Cambodia

Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Last updated: 08 July 2019

Summary: Non-signatory Cambodia supports the convention, but has not taken any steps to join it over the past decade. Cambodia has participated in the convention’s meetings, but not since 2015.

Cambodia is not known to have ever produced, used, or exported cluster munitions. It has not disclosed the size or precise content of its cluster munition stockpile. Cambodia’s cluster munition contamination dates from the 1960s and 1970s, when the United States (US) extensively bombed the country in air attacks. More recently, in 2011, Thailand fired cluster munitions into Cambodian territory.

Policy

The Kingdom of Cambodia has not acceded to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Over the past decade, Cambodia has shown significant interest in the convention, but has taken no steps to join it, besides stakeholder consultations. Cambodia last commented on the matter in March 2017, when a Cambodian official told the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) that the government views the convention positively and hopes to join in the future. [1] Previously, in 2013–2014, Cambodia said it was consulting with various stakeholders on the question of its accession to the convention. [2]

Cambodia was an early, prominent, and influential supporter of the Oslo Process that produced the Convention on Cluster Munitions and advocated forcefully for the most comprehensive and immediate ban possible. It hosted the first regional forum on cluster munitions in Phnom Penh in March 2007 and joined in the consensus adoption of the convention at the end of the Dublin negotiations in May 2008. Yet, despite this extensive and positive leadership role, Cambodia attended the Convention on Cluster Munitions Signing Conference in Oslo on 3 December 2008 only as an observer and did not sign, stating at the time that due to “recent security developments” in the region, it needed more time to study the security implications of joining. [3]

Since then, Cambodia has cited various reasons for not joining the Convention on Cluster Munitions, most of them security-related. [4] The Ministry of Defense is concerned about how it would destroy stockpiled cluster munitions under the convention and replenish defense capabilities accordingly. [5] Cambodia has also long emphasized the need for its neighboring states, particularly Thailand, to accede to the convention. [6] In 2011, Thailand fired cluster munitions into Cambodian territory, killing two men and injuring seven. [7]

Cambodia has participated as an observer in meetings of the convention, but not since September 2015. [8] It has attended regional workshops on the convention, most recently in Vientiane, Lao PDR in April 2019. [9]

In December 2018, Cambodia was absent from the vote on the UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution on the Convention on Cluster Munitions, which urges states outside the convention to “join as soon as possible.” [10] Cambodia has never explained its continued absence from the vote on this annual UNGA resolution promoting the convention since it was first introduced in 2015.

Cambodia has condemned the use of cluster munitions. [11]

The Cambodia Campaign to Ban Landmines and Cluster Bombs (CCBL) continues to call on the government to approve accession to the Convention on Cluster Munitions. [12]

Cambodia is a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty. It is also party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.

Use, production, and transfer

Cambodia is not known to have used, produced, or exported cluster munitions.

The US used some 80,000 air-dropped cluster munitions containing 26 million submunitions on Cambodia in the 1960s and 1970s during the Vietnam War, mostly in the east and northeast of the country.

After Thailand fired cluster munitions into Cambodian territory in June 2011, Cambodian officials informed a meeting of the convention that, “Despite being confronted and threatened by forces, so far we have refrained from employing cluster munitions in our response.” [13]

Stockpiling

The types and quantities of cluster munitions stockpiled by Cambodia are not known. In December 2008, a defense official said that Cambodia has “some missile launchers that use cluster munitions that weigh more than 20kg” and that there were also stockpiles of cluster munitions weighing 250kg left over from the 1980s that Cambodia intends to destroy. [14] Weapons with submunitions that weigh more than 20kg each are not defined as cluster munitions by the Convention on Cluster Munitions and are thus not prohibited. [15] However, it is unclear if Cambodian officials are referring to the total weight of the warhead or the individual submunitions the warhead contains.

According to standard international reference publications, Cambodia also possesses BM-21 Grad  and RM-70 multi-barrel 122mm rocket launchers, but it is not known if the ammunition for these weapons includes versions with submunition payloads. [16] Cambodian officials have sought clarification from States Parties and NGOs as to whether  multi-barrel rocket launchers are banned under the convention. The launchers are capable of firing rockets with a variety of warheads, one of which is a cargo warhead containing explosive submunitions. The CMC has informed Cambodia that the rocket delivery system itself is not prohibited by the convention, and the convention would allow use of the multi-barrel rocket launchers with unitary munitions. However, under the terms of the convention, a multi-barrel rocket launcher like the BM-21 or RM-70 could not be used to deliver rockets containing explosive submunitions. [17]



 [1] CMC notes from the meeting by Megan Burke, Director, ICBL-CMC. See also, Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA), “H.E. Senior Minister Serei Kosal, CMAA’s 1st Vice President met Ms. Megan Burke, Director of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines,” 14 March 2017.

 [2] In April 2014, an official said the convention’s “lack of clearly defined definition of cluster munitions” requires Cambodia to undertake “a much more vigorous study among key national technical stakeholders…to explore technical matters and to seek a possible consensus.” He said Cambodia will consider accession to the convention when it “concludes all relevant assessments.” Statement of Cambodia, Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 7 April 2014. See also, statement of Cambodia, Convention on Cluster Munitions Fourth Meeting of States Parties, Lusaka, 10 September 2013.

 [3] For details on Cambodia’s policy and practice regarding cluster munitions through early 2009, see Human Rights Watch and Landmine Action, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, May 2009), pp. 193–195.

 [4] See ICBL, Cluster Munition Monitor 2010 (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, October 2010), p. 201.

 [5] Peter Sombor, “Cambodia Still Undecided About Signing Cluster Munitions Treaty,” The Cambodia Daily, 9 September 2013; and ICBL, Cluster Munition Monitor 2010 – Cambodia ban policy update, 21 October 2010.

 [7] At the convention’s first intersessional meetings in June 2011, Cambodia said its accession was “just a matter of time.” Statement of Cambodia, Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 27 June 2011.

 [8] Cambodia participated in Meetings of States Parties of the convention until 2014 and attended the First Review Conference in 2015 as well as intersessional meetings in Geneva in 2011–2015.

 [9] Regional Seminar on Landmines, Cluster Munitions and Explosive Remnants of War, Vientiane, Lao DPR, 29–30 April 2019. See, “Experts Discuss Landmine-related Risks At A Regional Seminar,” Lao News Agency, 2 May 2019. It previously attended a regional workshop on the convention in Thailand in March 2017. See also, Final Report of the South East Asia Regional Seminar, “Cooperating to implement the Convention on Cluster Munitions: the country coalition concept,” Bangkok, 16–17 March 2017; and European Union Nonproliferation Consortium, “Cooperating to implement the Convention on Cluster Munitions: the country coalition concept,” UNESCAP, Bangkok, 16–17 March 2017.

 [10]Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution 72/54, 4 December 2017. It was also absent during the first round of voting on draft resolution A/C.1/72/L.41 in the UNGA First Committee on Disarmament and International Security on 31 October 2017.

 [11] In 2014, Cambodia condemned reported use of cluster munitions in South Sudan. Statement of Cambodia, Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, April 2014.

 [13] Statement of Cambodia, Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 27 June 2011.

 [14] The official was Chau Phirun of the Ministry of Defense. Lea Radick and Neou Vannarin, “No Rush to Sign Cluster Munition Ban: Gov’t,” The Cambodia Daily, 5 December 2008.

