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Last Updated: 28 November 2013

Mine Ban Policy

Mine ban policy overview

Mine Ban Treaty status

State Party

National implementation measures

Law to Prohibit the Use of Anti-personnel Mines, 28 May 1999

Transparency reporting

Calendar year 2012


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 14th Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report, covering calendar year 2012.[2]

Cambodia continued in its role as president of the Eleventh Meeting of States Parties until December 2012.[3] As President, Minister Prak Sokhonn provided the analysis of the requests for extension of Article 5 deadlines at the Twelfth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva.[4] During the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Foreign Ministers Meeting in Phnom Penh in July 2012, Myanmar’s Foreign Minister, U Wunna Maung Lwin, met with Minister Sokhonn, where the latter encouraged Myanmar to accede to the convention.[5]

Cambodia participated in the Twelfth Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in Geneva in December 2012, where it made an intervention on victim assistance and provided an update on its clearance progress since receiving an extension on its Article 5 obligations.

At the intersessional Standing Committee meetings in Geneva in May 2013, Cambodia made an intervention on compliance regarding joint clearance of its border with Thailand and provided an update on its clearance progress since receiving an extension on its Article 5 obligations.[6]

Cambodia also attended the Bangkok Symposium on Enhancing Cooperation & Assistance in June 2013 in Bangkok.

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


Cambodia, acting on a request made by the ICBL, conducted a fact-finding mission from 10–12 May 2013 regarding an incident in March 2013 in which three Thai soldiers were injured by what the Thai military alleged were newly planted mines near the Ta Kwai Temple in Phanom Dong Rak district.[7] Cambodia informed States Parties that its fact-finding mission determined that the Thai soldiers were injured by mines laid in the past during the Cambodian civil war. Cambodia’s investigation stated that its soldiers found indications of the incident on the same day, and provided a GPS reference that was different to the GPS reference where the Thai military stated the incident took place. The Cambodian fact-finding mission stated that the incident took place to the side of, not on, a specially cleared path used for meetings between the Thai and Cambodian military in that particular area. The Cambodian delegation informed States Parties that it had discussed its investigations with the ICBL. 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.[8]

Previous allegations of use of antipersonnel mines by Cambodian forces on the Cambodian-Thai border, made by Thailand in 2008 and 2009, were never resolved.[9] In May 2011, in response to a request by the Monitor for an update regarding the Fact Finding Mission Report into the allegations, a government official stated:

Cambodia has been waiting for the responses from Thailand to five core questions, without which the result of the investigation conducted by the Fact Finding Commission of Cambodia cannot be substantiated and evidently concluded. Thailand has not responded to…neither answered nor substantiated the allegation it first made. The allegation made by Thailand regarding Cambodia’s use of new landmines can be summarized as baseless at best.[10]

Production, transfer, stockpile destruction, and retention

The government has reported that it does not have any antipersonnel mine production facilities, and that it has not exported antipersonnel mines.[11]

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.[12] In 2000, Cambodia reported an additional stockpile of 2,035 antipersonnel mines held by the national police that were subsequently destroyed.[13] 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.”[14] 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.[15] A Cambodian official has previously stated that newly discovered stocks are destroyed immediately.[16]

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.”[17] It is not clear why significant numbers of stockpiled mines were discovered each year through 2008, but none have been discovered since.

As in its previous article 7 reports, for the calendar year 2012 Cambodia marked as “not applicable” the obligatory declaration for mines retained for development and training purposes.[18] However, Cambodia has each year reported transfer of mines removed from mined areas to the CMAC training center and other operators for training purposes.[19] 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.[20] In 2012, Cambodia reported the transfer for training purposes of 1,190 antipersonnel mines “found in the Mined Areas and retained for training and development purposes” but did not state if the mines had been neutralized.[21]


[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 2012 to 31 December 2012, www.unog.ch/80256EDD006B8954/%28httpAssets%29/6943619290FCA71CC1257B67002A5584/$file/Cambodia+2012+APLC.pdf. Previous reports were submitted in 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 2010 at Vimean Santepheap (the Peace Palace).

[4] President of the Eleventh Meeting of the States Parties, The Analysis of Requests for Extensions to Article 5 Deadlines 2011–2012, APLC/MSP.12/2012/6, 29 November 2012, www.apminebanconvention.org/fileadmin/pdf/mbc/MSP/12MSP/12MSP-Report-Ext-Process-2012.pdf.

[5] AP Mine Ban Convention Implementation Support Unit, “Press Release: Myanmar seriously considering landmine treaty as part of its state reforms,” 12 July 2012, www.apminebanconvention.org/fileadmin/pdf/mbc/press-releases/PressRelease-Myanmar-12July-En.pdf.

[7] “Army enraged by border mines,” Bangkok Post, 6 March 2013, www.bangkokpost.com/breakingnews/339122/army-enraged-by-boder-landmines, accessed 7 March 2013.

[8] 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.

[9] 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.

[10] Email from Vanndy Hem, Assistant to the Prime Minister, Deputy Head of Secretariat, Eleventh Meeting of States Parties Organizing Committee, 24 June 2011. A copy of the letter from the Royal Cambodian Embassy in Bangkok to the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs of 21 November 2008 and a follow up letter of 16 March 2009 were attached to the email.

[11] See Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report (for 2008, as well as subsequent), Forms D and E. In the 1970s, Cambodia manufactured one type of antipersonnel mine, the KN-10 Claymore-type mine, and various armed groups made improvised mines in the past.

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

[14] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2012), Form F.

[15] Ibid.

[17] 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.

[18] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2012), Form D (1a).

[19] 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.

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

[21] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2011), Form D (2). A total of 1,052 mines were transferred by CMAC, 60 mines were transferred by HALO, and six by MAG.