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Country Reports
Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Landmine Monitor Report 2003

Lao People’s Democratic Republic

Key developments since May 2002: In mid-2002, a funding crisis led to significantly scaled-back clearance operations and forced the lay-off of nearly half of UXO LAO’s operational capacity. Operations have since gradually been resumed and staff re-hired. In 2002, 8.4 million square meters of land was cleared and 98,963 items of UXO destroyed. Mine risk education was provided in 683 villages, reaching 160,053 people. UXO LAO reported 99 mine/UXO casualties in nine provinces in 2002.

Mine Ban Policy

The Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Laos) has not acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty, but the government is demonstrating increasing interest in the treaty. In May 2003, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs representative told Landmine Monitor, “Laos is seriously considering to accede to the treaty. Efforts are being made to raise the awareness of officials and population over this very issue.”[1] The draft 2003-2013 Strategic Plan for the unexploded ordnance (UXO) clearance program includes in its objectives a review of the ability of Laos to accede to the Mine Ban Treaty and states that the government “will in any event make all efforts to abide by the spirit, if not the letter, of the Convention.”[2]

In May 2003, a Laos government official told Landmine Monitor that the country does not produce antipersonnel mines and, “if it possesses” mines, it is for “self-defense and security purposes.”[3] Laos is not known to have exported antipersonnel mines. No specific information is available on the antipersonnel mine stockpile in Laos. There have been no reports of recent use of antipersonnel mines in Laos.

While Laos participated for the first time as an observer in the Third Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in September 2001, it did not attend the Fourth Meeting of States Parties in September 2002 or the intersessional meetings in February and May 2003.[4] However, Laos did participate in the regional seminar, “Building a Cooperative Future for Mine Action,” held in Phnom Penh in March 2003.

Laos has been absent from every pro-mine ban UN General Assembly resolution vote since 1996, including Resolution 57/74 in November 2002.

Laos is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons and its original Protocol II on landmines, but it did not attend any CCW-related meetings in the reporting period.

Two survivors from Laos participated in the Raising the Voices advocacy training session held in Geneva during the February 2003 intersessional meetings.[5] They issued a statement, together with four survivors from Thailand, urging governments to promote participation by persons with disabilities in the workplace.[6]

Landmine/UXO Problem, Surveys and Assessments

Laos is mainly affected by unexploded ordnance (UXO) dating back to the Indochina War, especially the period from 1964 to 1973, when it is estimated that more than two million tons of ordnance were dropped on Laos. Fifteen of the country’s eighteen provinces are significantly affected by UXO; the most heavily contaminated provinces are Savannakhet, Xieng Khouang, Saravane and Khammouane.[7] Over 85 percent of the population lives in rural areas, and UXO seriously constrains the livelihood and food security of large sections of the population.[8]

During the Indochina War all parties laid antipersonnel mines including the Royal Army, the army of the Pathet Lao, Vietnamese and US forces. According to the national clearance agency UXO LAO, the minefields (as opposed to UXO) have a limited impact on the civilian population and are not considered a priority for clearance.[9]

A Level One Survey conducted by Handicap International (HI) and released in 1997 remains the main reference, as no other comprehensive technical survey has been conducted since. UXO LAO has two-men survey teams that conduct technical survey tasks according to the yearly work plan and provide information to roving and clearance teams. Some UXO LAO implementing partners have expressed the need for more comprehensive technical surveys.[10] According to the UN Development Programme (UNDP) Chief Technical Advisor to UXO LAO, this will be addressed in the multi-year strategic mine action plan.[11]

The Information Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA) is expected to become the main data collection system and a useful instrument for clearance planning, but as of March 2003, conversion of the current UXO LAO data base to IMSMA had not been completed, due in part to a funding crisis in 2002.

UNDP has offered to fund a Post-Clearance Impact Assessment to be started in 2003 and aimed at assessing post-clearance land use and quantifying the benefits of clearance.[12]

Mine Action Funding

In 1995, a Trust Fund was established under the UNDP to finance a nationwide program of UXO/mine clearance. In 2002, the UNDP Trust Fund for UXO LAO operations received US$4.36 million from donors. Other contributions to mine action in Laos were made outside of the Trust Fund, on a bilateral basis. For example, the European Commission provided €1 million for Handicap International Belgium (HIB) technical assistance in Savannakhet for the period from September 2002 to August 2004; Germany provided €745,212 to GERBERA for clearance; Belgium provided €560,135, including in-kind contributions, to support UXO Lao operations in the province of Champassak; Australia provided A$340,060 to UNICEF for mine/UXO awareness; the United States provided $1 million through the Leahy War Victims Fund in addition to its contribution to the Trust Fund.

