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Last Updated: 08 November 2012

Mine Ban Policy

Commitment to the Mine Ban Treaty

Mine Ban Treaty status

State Party

National implementation measures

No new implementation measures

Transparency reporting

30 April 2012

Key Developments

Increasing use of improvised mines by southern insurgency


The Kingdom of Thailand signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997 and ratified it on 27 November 1998, becoming a State Party on 1 May 1999. Thailand has not enacted domestic legislation to implement the Mine Ban Treaty. As it has reported since 2002, Thailand is still in the process of passing an executive measure, the Office of the Prime Minister Regulations Governing the Implementation of the Convention.[1]

Thailand submitted its fourteenth Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report on 30 April 2012, covering calendar year 2011.[2]

Thailand attended the Eleventh Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in Phnom Penh in November–December 2011, where it was elected as a Vice-President of the meeting. Thailand made interventions during sessions on enhancing international cooperation and assistance, assisting victims, clearing mined areas, and evaluation of the Implementation Support Unit; it was elected as incoming co-chair on cooperation and assistance.

At the intersessional Standing Committee meetings in Geneva in May 2012, in addition to its co-chair role, Thailand made interventions during the sessions on Article 3 under the General Status and Operation of the Convention on mines retained, on its clearance progress since receiving an extension on its Article 5 obligations, and during the session on victim assistance.

Thailand is not party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.

Production, transfer, stockpile destruction, and retention

Thailand states that it has never produced or exported antipersonnel mines. Thailand formerly imported antipersonnel mines from China, Italy, the United States, and the former Yugoslavia. It completed destruction of 337,725 stockpiled antipersonnel mines on 24 April 2003.

In its Article 7 report submitted in 2012, Thailand stated that at the end of 2011 it retained 3,374 antipersonnel mines for training purposes, a reduction of 92 mines from the previous year.[3] Ninety-two antipersonnel mines held by the army were transferred for training of new deminers. Thailand has never reported in any detail on the intended purposes and actual uses of mines kept for training—a step agreed upon by States Parties at the Review Conferences in 2004 and 2009.[4]

In June 2011, Thailand stated, “Inventories of mines retained will continue to be done so that our article 7 submissions accurately reflect mines in official possession.”[5] At the end of 2011, the Royal Thai Army retained 2,708 mines, the Royal Thai Air Force retained 581 mines, and the National Police Department retained 85 mines.[6] In June 2010, Thailand said that since the number of mines retained is high compared to the number used each year, it would review its retention and destruction plans.[7]

Thailand is not known to have undertaken physical modifications of its Claymore mine stockpile to ensure use only in command-detonated mode. Officials have previously stated that all units have received orders that Claymore mines are to be used only in command-detonated mode.[8]


The insurgency in southern Thailand has seen extensive use of command-detonated improvised explosive devices (IEDs). There are also reports of increased use of homemade, or “craft mines”[9] that function as victim-activated IEDs. Insurgents use these devices as “area-denial” weapons against Buddhist Thais who own rubber and fruit plantations, and also against the Malay Muslims working in those places. On 6 September 2012 in Narathiwat’s Ra Ngae district, Jiraporn Ratanawong stepped on a landmine while working in her rubber plantation, which severed her left foot. Rubber plantation worker Maena Latae lost her left leg to a landmine in Narathiwat’s Muang district on 1 September 2012.[10]

There were additional incidents. In March 2012, a Thai soldier was injured after stepping on a mine in a farmer’s field. Later three more mines were found.[11] In January 2011, a woman rubber tapper was injured after she reportedly stepped on a mine in Narathiwat’s Bacho district.[12] In July 2011, a female soldier was injured after reportedly stepping on a mine near the site of an insurgent attack.[13] Previously, a rubber tapper lost his leg after stepping on a mine in May 2010, another rubber tapper was killed by a mine in July 2010,[14] and a woman was injured after stepping on a mine while tapping rubber trees in Raman district, Yala province in October 2010.[15]

An incident in October 2008 concerning two Thai soldiers who stepped on antipersonnel mines while on patrol in disputed territory between Thailand and Cambodia, near the World Heritage Site of Preah Vihear, remains unresolved. Thai authorities maintained that the area was previously clear of landmines 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.[16] Cambodia and Thailand never reached a resolution on this matter, and other States Parties did not pursue a resolution of this serious compliance concern.[17] In May 2012, a Thai soldier on patrol near the disputed border area stepped on a mine which Thai authorities claim was recently laid. According to a media report, government authorities speculated that rogue Cambodian soldiers aiding timber poachers may have laid the mine. The Army reportedly asked the Foreign Ministry to file a complaint at the meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty.[18]