 [15] Article 2.2 states: “‘Cluster munition’ means a conventional munition that is designed to disperse or release explosive submunitions each weighing less than 20 kilograms, and includes those explosive submunitions.”

 [16] International Institute for Strategic Studies, The Military Balance 2011 (London: Routledge, 2011), p. 229; and Colin King, ed., Jane’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal 2008, CD-edition, 3 December 2007 (Surrey, UK: Jane’s Information Group Limited, 2008).

 [17] Letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen from Steve Goose, CMC, 30 November 2011.


Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 18 December 2019

Policy

The Kingdom of Cambodia signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997 and ratified on 28 July 1999, becoming a State Party on 1 January 2000. Domestic implementation legislation—the Law to Prohibit the Use of Anti-personnel Mines—took effect on 28 May 1999.[1]

Cambodia has attended all of the Mine Ban Treaty’s Review Conferences held in 2004, 2009, and 2014 as well as most of the treaty’s Meetings of States Parties and many of the intersessional meetings held in Geneva, including in the Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in November 2018 and the intersessional meetings in Geneva in May 2019. It hosted the Mine Ban Treaty’s Eleventh Meeting of States Parties in December 2011.[2]

Cambodia is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) and its Amended Protocol II on landmines and Protocol V on explosive remnants. It is not party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Use

There have been no allegations of new use of antipersonnel mines on the Cambodian border with Thailand since 2013.

In March 2013, three Thai soldiers were injured by what the Thai military described as newly planted mines near the Ta Kwai Temple in Phanom Dong Rak district. Cambodia investigated and in its report to States Parties found the mines were old, dating from the Cambodian civil war.[3] Cambodia provided a copy of its investigation report to the Mine Ban Treaty Implementation Support Unit and the ICBL at the May 2013 intersessional meetings, and to the government of Thailand through diplomatic channels.[4]

Other allegations made by Thailand of Cambodian use of antipersonnel mines on the Cambodian-Thai border in 2008 and 2009 were never resolved.[5]

Production, transfer, stockpile destruction, and retention

Previously, the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) destroyed its declared stockpile of 71,991 antipersonnel mines between 1994 and 1998, and in February 1999 the RCAF Deputy Commander in Chief formally stated that the RCAF no longer had stockpiles of antipersonnel mines.[6] In 2000, Cambodia reported an additional stockpile of 2,035 antipersonnel mines held by the national police that were subsequently destroyed.[7] In 2013, Cambodia reported that while there have been no antipersonnel mine stockpiles in the country since 2001, “police and military units are still finding and collecting weapons, ammunitions and mines from various sources, locations and caches.”[8] Discovered mines are supposed to be reported to the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA) and handed over to the Cambodian Mine Action Center (CMAC) for destruction.[9] A Cambodian official has previously stated that newly discovered stocks are destroyed immediately.[10]

Previous Article 7 reports document a total of 133,478 stockpiled antipersonnel mines that were found and destroyed from 2000 to 2008, including 13,665 in 2008; this included 9,698 by CMAC; 2,713 by HALO Trust; and 1,254 by Mines Advisory Group (MAG). Cambodia stated that these mines were “reported by local communities.”[11] It is not clear why significant numbers of stockpiled mines were discovered each year through 2008, but none have been discovered since.

Cambodia has each year reported transfer of mines removed from mined areas to the CMAC training center and other operators for training purposes. In June 2011, the deputy secretary general of the CMAA told the Monitor that all mines held by Cambodia are fuzeless and that Cambodia retains no live mines for training.[12] In its 2014 Article 7 report, Cambodia reported the transfer of 60 inert antipersonnel mines for use to train animals in landmine detection.



[1] The law bans the production, use, possession, transfer, trade, sale, import, and export of antipersonnel mines. It provides for criminal penalties, including fines and imprisonment for offenses committed by civilians or members of the police and the armed forces. It also provides for the destruction of mine stockpiles.

[2] Prak Sokhonn, Minister Attached to the Prime Minister and Vice-Chair of the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA), was elected president of the Eleventh Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty, which Cambodia hosted in Phnom Penh in November–December 2011 at Vimean Santepheap (the Peace Palace).

[3] See, Landmine Monitor 2013, Thailand Mine Ban Policy profile. According to a request made by the ICBL, Cambodia conducted a fact-finding mission to the site from 10–12 May 2013 that determined the Thai solders were injured by mines laid during the Cambodian civil war. It said its soldiers found indications of the incident on the same day, and recorded a GPS reference that differed from the reference declared by the Thai military. Cambodia stated that the incident took place to the side of, not on, a specially cleared path used for military-to-military meetings between the Thai and Cambodian military in the area. The Cambodian delegation provided copies of the report at the May 2013 intersessional meeting in Geneva.

[4] Statement of Cambodia, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on Compliance, Geneva, 30 May 2013. Notes by the ICBL; and Investigation Report on Thailand’s Allegation of New Mines Laid by Cambodia, 17 May 2013. Report copy provided to ICBL at the Mine Ban Treaty intersessional meeting, 31 May 2013. Report prepared by a five-person team from the Cambodian Mine Action Authority and the Cambodian National Center for Peacekeeping Forces and ERW Clearance.

[5] In October 2008, two Thai soldiers stepped on antipersonnel mines while on patrol in disputed territory between Thailand and Cambodia, near the World Heritage Site of Preah Vihear. Thai authorities maintained that the area was previously clear of mines and that the mines had been newly placed by Cambodian forces. Cambodia denied the charges and stated that the Thai soldiers had entered Cambodian territory in an area known to contain antipersonnel mines and were injured by mines laid during previous armed conflicts. In April 2009, another Thai soldier was reportedly wounded by an antipersonnel mine at the same location during further armed conflict between the two countries. In September 2009, Commander in Chief of the Royal Thai Army, Gen. Anupong Paochinda, stated that Cambodian troops were laying fresh mines along the disputed areas and close to routes where Thai soldiers make regular patrols. See, Landmine Monitor Report 2009, pp. 243–244, 719–720; and also ICBL-CMC, “Country Profile: Cambodia: Mine Ban Policy,” 6 August 2010.

[7] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form B, 26 June 2000.

[8] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form F, 2013.

[9] Ibid.

[10] See, Landmine Monitor Report 2008, p. 206.

[11] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2008), Form G (1). Mines destroyed in previous years included: 8,739 in 2000; 7,357 in 2001; 13,509 in 2002; 9,207 in 2003; 15,446 in 2004; 16,878 in 2005; 23,409 in 2006; and 20,268 in 2007.

[12] Interview with Sophakmonkol Prum, Deputy Secretary General, CMAA, in Geneva, 24 June 2011.


