambodia would merit clarification. In particular, they should be required to provide CMAA full details of mine clearance and/or verification.


[1] See “Mine Action Program Performance” for more information on performance indicators.

[2] Statement of Cambodia, Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Geneva, 11 April 2014; Minutes of BLS Phase II meeting, 5 May 2014.

[3] HALO Trust, “Mine clearance in Cambodia–2009,” January 2009, p. 8.

[4] Revised BLS data presented in statement of Cambodia, Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Geneva, 10 April 2014.

[5] Data received by email from CMAA, 16 October 2013, and presented in statement of Cambodia, Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Geneva, 11 April 2014.

[6] Data received by email from Eang Kamrang, Database Manager, CMAA, 11 April 2013.

[7] Interview with Prum Sophakmonkol, Deputy Secretary General, CMAA, Phnom Penh, 19 March 2013.

[8] Compiled by the Monitor from Cambodia Mine/ERW Victim Information System (CMVIS) casualty data provided by email from Nguon Monoketya, CMVIS Officer, CMAA, 30 January 2014.

[9] South East Asia Air Sortie Database, cited in Dave McCracken, “National Explosive Remnants of War Study, Cambodia,” Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) in collaboration with CMAA, Phnom Penh, March 2006, p. 15; Human Rights Watch, “Cluster Munitions in the Asia-Pacific Region,” April 2008; and Handicap International (HI), Fatal Footprint: The Global Human Impact of Cluster Munitions (HI: Brussels, November 2006), p. 11.

[10] “Report on the Results of the Baseline Survey in 124 Districts,” CMAA, undated but 2013, p. 9.

[11] Interview with Dave McCracken, Consultant, NPA, Phnom Penh, 21 March 2006.

[12] “Report on the Results of the Baseline Survey in 124 Districts,” CMAA, undated but 2013, p. 9.

[13] CMAC is the leading national demining operator, but does not exercise the wider responsibilities associated with the term “center.” Set up in 1992, CMAC was assigned the role of coordinator in the mid-1990s. It surrendered this function in a restructuring of mine action in 2000 that separated the roles of regulator and implementing agency and led to the creation of the CMAA.

[14] Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD), “A Study of the Development of National Mine Action Legislation,” November 2004, pp. 64–66.

[15] Email from Prum Sophakmonkol, CMAA, 10 October 2013.

[16] Information provided by the CMAA in response to Landmine Monitor questions, 13 March 2014.

[17] Royal Government of Cambodia, “National Mine Action Strategy 2010−2019,” 11 November 2010, p. 3.

[18] “First Review: National Mine Action Strategy (2010−2019),” commissioned by CMAA in partnership with UNDP, June 2013, pp. 40−45.

[19] CMAA, “National Strategic Plan for Mine Action in Cambodia” (Draft), January 2014, pp.10 and 18.

[20] Email from Prum Sophakmonkol, CMAA, 26 May 2014.

[21] Interviews with mine action operators, Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, 10−14 March 2014.

[22] Statement of Cambodia, Eleventh Meeting of States Parties, Phnom Penh, 30 November 2011; interview with Melissa Sabatier, Mine Action Project Adviser, UNDP, Phnom Penh, 25 April 2011; and telephone interview, 3 August 2011.

[23] Interviews with Cameron Imber, Programme Manager, HALO, Siem Reap, 22 March 2013; and Alastair Moyer, Country Programme Manager, MAG, 14 March 2013.

[24] CMAA/UNDP, “Annual Project Report 2013, Clearing for Results Phase II,” undated but 2014, pp. 5 and 12.

[25] HALO reported cancelling 2.7km2 through NTS and CMAC reported release of 15.5km2 through technical survey, up from 10.08km2 in 2012. Data provided by Database Unit, CMAA, 1 May 2014.

[26] Information provided by the CMAA in response to Landmine Monitor questions, 13 March 2014.


[27] Interview with Heng Rattana, Director General, CMAC, Phnom Penh, 12 March 2014.

[28] Email from Adam Jasinski, Programme Manager, HALO, 7 March 2014.

[29] Interview with Kim Warren, Country Programme Director, APOPO, Phnom Penh, 12 March 2014; and email 2 May 2014.

[30] Interview with Heng Rattana, CMAC, Phnom Penh, 12 March 2014.

[31] “CMAC Completion Report 2013 and Integrated Work Plan 2014” (Draft), undated but 2014, p. iii.

[32] Interview with Adam Jasinski, HALO, Siem Reap, 14 March 2014.

[33] Interviews with Ben McCabe, Programme Officer, and Alistair Moir, Country Programme Manager, MAG, Phnom Penh, 10 and 11 March 2014.

[34] Interview with Jan Eric Stoa, Programme Manager, NPA, Phnom Penh, 11 March 2014; and email received 25 March 2014.