[1] Interview with Lt.-Gen. Tumrongsak Deemongkol, Director-General, Thailand Mine Action Center (TMAC), Bangkok, 25 February 2010. Thailand’s Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 reports submitted from 2007–2009 state, “The issuing is still in progress.” The 2010 report apparently mistakenly dropped that phrase, as the regulations have not yet been adopted and are still in progress; they had not been entered into the Royal Thai Government Gazette as of late July 2010. TMAC reported in 2009 that the Subcommittee on Administration and Evaluation is responsible for this process, and that in early 2009 it was in the process of submitting the draft regulations to the National Committee for Humanitarian Mine Action for consideration. The draft was first developed by TMAC in 2002. Thailand has reported that the draft regulations have been pending approval of various entities each year. See Landmine Monitor Report 2009, p. 718, and previous editions.

[2] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, 30 April 2012, (covering the period of 1 January 2011 to 31 December 2011), http://bit.ly/Swysvc. Previous Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 reports were submitted on 30 April 2011, 30 April 2010, 30 April 2009, 30 April 2008, 25 April 2007, 25 April 2006, 25 April 2005, 3 May 2004, 22 July 2003, 30 April 2002, 17 April 2001, 2 May 2000, and 10 November 1999.

[3] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D, 30 April 2012.

[4] The Royal Thai Army, Navy, Air Force, and National Police Department initially retained a total of 4,970 antipersonnel mines for training. In the past 10 years, Thailand has reported that 504 mines have been consumed by its training programs. The number of retained mines did not change from 2001 to 2004. In 2005–2006, Thailand reduced the number of mines retained by 257. There were discrepancies in the reporting on the number of mines. See Landmine Monitor Report 2007, p. 665. In 2007, it reduced the number by another 1,063 mines. It appears that 63 of the mines retained by the National Police Department were consumed during training activities, and all of the 1,000 mines retained by the navy were simply destroyed, presumably because they were no longer deemed necessary. See Landmine Monitor Report 2008, p. 678. In 2008 and 2009, Thailand destroyed another 12 mines per year. In 2010, Thailand reported transferring 200 mines for training, apparently 13 M2, 84 M14, 39 M16, and 64 M26 antipersonnel mines. Statement of Thailand, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention, Geneva, 20 June 2011; and Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D, 30 April 2011. The types transferred are not noted in the Article 7 report.

[5] Statement of Thailand, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention, Geneva, 24 June 2011; and Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D, Geneva, 30 April 2011. The number of mines retained by the Air Force remains unchanged since 2006. It is unclear why different services retain mines and whether each has a training program for mine clearance.

[6] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D, 30 April 2012.

[7] Statement of Thailand, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention, Geneva, 21 June 2010.

[8] Interview with Lt.-Gen. Tumrongsak Deemongkol, TMAC, Bangkok, 19 March 2009. TMAC stated this in 2007 and 2008 as well. In its Article 7 report for 1999, Thailand reported that it had 6,117 M18 and M18A1 Claymore mines in stock.

[9] Craft landmines are explosive devices made out of locally available materials that are designed to detonate due to the proximity or activity of a human being. Such devices are banned under the Mine Ban Treaty.

[10] Human Rights Watch, “Thailand: Separatists Target Teachers in Renewed Violence, Insurgent Attacks on Civilians Spread Fear in Southern Provinces,” 10 October 2012, http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/10/10/thailand-separatists-target-teachers-renewed-violence.

[11] “Harvest saved after landmine blast in Thai south,” Khabar (online journal in Malaysia), 26 March 2012, http://bit.ly/Vltt51.

[12] “Two killed, one wounded in insurgent attack in deep South,” MCOT (Narathiwat), 15 January 2011, www.mcot.net.

[13] “Female ranger steps on mine,” The Nation (Pattani), 31 July 2011, www.nationmultimedia.com.

[14] “Mine kills rubber tapper,” Bangkok Post, 7 July 2010; and “Rubber tapper killed by landmine,” Bangkok Post, 6 July 2010, http://www.bangkokpost.com/.

[15] “Landmine blast injures rubber tapper,” Thai-ASEAN News Network, 29 October 2010.

[16] For extensive details, see Landmine Monitor Report 2009, pp. 243–244.

[17] See ICBL-CMC, “Country Profile: Cambodia: Mine Ban Policy,” www.the-monitor.org.

[18] “Govt says Cambodia planting landmines,” Bangkok Post, 5 May 2012, http://bit.ly/IKQKJw.