Mine Action

Last updated: 16 November 2018

 

Treaty status

Mine Ban Treaty

State Party
Article 5 deadline: 1 January 2020
Not on track

Convention on Cluster Munitions

Non-signatory

Mine action management

National mine action management actors

Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA)

Mine action strategic and operation plans

National Mine Action Strategy (NMAS) 2018–2025
Implementation plan for 2018–2020

Mine action standards

Cambodian Mine Action Standards (CMAS). NMAS calls for a review of the CMAS

Operators in 2017

National:
Cambodian Mine Action Center (CMAC) 


International:
Mines Advisory Group (MAG)
Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA)

Extent of contamination as of end 2017

Landmines

941km2[1]
Extent of contamination: massive

Cluster munition remnants

Unknown. Recorded contamination is at least 624km2
Extent of contamination: massive

Other ERW contamination

379km2[2]

Land release in 2017

Landmines

26.11kmcancelled, 14.52kmreduced, and 27.68kmcleared
5,780 antipersonnel mines destroyed[3]

Cluster munition remnants

26.5kmreleased, of which 23.5kmcleared and 2.7kmthrough survey[4]
At least 5,865 submunitions destroyed through BAC and EOD spot tasks
5kmconfirmed through survey[5]

Other ERW

At least 7,363 ERW destroyed through BAC and EOD spot tasks
11,382 ERW destroyed during mine clearance[6]

Progress

Landmines

Cambodia’s new mine action strategy emphasizes the need for more efficient use of demining assets, and in 2017, Cambodia continued survey efforts to better define the extent and location of contamination. The strategy sets the goal of completion by 2025, but this is dependent on increased donor support

Cluster munition remnants

Cambodia has increased its estimate of cluster munition contamination in recent years as a result of survey. Cambodia approved the Cluster Munition Remnants Survey (CMRS) methodology in 2017, but as of June, it had not been adopted in the national standards

Notes: ERW = explosive remnants of war; BAC = battle area clearance; EOD = explosive ordnance disposal. 

The Kingdom of Cambodia has extensive contamination by mines and ERW) left by 30 years of conflict that ended in the 1990s.

Mine Contamination 

Cambodia’s antipersonnel mine problem is concentrated in, but not limited to, 21 northwestern districts along the border with Thailand, which account for the great majority of mine casualties. The K5 mine belt, which was installed along the border with Thailand in the mid-1980s in an effort to block infiltration by armed opposition groups, ranks among the densest contamination in the world.[7]

After more than 25 years of mine clearance, estimates of the extent of mine contamination continue to fluctuate. A baseline survey (BLS) of Cambodia’s 139 most mine-affected districts, completed in 2013, estimated total mine and ERW contamination at 1,915km². Areas affected to some degree by mines covered a total of more than 1,111km², of which 1,043kmwere affected by antipersonnel mines. This included some 73kmof dense contamination but most areas, covering 892km², contained “scattered or nuisance” antipersonnel and antivehicle mines.[8] 

At the end of 2017, the CMAA estimated that dense antipersonnel mine contamination in the 136 districts covered by the BLS affected 101km2, while mixed antipersonnel/antivehicle mined areas amounted to almost 250km(see table below). Total antipersonnel and antivehicle mine contamination of 941kmwas 5% higher than a year earlier.[9] That estimate is consistent with Cambodia’s in its Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 transparency report for 2017, which put total known or suspected antipersonnel mine contamination at 895km(equivalent to A1+A2+A4 in the table below).[10] The CMAA acknowledges that much of the BLS data is imprecise, and believes further survey could reduce suspected mined area by one-third or more, but also expects it to capture new polygons that could add up to around 100kmto contamination estimates.[11] 

Mined area (in 136 districts) (m2)[12]

Contamination classification

End 2016

End 2017

A1 Dense AP mines

100,778,056

101,025,615

      

A2 Mixed AP and AV mines

36,361,353

33,290,704

A2.1 Mixed dense AP/AV mines

7,090,672

6,794,017

A2.2 Mixed scattered AP/AV mines

168,694,189

209,471,512

A2 Total

212,146,214

249,556,233

     

A3 AV mines

47,082,941

47,031,294

     

A4 Scattered or nuisance mines

537,184,712

543,730,050

Total

897,191,923

941,343,192

Note: AP = antipersonnel; AV = antivehicle. 

ERW, including cluster munition contamination 

Cambodia has extensive cluster munition contamination but the full extent is not known. Contamination resulted from intensive bombing by the United States (US) during the Vietnam War, concentrated in northeastern provinces along the borders with the Lao PDR and Vietnam. The US Air Force dropped at least 26 million explosive submunitions, between 1.9 million and 5.8 million of which are estimated to have not exploded.[13]

Cambodia has sharply raised its estimate of cluster munition contamination in recent years, as a result of focusing more attention on the issue and implementing the national BLS, but it presents widely varying assessments of the extent of the problem. Cambodia’s Article 7 report provides an estimate of total cluster munition contamination in 18 provinces at 624km2, but has not explained the basis for this figure.[14] However, its National Mine Action Strategy states known cluster munition contamination covers 645kmand believes the figure will rise as a result of future survey.[15] According to the National Mine Action Strategy, in 2017, Cambodia had around 379kmof ERW contamination apart from cluster munition remnants.[16] 

As of April 2018, the CMAA reported cluster munition contamination in the eight eastern provinces close to the border with Vietnam, which are believed to account for most of the problem, at 457km2. This is an increase of one quarter from its estimate of 365kma year earlier. Two provinces, Kratie and Stung Treng, accounted for more than half of the cluster munition total.[17] 

ERW Survey of Eight Eastern Provinces BLS in 2009–2017[18]

Province

CMR-contaminated area (m2)

Area with other UXO (m2)

Total ERW-contaminated area (m2)

Kampong Cham

46,378,266

9,799,903

56,178,169

Kratie

106,032,171

26,315,540

132,347,711

Mondolkiri

18,702,666

10,375,597

29,078,263

Prey Veng

31,758,044

45,094,918

76,852,962

Rattanakiri

44,093,931

1,369,256

45,463,187

Stung Treng

131,731,346

29,633,740

161,365,086

Svay Rieng

46,447,704

37,174,806

83,622,510

Tboung Khmum

31,863,776

18,557,027

50,420,803

Total

457,007,904

178,320,787

635,328,691

Note: CMR = cluster munition remnants; UXO = unexploded ordinance. 

However, the accuracy of the estimate has been called into question by some operators. The BLS employed a landmine survey methodology, resulting in exaggerated and inaccurate polygons, raising the likelihood that cluster munition contamination estimates will undergo significant revision as operators apply more accurate survey methods. Operators report that polygons are found to contain no cluster munition remnants and also find significant contamination outside BLS polygons. Operators have worked in Rattanakiri province for four years but were still identifying additional cluster munition hazardous areas in 2017 in areas not identified by the BLS as contaminated. Meanwhile CMAA reporting forms are formatted to record mine clearance and do not readily capture the results of cluster munition survey.[19]

Much of Cambodia’s cluster munition contamination lies in areas that are heavily forested and sparsely populated, limiting the community information available on affected areas. Demand for land and the large numbers of people moving into the northern provinces, raise the threat of increased casualties in the future, while also generating more evidence of the scale of contamination.[20] 

Program Management

The CMAA regulates and coordinates mine action, responsibilities previously assigned to the Cambodian Mine Action Center (CMAC).[21] Prime Minister Hun Sen is the CMAA president and Senior Miniter Ly Thuch its first vice-president overseeing the authority. In 2017, CMAA management underwent significant change for the second successive year. First Vice-President Serei Kosal, appointed in 2016, was moved out of the CMAA. Former CMAA Secretary-General, Prum Sophakmonkol, who was moved to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2016, was reappointed to that position with effect from the start of January 2018. 