[35] Email from Database Unit, CMAA, 1 May 2014. Details of items cleared by MAG provided by email by Alistair Moir, MAG, 21 May 2014.

[36] NPMEC reports clearing a total of 28.37km2 in 2013 but produced no record of the location, size, or type of tasks outside Clearing For Results and whether these represented clearance or verification. Only the 2.69km2 cleared by NPMEC under Clearance for Results and involving BLS polygons is taken off Cambodia’s officially recorded contamination.

[37]National Mine Action Strategy 2010−2019,” Government of Cambodia, 2010, p. 5.

[38] Interview with Prum Sophakmonkol, CMAA, Phnom Penh, 13 March 2014.

[39] “National Strategic Plan for Mine Action in Cambodia” (Draft), CMAA, January 2014, p. 10.

[40] Information provided by the CMAA in response to Landmine Monitor questions, 13 March 2014. The government contribution included $1.03 million towards the costs of CMAA, $400,000 by both NPMEC and the police, $650,000 towards CMAC, and $599,642 for CMVIS and MAPUs.

[41] CMAA/UNDP, “Annual Project Report 2013, Clearing for Results Phase II,” undated but 2014, pp. 5−6 and 20.

Last Updated: 28 November 2014

Casualties and Victim Assistance

Action points based on findings

·         Provide survivors with direct support and improve access to social protection services.

·         Develop education and training opportunities that are appropriate for survivors and other persons with disabilities and many survivors who lack education and literacy and have no work or land from which to make a living.

·         Devote resources to reach survivors where they live, as survivors in remote and rural areas continue to face obstacles to access adequate assistance.

Victim Assistance Commitments

The Kingdom of Cambodia is responsible for significant numbers of landmine survivors, cluster munition victims, and survivors of other explosive remnants of war (ERW) who are in need. Cambodia has made commitments to provide victim assistance through the Mine Ban Treaty.


Casualties Overview

All known casualties by end 2013

64,314 since 1979

Casualties in 2013

111 (2012: 186)

2013 casualties by outcome

22 killed; 89 injured (2012: 43 killed; 143 injured)

2013 casualties by device type

24 antipersonnel mines; 24 antivehicle mines; 3 unexploded submunitions; 60 ERW

Details and trends

In 2013, the Cambodia Mine/unexploded ordnance Victim Information System (CMVIS) recorded 111 casualties from mines, ERW, and unexploded submunitions. The vast majority of the total casualties (89, or 80%) were civilians. In 2013, 23 (26% of the civilian casualties) were children, a significant decrease compared to 61 (35%) in 2012. Of the total adult civilian casualties, 55 were men and 11 were women. Twelve casualties were deminers, a large increase from just one in 2012. Another 10 casualties were security personnel (there were nine security personnel casualties in 2012).[1]

The 111 casualties recorded in 2013 represented a continuing trend of significant decreases in the number of annual casualties, with 186 recorded in 2012, 211 in 2011, and 286 in 2010. Most casualties were caused by ERW. Antivehicle mines continued to cause a great number of casualties, comparable to antipersonnel mines, following a trend that began in 2010 when antivehicle mines caused more casualties than antipersonnel mines for the first time in Cambodia.[2]

As of the end of 2013, CMVIS had reported at least 64,314 mine/ERW casualties in Cambodia: 19,684 people were killed and another 44,630 injured since 1979.[3]

Cluster munition casualties

Three casualties from unexploded submunitions were recorded in 2013.[4] For the period from 1998 to the end of 2013, 194 cluster munition remnant casualties were reported in Cambodia.[5] However, data collection on cluster munition casualties has been limited and the total number, although not known, is thought to be much higher. Cambodia is considered to be among the states “worst affected” by cluster munitions, with responsibility for significant numbers of cluster munition victims.[6]

Victim Assistance

The total number of survivors in Cambodia is not known. At least 44,630 people have been reported to have been injured by mines/ERW.[7]

Summary of victim assistance efforts since 1999[8]

The Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA) delegated responsibility for the coordination of victim assistance to the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation (MoSVY) and its support mechanism, the Disability Action Council (DAC). Despite hopes for improved national disability representation following a long restructuring process, the DAC was placed directly under ministerial authority in 2010. The focus of coordination changed from survivors to broader disability needs when the National Coordination Committee on Disabilities (NCCD) replaced the Steering Committee for Landmine Victim Assistance in 2009.

Survivors had increased opportunities to access free healthcare programs. However, emergency transportation to save lives was not widely available. Through NGO efforts to expand services and geographical coverage, physical rehabilitation improved in both quality and in the number of services available from existing service providers. Since 1999, services in physical rehabilitation have been available throughout the country from both government agencies and NGOs.

