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Vietnam, Landmine Monitor Report 2004


Key development since May 2003: A National Landmine Impact Survey began in February 2004. Six international organizations cleared 2.77 million square meters of land in 2003. The army and other military units continued to engage in clearance efforts. Nine international organizations carried out risk education activities in 2003, reaching more than 22,900 people. Vietnam attended the Fifth Meeting of States Parties in September 2003 in Bangkok. It also participated in the workshop on Humanitarian Mine/UXO Clearance Technology and Cooperation in April 2004 in Kunming, China.

Key developments since 1999: A National Landmine Impact Survey began in February 2004 after more than three years of negotiations. Mine/UXO survey, clearance, risk education, and survivor assistance activities by non-governmental organizations have expanded throughout the period, including into new areas of the country. The government has carried out extensive clearance, especially related to construction of the new Ho Chi Minh Highway. Vietnam states that from 1975 to 2002, the Army cleared 1,200 million square meters of land, destroying 4 million landmines and 8 million UXO. Since 1998, seven NGOs have combined to clear 12 million square meters of heavily-affected land. The government-sponsored Community Based Rehabilitation program expanded from 40 to 46 of 61 provinces by 2003. In 2001, the government established a National Coordinating Council on Disabilities. Donors have provided an estimated $35 million for mine action in Vietnam. Vietnam confirmed continuing production of antipersonnel mines. Officials have stated that Vietnam does not and will never export landmines. Between 1975 and 2000, Vietnam recorded 104,701 mine/UXO casualties (38,849 people killed and 65,852 injured). Estimates of the current mine/UXO casualty rate range between 1,200 and 2,992 people killed or injured each year.

Mine Ban Policy

The Socialist Republic of Vietnam has not acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty. The Ministry of Defense insists that landmines are necessary for defensive purposes. Vietnam has abstained from voting on every pro-ban UN General Assembly resolution since 1996, including UNGA Resolution 58/53 on 8 December 2003.

Vietnam attended some of the Ottawa Process preparatory meetings as an observer, but not the negotiations. Vietnam sent a representative to the treaty signing conference in Ottawa, Canada in December 1997, who made the following statement: “Vietnam welcomes the efforts made by the Canadian government and governments of other countries, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and other NGOs in completing an international comprehensive treaty on the banning of antipersonnel landmines. Vietnam has not yet participated in the Convention because of her territorial defense reasons.... Being a war victim, including antipersonnel landmines, Vietnam believes that other countries understand her position.”[1]

Subsequently, there appeared to be a thawing in Vietnam’s policy and attitudes towards landmines, to the point where one official told an international forum in early 1999 that Vietnam’s acceptance of the treaty is “a matter of time, not of principle.”[2] A March 2000 internal Ministry of Foreign Affairs policy document provided to Landmine Monitor states that Vietnam views the Mine Ban Treaty as “an important effort aimed at preventing the use of mines.... [Vietnam] supports working to restrict the use of antipersonnel mines and condemns the indiscriminate use of mines to massacre civilians.... [But, the treaty] does not yet adequately consider the various defensive security needs of different countries.”[3] At a regional landmine seminar in May 2002, Vietnam’s delegate stated, “We are seriously studying the Ottawa Convention.”[4]

Vietnam participated in the first Mine Ban Treaty intersessional meetings, in September 1999, but none since. It attended as the Second Meeting of States Parties in September 2000 an observer, and participated in a regional seminar on stockpile destruction held in Malaysia in August 2001, and a regional seminar on landmines hosted by Thailand from 13–15 May 2002.

Vietnam also attended the Fifth Meeting of States Parties in September 2003 in Bangkok. At the meeting, the Vietnamese delegate told Landmine Monitor, “Vietnam opposes the indiscriminate use of mines against innocent people. We share the humanitarian concerns about mine victims, we support the international effort to support mine action and victim assistance and to assist countries to overcome consequences for socio-economic development.”[5]

Vietnamese officials participated in the workshop on Humanitarian Mine/UXO Clearance Technology and Cooperation in April 2004 in Kunming, China. A representative of the Ministry of Defense’s Technology Center for Bomb and Mine Disposal (BOMICO) gave a presentation on mine clearance, while a Ministry of Foreign Affairs official spoke about Vietnam’s experiences in international cooperation. A representative of Quang Tri province’s Project RENEW also made a presentation.[6]

A Ministry of Foreign Affairs official noted that with improved relations with the United States, in particular the start of the Landmine Impact Survey with funding from the US State Department, “the door is now wide open” for international assistance in all areas of mine action.[7]

Vietnam signed the Convention on Conventional Weapons in 1981, but has not ratified the Convention or attended any recent CCW meetings.

Production, Transfer, Stockpiling, and Use

A Ministry of Defense official told Landmine Monitor in 2000 that Vietnam continued to produce antipersonnel mines.[8] The only mine Vietnam is known to have produced in the 1990s is the “apple mine,” which is a recycled version of the BLU-24 bomblet dropped by the US during the Vietnam War.[9] In the past, Vietnam produced copies of US, Chinese and Soviet mines.[10] At the Expo 2000 in Hanoi, the Institute of Military Technology listed scatterable landmines in the display of their top ten research projects.[11]

Vietnam apparently maintains a policy against export of antipersonnel mines. In December 1997, at the Mine Ban Treaty signing conference, a Vietnamese official declared, “Vietnam does not export antipersonnel mines.”[12] In 2001, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs wrote to Landmine Monitor that “Vietnam has never exported and will never export mines.”[13] Despite the denial of past export, it appears Vietnam provided antipersonnel mines to Cambodia, perhaps until the early 1990s.[14] Angola listed a NOMZ-2B fragmentation mine of Vietnamese origin among mine types found there in its initial transparency measures report submitted in 2004.[15] These mines were probably exported during the Angolan civil war in the 1980s or early 1990s. There have been some reports of illegal trade in war-era explosives, including mines.[16]

A Ministry of Defense official confirmed the existence of a stockpile of antipersonnel mines in a May 2003 interview, but would give no details about size or composition other than to state, “Vietnam does not keep large stores of landmines, but we have enough to protect our country against invasion.”[17] In 2000, a BOMICO official indicated that the Ministry of Defense was in the process of destroying “tens of thousands” of unsafe pre-1975 mines.[18]

There have been no reports of recent use of antipersonnel mines by Vietnamese government forces. The army last laid mines in significant numbers during border conflicts with Cambodia and China in the late 1970s and during Vietnam’s occupation of Cambodia from 1979 to 1990.

There have been reports of use of improvised explosive devices and mines by hunters, fishers, smugglers, and scrap metal dealers.[19]

Landmine and UXO Problem

Vietnam is heavily contaminated with unexploded ordnance from the conflict in the 1960s and early 1970s, as well as smaller quantities of bombs and mines from other conflicts. Minefields exist from as long ago as the Dien Bien Phu campaign against the French in 1954, extending through border conflicts with China and the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s. BOMICO now maintains that as much as 20 percent of Vietnam’s land surface, a total of 66,578 million square meters, is affected by unexploded ordnance (UXO) and landmines.[20] This represents a substantial increase from previous BOMICO estimates of 7 to 8 percent. No reason has been given for the change. The Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation (VVAF) has cited Ministry of Defense sources as stating that “three million landmines remain in Vietnam’s soil,” not including UXO.[21] Official sources cite figures ranging from 350,000-800,000 tons of war-era ordnance in the ground.[22] All 61 provinces are affected, particularly in the center and south of the country, though there are significant mine action programs in only three of the most affected provinces (Quang Tri, Quang Binh and Thua Thien-Hue).

The scale of the UXO and landmine problem was most severe in the late 1970s and early 1980s, immediately after the conclusion of the war. However, new discoveries of ordnance were reported in 41 out of 61 provinces in 2003.[23] The Ministry of Defense states that the most affected portions of the country are the central provinces from the former DMZ southward, including Quang Tri, Quang Nam and Quang Ngai.[24] Historical records of US combat activities housed at BOMICO, provided by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency, allow for a ranking of provinces by total number of air-dropped ordnance, largely bombs and cluster munitions.[25] The most common types of UXO are BLU-26/36 cluster bombs and M79 40mm grenades, which are together responsible for 65 percent of injuries since 1975.[26] The Boundaries Committee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed in May 2003 that despite significant clearance in the 1990s, landmines remain a serious problem on the Chinese and Cambodian borders. Few mines but many UXO are found on the Lao border.[27]

Survey data shows that residents of Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue provinces have encountered landmines and UXO most frequently while gathering firewood, farming or tending livestock, and near homes.[28] Up to 35 percent of local land in Quang Tri cannot be used for cultivation or settlement.[29]

Few of the UXO/mine-affected areas are marked, even with local materials such as bamboo sticks.[30] Survey results in Quang Tri province indicate that only 33 percent of subdistricts contain marking signs, and 92 percent of survivors report that the areas where their injuries occurred were not marked as dangerous.[31] In some cases, maps of minefields are not available, or locations have shifted due to floods, landslides and erosion.[32]

Workers on the Ho Chi Minh Highway, running through affected areas near Vietnam’s western border, have found tens of thousands of UXO since 2001.[33] New sections of the highway in central provinces are attracting migrants from lowland areas who are engaging in small-scale farming or opening shops. As migrants clear and explore previously unused land near parts of the former Ho Chi Minh Trail, they will encounter UXO and landmines.