According to information provided to and gathered by Landmine Monitor, fifteen donors contributed more than $8 million to mine action in Laos in 2002, including funds for the UNDP Trust Fund and other bilateral contributions.[13] These included: Australia US$457,000; Belgium $534,000; Canada US$174,000; Denmark $1.05 million; European Union $1.045 million; Finland $285,000; Germany $708,000; Italy $142,000; Japan $171,000; South Korea $40,000; Luxembourg $270,000; Netherlands $500,000; New Zealand US$123,000; Norway $250,000; and United States $2.328 million.

UXO Lao and the UNDP Trust Fund identify the following contributions to the Trust Fund in 2002, totaling $4.36 million: Canada US$93,831; Denmark $943,841; Finland $294,986; Japan $200,000; South Korea $48,584; Luxembourg $250,000; Netherlands $500,000; New Zealand US$354,300; Norway $249,990; United Kingdom $200,000; United States $1,011,086; and others $224,732.[14]

In 2002, the UXO LAO program spent $2,723,287, which is significantly less than the $4.6 million budgeted for the year.[15] This was primarily the result of a cash flow crisis in June 2002, when there were insufficient funds to pay national staff costs. The crisis resulted in the late payment of June salaries and a major staff reduction in July 2002.[16]

In 2001, total mine action funding for Laos amounted to an estimated $7.5 million, including $4.1 million for UXO LAO and about $3.4 million provided directly to NGO partners.[17]

The UXO LAO budget for 2003 is $4.2 million. As of mid-March, UNDP had recorded hard pledges or confirmed funding totaling $2.25 million from eight donors and “soft” pledges totaling $1.2 million from four donors.[18]

The United States has been the largest donor to mine action programs in Laos, having contributed more than $23 million since its fiscal year 1996.[19] Laos received $2,382,000 from the US in its fiscal year 2002.[20] Most US funding has been done outside of the UNDP Trust Fund.

Coordination and Planning of Mine Action

The Lao National UXO program (UXO LAO) is the national government agency responsible for mine/UXO clearance. The Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare is responsible for the coordination and implementation of UXO clearance and awareness activities in Laos. It hosts and chairs meetings of the National UXO LAO Steering Committee and provides assistance and coordination with other ministries and provincial authorities. The National Steering Committee is the policy-making body for UXO LAO and provides guidance and direction.[21]

To address the structural problems highlighted by the June 2002 crisis, at the end of 2002 the government of Laos launched a process to prepare a multi-year strategic mine/UXO action plan for the period from 2003-2013. This is expected to address institutional development, policy making, clearance techniques and technologies, community awareness and victim assistance. UXO LAO submitted the first draft of the strategic plan to the government for review in early March 2003.[22]

UXO LAO’s work plan for 2003 has established the following targets: roving clearance teams to visit 1,321 villages; clearance teams to clear 9.31 million square meters of land. A higher priority is being given to area clearance over roving clearance.[23] The two clearance priorities are agricultural land and socio-economic development. Twelve training courses are to be held at the National Training Center.

The 2003 National Work Plan has been compiled from nine provincial plans.[24] In certain provinces there have been concerns about the transparency of the decision-making process. HIB refused to sign the 2003 Work Plan for Savannakhet, requesting more involvement of all stakeholders.[25]

In September 2002, an external evaluation mission of the UNDP Trust Fund and UXO LAO Mine Action recommended, among other things, the creation of a regulatory authority, in order to separate coordination and regulatory functions from implementation.[26] The recommendations are under consideration.