Gradual improvements were made in the availability of employment opportunities, social inclusion activities, and accessibility of existing services. Inclusive education programs provided by the government and relevant organizations increased. There were more vocational services for survivors in 1999 than in 2013, as programs were phased out due to a lack of funding. There has been an increased emphasis on community-based rehabilitation (CBR) efforts. Coordination among governmental bodies responsible for the provision of victim assistance steadily improved.

Reaching survivors in remote and rural areas remained a challenge for service providers and generally these populations did not receive adequate assistance. Many survivors lacked education and literacy and had no work or land from which to make a living. Overall, they received little or no support and did not have full access to social services and healthcare.

Assessing victim assistance needs

In 2012–2013, Jesuit Refugee Services (JRS)/Cambodia Campaign to Ban Landmines (CCBL) and the CMAA conducted the “Survey on the Quality of life for Landmine/ERW survivors” (QLS) in 132 villages of 21 Provinces. The survey interviewed 3,345 people with disabilities, including 1,215 landmine and 417 ERW survivors, particularly in mine-affected areas.[9] The QLS survey teams organized home visits to understand the situation of respondents and provide peer counseling, raised awareness on the rights and needs of persons with disabilities including survivors, and engaged local authorities and service providers to support and promote the rights and dignity of landmine/ERW survivors.[10] Based on the QLS findings, a series of recommendations were made to promote the rights of persons with disabilities at the national and sub-national levels.[11] Information and recommendations from the QLS were shared for the development of the National Strategic Plan on Disability.[12]

The QLS built on the experience of a district-level services mapping and guide project created by JRS/CCBL in cooperation with CMAA/CMVIS in 2012.[13] The services guide was republished and widely distributed in 2013.[14]

Some areas in which responses identified the greatest needs in the QLS survey included the following:[15]

·         Only half (51%) have enough food to eat; 14% responded that they had no food to eat and another 13% had very little food.

·         Over half (52%) responded that they did not have enough income to live in dignity.

·         Only 41% of persons with disabilities have identity cards.

·         Only 56% of persons with disabilities are literate (39% literacy among women with disabilities).

·         The QLS also demonstrated that overall, women survivors were worse off than men with disabilities.

CMVIS provided ongoing systematic data collection of mine/ERW casualties, including numbers of survivors and referrals to services.[16] Lack of reliable statistics on disability was reported to be among the main issues of concern for the promotion of disability rights in Cambodia.[17]

Victim assistance coordination[18]

Government coordinating body/focal point

MoSVY and the DAC, as delegated by the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA)

Coordinating mechanism

National Disability Coordination Committee (NDCC)


National Plan of Action for Persons with Disabilities, including landmine/ERW survivors 2009–2013

The NDCC is co-chaired by both the MoSVY and the DAC; the DAC itself operates directly under the MoSVY. The NDCC included some victim assistance service providers as well as other disability actors.

The 2009 National Plan of Action for Persons with Disabilities was extended until the end of 2013. The plan was developed based on Mine Ban Treaty victim assistance principles and commitments. The new National Disability Strategic Plan 2014–2018 was launched by the Cambodian Prime Minister on 4 July 2014.[19] The plan was developed by the DAC in cooperation with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), the Asia and Pacific Centre for Development (APCD), the Australian Agency for International Development/the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Cambodia, and other national and international organizations.[20] The plan contains four goals and 10 key objectives, all of which are relevant to addressing the rights and needs of survivors.[21]

Ten key objectives of the National Disability Strategic Plan 20142018 were:[22]

1.      Increase economic opportunities for persons with disabilities;

2.      Provide quality health services and physical and mental rehabilitation services;

3.      Increase legal services and interventions to address discrimination, abuse, threats, and exploitation of persons with disabilities;

4.      Strengthen and enhance freedom, personal security, and disaster risk reduction.

5.      Ensure access to education and vocational training;

6.      Promote the participation of persons with disabilities, advocacy and information;

7.      Ensure the involvement of persons with disabilities in social activities including culture, religion, sport, arts, and entertainment;

8.      Develop and improve the accessibility of the physical environment, means of public transportation, information technology, and communication;

9.      Ensure gender equality and promote equality of women and children with disabilities; and

10.  Strengthen and enhance cooperation at international, inter-regional, regional, sub-regional level, national, and sub-national levels.

