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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.