The CMAA pursues a national mine action policy that is said to be “people centered,” balancing top-down policy-making with community-up requirements.[22] The CMAA identifies priority communes for clearance on the basis of casualty data while provincial-level Mine Action Planning Units (MAPUs) are responsible for preparing annual clearance task lists. This is done by working in consultation with local authorities to identify community priorities as well as with mine action operators, taking account of donor funding and objectives. Task lists are reviewed and approved by Provincial Mine Action Committees (PMACs) and the CMAA. Reviews of the system in 2015 identified weaknesses, notably in reconciling local-level priorities with wider strategic goals,[23] and CMAA management acknowledged a need to review the criteria for prioritizing clearance in discussions on a new mine action strategy.[24] 

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has supported the CMAA through a “Clearing for Results” (CFR) program since 2006, awarding contracts funded by international donors through a process of competitive bidding. The first two phases from 2006 to the end of 2015 resulted in release of 167kmat a cost of $37 million.[25]

The CFR program issued two clearance contracts worth $2.18 million in 2017, both going to CMAC and resulting in reported clearance of 13.38km2. It also awarded CMAC a further three contracts worth about $200,000 for baseline survey and non-technical survey of reclaimed areas, which resulted in release of a further 11.63km2. The National Center for Peacekeeping Forces Management, Mines and Explosive Remnants of War Clearance (NPMEC), which was active in CFR in previous years, did not participate in 2017, citing pressures of United Nations (UN) peacekeeping deployments. In 2018, the CFR program issued four contracts worth a total of $1.43 million: three going to CMAC and one to HALO Trust. CMAC was also awarded land reclamation non-technical survey and baseline survey contracts worth about US$180,000.[26]

CFR results 2017[27]

Operator

Province

Area released (m2)

AP mines destroyed

AV mines destroyed

Other UXO destroyed

CMAC

Battambang

7,093,940

1,010

5

756

Banteay Meanchey

6,287,069

1,159

5

2,331

Total

13,380,009

2,169

10

3,087

 

Strategic planning 

Cambodia had intended to release a National Mine Action Strategy (NMAS) for 2017–2025 in 2016, but preparations stalled as a result of the CMAA’s management reshuffle and a lack of direction, which persisted in much of 2017. The management team put in place at the end of the year and with effect from the start of 2018 has, though, injected new momentum into the mine action sector with technical working group meetings on strategy and operations seeking to improve efficiency and accelerate land release. 

Cambodia’s new NMAS 2018–2025 was approved by the Prime Minister in December 2017 and officially launched at a national mine action conference in May 2018. The NMAS estimated that at the rate of progress achieved since 2014, Cambodia would need a little over 10 years to complete clearance of all known mined areas. It observed that to complete clearance of mineed areas in eight years would require release of 110kma year.[28] 

The NMAS emphasizes the need for more efficient use of demining assets. An early draft acknowledged that “a significant number” of mined areas cleared in 2016 either did not contain any mines or only contained mine types that experience showed had degraded and no longer functioned.[29] The observation echoed a finding by the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) in a 2016 report, citing official data that almost half the land released by full clearance or reduced by technical survey in 2015 contained no mines (26%) or very few (one to three) explosive hazards (23%).[30]

The strategy said planning and prioritization should take device types into consideration, that clearance tasks should be prioritized on the basis of evidence from survey, and that donor funding should be directed to priority areas where communities are impacted by high-risk mine types that are likely to function.[31] 

Cambodia’s new strategy omitted many of the more critical assessments of progress included in the 2017 draft strategy but emphasized that “it is essential that clearance assets are only deployed in areas where there is clear evidence of mines,” reacting to a weakness in clearance operations in previous years. It said that, in future, clearance tasks should be prioritized on the basis of “effective” non-technical survey.[32] The strategy also seeks to ensure effective targeting of clearance assets by stipulating at least 75% of mine action funding should be allocated to communes selected by the CMAA as priority for clearance.[33] 

Other issues under consideration by the CMAA and operators include achieving a better balance in the class of contamination being cleared. Operators acknowledge that although some areas classified as A4 (with scattered or nuisance mines) have proved to be heavily mined, more attention should be paid to clearing A1 areas (with dense antipersonnel mine contamination that accounted for just 3% of land cleared in 2017.[34]

The CMAA also prepared a three-year workplan for 2018–2020 in which it set out more detailed land release objectives. The CMAA asked provincial MAPUs to identify priority villages for clearance over the next three years, using that as a starting point for identifying priority minefields. The three-year period also calls for completion of the baseline survey in 36 districts, a land reclamation study, and re-survey to identify mined areas that are in reclaimed land. Other goals include enhancing quality management by developing a performance monitoring system and developing a capacity for dealing with residual hazards after 2025.[35]

Legislation and standards 

Cambodia adopted a law prohibiting antipersonnel mines in May 1999 before ratifying the Mine Ban Treaty in July 1999 but does not have national mine action legislation. 

Mine action is conducted according to Cambodian Mine Action Standards (CMAS) that are consistent with International Mine Action Standards (IMAS). The National Mine Action Strategy calls for review, updating and developing standards on quality management, and developing a CMAS on environment in line with IMAS.[36]

Quality management 

The CMAA is responsible for quality management and in 2017 deployed eight quality assurance (QA)/quality control (QC) teams.[37] In 2017, with UNDP support, it prepared a Performance Monitoring System (PMS) that will track land use and socio-economic changes after release of mine/ERW contaminated land as well as monitor the implementation of NMAS as a management tool for the sector. The CMAA approved the performance matrix in December and planned to test the system in 2018, with a view to rolling it out in 2019.[38] 

Information management

The CMAA manages a database that upgraded to operating Information Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA) New Generation in 2014 and receives regular operational progress reports from operators.

The GICHD reported in 2016 that the Database Unit staff “possess the skills and knowledge to realize solutions to the increasing analysis and reporting requirement of the CMAA management,” and demonstrated a strong commitment to improving the quality of data.[39] However,reporting continues to be dogged by delays,andresults released by the CMAA and by operators continued to show significant discrepancies in 2017, highlighting persistent challenges with information management that made it difficult to measure Cambodia’s progress towards mine action targets.

Operators

Mine clearance is undertaken mainly by the national operator, CMAC, and two international mine action NGOs, HALO Trust and Mines Advisory Group (MAG). A second national NGO, Cambodian Self-help Demining (CSHD), has been active since 2011. The CMAA identified three commercial companies as accredited to operate in 2017, including BACTEC, D&Y, and MUCC.[40] 

National operator CMAC and international operators MAG and NPA all conducted cluster munition clearance in 2017.

The CMAA reported 10 NPMEC units accredited with the CMAA in 2017 but NPMEC withdrew from demining due to its international peacekeeping commitments.[41] 

Land Release (mines) 

Land release in 2015–2017 (km2)[42]

Year

Area cancelled by NTS

Area reduced by TS

Area cleared

Total

2017

26.11

14.25

27.68

68.04

2016

28.93

14.48

25.33

68.74

2015

70.38

30.11

46.47

146.96

Note: NTS = non-technical survey; TS = technical survey. 

There are discrepancies between the three types of sources in the land release results for 2017: CMAA, operators, and the Article 7 report. CMAA reported total land release of 68.04kmin 2017, similar to the 68.7kmit reported in 2016. Two operators provided land release results that differed from those provided by the CMAA (see below for details). According to the Article 7 report for 2017, the total land release amounted to 86.55km2, of which 24.43km2 was cancelled,15.48kmreduced, and 46.61kmcleared.[43] Inconsistencies between data provided in the Article 7 report, by CMAA and by operators in both years make it difficult to assess progress.