Disability advocates expressed concerns that, if the new strategic disability plan lacked a corresponding state allocated budget and was based on limited existing human resources, its goals could not be adequately implemented.[23] Similar problems were identified in the joint project document for the UNDP Disability Rights Initiative Cambodia 2014, which listed the following key challenges facing the government implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) overall:[24]

·         The lack of clear division of roles and responsibilities for the multiple government units with disability responsibilities;

·         Low levels of knowledge and experience within these government units;

·         Limited commitment to ensure the meaningful participation of disabled people’s organisations (DPOs) and civil society organisations (CSOs);

·         Challenges facing MoSVY in facilitating coordination with other ministries;

·         Relatively low levels of government funding for government units with disability responsibilities; and

·         A lack of reliable data on disability.[25]

At the Third Review Conference in 2014, Cambodia stated that it had faced many challenges to providing victim assistance under the Cartagena Action Plan 20102014 including limited financial support and limited human and technical resources for the implementation of both international and national obligations for persons with disabilities, including mine survivors.[26]

The MoSVY continued to have core responsibility for disability issues and rehabilitation services. Several other ministries were involved in disability issues, including the Ministry of Health, which promoted physiotherapy services; the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, with a Special Education Office responsible for promoting inclusive education for children with disabilities; the Ministry of Public Works and Transport; and the Ministry of National Defense.[27]

The DAC, a semi-autonomous body attached to the MoSVY, provided technical, coordinating, and advisory services for MoSVY. The Disabled Fund is an institution created under the MoSVY with a mandate to provide rehabilitation services for people with disabilities, to manage the rehabilitation centers, to provide funds for implementing various projects such as support for education and vocational training, to manage job placement services, and to prepare policies for assisting and supporting people with disabilities.[28]

Cambodia provided updates on progress in the coordination of victim assistance at both the Thirteenth Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in December 2013 and the Mine Ban Treaty’s Third Review Conference in June 2014.[29] Cambodia also included updates on physical rehabilitation and medical services provided to persons with disabilities in 2013 in its Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report.[30]

Inclusion and participation in victim assistance

In 2013, CMAA engaged 180 persons with disabilities and landmine survivors in formulating the National Disability Strategic Plan, organized by the DAC. Some 30 survivors were also engaged in the QLS in 2013.[31] Through the QLS, JRS in collaboration with CMAA and the CMVIS developed a survivor network in 15 of the 25 provinces in Cambodia, encouraging people with disabilities to understand their legal rights and human rights and to take action.[32]


Service accessibility and effectiveness

Victim assistance activities in 2013[33]






Rehabilitation services; gradual assumption of responsibilities for funding and management of the rehabilitation sector



Services other than data collection included providing emergency food aid, house repair, funeral costs, and referrals, as well as disability awareness-raising

Angkor Association for the Disabled

National NGO

Education for persons with disabilities near Siem Reap

Arrupe Outreach Center Battambang

National NGO

Wheelchair classes for children, economic inclusion through loans and grants, youth peer support, awareness raising, inclusive dance

Buddhism for Development

National NGO

Assisting commune leaders to integrate persons with disabilities into existing programs, including loans and conflict negotiation in Pailin and Battambang

Cambodian Development Mission for Disability (CDMD)

National NGO

Comprehensive CBR; referrals, loans, specific services to address visual impairments

Cambodian Volunteers for Community Development/ Clear Path International

National NGO/International NGO

Economic inclusion through micro-finance, rice banking, competitive pricing and distribution, community development, and infrastructure support

Capacity Building of People with Disabilities in Community Organizations (CABDICO)

National NGO


Referrals, awareness, and educational support in Kep provinces; capacity building for Self Help Groups; economic inclusion

Cambodian Disabled People’s Organization (CDPO)

National DPO

National coordination, mainstreaming disability into development, advocacy (rights monitoring, awareness-raising), and rights training for relevant ministries

Disability Development Services Program (DDSP: formerly  Disability Development Services Pursat)

National NGO

Self-help groups, economic inclusion, referral, and CBR

National Center for Disabled Persons

National NGO

Referral, education, awareness, and self-help groups

Opération Enfants du Cambodge (OEC)

National NGO

Home-based physical rehabilitation and referrals, education, and economic inclusion, and emergency support to new mine survivors

Association for Aid and Relief (AAR) - Wheel Chairs for Development (WCD)

National NGO

Wheelchair production and production of assistive mobility devices

ADD Cambodia

International NGO

Capacity-building of national DPOs; CBR

Exceed/Cambodia Trust

International NGO

Physical rehabilitation, prosthetic devices, training, and economic inclusion

Handicap International (HI)

International NGO

Support to national NGOs for economic inclusion; physical rehabilitation, disability mainstreaming activities


International organization

Physical rehabilitation, outreach, referrals; components for all prosthetic centers

Japan Cambodia Interactive Association (JCIA)

International Organization

Vocational training

JRS/Jesuit Service Cambodia (JSC)

International organization/National NGO

Economic inclusion, rehabilitation, peer support, awareness, material support (housing and well grants), referral, wheelchair production; hearing aids and ear service, psychosocial support visits to rural survivors, advocacy with cluster munition and mine/ERW survivors

New Humanity

International NGO


Veterans International-Cambodia Rehabilitation Project (VIC)


International NGO

Physical rehabilitation, prosthetics, self-help, CBR, and economic inclusion

Emergency and continuing medical care

No significant changes to healthcare services available to survivors were reported in 2013.