Mine/UXO Clearance

In 2002, UXO LAO conducted activities in nine provinces, including mine/UXO clearance, survey and training, and community awareness.[27] UXO LAO roving teams visited 1,454 villages and destroyed a total of 83,043 items of UXO, including 26,159 bombies and 208 landmines.[28] UXO LAO’s area clearance teams manually cleared 8.425 million square meters of land, which amounted to 104 percent of the annual target, and destroyed 15,920 UXO.[29]

The clearance achievements were slightly better than the targets set despite the cash flow crisis of June 2002, which resulted in significant staff reductions in provincial operations. By 15 July 2002, staff numbers were reduced from 1,130 to 503. However, by the end of August the funding situation had improved and some staff were gradually re-hired, reaching a total of 688 as of 31 December 2002.[30] The cut in UXO LAO personnel was a painful process and the government is expected to make a decision considering funding possibilities for future years.[31]

In 2002, three training courses were held at the National Training Center, including a senior Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) technician’s course and a management course for provincial coordinators. Six UXO LAO staff participated in a six-week mine action manager’s course in Bangkok, together with participants from the Thai Mine Action Center.

In 2002, UXO LAO had six implementing partners: Belgian military, GERBERA GmbH, HIB, Mines Advisory Group (MAG), Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) and World Vision Australia. World Vision ended its assistance to UXO LAO in Khammouane in June 2002. In 2003, five implementing partners continue to provide support to UXO LAO.

In 2002 and 2003, GERBERA, a German commercial demining company active in Laos since 1996, provided four technical advisors to UXO LAO in Houaphan and Luang Prabang provinces. GERBERA’s activities are funded by Germany.[32]

HIB provided technical assistance to UXO LAO in Savannakhet province in 2002 and 2003. The program is scheduled to end in August 2004.[33] In 2003, HIB’s support to UXO LAO included three technical advisors and a logistician. UXO LAO requested HIB’s support in Khammouane and HIB conducted a needs assessment there in early December 2002. As of May 2003, the project required additional funding.

MAG, a British demining NGO active in Laos since 1994, provided technical assistance to UXO LAO in two provinces in 2002. In Saravane, MAG’s activities ceased in March 2002, when a bilateral funding agreement with the UK ended. MAG operated in Xieng Khouang continuously in 2002. This was the only province where clearance operations were not reduced in June 2002, due to earmarked funding from Denmark. Since mid-November 2002, MAG has been conducting a trial/feasibility study of Village Assisted Clearance, aimed at involving villagers and increasing the rate of UXO removal from agricultural land. Locally hired villagers are trained in the use of metal detectors and scrub cutters.[34]

In 2002, NPA scaled down its activities to two Technical Advisors to the UXO LAO headquarters, one Senior Advisor of Finance and one Senior Advisor engaged in training advanced EOD and monitoring field operations. However, due to funding constraints, the two advisors were later reduced to one, the Senior Advisor of Finance. Future funding for that position is uncertain, awaiting a decision by the US Department of State.[35] Belgium provided four military EOD advisers to support UXO LAO activities in Champassak province.

Clearance activities outside UXO LAO are undertaken by the Lao Army, mainly for large infrastructure projects, like national roads.

Milsearch, an Australian company, conducts commercial demining. Milsearch began operations in Laos in 1993 and has conducted 51 clearance operations since then. It has cleared approximately 2,000 hectares and destroyed some 73,000 items of unexploded ordnance, including 318 landmines. As of mid-2003, it had 600 people in the field. Projects have mainly concerned infrastructure, such as roads, dams, and power lines.[36]

In March 2002, a UXO LAO team leader and section commander were killed in an accident in Xieng Khouang province during a routine demolition. These were the first UXO-related fatalities among UXO LAO staff since the program’s establishment in 1996.[37]

Mine Risk Education

Mine and UXO risk education is a component of the UXO LAO program and, as such, it is integrated with other operations.[38] In 2002, Community Awareness teams visited 683 villages, reaching 160,053 people.[39] The Community Awareness program conducted an in-depth study on risk behavior, financed by UNICEF. The study planned to cover five provinces, but due to the reduction of UXO LAO capacity, only three provinces were surveyed. As of May 2003 the final report had not been submitted.[40]

Since 1999, UNICEF has supported the Ministry of Education in the introduction of a school curriculum on UXO awareness, implemented by a consortium of two US NGOs: World Learning and World Education. The program has continued to expand and in 2002 it operated in 911 schools in 15 districts, reaching a total of 86,500 students. UNICEF also continues to support the “Sport-in-a-Box” program, which provides UXO safety education to youth both in and out of school, with an emphasis on reaching children who do not attend school.[41] The focal partner for the project is the Lao Youth Union, which has representatives in every district. As of March 2003 the project has been implemented in 100 villages of six provinces. According to the UNICEF officer, there is a need for more mine/UXO risk education addressed to other target groups, in particular male adults, who form the majority of mine/UXO casualties.[42]