Land release of mined area in 2017 by operator and methodology[44]

Operator

BLS polygons released

Area cancelled by NTS (m2)

Area reduced by TS (m2)

Area cleared (m2)

Total release (m2)

CMAC

628

10,115,391

11,691,812

17,137,164

38,944,367

CSHD

13

0

163,906

255,794

419,700

MAG

48

1,505,520

1,693,806

402,151

3,601,477

NPMEC

3

0

198,532

237,240

435,772

HALO

352

14,491,974

504,288

9,647,271

24,643,533

Total

1,044

26,112,885

14,252,344

27,679,620

68,044,849

  

Land release in 2017 by land classification and methodology (m2)[45]

Classification

Cancelled by NTS (C1)

Reduced by TS (C2)

Area cleared (C3)

Total release (m²)

AP mines destroyed

AV mines destroyed

ERW destroyed

A1 Dense AP mines

1,560,577

367,014

788,429

2,716,020

1,331

21

70

A2 Mixed AP and AV mines

1,509,594

284,789

1,679,803

3,474,186

594

10

226

A2-1 Mixed dense AP/AV mines

5,428

99,566

197,159

302,153

13

0

12

A2-2 Mixed scattered AP/AV mines

4,635,044

5,134,384

8,907,283

18,676,711

927

52

3,661

A3 AV mines

508,943

153,733

5,352,783

6,015,459

15

120

139

A4 Scattered or nuisance mines

16,546,983

5,222,774

10,281,346

32,051,103

2,638

40

6,716

B2 (Land with no verifiable mine threat)

1,346,316

2,990,084

472,817

4,809,217

262

11

558

Total

26,112,885

14,252,344

27,679,620

68,044,849

5,780

254

11,382

 

Survey results reported by two operators differed from those reported by the CMAA. HALO Trust reported that it cancelled or reduced nearly 18km2, while MAG reported it had cancelled or reduced 2.6km2.[46]

More than 80% of the area cancelled in 2017 was land with scattered mines. Operators believe that re-survey will find that substantial areas that were identified by the BLS as contaminated are already under cultivation.[47] The NMAS has identified a need to accelerate clearance of densely contaminated A1 and A2.1 mined areas.

Clearance in 2017 (mines)

Mine clearance in 2017[48]

Operator

Areas cleared

Clearance (m2)

AP mines destroyed

AV mines destroyed

UXO destroyed

CMAC

250

17,137,164

1,938

51

2,994

CSHD

10

255,794

235

_–

169

MAG

10

402,151

631

13

14

NPMEC

1

237,240

373

277

HALO

172

9,647,271

2,136

176

6,927

Total

443

27,679,620

5,313

240

10,381

 

There are discrepancies between the three different types of data sources: the Article 7 report, the CMAA, and mine action operators.

According to the Article 7 report for 2017, 46.61 kmwas cleared, during which 4,318 antipersonnel mines and 16,885 other explosive items were destroyed.[49] 

The CMAA database records clearance of completed tasks on BLS polygons and it attributes discrepancies with results reported by operators to the fact that these include clearance on tasks that are still active and to late delivery of results. HALO reported that it cleared 10,771,931m2 and destroyed 3,581 antipersonnel mines, 171 antivehicle mines, and 583 items of UXO.[50] MAG reported that it cleared 1,913,766m2 and destroyed 708 antipersonnel mines, and 229 items of UXO.[51] CMAC did not provide data in 2017 to enable comparison with the data provided by CMAA. 

HALO Trust, employing more than 1,000 staff, continued to concentrate mine clearance operations in five western and northern border provinces and in 2017 deployed teams for the first time to the south-western province of Koh Kong. HALO Trust won a contract for clearance in Pailin under Clearing for Results but reported that clearance of around 1kmhad resulted in destroying just three mines, underscoring the need for more stringent prioritization and more targeted clearance.[52]

MAG recorded a sharp rise in output in 2017, reporting release of 1.9kmby clearance compared with 0.3kmin 2016. This is more than four-times the output reported by the CMAA. It attributed the result to restructuring mine action teams into small units, achieving greater operational flexibility and also to the use of Scorpion advanced detectors with funding from the United States Humanitarian Demining Research and Development Program.[53] 

Deminer safety

HALO Trust reported three accidents (one deminer killed and four others injured) in 2017. Another deminer was killed in early 2018. HALO identified breaches of Standing Operating Procedures as the cause of the accidents.[54]

Land Release (cluster munition remnants)

The CMAA reported that a total of 26.5kmof cluster munition-affected land was released in 2017 and, unusually, indicated that nearly 90% of this (23.5km2) was released through clearance and only 2.7kmas a result of survey.[55] Official data differed significantly from results recorded by operators and is likely to undergo revision. Weaknesses in the official data also limit its effectiveness in measuring progress in addressing cluster munition contamination. 

The amount of cluster munition contaminated land reported in the eight eastern provinces had increased from 365kmin May 2017 to 457kmin May 2018,[56] suggesting some 92kmof cluster munition contamination was identified over the period.

Survey in 2017 (cluster munition remnants)

The CMAA approved the CMRS methodology in principle in 2017, but as of June 2018 had not yet formally adopted it as the national standard. The CMAA planned to continue with the BLS to provide a consistent assessment of ERW contamination across the country. The survey, which started in 2009, had completed 124 districts by 2017 and the CMAA planned to complete BLS in the 36 remaining districts by 2020. It said how quickly the survey progressed depended on funding. In the meantime, the CMAA recognized the limitations of BLS methodology in measuring cluster munition contamination and planned to modify survey procedures.[57] The CMAA Three-year Implementation Plan calls for meetings with stakeholders to develop cluster munition survey and land release standards and prioritization guidelines, building up survey team CMRS capacity, and implementing CMRS.[58]

In 2017, CMRS was applied only by NPA, which worked in Rattanakiri province with three CMRS teams focused on defining the extent of the problem. It prioritized areas for survey on the basis of government development plans, bombing and accident data, and the evidence identified in spot tasks. Under CMAA procedures, it was previously obliged to conduct CMRS/technical survey on the basis of large suspected hazardous areas (SHAs) generated by the BLS that often bore little relation to cluster munition contamination. The CMAA agreed in 2017 that NPA should conduct evidence-based non-technical survey, allowing identification of smaller SHAs defining contaminated areas more precisely. As a result, NPA more than doubled the hazardous area it confirmed in 2017 (see table below), while the area it reduced was less than one-third of the area reduced in 2016.[59]

NPA Cluster Munition Survey

Year

Area surveyed (m2)

CHAs identified

Area confirmed (m2)

Area reduced from BLS (m2)

2017[60]

5,493,700

23

4,493,700

844,224

2016

4,687,000

22

1,840,521

2,846,979

2015

4,796,761

20

1,459,261

3,337,500

Note: CHAs = confirmed hazardous areas. 

MAG deployed four teams in Rattanakiri for survey and/or clearance in 2017, cancelling 0.07kmand confirming two hazards affecting 0.4km2. MAG incorporates data relating to spot tasks in a system of evidence-point polygon mapping to help define confirmed hazardous areas (CHAs) and worked with the CMAA to integrate this approach into the national database.[61] 

CMAC had not provided results for its operations in 2017, as of June 2018. CMAA data, though, showed CMAC as releasing 0.53kmin 2017, significantly less than the amount CMAC had reported for 2016. 

Clearance in 2017 (cluster munition remnants) 

CMAA data indicates operators cleared a total of 23.5kmof cluster munition-contaminated area in 2017, 5% more than the previous year.