Important factors preventing access to healthcare services for persons with disabilities, according to research by the German Federal Enterprise for International Cooperation (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, GIZ) and HI, included: a lack of transportation to reach service facilities; fees for health services despite existing regulations exempting persons with disabilities from payment; limited specialized services at community and provincial levels; and a lack of identification cards which would identify poor people and make them eligible to receive free healthcare services. Persons with disabilities often face discrimination from other villagers and officials; sometimes they are called by their disability instead of their name.[34]

Physical rehabilitation including prosthetics

The physical rehabilitation sector included 11 rehabilitation centers, the Phnom Penh Component Factory, supported by the ICRC, the Cambodian School for Prosthetics and Orthotics (CSPO), and the Technical School for Medical Care.[35] Services for people with physical disability offered through the physical rehabilitations centers were inadequate to meet demand. Furthermore, financing mechanisms for rehabilitation services, including funding pathways, were unclear. A lack of a standardized information system for the rehabilitation sector in Cambodia made it difficult to monitor the total numbers of people receiving services.[36] A consultant was hired with the financial support from the ICRC to develop procedures and tools for the implementation of quality assurance within all MoSVY-managed centers.[37] This issue of inconsistent data may be reflected in comparisons between time periods.

Prosthetic centers provided 1,909 prostheses for mine/ERW survivors in 2013, a decrease of most than half from the 4,151 prostheses provided in 2009, but closer to the number produced from the beginning of the Cartagena Action Plan Period in 2012 (2,584). There were 6,300 repairs to prostheses for survivors in 2013, an improvement from to 2,497 in 2010, but a slight decrease from 8,198 in 2009.[38]

In 2013, the ICRC continued to improve the accessibility of rehabilitation services by providing direct support for the beneficiaries (reimbursing, together with the Ministry of Social Affairs, the cost of transport and of accommodation at the centers), as well as by supporting staff training, outreach programs, and networking between the rehabilitation centers and potential local partners. ICRC-assisted centers provided 1,597 prostheses (1,287 or 81% for mine survivors) in 2013.[39]

In December, the VIC’s grant funds from USAID began to support a process to transform the VIC into a local Cambodian NGO in 2014.[40]

The AAR WCD program increased its geographic coverage through Svay Rieng, Battembang, and Siem Reap with support from LDS Charities. The AAR WCD also increased the quantity of wheelchairs and assistive devices produced, including supply orders purchased by HI and Exceed/Cambodia Trust for provincial rehabilitation centers. All wheelchairs were adapted to individual requirements according to World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines. Due to many organizations having reduced their activities and physical rehabilitation centers being handed over to government management, there was an increase in the number of persons with disabilities needing wheelchairs and assistive devices compared to the limited number of wheelchairs that AAR WCD could provide.[41]

Economic and social integration and psychological support

Persons with disabilities continued to lack equal access to education, training, and employment. Cambodia lacked a national integrated system for psychological or psychiatric assistance.[42] Self-help groups, mostly supported by NGOs, provided local services at the provincial level and were monitored by the CBR network.[43]

Lack of awareness, understanding, funding, human resources, and leadership, as well as poor coordination of groups working in mental health, were reported to be among the biggest challenges to accessing adequate psychological support.[44] In 2013, peer support was carried out practically through listening to the stories and life situations of individual persons with disabilities by the teams implementing the QLS.[45] The CMAA proposed to ensure the sustainability of the system established through the QLS with local volunteer focal points receiving non-salary incentives.[46]

Due to a lack of financial and human resources, many vocational training centers were not functioning and there was a need for increased opportunities for vocational training and micro-credit. Since mid-2012 there were only two functioning vocational training centers for people with disabilities in Cambodia, the Panteay Prieb center operated by JSC and the Phnom Penh Thmey center supported by JCIA.[47] The ICRC also helped ensure access to economic inclusion by supporting social workers from MoSVY employed at assisted centers to facilitate the enrolment of 61 persons with disabilities in socioeconomic programs.[48]

A review of the Cambodia Initiative for Disability Inclusion (CIDI) program found that the capacity of beneficiary organizations was strengthened in areas including financial management, reporting, and fundraising. It resulted in the incorporation of disability issues into the strategic plans and project activities of a number of mainstream organizations. The CIDI was also reported to have deepened many partner organizations’ understandings of disability and led to disability being discussed in terms of rights and social exclusion rather than charity. It was not possible to evaluate the impact on individual beneficiaries within the scope of the assessment.[49]