UXO/Landmine Casualties

In 2002, 99 new mine/UXO casualties were reported in 43 incidents in the nine provinces of UXO LAO operations: 28 people were killed and 71 injured; 76 were male and 23 female. Nearly half (47 percent) of the reported casualties were children under the age of 18.[43]

Casualties were reported in the provinces of: Xieng Khouang (ten killed and 16 injured), Savannakhet (two killed and 17 injured), Luang Prabang (five killed and 16 injured), Khammouane (8 killed and one injured), Champassak (eight injured), Attapeu (two killed and four injured); Saravane (six injured), Houaphan (one killed and one injured), and Sekong (two injured).[44]

In 2001, 122 new UXO/mine casualties were reported (35 killed and 87 injured).[45] In 2000, 102 casualties were recorded (39 killed and 63 injured).[46] While the number of reported casualties decreased in 2002, it is not clear whether the reduction is due to fewer incidents or a reduced capacity to collect the necessary data. The statistics do not represent the countrywide situation, as casualty data is only collected in nine of the fifteen affected provinces, mainly in the districts where UXO LAO is operating. Incidents in remote areas are often not recorded especially when the person involved dies.[47] In addition, data is not systematically collected; for example, there is no regular monitoring of provincial and district hospital records.[48]

Casualties continue to be reported in 2003. From January to March, UXO LAO reported seven UXO/mine incidents resulting in sixteen casualties: nine killed and seven injured, including ten children.[49] These statistics did not include incidents in Savannakhet, where according to HIB, eight incidents were reported resulting in thirteen casualties (two killed and eleven injured) in the period from January to 5 May 2003.[50] Four of these incidents involved six children collecting scrap metal.

In some parts of the country, the scrap metal industry has become a leading cause of UXO casualties. While this industry is not new to Laos, the activity has recently become widespread due to the easy availability of simple technologies, such as the metal detector.[51] As the scrap metal trade is mainly with Vietnam, the most affected provinces are the ones close to the border, especially Savannakhet, where, in the first three months of 2003, all but one reported incident involved civilians collecting scrap metal. Children, in particular, use metal detectors of Vietnamese origin purchased in the district market in Xepon or provided by Vietnamese dealers for free in exchange for scrap metal.[52] In January 2003, UXO LAO in Savannakhet made a request to the Governor to take action and forbid the use of metal detectors.[53]

Survivor Assistance

Health care facilities in Laos are limited. A poor communications infrastructure and lack of information on available services limits access to medical and rehabilitation facilities for UXO survivors who generally live in remote areas and, in particular, for survivors from ethnic minorities who do not speak Lao. A representative of the Lao Disabled People’s Association told Landmine Monitor that a person with disabilities is the poorest of the poor in a developing country where food security remains a problem in rural areas.[54]

First aid to UXO casualties is usually provided in the district hospital, where only very basic medical care is available. For surgery, the patient is usually evacuated to the provincial hospital, but patients with severe injures can be only treated in two hospitals, both in Vientiane. It is reported that many UXO casualties die not only because of the type of weapons causing the injuries, but due to a lack of emergency medical care.[55] Evacuation from the site of the incident to the hospital or from district health centers to provincial hospitals is problematic as in some cases patients are asked to pay for transportation in advance and they cannot afford it or it takes time for the family to find the funds.[56]

The War Victims Assistance Project, supported by the US Leahy War Victims Fund and administered by Consortium, provides medical training, medical equipment, a management system for revolving drug funds, and renovation of hospital emergency and surgical areas. The annual budget for the program is approximately US$350,000. The project is supplemented by a privately funded War Victims Medical Fund, which pays for all medical and transportation costs incurred by people injured by UXO. In 2002, the Fund assisted 54 UXO survivors in three provinces (Houaphan, Savannakhet and Xieng Khouang). Another privately supported fund, the Quality of Life Rehabilitation Fund, provides grants for socio-economic reintegration of UXO survivors.[57]