Reports from central and southern Vietnam describe a sharp increase in scrap metal collection and bomb hunting in areas that have not been cleared since the war.[34] Most searchers do so not by choice, but for lack of economic alternatives; few have any training in ordnance disposal.[35] Scrap metal collecting is a legal activity in Vietnam. Possession or use of explosives, however, is not. Fines and prison terms have been imposed on explosives dealers and fishermen who have hoarded large quantities of UXO, but enforcement of the law remains sporadic.[36] Inquiries in Quang Tri province confirm a thriving cross-border scrap metal trade into Laos. As long as no explosives are involved, the import or export of metal and metal detectors is legal.

Surveys and Assessments

The National UXO/Landmine Impact Survey was approved by Vietnam’s Prime Minister on 25 February 2004, completing a negotiation process that began in December 2000.[37] Phase I of the survey will last one year, covering the three central provinces of Ha Tinh, Quang Binh and Quang Tri, with a budget of $1,158,000, including $993,000 from the US State Department and $165,000 in in-kind contributions from the Vietnamese Ministry of Defense. The implementing agency for the survey is the Technology Center for Bomb and Mine Disposal. The Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation is providing technical support, training and monitoring. The goal of the survey, according to VVAF, is “to provide Vietnam and international donors with quantifiable, standardized data... [to] better define the problems caused by UXO and provide authorities with an improved capacity to plan and prioritize mine action resources.”[38]

Data collection, with support from the Institute of Sociology, is taking place from May to November 2004. Results will be entered into an International Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA) database. In addition, an area of 4 million square meters will be surveyed for clearance.[39]

Following the completion of Phase I, the survey is expected to be extended to cover the remainder of the country for two additional years. A budget of $3 million is allocated for Phase II, with a yet-to-be-determined contribution from the Ministry of Defense.[40] Implementation of the survey may be viewed as part of the warming trend in military-to-military relations between the former enemies, including high-level visits, ship exchanges and military health cooperation.[41]

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency of the US Department of Defense has completed transfer of a GIS-compatible database of US combat activities in Southeast Asia from the US National Archives to the Vietnamese military. A copy is also kept at the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation office in Hanoi. The database includes ordnance fired from airplanes, helicopters, and ships, together with other related military data. Antipersonnel landmines and ordnance from ground battles are not included.[42]

In November 2003, Project RENEW released two reports: one on a landmine impact survey in Trieu Phong conducted in 2002 and another one on a KAP (Knowledge-Awareness-Practices) survey, funded and assisted by UNICEF in Quang Tri province.[43] Data is stored in a provincial database system developed according to international guidelines.[44] The data gathered in the surveys is expected to help both the government and donors to identify priorities and determine plans for the future.[45]

Also in 2003, the US-based NGO, Viet Nam Assistance for the Handicapped, conducted surveys of landmine/UXO victims in two districts of Quang Binh province.[46] Handicap International carried out a needs assessment for landmines and UXO in Tay Ninh province, near the Cambodian border, at the request of the provincial Red Cross.[47] Plans by UNICEF to include two district-level impact surveys in Thua Thien-Hue and Quang Nam provinces in their mine risk education program have not gone forward, citing budgetary concerns and a desire to avoid duplication with the BOMICO-VVAF national survey.[48]

In January 2003, Canada-based Hatfield Consultants released the final report of a survey on mine and UXO contamination and its impact on human health and socio-economic activities in Luoi district, Thua Thien-Hue.[49] The survey started in 2001 and was conducted in partnership with the 10-80 Committee. Australian Volunteers International replicated this survey in Thua Thien-Hue’s Phong Dien district and completed it in March 2003.

Organizations involved in mine and UXO clearance conduct their own pre- and post-clearance surveys. The Mines Advisory Group (MAG), for instance, examines levels of contamination, recent victims, and post-clearance use before beginning a new project, then assesses technical issues, the type of land being cleared, and similar factors.[50]

Coordination and Planning

A national strategy on mine action has not yet been developed.[51] At present, the Ministry of Defense is in charge of the military security aspects and shares responsibility for landmine policy with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) takes responsibility for long-term survivor assistance and rehabilitation, with contributions from the Ministry of Education and Training and the Ministry of Health. Cooperation among these agencies, as well as with and among NGOs, is hampered by what one international participant terms “stickiness of information, even between existing partners.”

Among international NGOs and donors, a Landmine Working Group acts as a de facto coordinating body on mine/UXO action. The Working Group, affiliated with the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations and NGO Resource Center, meets quarterly, alternating between Hanoi and central provinces. UNICEF is the focal point for UN agencies for mine risk education. Mine action is not explicitly mentioned in the UN Development Assistance Framework or the government’s Comprehensive Poverty Reduction and Growth Strategy, but some mine/UXO-related concerns are addressed through the priorities set in those documents for social protection and safety nets.[52]

Decision-making at the provincial level is becoming increasingly decentralized, both for mine action and other development issues. Priorities are set by the provincial government, known as the People’s Committee. The provincial Foreign Relations Department then communicates these priorities to international organizations working in the province. District People’s Committees then decide which subdistricts or other areas should be targeted, based on local-level requests, district development plans, and other local data.[53]

International organizations also coordinate their efforts with the Vietnamese Army. Even in cases where clearance requests come from the community, all ordnance disposal, whether site-based or roving, must be approved by the provincial military units who alone have access to explosives.

In Quang Tri, there has been no progress toward establishing a provincial coordination center.[54] Project RENEW made a formal proposal to the province in 2003, but has not yet received a response. Start-up costs for the coordination center are estimated at $400-500,000, plus $150,000 in annual operations.[55] In Thua Thien-Hue, a provincial service center takes care of logistical arrangements for all international organizations (not only in mine action), and the local government holds regular seminars for international organizations working in the province.[56]

Mine/UXO Clearance

Military Clearance

The People’s Army of Vietnam is the primary agency involved in clearance. No national data on current military clearance is available. From 1975 to 2002, BOMICO states that 1,200 million square meters were cleared of 4 million landmines and 8 million UXO.[57] Surface clearance conducted in the immediate postwar period covered a wide area but at a shallow depth; many areas have required re-clearance.[58] In early 2004, BOMICO was reported to be clearing 2 million square meters in A Luoi district, Thua Thien-Hue province, but this is only a small part of their national efforts.[59] In 2003, military teams worked in Nghe An province to clear wreckage from US bombing of the Ho Chi Minh Trail and in port areas along the coast in Thua Thien-Hue and Quang Tri.[60]

The largest military demining project in recent years has been part of the construction of the Ho Chi Minh Highway through the mountains of central Vietnam. Other military clearance companies, including the Lung Lo and Truong Son Companies and several units of the Army Engineering Command, have taken part in the demining effort. The road has cost US$500 million to build; US$10 million, or 2 percent, of that has been spent on clearing UXO, far in excess of the amount budgeted.[61]

Provincial and regional military units also engage in clearance activities. The primary focus of military clearance is on infrastructure projects, such as industrial sites, roads, and communication lines. No general site military clearance is reported; in Quang Binh province, for instance, the largest area cleared in recent years was 1 million square meters. Fees for military contracts, while low by international standards, are too high for provincial governments, let alone private citizens, to afford in any sizeable area. Clearance capacities are also limited by the equipment available and the depth at which much ordnance is buried.[62]

Military units and border guard demining teams have conducted clearance in border areas. The first phase of border clearance was completed in the 1990s; followed by a second, more detailed phase.[63] During 2003, demining has been underway in valleys and alongside approaches to border crossings in Lai Chau and Lang Son provinces along the Chinese border.[6]4

International Organizations

International clearance organizations cleared 2.77 million square meters of land in 2003 in the three central provinces of Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue. Four non-governmental organizations carry out both site clearance and Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) services: Mines Advisory Group (MAG), Solidarity Service International (SODI), Potsdam Kommunikation (PK), and Australian Volunteers International (AVI). Two additional groups, Peace Trees (US) and Project RENEW, are cooperating on an EOD project.[65] The US-based NGO Clear Path International has not been engaged in clearance since 2002 and is now focusing entirely on victim assistance. Since 1998, these seven organizations have combined to clear 12 million square meters of heavily-affected land, mostly on or around former US military facilities.

The British NGO, Mines Advisory Group, remains the largest of the international clearance organizations, with 194 staff carrying out site clearance and EOD projects in Quang Tri and Quang Binh, as well as provision of technical training and assistance to the AVI project in Thua Thien-Hue. In Quang Binh, MAG operates site clearance teams on larger sites to be developed for new villages and agricultural areas, as well as mobile mine action teams that destroy ordnance reported within the villages and communes. During 2003, MAG cleared a total of 88.2 hectares, destroying 22 landmines and 12,092 other UXO in Quang Tri.[66] It cleared 1,483 UXO, including 1,055 cluster bomblets in Quang Binh.[67] MAG also completed clearance of a 230,000 square meter cassava factory site in Quang Tri, as part of the province’s bid for investment.[68] From January to June 2004, MAG cleared 93 hectares of 5,554 UXO and 54 landmines.