However, CMAA data only reports clearance of BLS polygons and therefore does not include operators’ clearance of cluster munition contamination outside BLS polygons.

Clearance of cluster munition-contaminated Areas in 2017[62]

Operator

Areas cleared

Area cleared (m²)

Submunitions destroyed

Other UXO destroyed

CMAC

138

21,914,789

3,624

1,702

MAG[63]

3

1,037,068

1,301

164

NPA[64]

5

549,748

940

3

Total

146

23,501,605

5,865

1,869

 

Both MAG and NPA reported an increase in clearance productivity in 2017. MAG attributed theirs to the deployment of Scorpion advanced detection systems provided by the US Humanitarian Demining Research and Development Program.[65] Although NPA is focused primarily on survey, it more than doubled the amount of land it cleared in 2016. NPA attributed the acceleration to its use of explosive detection dogs as the main detection tool, avoiding electronic detector signals generated by scrap metal and laterite.[66] 

The extent of roving clearance in 2017 is unclear in the absence of information from CMAC, the largest mine action organization, but among two other operators active in dealing with cluster munition remnants it continued at about the same level as in 2016 in terms of submunitions destroyed despite a dip in the number of tasks MAG conducted. MAG reported roughly half the items it destroyed in roving operations are found outside BLS polygons.[67]

Spot/Roving Clearance and Explosive Ordnance Disposal in 2017[68]

Operator

Roving tasks

Submunitions destroyed

UXO destroyed

CMAC

N/R

N/R

N/R

MAG

1,801

2,483

5,475

NPA

25

19

19

Total

1,826

2,502

5,494

Note: N/R = Not reported.

Progress in 2018 (cluster munition remnants) 

The US awarded an NPA-CMAC partnership a US$2 million contract for survey and clearance in the northeast starting in March 2018 and due to run for one year under which NPA provides oversight of survey conducted by CMAC teams, which are required to conduct CMRS. 

Mine Ban Treaty Article 5 Compliance

Under Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty (and in accordance with the 10-year extension granted by States Parties in 2009), Cambodia is required to destroy all antipersonnel mines in mined areas under its jurisdiction or control as soon as possible, but not later than 1 January 2020. It will not meet this deadline. 

Cambodia’s mine action strategy for 2018–2025 sets a target of completing clearance of known mine contaminated areas by 2025, but makes clear this is dependent on a attracting donor support of around $400 million, averaging more than $40 million a year, much more than was received in recent years.[69] 

Mine clearance in 2013–2017[70]

Year

Area cleared (km2)

2017

27.68

2016

25.33

2015

46.47

2014[71]

54.38

2013

45.59

Total

199.45

 

  

The Monitor acknowledges the contributions of the Mine Action Review (www.mineactionreview.org), which has conducted the primary mine action research in 2018 and shared all its country-level landmine reports (from“Clearing the Mines 2018”) and country-level cluster munition reports (from “Clearing Cluster Munition Remnants 2018”) with the Monitor. The Monitor is responsible for the findings presented online and in its print publications.

 



[1] Email from CMAA, 22 May 2018. The Article 7 report for 2017 puts mine contamination at 895km2.

[2] Email from CMAA, 22 May 2018.

[3] Email from Ros Sophal, Deputy Database Manager, 11 September 2018. The Article 7 report and operators report different results.

[4] Email from CMAA, 22 May 2018. Operators report different results.

[5] Emails from Greg Crowther, Regional Director – South and South East Asia, MAG, 11 May and 12 June 2018; and from Aksel Steen-Nilsen, Country Director, NPA, 2 April and 30 May 2018; and interview in Phnom Penh, 24 April 2018.

[6] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2017), pp.17–18 provides different results.

[7] HALO Trust, “Mine clearance in Cambodia – 2009,” January 2009, p. 8.

[8] Revised BLS data presented in statement of Cambodia to the Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Geneva, 10 April 2014.

[9] Data received by email from the CMAA, 22 May 2018.

[10] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2017), p. 9.

[11] Interview with Prum Sophakmonkol, CMAA, Phnom Penh, 24 April 2018.

[12] Data received by email from CMAA, 22 May 2018.

[13] South East Asia Air Sortie Database, cited in D. McCracken, “National Explosive Remnants of War Study, Cambodia,” NPA in collaboration with CMAA, Phnom Penh, March 2006, p. 15; Human Rights Watch, “Cluster Munitions in the Asia-Pacific Region,” April 2008; and Handicap International (HI), Fatal Footprint: The Global Human Impact of Cluster Munitions (HI, Brussels, November 2006), p. 11.

[14] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2017), Annex B; and email from the CMAA, 22 May 2018.

[15] CMAA, “National Mine Action Strategy 2018–2025,” p. 9.

[16] Ibid., p. 10.

[17] Email from CMAA, 22 May 2018.

[18] Ibid.

[19] Interviews with Aksel Steen-Nilsen, NPA, in Phnom Penh, 1 May 2017, and 24 April 2018; and with Greg Crowther, MAG, in Phnom Penh, 1 May 2017, and 26 April 2018.

[20] Casualty data received by email from Nguon Monoketya, Deputy Director, Socio-Economic Planning and Database Management Department, CMAA, 17 February 2017.

[21] CMAC is the leading national demining operator, but does not exercise the wider responsibilities associated with the term “center.” Set up in 1992, CMAC was assigned the role of coordinator in the mid-1990s. It surrendered this function in a restructuring of mine action in 2000 that separated the roles of regulator and implementing agency and led to the creation of the CMAA.

[22] Interview with Prum Sophakmonkol, Secretary General, CMAA, Phnom Penh, 24 April 2018.

[23] Ibid.; and “Review of MAPU-led prioritization decisions in CFRII target provinces, western Cambodia,” Draft Report, 24 January 2016, pp. 4 and 47.

[24] Interview with Ly Thuch, Secretary General, CMAA, Phnom Penh, 2 May 2017.

[25] “Clearing for Results Phase II, Annual Report 2014,” UNDP, undated but 2015, pp. 18−19. Results included contracts awarded in 2015 for release of 54.1kmat a cost of $4.9 million.

[26] Interview with Edwin Faigmane, Chief Technical Adviser, UNDP, Phnom Penh, 24 April 2018; and email 18 September 2018.

[27] Email from Edwin Faigmane, UNDP, Phnom Penh, 18 September 2018.

[28] CMAA, “National Mine Action Strategy 2018–2025,” December 2017, p. 9.

[29] Ibid., pp. 18–19.

[30] GICHD, “‘Finishing the Job,’ an independent review of Cambodia’s mine action sector,” Geneva, 30 April 2016, pp. 41–42.

[31] CMAA, “National Mine Action Strategy 2017–2025,” Draft, 2017, p. 35.

[32] Ibid., pp. 8–9.

[33] Ibid., p. 19.

[34] Interview with Greg Crowther, MAG, Phnom Penh, 24 April 2018; data on results as at 21 July 2018; email from Prum Sophakmonkol, CMAA, 3 September 2018.

[35] Interview with Prum Sophakmonkol, CMAA, Phnom Penh, 24 April 2018; CMAA, “Three Year Implementation Plan (2018–2020), undated but 2018.

[36] CMAA, “National Mine Action Strategy 2017–2025,” December 2017, pp. 14 & 15.

[37] Email from CMAA, 2 May 2017.