The Cooperative Orthotic and Prosthetic Enterprise (COPE), a partnership between the Ministry of Health, POWER, World Vision Laos, the Cambodian School of Prosthetics and Orthotics (CSPO), and the Association for Aid and Relief Japan (AAR), continues to provide support to the National Rehabilitation Center (NRC) and four provincial prosthetic and orthotic centers (PRCs). Since 1997, COPE has supported activities including the refurbishment of all five centers; equipping all centers for polypropylene technology; and staff training; training of fourteen new prosthetic and orthotic technicians; and capacity building in the NRC and in the Lao Disabled People’s Association. In 2002, the NRC in Vientiane and in the four PRCs of Pakse, Savannakhet, Xieng Khouang and Luang Phrabang assisted 688 people, including 284 UXO survivors. The centers produced 443 prostheses and 245 orthoses. Previously, patients did not pay for services, but since February 2003, COPE has implemented a cost recovery system whereby patients must pay according to their means.[58] The program received funds from the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, World Vision Australia, AusAID, Fondation Pro Victims, Kadoorie Charitable Foundation, Canada Fund, Nippon Foundation, Rissho Kosei-kai, and the UK Department for International Development (DFID).[59]

In 2002, AAR operated the Wheelchair Production Project at the NRC aimed at enhancing local capacity in wheelchair production and distribution. The workshop produced 200 wheelchairs in 2002. Since September 2002, AAR and the NRC have undertaken a cost recovery program, through which wheelchairs are sold at the production cost of 3,000 Thai Bhat (approximately US$72). Beneficiaries who cannot afford to pay are helped to find a sponsor. The project has secured funding from Japan until the end of 2003.[60]

Handicap International Belgium (HIB) has conducted a physiotherapy support program in Laos since 1997. In 2002, HIB supported the development of the physiotherapy departments in three general hospitals and four provincial hospitals. Of the 4,500 patients who received treatment only ten were mine/UXO survivors. The project is funded by Handicap International Luxembourg.[61] In 2003, with the support of UNICEF, HIB initiated a psychosocial study on children’s trauma due to UXO/landmine incidents, which is expected to cover five provinces, collecting information on 500 UXO/mine survivors.[62]

HIB, World Concern and Garneau International provide Community Based Rehabilitation for people with disabilities.[63]

In October 2002, the UNDP Country Office approached HIB to commission a feasibility study on the opportunity as well as the means and mechanisms required to establish a National Database on Victims of UXO/Mine Accidents. A proposal to that effect was being finalized in mid-2003.[64]

Disability Policy and Practice

There are currently no disability laws in Laos.[65] There is a move to develop national plans on comprehensive rehabilitation and prevention of disabilities, including protection of the legal rights of persons with disabilities.[66]

The governmental National Commission for Disabled People (NCDP) is mandated to represent the rights of persons with disabilities, to make proposals to the government on laws and policies, and to produce a National Plan.[67] The NCDP also established the Lao Disabled People’s Association (LPDA), which was created in 1990 as a self-help group. With the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare’s approval of the by-law in July 2001, LDPA became an NGO under the direct supervision of the NCDP. In September 2002, the LDPA issued a Five-Year Strategic Plan that identified the main areas of intervention: to develop its membership; to create a strong provincial structure; to advocate for members’ needs and rights; and to create and support services for its members.[68] The LDPA is in the process of establishing branches in the provinces. In order to keep members informed and raise awareness, a newsletter is issued every month.[69] The LDPA receives financial support from the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, UK’s DFID, Sweden’s SHIA, and Japan’s ADDP, and technical assistance for institutional capacity building from COPE.[70]

Three members of the LDPA, including the President, Singkham Takounphak, participated in the Raising the Voice program during the intersessional Standing Committee meetings in February 2003. The activities were reported to the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare and other initiatives are under consideration for the Fifth Meeting of States Parties in Bangkok.