In July 2014 the Cambodian government launched the Disability Rights Initiative Cambodia,[50] a five-year, Australian-funded program aimed at ensuring that persons with disabilities have increased opportunities for participation in social, economic, cultural, and political life through effective implementation of the National Disability Strategic Plan (NDSP). The main goals include support to Cambodia’s coordination of the NDSP, strengthening the capacity of DPOs, improving physical rehabilitation centers, and working with provincial and commune officials to promote disability inclusiveness.[51] The initiative is a joint program of the UNDP, WHO and UNICEF. As part of the Disability Rights Initiative Cambodia the WHO is supporting the development of the government’s ability to manage the rehabilitation sector by building the capacity of key rehabilitation sector stakeholders, increasing government involvement and rehabilitation sector leadership, and establishing a coordination mechanism.[52]
CABDICO continued to support the development of self-help groups and focused mainly on the
needs of children with disabilities, inclusive education, and on the needs of parents of children with disabilities. Activities included referrals, awareness-raising, and educational support. Geographic coverage was reduced to two areas, Siem Reap and Kep, due to limited funding.[53]

CDPO focused on strengthening DPOs and provincial Women with Disabilities Forums. Membership of CDPO increased from 52 to 61 DPOs. CDPO initiated a radio program for persons with disabilities.[54]

The ICRC supported the International Olympic Committee and the Cambodian National Volleyball League for the Disabled (CNVLD) to expand the Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Programme in Battambang and to establish a new team in Kampong Speu.[55]

Laws and policies

The 2009 Law on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities. The law also requires that buildings and government services be accessible to persons with disabilities.[56] However, inaccessibility to public buildings, transport, facilities, and referral systems continued to prevent persons with disabilities from actively participating in social and economic activities.[57] The government continued efforts to implement the law. The full period for compliance in some cases extends to 2015.[58]

CMAA’s gender team continued to implement its Gender Action Plan (2013–2015) and to assess and monitor the equality of access of women, girls, boys, and men to gender-sensitive emergency care, medical care, physical care, psychosocial care, rehabilitation, livelihoods, and legal services.[59]

Cambodia ratified the CRPD on 20 December 2012.


[1] Monitor analysis of CMVIS casualty data provided by email from Nguon Monoketya, CMVIS Officer, Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA), 30 January 2014.

[2],Ibid., 14 March 2013.

[3] CMAA, “CMVIS Monthly Report December 2013,” undated. However, various reporting sources have differed. It was reported in the Landmine Monitor Report 2008, that, as of 31 December 2007, the CMVIS database contained records on 66,070 mine/ERW casualties in Cambodia: 19,402 killed and 46,668 injured. ICBL, Landmine Monitor Report 2008: Toward a Mine-Free World (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada: October 2008). See also, Kingdom of Cambodia, “National Plan of Action for Persons with Disabilities, including Landmine/ERW Survivors 2009–2011,” Phnom Penh, February 2009, p. 9, which reports 63,217 casualties between 1979 and August 2008.

[4] Monitor analysis of CMVIS casualty data provided by email from Nguon Monoketya, CMAA, 14 March 2013.

[5] For the period 2005 to the end of 2012, 120 cluster munition remnant casualties were identified by CMVIS. Another 83 casualties, which occurred prior to 2005, were reported in HI, Circle of Impact: The Fatal Footprint of Cluster Munitions on People and Communities (HI: Brussels, May 2007), pp. 23 and 26; and Monitor analysis of CMVIS casualty data provided by email from Nguon Monoketya, CMAA, 14 March 2013. See also previous Cambodia Country Profiles on the Monitor website. Prior to 2006, cluster munition remnants incidents were not differentiated from other ERW incidents in data.

[6]Draft Beirut Progress Report,” CCM/MSP/2011/WP.5, 25 August 2011, pp. 10–11. The definition of a cluster munition victim encompasses the individuals, their families and affected communities.

[7] CMVIS casualty data provided by email from Chhiv Lim, CMAA, 17 February 2012. The number of mine/ERW survivors registered for services or social welfare in Cambodia was reported to be 13,394. Ministry of Health and MoSVY, “Cambodia Country Report,” 8th ASEAN and Japan High Level Officials Meeting on Caring Societies, Tokyo, 30 August–2 September 2010, p. 20.

[8] Unless otherwise noted, information presented in this section is drawn from the Cambodia country reports and profiles from 1999 to date, available on the Monitor website.

[9] The survey did not include persons over 65 with an age-related disability; however, 6% of respondents were over 65, and were either injured or had a long-term disability from their youth, or were a mine/ERW survivor.

[10] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2013), Form J.

[11] Statement of Cambodia, Mine Ban Treaty Third Review Conference, Maputo, 24 June 2014.

[12] CCBL, CMAA, and JRS, “I Am Happy I Am Alive: A Practical Approach Towards a Dignified Quality of Life of People with Disability in Cambodia,” 2013, pp. 24 and 30.

