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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

No new implementation measures

Transparency reporting

30 April 2013

Key Developments

Continued 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. Since 2002, Thailand has attempted to implement the convention by executive measure. This method has been included in its Article 7 report; however, it has never been possible to issue the draft.[1] On 7 September 2012, the representative from the military’s Judge Advocate General’s Office suggested in a meeting of the sub-committee on Facilitating, Monitoring, and Evaluation that the military issue an order for the implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty as it would be less complicated.[2]

Thailand submitted its fifteenth Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report on 30 April 2013, covering calendar year 2012.[3]

Thailand attended the Twelfth Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in Geneva in December 2012, where it was elected as a Vice-President of the meeting and served as co-chair for Resources, Cooperation, and Assistance. Thailand made interventions during sessions on enhancing international cooperation and assistance, on assisting victims, and on its clearance progress since receiving an extension on its Article 5 obligations.

At the intersessional Standing Committee meetings in Geneva in May 2013, in addition to its co-chair role, Thailand provided an update on its clearance progress since receiving an extension on its Article 5 obligations.

Thailand hosted the Bangkok Symposium on Enhancing Cooperation & Assistance: Building Synergy towards Effective Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention Implementation from 23–25 June 2013 in Bangkok. The meeting was attended by representatives of 49 governments, including eight states not party to the convention.[4]

On International Mine Action Day 2013, the Thailand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Thailand NGO Network for Humanitarian Disarmament held a photo exhibition in central Bangkok detailing the lives of eight landmine survivors in eastern Thailand.[5]

Thailand is not party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW).

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 2013, Thailand stated that at the end of 2012 it retained 3,350 antipersonnel mines for training purposes, a reduction of 24 mines from the previous year.[6] Twenty-four 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.[7] At the end of 2012, the Royal Thai Army retained 2,684 mines, the Royal Thai Air Force retained 581 mines, and the National Police Department retained 85 mines.[8]

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.”[9] 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.[10]

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.[11]


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” that function as victim-activated IEDs.[12] 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 25 September 2012, a temporary government employee clearing brush from the side of a highway was injured when he stepped on a victim-activated explosive device containing about 1 kilogram of ANFO (ammonium nitrate and fuel oil) on a berm on the side of the road.[13] On 10 September 2012, a man who stopped on a road was injured when he stepped on a victim-activated explosive device on the road berm.[14] Both were assumed to have been placed by the southern insurgency. 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.[15] The Monitor has recorded similar use since 2010.[16]

The Thailand Mine Action Center (TMAC) stated to the Monitor that it doesn’t record incidents in the south in its database “since the weapons used in the south are not anti-personnel landmines, but are IEDs, which are not [banned] under the MBT.”[17]

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.[18] Cambodia and Thailand never reached a resolution on this matter, and other States Parties did not pursue a resolution of this compliance concern.[19]

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.[20] 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.[21] Cambodia, according to a request made by the ICBL, conducted a fact-finding mission to the site from 10–12 May 2013 and determined that the Thai solders were injured by mines laid during the Cambodian civil war. Cambodia stated that it’s soldiers found indications of the incident on the same day, and provided a GPS reference which was different than the reference stated by the Thai military. They 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.[22] The Cambodian delegation provided copies of the report at the May 2013 intersessional meeting in Geneva.


[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 previous editions of the Monitor; and Landmine Monitor Report 2009, p. 718.

[2] Response to Monitor written questions by Col. Jirat Seetachan, Deputy Head of Special Affairs Unit, TMAC, 20 May 2013.

[3] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, 30 April 2013. Previous Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 reports were submitted on 30 April 2008–2012, 25 April 2005–2007, 3 May 2004, 22 July 2003, 30 April 2002, 17 April 2001, 2 May 2000, and 10 November 1999.

[4] Lao PDR, Lebanon, Libya, South Korea, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam.

[6] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D, 30 April 2013.

[7] 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 General Status and Operation, 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.

[8] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D, 30 April 2013.

[9] Statement of Thailand, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on General Status and Operation, 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.

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

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

[12] 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.

[16] ICBL, “Country Profile: Thailand: Mine Ban Policy,” 8 November 2012; and ICBL, “Country Profile: Thailand: Mine Ban Policy,” 2 November 2012.

[17] Response to Monitor written questions by Col. Seetachan, TMAC, 20 May 2013.

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

[19] See ICBL-CMC, “Country Profile: Cambodia: Mine Ban Policy,” accessed 24 October 2013.

[20] Govt says Cambodia planting landmines,” Bangkok Post, 5 May 2012.

[21]Army enraged by border mines,” Bangkok Post, 6 March 2013.

[22] Investigation Report on Thailand’s Allegation of New Mines Laid by Cambodia, 17 May 2013. Report copy provided to ICBL, 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.