On 10–11 June 2002, the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare held the Second National Workshop on Victim Assistance, following initiatives undertaken in 2001.[71] The main recommendations from the workshop include the strengthening of institutional capacity of the NCDP, and the coordination of networks in the country and in the region.[72]

[1] Email from Khampho Khaykhamphithoune, First Secretary, Laos Mission to the EU (Brussels), 20 May 2003.
[2] “The Safe Path Forward: Strategic Plan 2003-2013,” draft, 10 March 2003.
[3] Email from Khampho Khaykhamphithoune, Laos Mission to the EU (Brussels), 20 May 2003.
[4] The government apparently could not afford the assessed fee for participation in the Fourth Meeting of States Parties. Interview with Eric Gagnon, Chief Technical Advisor, UNDP, UXO LAO, Vientiane, 12 March 2003.
[5] They were: Singkham Takounphak, President, Lao Disabled People’s Association, and Bounvien Luanggnoth, Director of the Veterans Affairs Department, Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare, Secretary-General of the National Committee for Disabled People, and Vice President of the Lao Disabled People’s Association.
[6] Raising the Voices Intervention, Standing Committee on Victim Assistance, Geneva, 6 February 2003.
[7] Handicap International Belgium, Living with UXO: Final Report National Survey on the Socio-Economic Impact of UXO in Lao PDR, 1997.
[8] UXO LAO, “Work Plan 2002,” Vientiane, May 2002. The US has estimated that more than 87,000 square kilometers of land are infested with UXO and mines. US Department of State, “To Walk the Earth in Safety,” September 2002, p. 28.
[9] Interview with Eric Gagnon, UNDP, 12 March 2003.
[10] Interviews with Michael Hayes, Senior Technical Advisor, MAG, Vientiane, 14 March 2003; Tony West, Chief Technical Advisor, HIB, Savannakhet, 16 March 2003; and Siegfried Block, Project Manager, GERBERA, Vientiane, 20 March 2003.
[11] Interview with Eric Gagnon, UNDP, 12 March 2003.
[12] Ibid.
[13] See individual country reports in this edition of Landmine Monitor Report. In some cases, the funding was for the country’s fiscal year, not calendar year 2002. Landmine Monitor has done the currency conversions and rounded off numbers.
[14] UXO LAO, “UXO LAO Programme Progress Report 2002,” Vientiane, undated; and interview with Justin Shone, Manager, UNDP Trust Fund, Vientiane, 14 March 2003.
[15] Ibid.
[16] UXO LAO, “UXO LAO Programme Progress Report 2002.”
[17] The UNDP Trust Fund Manager estimated direct funding to partners at $900,000, largely from Belgium and Germany. Email, Justin Shone, UNDP Trust Fund, 3 July 2002.
[18] Interview with Justin Shone, UNDP Trust Fund, 14 March 2003.
[19] US Department of State, “To Walk the Earth in Safety,” September 2002, p. 28. This includes $5 million from the Leahy War Victims Fund.
[20] US Department of State, “Congressional Budget Justifications: Foreign Operations, Fiscal Year 2004 - Bilateral Economic Assistance - State, Treasury, Complex Foreign Contingencies, Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, Famine Fund,” 3 February 2003, p. 126. This includes $1 million from the Leahy War Victims Fund.
[21] It includes representatives from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Security, and a representative from each of the nine mine/UXO-affected provinces, the National Programme Director, UNDP and UNICEF. UXO LAO, “Work Plan 2001,” Vientiane, March 2001, p. 7.
[22] Interview with Eric Gagnon, UNDP, 12 March 2003.
[23] UXO LAO, “UXO LAO Programme Work Plan and Budget, 2003.”
[24] Interview with Kathryn Sweet, Program Officer Advisor, UXO LAO, Vientiane, 13 March 2003.
[25] Interview with Luc Delneuville, Laos Program Director, HIB, Brussels, 8 May 2003.
[26] Interview with Eric Gagnon, UNDP, 12 March 2003.
[27] The nine provinces are Attapeu, Champassak, Houaphan, Khammouane, Luang Prabang, Saravane, Savannakhet, Sekong, and Xieng Khouang.
[28] No breakdown is available on the type of landmines cleared, but antivehicle mines are believed to be rare in Laos.
[29] UXO LAO, “UXO LAO Programme Progress Report 2002.”
[30] Ibid.
[31] Interview with Eric Gagnon, UNDP, 12 March 2003.
[32] Interview with Siegfried Block, GERBERA, 20 March 2003.