[14] CCBL, CMAA, and JRS, “I Am Happy I Am Alive: A Practical Approach Towards a Dignified Quality of Life of People with Disability in Cambodia,” 2013, pp. 24 and 30.

[15] Ibid. p. 24; and JRS, “‘I Am Happy I Am Alive’ Survivor Network Project Report release,” 29 August 2013.

[16] Analysis of CMVIS Monthly Reports for calendar year 2013.

[17] UNDP & Cambodia, “Disability Rights Initiative Cambodia: Joint Programme Document,” December 2013, p. 3.

[18] Statement of Cambodia, Mine Ban Treaty Eleventh Meeting of States Parties, Phnom Penh, 29 November 2011; and statement of Cambodia, Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration, Geneva, 24 May 2012.

[20] Statement of Cambodia, Mine Ban Treaty Thirteenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 3 December 2013.

[21] Statement of Cambodia, Mine Ban Treaty Third Review Conference, Maputo, 24 June 2014.

[23] Holly Robertson and Khy Sovuthy, “Disability Initiatives Launched as Jobs Quota Not Met,” Cambodia Daily, 5 July 2014.

[24] UNDP & Cambodia, “Disability Rights Initiative Cambodia: Joint Programme Document,” December 2013, p. 3; and the DAC, “H.E Sem Sokha presided over the Launch of Disability Rights Initiative Cambodia,” 4 July 2014.

[25]UNDP & Cambodia, “Disability Rights Initiative Cambodia: Joint Programme Document,” December 2013, p. vi.

[26] Statement of Cambodia, Mine Ban Treaty Third Review Conference, Maputo, 24 June 2014.

[27] United States (US) Department of State, “2012 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Cambodia,” Washington, DC, 19 April 2013.

[28] ICRC Physical Rehabilitation Programme (PRP), “Annual Report 2013,” Geneva, 2014.

[29] Statement of Cambodia, Convention on Cluster Munitions Third Meeting of States Parties, Oslo, 12 September 2012.

[30] Statement of Cambodia, Mine Ban Treaty Thirteenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 3 December 2013; statement of Cambodia, Mine Ban Treaty Third Review Conference, Maputo, 24 June 2014; and Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2013), Form J.

[31] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2013), Form J.

[32] Interview with Chan Rotha, Deputy Secretary General, CMAA, and Ny Nhar, Deputy Director of Victim Assistance Department, CMAA 24 June 2014; and statement of Cambodia, Mine Ban Treaty Third Review Conference, Maputo, 24 June 2014.

[33] Information based on updates to past reporting from online sources. The Cambodia Trust (a UK-based NGO), originally established to provide prosthetics services for landmine survivors in Cambodia, changed its name to Exceed in early 2014. International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics, “Exceed – The Cambodia Trust’s New Identity!” 3 February 2014. .

[34] GIZ, “Towards Inclusive Health Services in Cambodia – A Promising Approach,” in Disability and International Development, Issue 3/2013.

[35] ICRC PRP, “Annual Report 2013,” Geneva, 2014.

[36] UNDP and Cambodia, “Disability Rights Initiative Cambodia: Joint Programme Document,” December 2013, p. 5.

[37] ICRC PRP, “Annual Report 2013,” Geneva, 2014.

[38] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2013); and Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2010), Form J; and Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2009), Form J.

[39] ICRC PRP, “Annual Report 2013,” Geneva, 2014.

[40] VIC, “VIC Update, June – December 2013,” December 2013.

[41] Email from Chin Yok, Director of AAR-WCD, 30 September 2014.

[42] Ministry of Health and MoSVY, “Cambodia Country Report,” 8th ASEAN and Japan High Level Officials Meeting on Caring Societies, Tokyo, 30 August–2 September 2010, p. 17.

[43] Interview with Sem Sokha, MoSAVY, and Chan Rotha, CMAA, in Geneva, 25 May 2012.

[44]Mental Health Care Cambodia,” Asia Life, 2 January 2013; “Analysis: What ails Cambodia's mental health system?” IRIN, 12 March 2012; and Denise Hruby, “Cambodia suffers from an appalling mental health crisis,” 18 June 2014.

[46] Interview with Chan Rotha, CMAA, and Ny Nhar, Deputy Director of Victim Assistance Department, CMAA, 24 June 2014; and statement of Cambodia, Mine Ban Treaty Third Review Conference, Maputo, 24 June 2014.

[47] Banteay Prieb Center for the Disabled, “About Banteay Prieb,” 2011; “The Phnom Penh Thmey Vocational Training Center of JCIA’s activities,” 8 June 2012; statement of Cambodia, Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration, Geneva, 23 May 2012; and email from Denise Coghlan, JRS, 28 June 2012.