MAG began site clearance in Quang Tri in 1999, adding an EOD team in 2001. In 2002, the Quang Binh project started, with site clearance in Le Thuy district and EOD in Dong Hoi town. In total, from 1999 to August 2004, MAG cleared 3,850,000 square meters of land, destroying 39,458 UXO and 2,303 landmines. MAG’s mobile teams have visited 61,921 households in 384 villages to dispose of 25,898 UXO and 270 landmines.[69]

Site clearance projects are integrated with resettlement for poor families: 176 families have settled on three sites in Quang Tri, with 212 to be added when the project is complete. The 800,000 square meter site in Quang Binh will house 453 families when fully cleared.[70] The British NGO, Plan International, is cooperating with MAG on the Quang Binh resettlement efforts.[71] MAG’s annual budget of US$2 million is primarily funded by the US State Department, the NGO Adopt-a-Minefield, and the US-based Freeman Foundation.[72]

Solidarity Service International, the first international clearance organization to begin work in Vietnam, has cleared 5,004,036 square meters in Quang Tri, found 24,829 mines and UXO, and built 158 houses from 1998 to April 2004.[73] SODI roving teams, beginning in mid-2002, have cleared 202,194 square meters of land, removing 4,613 UXO in 16 locations in Cam Lo district and four subdistricts in Trieu Phong. SODI’s current staff comprises 52 Vietnamese and three German EOD experts, with development of local capacity identified as a priority.[74]

Aiming to resettle people who lost their land during the war, Potsdam Kommunikation (PK) has cleared 2,500,000 square meters of over 7,100 pieces of ordnance since June 2000 in three districts of Thua Thien-Hue province, with a staff of three German experts and 50 Vietnamese. In the first half of 2004, 360,000 square meters and 1,500 pieces of ordnance have been cleared. A five-person mobile team began operations in July 2003 and has since cleared over 87,000 square meters of more than 8,000 UXO and mines.[75] PK is cooperating with World Vision and other international NGOs in housing construction on cleared land. In 2003, PK’s clearance project in Hue cleared 800,000 square meters of land in two villages where 150 formerly landless families have since settled.[76]

By the end of 2004, SODI and PK plan to clear a total of 1,500,000 square meters of land in both provinces. This land will be used to resettle 180 families in two villages of Cam Thuy and Binh Dien, near the new Ho Chi Minh Highway. Vietnamese counterparts will contribute $500,000 in local infrastructure improvements. The projects will also include mine risk education, marking of affected areas, and training for Vietnamese engineers.[77] Both SODI and Potsdam Kommunikation are funded in their clearance activities by the German Foreign Ministry. A commercial clearance company, Gerbera, provides technical expertise to both organizations.[78]

Australian Volunteers International, with a capacity of 26 seconded military personnel and with technical assistance from MAG, has been conducting an EOD and site clearance project. The project aims to remove all reported UXO from five prioritized subdistricts, first in Phong Dien district, Thua Thien-Hue, followed by community development activities as agreed on by local residents. In 2003, the project cleared 28,688 square meters for infrastructure, and 7,338 square meters in the first quarter of 2004. Military EOD teams visited 6,249 households in 2003, and 2,217 in the first quarter of 2004. The project is funded by AusAID for the period from July 2002 to June 2005. Future plans include house-to-house visits to remove reported UXO and capacity-building for a local clearance team.[79]

The Peace Trees mobile team, based in Dong Ha town, was conducting clearance in mountainous districts of Dakrong and Huong Hoa in early 2004, with funding provided by Oxfam Hong Kong.[80] Peace Trees spends $65,000 per year on clearance and mine risk education.[81] Beginning in the second quarter of 2004, the team will be funded by Project RENEW and shift its activities to Trieu Phong district, thanks to $60,000 in private funding from two individuals.[82] In September 2002, PeaceTrees Vietnam dedicated its Friendship Village in Dong Ha town, Quang Tri, on the site of a former US Marine combat base. For this project Peace Trees commissioned the commercial demining company UXB to clear 400,000 square meters of land.

Mine/UXO Risk Education

Working with Vietnamese counterparts on the national, provincial and local levels, nine international organizations carried out risk education (MRE) activities in 2003. Over 22,900 people attended MRE sessions during the year. Most MRE efforts continue to focus on the three central provinces of Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue. Surveys and evaluations completed in 2003 and early 2004 indicate that the programs have been successful at reaching large numbers of people, changing attitudes and in some cases behavior. Casualty data and press accounts, however, suggest that there is considerable need for MRE in other parts of the country, particularly along the south-central coast and in the Central Highlands.

Even in areas that have received MRE messages, coverage is uneven. Only 7 percent of those injured in Quang Tri in the last five years reported hearing mine risk education messages before their injury, compared to 80 percent of people province-wide. Exposure to available messages decreases with income. Those living in the heavily affected mountainous districts near the Lao border are less than half as likely to receive mine risk information as people elsewhere. Television has the widest coverage of all methods of education in all income, ethnic and regional groups, but its reach declines in poor, remote, and ethnic minority areas. Radio was relatively more effective in reaching these populations.[83]

In Quang Binh, there are no in-school programs yet in the province; the only MRE is provided in areas where ongoing clearance efforts are taking place. Officials expressed a desire for additional television programs targeted at children and people involved in agricultural production, as well as efforts to stop private “bomb hunting.”[84]

National-level efforts to integrate mine/UXO safety messages in a national injury prevention program stalled in 2003. The National Steering Committee on Accident and Injury Prevention set a plan of action after holding its first conference in 2002, but no steps have been taken to implement this plan. UNICEF, a major backer of the program, continues an injury prevention campaign in 15 provinces nationwide through the Ministry of Education and Training and the Committee on Population, Family and Children, with mine/UXO risk education included. Strategies include mass media (television, radio, newspapers, and posters) and development of a manual on safety and injury prevention for child-safe homes, communities, and schools.[85]

Specifically on landmine and UXO-related messages, UNICEF is supporting a variety of activities in Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue in 2004: television and radio programs, billboards, community MRE along the Ho Chi Minh Highway, and teacher training, among other activities. The total budget is $160,000.[86] In Quang Binh and Thua Thien-Hue, local media have organized weekend shows on landmine prevention with small grants from UNICEF. The Youth Union holds theatrical events at youth cultural palaces, but with little funding, these productions attract a small audience.[87]

In 2003, Project RENEW, in partnership with the provincial television station and Youth Union, completed its 18-month mine action pilot project which included MRE activities in all 19 subdistricts of Trieu Phong district, Quang Tri. The project started in July 2001. Phase II will turn this project over to local counterparts and expand to a new district, Hai Lang. Evaluation results call for better cooperation among of project components, especially closer linkages with mobile ordnance removal.[88] RENEW is also cooperating with UNICEF on child-to-child MRE, and providing data for a booklet to be distributed in Quang Tri.[89] Since July 2001 RENEW has also organized “Mine Awareness Marches,” hosted public awareness workshops and produced MRE spots and documentary films on landmines and UXO.[90]

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) began an MRE course for teachers in Trieu Phong in November 2001. In 2002, CRS introduced a UXO/landmine safety curriculum in primary schools and benefited 200 teachers and 4,050 children. In 2003, the MRE project reached seven primary schools in five subdistricts. More than 4,000 children and 200 teachers employed a UXO safety curriculum, now in its third revision. School-community meetings included 3,500 parents. At a “creation camp” in summer 2003, 31 students and educators from Vietnam and Laos produced a bilingual book of stories and pictures about mine safety. The CRS project is scheduled to conclude in September 2004; expansion to additional districts is under consideration.[91]

The NGO Peace Trees Vietnam established the Danaan Parry Landmine Education Center in September 1998 for MRE and landmine survivors rehabilitation. In 2002 it conducted teacher training for mine awareness with the Women’s Union and at libraries in Quang Tri, providing training for more than 2,000 people.[92] In 2003 Peace Trees Vietnam held an MRE camp and art poster contest in Dong Ha town, Quang Tri with approximately 800 children in attendance.[93] As of early 2004, Peace Trees has placed MRE materials in libraries the organization constructed in five subdistricts. Peace Trees Viet Nam provided $12,600 towards the total project cost of $33,700, with the balance funded by the provincial Women’s Union, the Australian government and the Dutch Embassy.[94]