[38] Interview with Edwin Faigmane, UNDP, Phnom Penh, 24 April 2018.

[39] GICHD, “‘Finishing the Job,’ an independent review of Cambodia’s mine action sector,” p. 58.

[40] Email from CMAA, 2 May 2017.

[41] Ibid.

[42] Data for 2015 was compiled by Mine Action Review from results reported by CMAA and operators. Data for 2016 was received by email from CMAA, 2 May 2017. Data for 2017 was received by email from Ros Sophal, CMAA, 11 September 2018.

[43] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2017), pp. 10–11.

[44] Email from Ros Sophal, CMAA, 11 September 2018.

[45] Ibid.

[46] Email from CMAA, 22 May 2018; from Matthew Hovell, HALO Trust, 16 June 2018; and from Greg Crowther, MAG, 11 May 2018.

[47] Interviews with Greg Crowther, MAG, and Matthew Hovell, HALO Trust, in Phnom Penh, 26 April 2018.

[48] Email from Ros Sophal, CMAA, 11 September 2018.

[49] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2017), pp. 17–18.

[50] Email from Matthew Hovell, HALO Trust, 16 June 2018.

[51] Email from Greg Crowther, MAG, 11 May 2018.

[52] Interview with Matthew Hovell, HALO Trust, in Phnom Penh, 26 April 2018; and email, 16 June 2018.

[53] Email from Greg Crowther, MAG, 11 May 2018.

[54] Email from HALO Trust, 26 March 2018; and interview with Matthew Hovell, HALO Trust, in Phnom Penh, 24 April 2018.

[55] Email from CMAA, 22 May 2018.

[56] Emails from Prom Serey Audom, Assistant to the Secretary General, CMAA, 2 May 2017; and from CMAA, 22 May 2018.

[57] Interview with Prum Sophakmonkol, CMAA, 24 April 2018.

[58] CMAA, “Three-year Implementation Plan 2018–2020,” undated but 2018, pp. 4–5.

[59] Emails from Aksel Steen-Nilsen, NPA, 2 April and 30 May 2018; and interview in Phnom Penh, 24 April 2018.

[60] Email from Aksel Steen-Nilsen, NPA, 10 June 2018.

[61] Emails from Greg Crowther, MAG, 11 May and 12 June 2018.

[62] Email from the CMAA. Data does not disaggregate items destroyed in the course of clearance and survey.

[63] MAG reported releasing 2.1kmthrough clearance in 2017, destroying 1,301 submunitions and 164 items of UXO. Interview with Greg Crowther, MAG, in Phnom Penh, 28 April 2018; and emails, 11 May and 12 June 2018.

[64] NPA reported destroying 856 submunitions, fewer than the number recorded by the CMAA, and 36 items of UXO. Emails from Aksel Steen-Nilsen, NPA, 2 April and 10 June 2018.

[65] Interview with Greg Crowther, MAG, in Phnom Penh, 28 April 2018; and emails, 11 May and 12 June 2018.

[66] Emails from Aksel Steen-Nilsen, NPA, 2 April and 10 June 2018.

[67] Interview with Greg Crowther, MAG, in Phnom Penh, 28 April 2018.

[68] Emails from Greg Crowther, MAG, 11 May 2018; and from Aksel Steen-Nilsen, NPA, 2 April and 10 June 2018.

[69] CMAA, “National Mine Action Strategy 2018–2025,” December 2017, p. 26.

[70] Compiled by Mine Action Review from data provided by the CMAA and operators.

[71] CMAA data reported 50.2kmreleased by full clearance in 2014.


Support for Mine Action

Last updated: 18 December 2019

In 2018, the Kingdom of Cambodia received US$14.4 million in international assistance from 12 donors; this represents an increase of $1.4 million from 2017 (11% increase).

The largest contribution was from the United States (US) ($3.1million) to support clearance and risk education activities, with two additional countries—China and the United Kingdom (UK)—providing more than $2 million each.[1]

International contributions: 2018[2]

Donor

Sector

Amount (national currency)

Amount (US$)

US

Clearance and risk education

US$3,100,000

3,100,000

China

Clearance

N/R

2,500,000

UK

Clearance and risk education

£1,599,199

2,137,010

Germany

Clearance

€1,500,000

1,772,550

Japan

Capacity-building and clearance

¥167,003,957

1,512,717

Switzerland

Clearance

CHF1,053,000

1,076,247

Norway

Clearance and risk education

NOK6,250,000

768,588

Australia

Clearance

A$1,000,000

748,100

Ireland

Clearance

€500,000

590,850

Belgium

Clearance

€150,000

177,255

Liechtenstein

Clearance

CHF40,000

40,883

France

Victim assistance

€5,000

5,909

Total

   

14,430,109

 

Since 2014, international contributions to mine action in Cambodia totaled more than $114 million. The national strategy estimated that more than $175 million would be needed for activities in 2015–2019.[3]

Summary of international contributions: 2014–2018[4]

Year

International contributions (US$)

2018

14,430,109

2017

12,963,719

2016

33,154,910

2015

27,282,471

2014

26,523,799

Total

114,355,008

 



[1] Australia, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form J, February 2019; Belgium, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form J, 30 March 2019; “China grants millions for mine clearance,Khmer Times, 28 May 2018; email from Yves Marek, Ambassador, Commission nationale pour l’élimination des mines (CNEMA), 10 July 2019; Germany, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form J, 4 April 2019; Ireland, Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Annex, 2 April 2019; Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, April 2019; Japan, Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form I, 30 April 2019; Liechtenstein, Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form I, 13 March 2019; Norway, Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Annex, 30 April 2019; Switzerland, Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form I, 24 April 2019; United Kingdom, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form J, 30 April 2019; and US Department of State, “To walk the earth in safety 2019,” 3 April 2019.

[2] Average exchange rate for 2018: A$1=US$0.7481; €1=US$1.1817; ¥110.4=US$1; NOK8.1318=US$1; CHF0.9784=US$1; £1=US$1.3363. US Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 2 January 2019.

[3] Government of Cambodia, “National Mine Action Strategy 2010-2019,” Annex B, p. 23.

[4] See previous Monitor reports.


Casualties

Last updated: 14 March 2018

 

Casualties

All known casualties (between 1979 and 2017)

64,720 mine/unexploded remnants of war (ERW) casualties: 19,758 killed and 44,962 injured

Casualties in 2017[1]

Annual total

 

58

30% decrease from

83 in 2016

Survival outcome

48 killed; 10 injured

 

Device type causing casualties

19 antipersonnel mine; 3 antivehicle mine; 36 ERW

Civilian status

49 civilian; 7 deminer; 2 military

0 unknown

Age and gender

40 adults:

4 women; 36 men

18 children:

14 boys; 4 girls

 

Casualties in 2017—details

In addition to the decrease from 83 mine/ERW casualties in 2016 to 58 in 2017, the Cambodia Mine/ERW Victim Information System (CMVIS) recorded an overall continuing trend of significant decreases in the number of annual casualties: 111 recorded in 2013, 186 in 2012, 211 in 2011, and 286 in 2010. In 2014, 154 casualties were recorded, which represented an increase and an irregularity from the trend.

Total casualties

For the period of 1979 to December 2017, a total of 64,720 mine/ERW casualties were recorded by CMVIS data gatherers. The figure includes 19,758 people killed and 44,962 people injured, of whom 9,021 people had amputations as a result of their injuries.