[33] Interview with Luc Delneuville, HIB, 12 March 2003.
[34] Interview with Michael Hayes, MAG, 14 March 2003.
[35] Norwegian People's Aid, “Humanitarian Mine Action 2002,” 2 May 2003.
[36] Email from Paul McGuiness, Manager, Milsearch, Lao PDR, 2 July 2003.
[37] UXO LAO, “UXO LAO Programme Progress Report 2002.”
[38] UXO LAO, “Work Plan 2002.”
[39] UXO LAO, “UXO LAO Programme Progress Report 2002.”
[40] Interview with Amanda Bissex, Child Protection Officer, UNICEF, Vientiane, 14 March 2003; Email from Amanda Bissex, UNICEF, 5 May 2003.
[41] UNICEF, “Sport in a Box,” undated brochure.
[42] Interview with Amanda Bissex, UNICEF, 14 March 2003.
[43] UXO LAO, “Summary Report of UXO Accidents: December 2002,” Vientiane, 31 December 2002.
[44] Ibid.
[45] See Landmine Monitor Report 2002, pp. 696-697.
[46] See Landmine Monitor Report 2001, p. 554.
[47] Interview with Kathryn Sweet, UXO LAO, 13 March 2003.
[48] Interview with Tony West, HIB, 16 March 2003.
[49] OPS-UXO LAO “Summary Report of UXO Accidents: March 2003,” Vientiane, 31 March 2003.
[50] Email from Tony West, HIB, 4 May 2003.
[51] Interview with Zacharias Johnson, Technical Advisor, HIB, Savannakhet, 18 March 2003.
[52] During a visit to Savannakhet province, the Landmine Monitor researcher met a 13-year-old boy who had been injured by a bombie while he and two others were searching for scrap metal. The three boys had a metal detector lent to them. Landmine Monitor researchers also met four men on the old Ho Chi Minh Trail, transporting three bomb shells. According to the men, the shells were provided by children using metal detectors in a village a few hours away.
[53] Interview with Keng Keo, EOD Team Leader, UXO LAO, Savannakhet, 18 March 2003.
[54] Interview with Singkham Takounphak, Bounvien Luanggnoth and Xoukiet Panyanouvong, LDPA, Vientiane, 14 March 2003.
[55] Interview with Barbara Lewis, Team Leader, War Victims Assistance Project, Vientiane, 14 March 2003.
[56] Interview with Tony West, HIB, 16 March 2003.
[57] Response to questionnaire from Barbara Lewis, War Victims Assistance Project, 14 April 2003.
[58] The established policy is that 20 percent of the variable cost will be covered by patient, according to their ability to pay: some patients pay 100 percent and some nothing.
[59] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Michael Boddington, Chief Executive, COPE, Vientiane, 8 April 2003.
[60] Interview with Mariko Harada, Vice-Representative, AAR, Vientiane, 13 March 2003.
[61] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Eric Weerts, Project Coordinator, HIB, 14 March 2003.
[62] Interview with Didier Bertrand, researcher for the psycho-social impact study, Savannakhet, 15 March 2003.
[63] See Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 698.
[64] Email to Landmine Monitor (HRW) from Eric Gagnon, UNDP, 20 July 2003.
[65] See Landmine Monitor Report 2001, p. 557.
[66] Interview with Luc Delneuville, HIB, 8 February 2002.
[67] Art.2 Prime Ministerial Decree n. 18 of January 27th 1995, English translation of “Report on Second National Workshop on Victim Assistance June 10 – 11, 2002,” Vientiane, Undated. NCDP consists of the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare acting as the president and representatives from Ministries of Public Health, Foreign Affairs and Defense.
[68] LDPA, “Five-Year Strategic Plan,” Vientiane, September 2002; and LDPA, “Provisional Bylaw,” Vientiane, 12 July 2001.
[69] Interview with Singkham Takounphak, Bounvien Luanggnoth and Xoukiet Panyanouvong, LDPA, Vientiane, 14 March 2003.
[70] Interview with Michael Boddington, Chief Executive, COPE, Vientiane, 13 March 2003. The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund provided two grants: $140,000 for April 2001-March 2003 and $400,000 for building the provincial branch structure for the period December 2002-November 2005. DFID has agreed to provide $75,000 for building, implementing and maintaining a membership recording, tracking and management system over a three year period starting in 2003.
[71] See Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 699.
[72] “Report on Second National Workshop on Victim Assistance June 10-11, 2002,” Vientiane, undated.