SODI, Potsdam Kommunikation, and AVI all include MRE components in their clearance projects. SODI combines awareness activities with its EOD teams in Cam Lo and Trieu Phong districts, and reached 4,231 students, teachers and parents in 2003.[95] Potsdam Kommunikation began a province-wide community awareness program in Thua Thien-Hue in 2002, with a focus on visiting schools in Huong Thuy district where clearance was underway. This team, which also undertakes mobile clearance, conducts awareness activities in coordination with the provincial Women’s Union and Youth Union. Through the end of June 2004, 7,000 schoolchildren and 270 teachers had participated.[96] In Phong Dien district, Thua Thien-Hue, 64 people took part in AVI-sponsored focus group meetings in 2003. These activities generated six clearance requests, three of which resulted in clearance. A UXO awareness leaflet is distributed when AVI teams conduct house-to-house visits for EOD clearance and organize agricultural training courses.[97]

Viet Nam Assistance for the Handicapped began MRE projects in Thanh Hoa and Quang Binh in April 2002. In Quang Binh, the project has trained 90 secondary school teachers in Bo Trach district, adapting some of CRS and RENEW’s material from Quang Tri. In 2003, 3,400 pupils participated in MRE activities in 6 elementary and junior high schools.[98] VNAH hopes to expand this pilot to a comprehensive mine-awareness project in 2004. MRE in Thanh Hoa, however, has stopped, since VNAH’s partner, the provincial Department of Labor, War Invalids, and Social Affairs, requested a shift to other activities.[99]

Handicap International opened an office in Hanoi in late 2003. The representative is considering mine risk education and victim assistance projects to begin later in 2004.[100]

Mine Action Funding

Vietnam has no published national budget for mine action, but official sources state that the government invests “hundreds of billions of dong (tens of millions of US dollars) for mine detection and clearance” each year.[101] The Ministry of Defense estimates that complete clearance within ten years would cost $4 billion, plus $1 billion more for survivor assistance needs over the same period.[102]

In 2003, three donors reported providing a total of $4.3 million for mine action in Vietnam. This includes: the United States $2,427,000; Germany €966,538 ($1,093,637); and, Australia A$1,200,000 (US$782,400). Landmine Monitor identified $17.7 million in mine action funding for Vietnam in 2002, and $5.7 million in 2001.

According to reports from donors, more than US$35 million has been provided or pledged for mine action in Vietnam in recent years. This includes the US$12 million donated in 2002 by the Japanese government to the Ministry of Defense for mine clearance equipment to be used in infrastructure development projects, such as the HCM highway. Other donors have included the governments of Denmark, Ireland, and Norway—which provided NOK350,000 ($49,435) to the Landmine Survivors Network in 2003 for its amputee peer support network in Vietnam—as well as the Freeman Foundation, SODI, PK, the United Nations Association, and other foundations and charities.

The largest bilateral donor to mine action in Vietnam is the United States. The 2003 total of $2.427 million includes funds for National Impact Survey, clearance by MAG, and equipment for the Ministry of Defense Engineering Command.[103] From 1999-2003, the US provided about $13.6 million in mine action assistance. Additional US support for survivor assistance comes through the Leahy War Victims Fund, which supports Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO), Viet Nam Assistance for the Handicapped (VNAH), Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, Prosthetics Outreach Foundation, and World Vision. Since 1999, the fund has provided a total of $7.85 million for the disability sector in general, including but not exclusively for UXO/mine victims.[104] Landmine Survivors Network receives funding from the US Centers for Disease Control, with an annual in-country budget of approximately $160,000.[105]

The German Foreign Ministry funds the clearance and resettlement projects of SODI and Potsdam Kommunikation in Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue provinces, respectively. Grants in 2003 totaled €966,538 ($1.09 million), including €501,281 to SODI and €465,257 to PK. These figures have remained relatively constant over the past five years. Germany also provides support to the VIETCOT prosthetics training program in Hanoi, with €8.18 million ($9.2 million) funded through GTZ since 1994.[106]

AusAID provided A$1.2 million ($782,400)[107] in funding for the Australian Volunteers International project in Thua Thien-Hue in 2003.[108] Australia reported providing US$650,000 in 2002 and US$1.9 million in 2001.

The Japanese government completed its donation of $12 million in demining equipment to clear the Ho Chi Minh Highway in 2002. A Japanese Embassy official told Landmine Monitor that the equipment would remain in use until construction of the highway was complete, and that the Japanese government had no plans for further assistance at this time.[109]

Ireland reported providing 195,000 Irish pounds in 2001, and Denmark reported providing $1 million in 2000 and $1 million in 1999.

Other international NGOs working in mine action and survivor assistance received funds from bilateral, multilateral, and private sources in 2003. The Belgian government contributed to Handicap International’s programs in southern Vietnam, and the Dutch Embassy supported mine risk education through Peace Trees in Quang Tri. Private donors with significant contributions to several projects include the Freeman Foundation and the British Adopt-A-Minefield program. Other funders include The Atlantic Philanthropies, Cordaid (Netherlands), the Nippon Foundation and Oxfam Hong Kong. The Alliance for Safe Children, founded by the former US ambassador to Vietnam, Pete Peterson, donated $100,000 to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund for Project RENEW’s education and survivor assistance projects in 2004; $75,000 of this originated as a donation from ACE Insurance Company (US).[110]

At a World Bank-organized “Innovation Day” in May 2003, the Bank awarded small grants of around $10,000 each to several dozen international and local organizations, including networks of people with disabilities. Catholic Relief Services’s project on “Children Promoting UXO Safety in the Community” was among the winners.

Some mine action operators have noted that international donors and their Vietnamese government counterparts could take an important step toward greater coordination by including demining funds as part of development and infrastructure projects nationwide. The World Bank and Asian Development Bank, for instance, have not made concrete plans to address this need, even though construction crews on their road projects routinely call in the Vietnamese military to remove mines and UXO.[111]

Landmine/UXO Casualties

There is no comprehensive nationwide mechanism for collecting and recording data on mine/UXO casualties in Vietnam. Landmine Monitor’s independent survey of domestic and international press together with information provided by Clear Path International (CPI) indicates that there were at least 220 new landmine/UXO casualties in 2003, including 81 people killed and 139 injured.[112] These figures are believed to be significantly underreported. BOMICO estimates that 1,110 people are killed and 1,882 injured every year “on average.”[113] Government sources have also stated, “The number of landmine/UXO accidents has continuously increased with an annual rate of 2,000 victims....”[114] Others estimate that mines and UXO kill and maim up to 1,200 Vietnamese each year.[115]

Reporting of casualties is slowly improving, particularly in parts of the country with active survivor assistance programs. In 2002, the media reported at least 166 new mine/UXO casualties (66 killed and 100 injured) and 237 (97 killed and 140 injured) in 2001.[116] CPI estimates that its figures represent close to 100 percent of new casualties in Quang Tri, 85 percent in Quang Binh, but much less in other provinces.[117]

Casualties continue to be reported in 2004. In the first four months, at least 114 people have been killed or injured in mine/UXO incidents.[118] The reported mine/UXO casualty rate is double that for the same period in 2003. Several factors may contribute to this rise including the opening of new land along the Ho Chi Minh Highway, improved data collection, and a higher sale price for scrap metal.[119]

Data on casualties from local surveys released in 2002-2003 demonstrate a clear reduction in mine/UXO incidents over time. In Quang Tri province, the decline has been as much as 45-50 percent since the mid-1990s.[120] Scrap metal collection, “bomb hunting,” and tampering with ordnance are the leading causes of recent incidents, representing between 25-50 percent of all reported casualties in the last five years. Other causes of recent casualties include farming, tending livestock, and collecting firewood or water.[121]

The majority of casualties nationwide are caused by cluster munitions and other UXO, rather than antipersonnel mines; therefore, survivors in Vietnam suffer greater incidences of upper body trauma, upper limb loss and blindness than lower limb amputations.[122]

Since 1999, at least five deminers have been killed and two injured in mine clearance operations: one killed in 2003;[123] two injured in 2002; [124] two killed in 2001;[125] at least two or three killed in 1999.[126] Between 1991 and 1998, 37 soldiers were killed during mine clearance operations along Vietnam’s northern borders.[127]

In November 2003, Project RENEW released a survey on mine/UXO casualties in Quang Tri province. The survey found that 2,540 people died and 4,243 were injured in mine/UXO incidents between 1975 and 2002; 50 percent of incidents occurred between 1975 and 1980. Casualty rates declined to around 200 per year in the 1980s, 150 in the early 1990s, and 50 a year since 1998. The majority of mine/UXO survivors are male (83 percent in Quang Tri). Over the past five years, 32 percent of mine/UXO casualties in Quang Tri involved children 18-years-old or younger.[128] A survey in A Luoi district, Thua Thien-Hue found that children are more likely to die as a result of their injuries: 62 percent of child casualties died as compared to 25 percent of adult casualties.[129] In Quang Binh, a VNAH-Department of Labor survey reported 276 people killed and 118 injured in Bo Trach district since 1975.[130]

The latest available nationwide statistics from the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, dated 31 December 2000, report 38,849 people killed and 65,852 injured since 1975.[131] A MOLISA/UNICEF study recommends that the government conduct a national survey of people with disabilities (including mine/UXO survivors).[132]

