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Last Updated: 06 August 2010

Mine Ban Policy

Commitment to the Mine Ban Treaty

Mine Ban Treaty status

State Party

National implementation measures 

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

Transparency reporting

6 May 2010

Key developments

Cambodia will host the Eleventh Meeting of States Parties in 2011


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]  Cambodia submitted its 11th Article 7 transparency report in May 2010, covering calendar year 2009.[2] 

Cambodia participated in Second Review Conference of the Mine Ban Treaty in Cartagena, Colombia in November–December 2009, where it was granted an extension of its mine clearance deadline. Cambodia delivered statements during the high-level segment and the victim assistance session.  States Parties accepted the offer made by Cambodia to host the Eleventh Meeting of the States Parties in 2011.

Cambodia also participated at the intersessional Standing Committee meetings in Geneva in June 2010, where it made statements on mine clearance, victim assistance, and cooperation and assistance.

Cambodia is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) and its Amended Protocol II on landmines. It submitted an annual report under Article 13 of the protocol in December 2009. Cambodia is not party to CCW Protocol V on explosive remnants of war.

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.[3]

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.[4]  In 2000, Cambodia reported an additional stockpile of 2,035 antipersonnel mines held by the national police, which were subsequently destroyed.[5] Cambodia reports 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.”[6] Informal (“village”) demining and the scrap metal trade also account for some of the newly discovered stocks of mines.

Discovered mines are supposed to be reported to the Cambodia Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority, and handed over to the Cambodian Mine Action Center (CMAC) for destruction.[7] A Cambodian official has previously stated that newly discovered stocks are destroyed immediately.[8]

It is unknown how many stockpiled mines Cambodia may have discovered and destroyed in 2009. The latest Article 7 report states that such information is “not available.”[9]

Cambodia has declared that a total of 133,478 stockpiled antipersonnel mines were found and destroyed from 2000 to 2008, including 13,665 in 2008 (9,698 by CMAC, 2,713 by HALO Trust, and 1,254 by Mines Advisory Group, MAG). Cambodia stated these mines were “reported by local communities.”[10]

Mines retained for research and training

As in previous years, in its Article 7 report covering 2009, Cambodia declared that it does not retain any antipersonnel mines for training or development purposes.[11] However, Cambodia has reported transfer of such mines to the CMAC training center and other operators each year.[12] It reported that in 2009 Cambodia transferred for training purposes 701 antipersonnel mines “from various sources and Demining Units/CMAC that were found in the Mined Areas.”[13]  

Cambodia has never reported in any detail on the intended purposes and actual uses of mines kept for training—a step agreed by States Parties at the First Review Conference in 2004. Cambodia has not utilized expanded Form D for reporting on retained mines, as agreed by States Parties in 2005.


In October 2008, two Thai soldiers stepped on antipersonnel landmines 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 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.[14]

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.[15] In September 2009, Royal Thai Army Commander in Chief, General Anupong Paochinda, stated that Cambodian troops were laying fresh landmines along the disputed areas and close to routes where Thai soldiers make regular patrols.[16] The statement elicited a strong rebuttal from the Cambodian ambassador in Bangkok.[17]

Cambodia and Thailand have never reached a resolution of this matter, and other States Parties have apparently not pursued a resolution of this serious compliance concern.

In February 2010, a Thai civilian who had been arrested a year earlier reportedly pled guilty to laying landmines on Cambodian soil and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.[18]

[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] The report is undated, but was submitted to the UN in May 2010. Previous reports were submitted in 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] See Article 7 reports, 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.

[5]Article 7 Report, Form B, 26 June 2000.

[6]Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2009), Form F.

[7] Ibid.

[9]  Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2009), Form G1.

[10]Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2008), Form G1. 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.

[11] Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2009), Form D1a.

[12] Cambodia reported in 2008 that 519 mines were transferred for development and training. See Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2008), Form D2. Cambodia has reported a total of 3,969 mines transferred for training purposes from 1998–2008.

[13] Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2009), Form D2. A total of 634 mines were transferred by CMAC to “the EHP, HISTAMIDS and Training Center.” A total of 67 mines were transferred by MAG “from minefield for HISTAMIDS training and licensing areas held in FFE register in Battambang.”

[14] For extensive details, see Landmine Monitor Report 2009, pp. 243–244.  At the Ninth Meeting of States Parties in November 2008, Cambodia stated that it had ordered the formation of a Fact Finding Commission to thoroughly review the situation and that it would share the findings of the Commission with Thailand and other interested parties. Cambodia has not subsequently made a Fact Finding Commission’s report publicly available.

[15] “Cambodia, Thai border clash leaves two dead,” Agence France-Presse (Phnom Penh), 2 April 2009, www.google.com.

[16] “Hun Sen’s temple comments ‘retaliation,’ says PM,” The Nation, 30 September 2009, www.nationmultimedia.com.

[17] “Cambodia refutes allegations over new landmines,” The Nation, 6 October 2009, www.nationmultimedia.com.

[18] Reportedly, the Thai civilian was not sentenced under the 1999 national law to implement the Mine Ban Treaty, but was charged with attempted murder, endangering national security, and entering Cambodia illegally. Some media accounts indicate he confessed to planting at least five mines, and others indicate that he was arrested by Cambodian border guards just a few meters inside Cambodian territory while carrying a landmine in February 2009.  The man is quoted as saying that Thai soldiers paid him to do so. “Court to sentence Thai man for laying mines near border,” Phnom Penh Post, 9 February 2010, www.phnompenhpost.com; “Foreign Ministry seeking to help Thai national jailed in Cambodia for planting landmines,” Thai News Agency (Bangkok), 13 February 2010, khmernewstoday.blogspot.com; and “Cambodia Sentences Thai National to 20 Years,” New Tang Dynasty Television, 12 February 2010, http://english.ntdtv.com.