[48] ICRC PRP, “Annual Report 2013,” Geneva, 2014.

[51] Holly Robertson and Khy Sovuthy, “Disability Initiatives Launched as Jobs Quota Not Met,” Cambodia Daily, 5 July 2014.

[53] Email from Yeang Bun Eang, Executive Director, CABDICO, 2 October 2014.

[54] Email from Ngin Saorath, Director, CDPO, 29 September 2014. The “Persons with Disabilities Voice (PVD) radio program is also online.

[55] ICRC PRP, “Annual Report 2013,” Geneva, 2014.

[56] US Department of State, “2012 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Cambodia,” Washington, DC, 19 April 2013.

[57] Presentation by Ith Sam Heng, MoSVY, Parallel Programme for Victim Assistance Experts, Mine Ban Treaty Eleventh Meeting of States Parties, 28 November 2011; and presentation by Kim Sauvon, Chief of Bureau of Mental Health, Department of Hospital Services, Ministry of Health, Parallel Programme for Victim Assistance Experts, Mine Ban Treaty Eleventh Meeting of States Parties, 28 November 2011.

[58] US Department of State, “2013 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Cambodia,” Washington, DC, 17 February 2014.

[59] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2013), Form J.

Last Updated: 30 October 2013

Support for Mine Action

In 2012, the Kingdom of Cambodia received US$21.5 million of international assistance from 13 donors, illustrating comprehensive global support.[1] This represents a decrease of almost $14 million, most of which is accounted for by the lower contribution from Japan, which decreased from ¥1.363 billion ($17.1 million) in 2011 to ¥259 million ($3.2 million) in 2012.[2]

Donors contributed to victim assistance and risk education as well as to clearance. Australia contributed A$1,325,000 ($1,372,568) to victim assistance through the Australian Red Cross, while the United States (US) contributed $867,000 through several NGOs. Finland also contributed €125,000 to victim assistance through the ICRC.[3] The only contribution for risk education was from the US to the US-based NGO, Spirit of Soccer.[4]

The government of Cambodia reported a contribution of $2,542,000 to the Cambodia Mine Action Centre in 2012.[5] It does not include the government’s contribution to the Cambodia Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority or for mine clearance in support of infrastructure development.[6] These figures were unavailable.

International government contributions: 2012[7]




(national currency)




Clearance, victim assistance, risk education











United Kingdom





Clearance, victim assistance








Victim assistance







New Zealand
























Thematic totals


Amount ($)



Victim Assistance


Risk Education




Summary of contributions: 2008–2012[8]


National contributions


International contributions


Total contributions




























[1] Germany, Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), Amended Protocol II, Form B, 22 March 2013; Ireland, CCW, Amended Protocol II, Form B, 22 March 2013; Australia, CCW, Amended Protocol II, Form B, 28 March 2013; response to Monitor questionnaire by Robert Gerschner, Unit for Arms Control and Disarmament in the framework of the UN, Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, Austria, 26 February 2013; Canada, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form J, 30 April 2013; response to Monitor questionnaire from Helena Vuokko, Desk Officer,  Unit for Humanitarian Assistance, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, 2 April 2013;

Japan, CCW, Amended Protocol II, 28 March 2013; response to Monitor questionnaire from Fabienne Moust, Policy Advisor, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 19 March 2013; New Zealand, Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form I, 30 April 2013; response to Monitor questionnaire by Ingunn Vatne, Senior Advisor, Department for Human Rights, Democracy and Humanitarian Assistance, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 11 April 2013; response to Monitor questionnaire by Richard Bolden, Policy Analyst Mine Action, Arms Exports and ATT, Department for International Development (DfID), 7 May 2013; and US Department of State, “To Walk the Earth in Safety 2013,” Washington DC, August 2013.

[2] Japan, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form J, 12 May 2012.

[3] Australia, CCW, Amended Protocol II, Form B, 28 March 2013; and US Department of State, “To Walk the Earth in Safety 2013,” Washington DC, August 2013.

[4] Email from Scotty Lee, Executive Director, Spirit of Soccer, July 2013; and US Department of State, “To Walk the Earth in Safety 2013,” Washington DC, August 2013.

[5] Email from Chan Rotha, Deputy Secretary General, Cambodia Mine Action Centre (CMAC), 12 March 2013.

[6] Ibid., 23 May 2012.

[7] Average exchange rate for 2012: A$1=US$1.0359; C$0.9995=US$1; €1=US$1.2859; ¥79.82=US$1; NZ$1=US$0.8105; NOK5.8181=US$1; SEK6.7721=US$1; £1=US$1.5853. US Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 3 January 2013.

[8] ICBL-CMC, “Country Profile: Cambodia: Support for Mine Action,” 19 September 2012.