Survivor Assistance

In Vietnam, medical and health care services are provided by the national Ministry of Health at the province, district, and subdistrict levels, and rehabilitation services are provided by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs. No distinction is made in treatment and rehabilitation services for landmine and UXO survivors. In practice, most international NGOs working on disability issues also do not make a distinction between landmine/UXO survivors and other persons with disabilities.[133]

Landmine/UXO survivors are likely to be poorer than the national average. Almost one-third of families with mine/UXO survivors live on 5,000 dong (US$0.30) or less per day, and 90 percent live in substandard housing. The majority claim that they have not received any external support.[134] Recent surveys found that the top priority for over 75 percent of mine survivors was assistance in socio-economic reintegration, including access to grants or loans, and educational assistance.[135] Available assistance is reportedly insufficient to meet community needs and is poorly coordinated with other aspects of mine action.[136]

Adequate health care and rehabilitative services exist in Vietnam for landmine and UXO survivors. However, survivors face obstacles with the location and cost of accessing these services. Most mine and UXO incidents happen far from provincial centers where medical facilities are concentrated. The central region, in particular, is underserved. A health insurance program for people with disabilities covers only one percent of the total estimated disabled population.[137]

Clear Path International has provided emergency assistance since 2001 to mine casualties in ten provinces in central and south-central Vietnam, extending from Nghe An south to Gia Lai and Dak Lak in the Central Highlands. The Emergency Outreach Services program addresses three distinct priorities: providing financial support for the emergency medical needs of casualties on a case-by-case basis, including funding special medical procedures; providing transportation, if necessary, to regional hospitals for special rehabilitation programs; and, offering financial assistance to families, with the objective of preventing economic collapse in the critical period following an incident. CPI also provides educational scholarships to children who have been injured by landmines/UXO, or to children of parents that have been injured, so that the children can continue their studies. In 2003, CPI responded to 53 incidents; each family received a stabilization grant, medical costs as needed plus a small per diem for the survivor and caregiver during the period of treatment. In addition, CPI provides community-based care to families of survivors in Vinh Linh district, Quang Tri and Le Thuy district, Quang Binh; 60 families were assisted in 2003 out of a total of over 500 identified as in need. In 2001 and 2002, CPI assisted more than 290 mine/UXO survivors and their families.[138]

In June 2003, a Blast Resuscitation and Victim Assistance (BRAVA) team of 16 US Navy doctors and nurses visited northern Vietnam for the first time, performing surgery on 40 mine/UXO survivors and other people with disabilities. However, some mine survivors reportedly did not take advantage of the free treatment as they could not afford the train ticket from remote provinces to Hanoi.[139]

In 2001, the government-sponsored Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) program expanded from 40 to 45 provinces and by 2003 to 46 of 61 provinces. Fifty-six provinces have rehabilitation departments in local hospitals. Programs are managed by the Ministry of Health or the Fund for the Protection of Children. Budgetary constraints and a lack of teaching materials and experienced trainers are cited as the reasons that the program has not expanded to all provinces. The Ministry of Health estimates that 80 to 90 percent of persons with disabilities in the provinces with the CBR program have nominal access to the facilities. However, the vast majority of rehabilitation needs exist at district and sub-district levels; only one percent of facilities are found there. In addition to providing basic medical rehabilitation services, the CBR program also focuses on vocational training and social reintegration programs for persons with disabilities.[140]

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has operated an orthopedic program in Vietnam since 1989 at the Rehabilitation Center in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC Center) in cooperation with MOLISA. Since 1995, the program is funded by the ICRC Special Fund for the Disabled (SFD). The program also supports six prosthetic centers in the central and southern provinces of Da Nang, Can Tho, Binh Dinh, Nghe An, Thanh Hoa, and Kon Tum. The program covers the cost of the first prosthetic fitting of amputees considered “destitute” (those without state support). The cost of below-knee prostheses is more than twice an average monthly salary. Amputees coming from surrounding provinces are accommodated free of charge and have their travel and meal costs reimbursed. The ICRC centers in Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang supply polypropylene components for orthopedic devices nationwide. The Vietnam Red Cross (VNRC) is responsible for identifying amputees in need of services. In 2003, the ICRC-supported centers produced 4,234 prostheses, including 3,399 provided free for destitute amputees; about 1,500 were for landmine/UXO survivors. The centers also distributed 3,400 pairs of crutches and 542 wheelchairs through the VNRC network.[141] Between 2000 and 2002, the ICRC-supported centers produced 7,403 prostheses (4,234 for destitute), including at least 1,125 for mine/UXO survivors: 2,920 (1,992 for destitute) in 2002; 2,404 (1,218 for the destitute) in 2001; 2,079 in 2000 (1,024 for the destitute).[142] A 2004 Tripartite Co-operation Agreement with MOLISA and the VNRC extended ICRC support to the Institute of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation Science in Hanoi.[143] The ICRC also provides on-going training for prosthetic/orthotic technicians, including formal three-year training programs at the MOLISA Vietnamese Training Center for Orthopedic Technologists (VIETCOT) in Hanoi.[144]

The US-based Prosthetics Outreach Foundation (POF) supports the Prosthetics Outreach Center in Hanoi and the Ba Vi Orthopedic Technology Center in Ha Tay province, as well as rehabilitation centers and prosthetic clinics in Nghe An, Quang Binh, Quang Ninh, and Thai Binh. The majority of amputees are reached through a mobile clinical outreach program; 400 men, women and children receive new artificial limbs each year, and an additional 100 prostheses are repaired or replaced each year. The project also trains local prosthetic technicians and is funded by the US government’s Leahy War Victims Fund.[145]

Vietnam Assistance to the Handicapped (VNAH) provides assistance to five rehabilitation centers in Can Tho, Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Dinh, Da Nang and Ha Tay provinces/cities. In 2003, $62,500 was provided for prosthetics, orthotics and wheelchairs for mine/UXO survivors in Quang Binh province.[146] In neighboring Quang Tri, VNAH has donated 600 wheelchairs and 1,700 prosthetic limbs, with cooperation from the Vietnam Red Cross.[147] In 2002, VNAH donated 2,500 wheelchairs, tricycles and artificial limbs.[148]

The Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation (VVAF) has provided more than 10,000 orthopedic instruments to 7,000 people in 10 northern provinces since 1994 and funds rehabilitation centers in Hanoi, Ha Giang and Nam Dinh provinces. In 2003-04, a $2.6 million project for assistance to people with mobility impairments began, funded by USAID. VVAF, in partnership with Ford Motor Company, began a Mobile Outreach Program in 1999. The program, using custom-designed and donated trucks, has visited eight provinces and fit nearly 500 people with orthotic devices.[149]

Handicap International operated a community based rehabilitation program for mine/UXO survivors in Quang Tri province until the end of 2001. The program was based on a community network of volunteers who identified and cared for persons with disabilities in their neighborhoods. The program continues and is fully autonomous after the completion of training for eleven doctors and physiotherapists who are now qualified to train district supervisors and community agents.[150]

Peace Trees Vietnam (PTVN) has worked in Quang Tri since 1996 and assists survivors with the cost of food and medicines, and provides transportation to provincial hospitals and regional rehabilitation clinics, on a case-by-case basis. PTVN works with the survivors and their families to plan a long-term course of action to ease financial burdens. PTVN also provides long-term assistance to families if necessary, however, the goal is to help the families become self-sufficient. In 2003, PTVN assisted 23 child UXO survivors. Assistance included a grant of $400 to cover school fees, books and a wheelchair. For adult survivors, a micro-credit program with the Women’s Union provides loans from a revolving fund of $38,000.[151]

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund and Project RENEW have operated a survivor assistance program in Trieu Phong district, Quang Tri, since 2001. Project RENEW upgraded facilities at nineteen nurse stations in Trieu Phong, providing medical equipment and first aid training specific to mine/UXO casualties; 245 local health care workers have been trained. The project also works with mine/UXO survivors throughout Trieu Phong district to design creative programs to reintegrate survivors back into the workforce. In July 2001, Project RENEW implemented a program to train mine/UXO survivors to grow edible mushrooms in their homes for sale to wholesale markets. By March 2002, 50 families of survivors were participating. In 2003, the mushroom-growing project expanded to 100 households. Another 60 families in three sub-districts received micro-credit loans in cooperation with the Vietnam Women’s Union.[152]

Since 2002, the American Red Cross has worked in partnership with the VNRC to assist people with disabilities in ten provinces. The beneficiaries include some mine/UXO survivors but no records are maintained on the cause of disabilities.[153]

In January 2003, Landmine Survivors Network signed a two-year agreement with the People’s Committee of Bo Trach district, Quang Binh province, to assist mine/UXO survivors and other amputees. A survey of people with disabilities identified 712 UXO/landmine survivors and 297 other amputees. As of March 2004, LSN had assisted 100 mine/UXO survivors, including 32 who are active participants in a six-subdistrict network. LSN uses peer support to assist survivors in improving their health, living conditions, and socio-economic integration.[154]

Every sub-district has a Support Association for People with Disabilities that keeps a register, but has few resources of its own. On the provincial level, the associations hold charitable events and public festivals in support of people with disabilities, contributing to wider public awareness and acceptance.[155]

The American NGO, Kids First, provides assistance to survivors in Quang Tri through a scholarship program for poor youth, including 100 students who have war-related disabilities. Kids First also funded the construction of Song Hieu Primary School in Dong Ha town, the nation’s first school that is fully accessible for the disabled. On 1 March 2003, construction began on the US$2.268 million Kids First Rehabilitation Village in Dong Ha, Quang Tri, which will train disadvantaged and disabled young people in business skills, information technology, hospitality, woodwork, metalwork and agriculture. The village will establish partnerships with other NGOs to meet the medical and vocational needs of 200-250 mine/UXO survivors and other war disabled children housed at the center.[156]

The US-based NGO Health Volunteers Overseas has operated in Vietnam since September 1992. The Vietnam Rehabilitation Project aims to improve the quality of rehabilitation services and care through the training of health care specialists in the fields of rehabilitation medicine and nursing, and in physical therapy. The program also includes capacity building of local disability organizations and is funded by the Leahy War Victims Fund.[157]

Local organizations also provide support to people with disabilities, including mine/UXO survivors, particularly in southern Vietnam. The Ho Chi Minh City Sponsoring Association for Poor Patients (HSPP) donated over 1,000 wheelchairs in 15 provinces across the country in 2003. Other programs provide health checkups and health insurance cards for the poor, with more than one million people assisted since 1999.[158] Other charitable groups are based in Buddhist temples and Catholic churches.

Disability Policy and Practice

The 1998 Ordinance on Disabled Persons, in effect since 10 July 1999, stipulates the responsibilities of the government, society and families, and clarifies the rights of people with disabilities to health care, education, employment and social participation. Implementation of the legislation, however, remains weak, lacking mechanisms for monitoring and enforcement.[159] In August 2003, Prime Minister Phan Van Khai urged “drastic measures” to ensure full implementation of the legislation.[160]

The Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs is responsible for long-term assistance and rehabilitation for mine/UXO survivors and other persons with disabilities, with contributions from the Ministry of Education and Training and the Ministry of Health.

On 22 January 2001, MOLISA established a National Coordinating Council on Disabilities (NCCD).[161] At the province and district level, local governments or People’s Committees have management responsibilities for the “protection and care” of persons with disabilities.[162] The disability movement in Vietnam continues to gain in public awareness and recognition, with steps toward full legal equality and significant changes in societal attitudes since the council was set up; there has been some limited progress in areas such as accessibility and employment for the disabled.[163]

The Disability Forum, a coalition of local organizations established in 1999, works to raise awareness on the rights and needs of persons with disabilities.[164] Members of the Disability Forum, NCCD and other organizations are actively participating in discussions and preparations for the proposed International Convention on Persons with Disabilities.[165]

Vietnam participated in the South East Asia Regional Conference on Victim Assistance in Bangkok from 6-8 November 2001.

[1] Statement by Vietnam, Treaty Signing Conference/Mine Action Forum, Ottawa, 2-4 December 1997.
[2] Don Tuan Phong, People’s Aid Coordinating Committee, speaking at the Forum on Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 26-29 January 1999.
[3] Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Van de Min sat thuong” (The Question of Antipersonnel Mines), 2 March 2000.
[4] Oral remarks. Notes taken by ICBL Coordinator Elizabeth Bernstein.
[5] Interview with Vu Tran Phong, Department of International Organizations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bangkok, 19 September 2003.
[6] Col. Bui Minh Tam and Nguyen Thi Xuan Huong, “Overview on Demining Technology and Experience in Vietnam,” “Vietnam: International Cooperation: Provincial Perspective: Integrated Mine Action and Community Involvement,” papers presented at the Humanitarian Mine/UXO Clearance Technology and Cooperation Workshop, Kunming, China, 26-28 April 2004; presentation by Hoang Nam, Coordinator, Project RENEW, Landmine Working Group, Hanoi, 25 June 2004.
[7] Interview with Nguyen Ba Hung, Deputy Director, Americas Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hanoi, 16 April 2004.
[8] Interview with Bui Minh Tam, Ministry of Defense, Hanoi, 15 March 2000.
[9] Stephen D. Biddle, “Landmines in Asia,” paper presented at the Phnom Penh Landmines Conference, 1995.
[10] See Landmine Monitor Report 1999, p. 513. Vietnam has produced the MBV78A1 fragmentation stake mine, MBV78A2 fragmentation mine, MN79 plastic blast mine, MB82B plastic blast mine, MDH10 Claymore-type directional fragmentation mine, NOMZ2B fragmentation stake mines and P40 Apple ball mine.
[11] See Landmine Monitor Report 2001, p. 583.
[12] Statement by Vietnam, Treaty Signing Conference/Mine Action Forum, Ottawa, 2-4 December 1997.
[13] Correspondence from Nguyen Manh Hung, Director, Americas Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 8 March 2001. The internal policy document provided to Landmine Monitor by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “The Question of Antipersonnel Mines,” 2 March 2000, also stated that Vietnam has not and will never export antipersonnel mines.
[14] Human Rights Watch, Landmines: A Deadly Legacy, 1993, pp. 103-4; Paul Davies, War of the Mines, 1994, pp. 13-19, 44.
[15] Angola, Article 7 Report, p. 30.
[16] For example, ethnic groups in Burma report finding Vietnamese-made copies of US. M-14 mines on the Thai-Burma border. See Landmine Monitor Report 2000, pp. 541-542.
[17] Interview with Lt. Gen. Vu Tan, Ministry of Defense, Hanoi, 13 May 2003.
[18] See Landmine Monitor Report 2000, p. 542. BOMICO is a department of the Engineering Command of the Ministry of Defense.
[19] See Landmine Monitor Report 2003, p. 717.
[20] “Overview on Demining Technology,” paper presented at Kunming Workshop, 26-28 April 2004. For comparison, see Landmine Monitor Report 2003, pp. 717-8.
[21] David Holdridge as quoted in “Viet Nam, US organisations to co-operate on mine survey,” Vietnam News Service, 29 January 2003.
[22] Col. Bui Minh Tam, “Cuoc chien dau sau chien tranh” (The Struggle After the War), Su kien & Nhan chung (monthly military magazine), date unknown, pp. 17, 31; “Vietnam Demining Activities and Challenges” unpublished paper, February 2002.
[23] Landmine Monitor review of Vietnamese and international media.
[24] Interview with Lt. Gen. Vu Tan, Ministry of Defense, Hanoi, 13 May 2003.
[25] For instance, the ten provinces targeted by the most general purpose bombs were, in order, Quang Tri, Thua Thien–Hue, Quang Nam, Kon Tum, Quang Binh, Binh Phuoc, Tay Ninh, Binh Duong, Gia Lai, and Quang Ngai. Data provided by Michael Sheinkman, VVAF, 16 May 2004.
[26] Project RENEW, “Report of Landmine/UXO Impact Survey in Trieu Phong District, Quang Tri Province, Vietnam,” November 2003, pp. 45-7; Project RENEW and Quang Tri Provincial Health Service, “A Study of Knowledge – Awareness – Practices to the Danger of Postwar Landmines/Unexploded Ordnance and Accidents in Quang Tri Province, Viet Nam,” November 2003, p. 28.
[27] Interview with Nguyen Quang Vinh, Director, and Amb. Nguyen Quy Binh, Vice-Director of the Boundaries Committee, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hanoi, 16 May 2003.
[28] Project RENEW and UNICEF, KAP (Knowledge-Awareness-Practices) Survey, forthcoming; 10-80 Committee, “Results of UXO Presence and Victims Survey in A Luoi,” 2001, pp. 15-16.
[29] Cong An TP. Ho Chi Minh (daily newspaper), 21 December 2002, p. 1; Nguoi Lao Dong (daily newspaper), 16 December 2002, p. 4.
[30] Interview with Tran Khanh Phoi, Program Coordinator, MAG, Quang Tri, 30 March 2004.
[31] Project RENEW and Quang Tri, “A Study of Knowledge...,” November 2003, pp. 10, 32.
[32] Interview with Nguyen Quang Vinh and Nguyen Quy Binh, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 16 May 2003.
[33] Landmine Monitor Report 2003, pp. 719, 721; Landmine Monitor Report 2001, pp. 583, 587.
[34] More reports on scrap metal collectors are available from Landmine Monitor.
[35] Project RENEW, “Survey in Trieu Phong District,” November 2003, p. 62.
[36] “Fish bombing blows up in locals’ faces,” Vietnam News Service, 19 September 2002; “Bombs Seized from Sunken US Warship,” Tien Phong (Pioneer, daily newspaper), 12 March 2003, p. 2; Sai Gon Giai Phong (Liberated Saigon, daily newspaper), 12 March 2003, p. 6.
[37] Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 782; Landmine Monitor Report 2003, p. 720.
[38] VVAF, “Vietnam UXO/Landmine Impact Assessment and Survey,” information sheet; Vinh Nguyen, “Cooperation to Resolve Postwar Mine Legacy,” Lao Dong, 26 February 2004.
[39] Interview with Guy Rhodes, Program Director, VVAF, Hanoi, 22 April 2004.
[40] VVAF, “Vietnam UXO/Landmine Impact Assessment and Survey.”
[41] See, for instance, David Lamb, “U.S. Developing an Unlikely Military Bond With Vietnam,” Los Angeles Times, 9 April 2004.
[42] Presentation by Guy Rhodes and Michael Sheinkman, VVAF, Landmine Working Group, Hanoi, 20 February 2004.
[43] Initial findings from both surveys were described in Landmine Monitor Report 2003, pp. 719-20, 725.
[44] Project RENEW, “Survey in Trieu Phong District,” November 2003, pp. 28-9.
[45] “1st US survey of landmines, ordnances [sic] publishes results,” Viet Nam News, 27 November 2003.
[46] Interview with Tran Van Tuan, Deputy Director, Quang Binh Province Labor Department, Hanoi, 26 March 2004.
[47] Handicap International Belgium, Newsletter, Ho Chi Minh City, Second Quarter 2003.
[48] Information provided by Nguyen Thi Y Duyen, Childhood Injury Prevention Program, UNICEF, Hanoi, 13 April 2004.
[49] For details see Landmine Monitor Report 2003, p. 719
[50] Interview with Tran Khanh Phoi, MAG, 30 March 2004.
[51] UNMAS, “Portfolio of Mine Action Projects 2004,” p. 364.
[52] Ibid, pp. 364-5, 372.
[53] Information provided by Nick Proudman, Program Manager, MAG, 21 April 2004.
[54] Nguyen Minh Ky, “Need to Establish a Center to Overcome Consequences of War,” Lao Dong, 15 December 2002.
[55] Interview with Hoang Nam, Coordinator, Project RENEW, Quang Tri, 30 March 2004.
[56] Interview with Gerd Wilkommen, Senior Technical Supervisor, SODI, Quang Tri, 31 March 2004; Thua Thien-Hue People’s Committee, presentation at International Conference on Cooperation between Vietnam and International NGOs, Hanoi, 19 November 2003.
[57] Landmine Monitor Report 2003, p. 721.
[58] Interview with Tran Khanh Phoi, MAG, 30 March 2004.
[59] Interview with Guy Rhodes, VVAF, Hanoi, 20 February 2004.
[60] Interview with US government source, Hanoi, 17 March 2004.
[61] Interview with Lt. Gen. Vu Tan, Director of Foreign Relations, Ministry of Defense, Hanoi, 13 May 2003; communication from VVAF, 23 May 2003.
[62] Interview with Nguyen Ngoc Quy, Quang Binh Province Foreign Relations Department, Dong Hoi, 26 March 2004.
[63] Interview with Nguyen Quang Vinh and Nguyen Quy Binh, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 16 May 2003.
[6] “Ministry [of Foreign Affairs] border delegation examines and works in Lai Chau and Lang Son provinces,” Quoc Te (weekly newspaper), 24-30 April 2003.4
[65] Project RENEW is a joint effort of the Quang Tri People’s Committee and Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (US).
[66] Data provided by Tran Khanh Phoi, MAG, Quang Tri, 31 March 2004.
[67] “British NGO Helps Quang Binh to Clear UXO,” Tin Tuc (daily newspaper), 10 March 2004, p. 5.
[68] Interview with Tran Khanh Phoi, MAG, 30 March 2004; Email from Tim Carstairs, Director for Policy, MAG, 6 October 2004.
[69] Information provided by Nick Proudman, MAG, 21 April 2004; email from Tim Carstairs, MAG, 6 October 2004.
[70] Information provided by Nick Proudman, MAG, 21 April 2004.
[71] Interview with Nguyen Ngoc Quy, Quang Binh Province, 26 March 2004.
[72] Information provided by Nick Proudman, MAG, 21 April 2004.
[73] “Nearly 24,000 Mines Cleared in Quang Tri,” Lao Dong, 27 September 2003.
[74] Information provided by Ilona Schleicher, Public Relations Office, SODI, Berlin, 13 July 2004
[75] Communication from Lutz Vogt, Chairman, Potsdam Kommunikation, 13 July 2004.
[76] Ngoc Mai, “Drive to rid land of mines gets $1m boost from Germany,” Vietnam Investment Review, 16-22 February 2004, p. 14.
[77] “Germany Supports $1 Million for Mine Clearance in Vietnam,” Lao Dong, 13 February 2004.
[78] Communication from Lutz Vogt, Chairman, Potsdam Kommunikation, 13 July 2004.
[79] Information provided by Brendan Cantlon, Project Coordinator, UXO Clearance and Community Development Project in Thua Thien-Hue, 13 July 2004; “Australians help central province clear explosives,” Viet Nam News, 8 May 2003.
[80] Interview with Chuck Searcy, Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF), Hanoi, 8 April 2004.
[81] Hoai Nam, “Diligent sappers rid Quang Tri of unexploded ordnance,” Viet Nam News, 19 April 2004.
[82] Interview with Chuck Searcy, VVMF, Hanoi, 21 April 2004.
[83] Project RENEW and Quang Tri, “A Study of Knowledge ...,” November 2003, pp. 30-1, 42-4. Initial evaluation results from the Catholic Relief Services school-based project, however, suggest that personal contact through the community may be more effective at achieving behavior change than using mass media. Interview with Dang Huong Giang, Evaluation Team Leader, CRS, Quang Tri, 1 April 2004.
[84] Interview with Tran Van Tuan, Quang Binh Province, 26 March 2004.
[85] Interview with Nguyen Thi Y Duyen, UNICEF, Hanoi, 15 April 2004.
[86] Information provided by Nguyen Thi Y Duyen, UNICEF, Hanoi, 13 April 2004.
[87] Interview with Tran Van Tuan, Quang Binh Province, 26 March 2004.
[88] Interview with Hoang Nam, Project RENEW, 30 March 2004; Project RENEW, “Survey in Trieu Phong District,” November 2003, p. 27.
[89] Presentations by Duong Trong Hue, Project RENEW, and Isabelle Bardem, UNICEF, at the Landmine Working Group, Hanoi, 20 February 2004.
[90] See Landmine Monitor Report 2002, pp. 783-784, and Landmine Monitor Report 2003, p. 724.
[91] Presentation by Thai Thi Hanh Nhan, Project Assistant, CRS, Landmine Working Group, Hanoi, 20 February 2004.
[92] Email from Chuck, Executive Director PeaceTrees Vietnam, 12 May 2003.
[93] Email from Chuck Meadows, PeaceTrees Vietnam, 1 July 2004.
[94] Hoai Nam, “Team clears mines from school yard,” Viet Nam News, 1 April 2004; Viet Thang, “Libraries issue vital warning,” Viet Nam News, 16 September 2003.
[95] Communication from Ilona Schleicher, SODI, 8 July 2004.
[96] Communication from Lutz Vogt, Chairman, Potsdam Kommunikation, 13 July 2004.
[97] Information provided by Brendan Cantlon, UXO Clearance Project, 6 March 2004.
[98] Communication from Bui Van Toan, Country Director, Viet Nam Assistance for the Handicapped (VNAH), 6 July 2004.
[99] Presentation by Nguyen Mai Phuong, Project Officer, VNAH, Landmine Working Group, Hanoi, 20 February 2004; UNMAS, “Portfolio of Mine Action Projects 2004,” p. 371.
[100] Presentation by David Boisson, Representative, Handicap International, Landmine Working Group, Hanoi, 20 February 2004.
[101] Col. Bui Minh Tam, Director, BOMICO, “Vietnam Demining Activities and Challenges” briefing paper, revised February 2002.
[102] Ibid. This calculation is based on 8 percent of the country contaminated (=26,500 sq. km.) and the cost of clearance per hectare at military rates ($2,300 per hectare). Victim assistance is estimated to require $100 million per year for ten years; no basis is provided for this figure, which would amount to nearly $1,500 per survivor.
[103] Interview with US government source, 21 April 2004.
[104] USAID, “Patrick J. Leahy War Victims Fund, Portfolio Synopsis,” Spring 2004. p. 57.
[105] Information provided by Don Townsend, Advisor, LSN, 17 March 2004.
[106] “GTZ in Vietnam,” available at gtz.de.
[107] Exchange rate: A$=$0.652. US Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (annual),” 5 January 2004.
[108] Information provided by Brendan Cantlon, UXO Clearance Project, 6 March 2004.
[109] Interviews with Nguyen Hoang Hoa, Economic Section, Embassy of Japan, Hanoi, 16 September 2003 and 21 April 2004.
[110] Interview with Chuck Searcy, VVMF, Hanoi, 21 April 2004.
[111] Ibid; interview with an ADB construction consultant, Hue, 19 April 2003.
[112] Clear Path International responded to 53 mine/UXO incidents in ten provinces in 2003, resulting in 31 people killed and 71 injured. Data provided by Hugh Hosman, Country Representative, Clear Path International, 26 April 2004. Landmine Monitor documented 62 people killed and 95 injured in 2003. An adjustment was made for incidents appearing in both lists.
[113] BOMICO, “Situation on the Effects of Landmines, Bombs and Explosives Remaining After the War,” draft paper provided by VVAF, 2003, p. 7.
[114] “Overview on Demining Technology,” paper presented at Kunming Workshop, 26-28 April 2004.
[115] “Vietnam joins US vets in landmark landmine survey,” Reuters, 23 February 2004.
[116] See Landmine Monitor Report 2003, pp. 726-727.
[117] Interview with Hugh Hosman, Clear Path International, Quang Tri, 31 March 2004.
[118] CPI responded to 20 incidents that killed 13 people and injured another 28 in four provinces. Data provided by Hugh Hosman, Clear Path International, 26 April 2004. Landmine Monitor documented 35 people killed and another 52 injured in landmine/UXO incidents from national press reports. An adjustment was made for incidents appearing in both lists.
[119] “Shell Explodes, Kills Two,” Lao Dong, 5 April 2004.
[120] Interview with Hoang Dang Mai, Director, Quang Tri Province Foreign Relations Department, 17 April 2003.
[121] Project RENEW and Quang Tri, “A Study of Knowledge ...” November 2003, pp. 20-25, 80.
[122] Presentation by Duong Trong Hue, Project RENEW, at the Landmine Working Group, Hanoi, 20 February 2004; Project RENEW and Quang Tri, “A Study of Knowledge ...,” November 2003, pp. 28-9, 79; Data provided by Don Townsend, LSN, 26 March 2004; Data provided by Hugh Hosman, Clear Path International, 7 April 2004.
[123] Quang Chinh, “Road workers doing it tough on former Ho Chi Minh Trail,” Viet Nam News, 1 November 2003.
[124] Hoai Nam, “Diligent sappers rid Quang Tri of unexploded ordnance,” Viet Nam News, 19 April 2004; Reports at the Landmine Working Group, Hanoi, 25 April 2003.
[125] “Bomb kills Disposal Expert on Ho Chi Minh Highway,” Reuters (Hanoi), 2 October 2001.
[126] Huw Watkin, “Help Needed to Clear Bombed Road Route,” South China Morning Post, 24 March 2000; telephone interview with Chuck Searcy, Hanoi, 21 April 2000.
[127] “25 Years Later, Vietnam’s Deadly Legacy of War,” Baltimore Sun, 27 April 2000.
[128] Project RENEW and Quang Tri, “A Study of Knowledge ...,” November 2003, pp. 15, 18-19, 72.
[129] 10-80 Committee, “Results of UXO Presence and Victims Survey in A Luoi,” p. 27.
[130] Interview with Tran Van Tuan, Quang Binh Province, 26 March 2004.
[131] BOMICO, “Effects of Landmines, Bombs and Explosives, draft paper, 2003, p. 7. This figure represented an increase of 601 people killed and 1,788 injured since the May 1998 figures cited in earlier Landmine Monitor reports. See Landmine Monitor Report 2001, p. 589.
[132] MOLISA and UNICEF, “Situational Analysis on Children with Disabilities in Vietnam,” Hanoi, November 2003, pp. 47-48.
[133] See Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 785.
[134] See Landmine Monitor Report 2003, pp. 727-728.
[135] Project RENEW and Quang Tri, “A Study of Knowledge ...,” November 2003, pp. 31-2; Interview with Don Townsend, Advisor, LSN, Quang Binh, 26 March 2004; Landmine Monitor Report 2003, p. 728.
[136] Project RENEW, “Survey in Trieu Phong District,” November 2003, pp. 64-6.
[137] See Landmine Monitor Report 2003, p. 728.
[138] Interview with Hugh Hosman, Clear Path International, Quang Binh, 28 March 2004; Presentation by Hugh Hosman at the Landmine Working Group, Hanoi, 17 January 2003; interview with Hugh Hosman, Quang Tri, 17 April 2003 and 19 March 2002; Martha Hathaway, Project Director, CPI, response to Landmine Monitor Survivor Assistance questionnaire, 13 March 2002.
[139] Hai Van, “Former adversaries help blast victims recover,” Viet Nam News, 2 July 2003; “Cooperation to Happen More Regularly,” Lao Dong, 25 June 2003.
[140] Nguyen Xuan Nghien, ed., Bai giang Phuc hoi Chuc nang dua vao Cong dong [Lessons for Community-Based Rehabilitation] (Hanoi: Medical Publishing House, 2004), pp. 19, 26; MOLISA and UNICEF, “Situational Analysis,” November 2003, p. 34; see also Landmine Monitor Report 2003, p. 728; Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 785.
[141] Data provided by Peter Poetsma, ICRC, Ho Chi Minh City, 24 March 2004; ICRC Special Fund for the Disabled, “Annual Report 2003,” Geneva, February 2004, pp. 13-16.
[142] ICRC Special Fund for the Disabled, “Annual Report 2002,” Geneva, April, 2003, p. 8; “Annual Report 2001,” May 2002; “Annual Report 2000,” June 2001; email from Peter Poetsma, ICRC, 2 May 2003; interview with Peter Poetsma, Director, ICRC Rehabilitation Program, Ho Chi Minh City, 1 June 2002.
[143] ICRC, “Orthopaedic Programme, a MOLISA-VNRC-ICRC/SFD Tripartite Co-Operation in Vietnam” briefing paper, revised February 2004.
[144] VIETCOT is funded by GTZ (Germany).
[145] USAID, “Patrick J. Leahy War Victims Fund: Portfolio Synopsis 2004,” p. 57; see also Prosthetics Outreach Foundation website, www.pofsea.org
[146] Interview with Tran Van Tuan, Quang Binh Province, 26 March 2004; presentation by Nguyen Mai Phuong, VNAH, 20 February 2004; email from Bui Van Toan, VNAH, 27 May 2003.
[147] Quang Tri Labor Department, “Bao co Tinh hinh Nguoi Tan tat o tinh Quang Tri” [Conditions of Disabled People in Quang Tri Province], undated report, p. 4.
[148] Vietnam News Service, 25 March 2003, p. 3; Lao Dong, 24 March 2003, p. 3; VNAH and HealthEd Update, Fall 2002.
[149] Email from Larrie Warren, Director, Post Conflict Rehabilitation, VVAF, 24 September 2004.
[150] Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 786.
[151] Hoai Nam, “Team clears mines from school yard,” Viet Nam News, 1 April 2004; Vietnam News Service, “War’s brutal aftermath still lingers in Quang Tri Province,” Viet Nam News, 13 May 2003; interview with Quang Le, Country Director, Peace Trees Vietnam, Quang Tri, 16 March 2002.
[152] Interview with Hoang Nam, Project RENEW, 30 March 2004; Project RENEW, “Survey in Trieu Phong District,” November 2003, p. 28; Information provided by Project RENEW, 18 March 2002.
[153] Email from Marcie Friedman, Country Director, American Red Cross, 20 April 2004.
[154] Information provided by Don Townsend, LSN, 17 and 26 March 2004; interview with Michelle Hecker and Joelle Caschera, LSN, Quang Binh, 21 April 2003.
[155] Interview with Don Townsend, LSN, Quang Binh, 26 March 2004.
[156] Interview with Nguyen Duc Tan, Quang Tri Province Foreign Relations Department, Dong Ha, 31 March 2004; Hoai Nam, “Village puts disabled kids first,” Viet Nam News, 5 March 2003.
[157] USAID, “Patrick J Leahy War Victims Fund: 2004,” p. 56; Linda James, Health Volunteers Overseas, response to LM Questionnaire, 25 February 2002.
[158] “Charity gives wheelchairs to children with disabilities,” Viet Nam News, 18 June 2003; The Uyen, “A Marvelous Thing in Everyday Life,” Lao Dong, 18 February 2004; Le Thanh Ha, “Donating 1,000 Wheelchairs,” Tuoi Tre (daily newspaper), 14 November 2003.
[159] MOLISA and UNICEF, “Situational Analysis,” November 2003, pp. 19, 22; Duong Thi Van, Chairperson, “Bright Future Group for People with Disabilities: Vietnam Country Paper,” presented at the Expert Group Meeting and Seminar on an International Convention to Protect and Promote the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities, Bangkok, 2-4 June 2003; see also Landmine Monitor Report 2003, p. 731.
[160] “PM Khai calls for greater care of disabled,” Viet Nam News, 2 August 2003.
[161] For more detail see Landmine Monitor Report 2001, p. 591.
[162] Article 16 of Implementation Decree 55/1999/ND-CP (10 July 1999).
[163] “Official says Viet Nam a friendlier country for people with disabilities,” Viet Nam News, 7 April 2004.
[164] HI, “Landmine Victim Assistance: World Report 2002,” Lyon, December 2002, p. 252.
[165] Interview with Pham Thi Binh Minh, Health Volunteers Overseas, Hanoi, 15 April 2004; email from Duong Thi Van, Bright Futures Group, 15 April 2004.