Cluster munition casualties

For the first time since 2009, the Kingdom of Cambodia did not report any cluster munition casualties in 2017 or 2016. Two casualties caused by unexploded submunitions were recorded in 2015 and one in 2014. For the period from 1998 to the end of 2015, 197 cluster munition remnant casualties were reported in Cambodia.[2] Data collection on cluster munition casualties has been limited and the total number, although not known, is thought to be much higher than reported. Cambodia is considered to be among the states “worst affected” by cluster munitions, with responsibility for significant numbers of cluster munition victims.[3]



[1] Unless otherwise indicated, casualty data for 2017 is based on Monitor analysis of Cambodia Mine/ERW Victim Information System (CMVIS) casualty data provided by email from Nguon Monoketya, CMVIS Officer, Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA), 5 February 2018.

[2] For the period 2005 to the end of 2012, 120 cluster munition remnant casualties were identified by CMVIS. Another 83 casualties, which occurred prior to 2005, were reported in Handicap International (HI), Circle of Impact: The Fatal Footprint of Cluster Munitions on People and Communities (HI: Brussels, May 2007), pp. 23 and 26; and Monitor analysis of CMVIS casualty data provided by email from Nguon Monoketya, CMAA, 14 March 2013. See also previous Cambodia country profiles available on the Monitor website. Prior to 2006, cluster munition remnant incidents were not differentiated from other ERW incidents in data.

[3]Draft Beirut Progress Report,” CCM/MSP/2011/WP.5, 25 August 2011, pp. 10–11. The definition of a cluster munition victim encompasses the individuals, their families, and affected communities.


Victim Assistance

Last updated: 04 December 2017

Action points based on findings

  • Devote resources to reach survivors where they live, as survivors in remote and rural areas continue to face obstacles to access adequate assistance.
  • Standardize management systems and improve sustainability and accessibility of the physical rehabilitation sector.
  • Increase economic opportunities for survivors and persons with disabilities and develop education and training opportunities that are appropriate for survivors and other persons with disabilities and many survivors who lack education and literacy and have no work or land from which to make a living.
  • Improve the physical accessibility of living and working environments.
  • Provide quality psychological support services.

Victim assistance commitments

The Kingdom of Cambodia is responsible for significant numbers of landmine survivors, cluster munition victims, and survivors of other explosive remnants of war (ERW) who are in need. Cambodia has made commitments to provide victim assistance through the Mine Ban Treaty.

Cambodia ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) on 20 December 2012.

Victim Assistance

The total number of survivors in Cambodia is not known. At least 44,856 people have been reported to have been injured by mines/ERW.[1]

Victim assistance since 2015

In 2014, the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA) made an assessment of progress in implementing victim assistance under the Mine Ban Treaty Cartagena Action Plan 2010–2014. At the Mine Ban Treaty Third Review Conference in June 2014, Cambodia stated that it had faced many challenges in providing victim assistance under the action plan, including limited financial support and limited human and technical resources for the implementation of both international and national obligations for persons with disabilities, including mine survivors.[2] The CMAA also carried out an impact assessment of the living conditions of deminer survivors injured during clearance in 2014.

The CMAA had its legally-mandated responsibility for the coordination of victim assistance delegated to the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation (MoSVY) and its support mechanism, the Disability Action Council (DAC). However, the CMAA maintains oversight of victim assistance activities and implementation, including survey and reporting. The MOSVY/DAC has oversight of broader disability issues, with little indication reported of how victim assistance for mine/ERW survivors has been included in overall disability programing and implementation.

Physical rehabilitation services have been available throughout the country from both government agencies and NGOs. Within the MoSVY, the Persons with Disabilities Foundation (PWDF) was created by sub-decree in 2011 as a public institution responsible for the management of physical rehabilitation centers under the supervision of the MoSVY and the Ministry of Economy and Finance. However, since the handover of the physical rehabilitation centers to the MoSVY started, there has been a reduction in available services and in some cases, persons with disabilities or NGOs assisting them are being asked to pay for assistive devices. Services for people with physical disabilities offered through the physical rehabilitation centers were inadequate to meet demand. Furthermore, financing mechanisms for rehabilitation services, including funding pathways, were unclear. A lack of a standardized information system for the rehabilitation sector in Cambodia makes it difficult to monitor the total numbers of people receiving services.[3] The MoSVY implemented the Patient Management System as a common rehabilitation center management tool, with the financial and technical support of the ICRC.[4] However this was not universally adopted by service providers.

A national workshop to review the implementation of National Disability Strategic Plan (NDSP) was heldin December 2015, and later another in August 2017. Government agencies, NGOs, and private sector actors shared their progress in implementation of the plan, the Law on the Protection and the Promotion of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and the CRPD. It was also apparent that some ministries were not aware of, or did not yet understand well, disability-related legislation, policies, and guidelines and that more awareness-raising was needed.[5]

Assessing victim assistance needs

Throughout 2016, the Jesuit Refugee Services(JRS)/Cambodia Campaign to Ban Landmines (CCBL) and the CMAA continued to undertake the “Survey on the Quality of Life for Landmine/ERW survivors” (Quality of Life Survey, QLS), which was begun in 2013. QLS survey teams organized home visits to understand the situation of respondents and provided peer counseling, raised awareness on the rights and needs of persons with disabilities including survivors, and engaged local authorities and service providers to support and promote the rights and dignity of landmine/ERW survivors. Information and recommendations from the QLS were shared for the development of the NDSP.

The JRS/CCBL Survivor Network Team continued to implement Quality of Life measures and work to uphold rights of survivors and persons with disabilities in remote areas through 1,004 peer counselling visits (to the same number of people), the building of houses (14), and toilets (27), providing wheelchairs (34), income generation grants (18), and emergency food packs for the most vulnerable (56), as well as scholarships for children with disabilities (15).[6]

In 2016, the CMAA QLS teams visited some 50 additional villages, reaching 860 more persons with disabilities. Overall the CMAA survey reached 850 villages, 163 communes, 54 districts in 25 provinces, and 7,860 persons with disabilities (2,362 of which were women), including 1,815 landmine/ERW survivors (133 women) through direct interview.[7]

The CMVIS provided ongoing systematic data collection of mine/ERW casualties, including numbers of survivors and referrals to services.[8]

A working group for monitoring data on services received by mine/ERW victims was established in May 2015. It is led by the CMAA, and members also included the MoSAVY, the DAC, and physical rehabilitation centers.[9]

Victim assistance coordination

Government coordinating body/focal point

CMAA, the MoSVY, PWDF, and the DAC

Coordinating mechanism

DAC/MoSVY

Plan

National Disability Strategic Plan 2014–2018

 

Cambodia reports that the government delegated the responsibility for victim assistance to the MoSVY/PWDF, “where it is most appropriately addressed.”[10] The DAC Secretariat supports the MoSVY in the area of general disabilities. The CMAA Department of Victim Assistance conducts the QLS as implemented by CMAA volunteer survivor networks across the country. The CMAA works with the MoSVY, People with Disability Foundation, and DAC in order to obtain information on services provided to landmine/ERW victims. These organizations work according to the National Disability Strategy Plan 2014–2018 (NDSP).[11] However, the CMAA does not have a specific mandated role within the strategy, an omission for integrating victim assistance into disability rights frameworks that could be addressed in subsequent strategic planning.

The DAC, established in 2009, is a governmental agency attached to the MoSVY that provides it with technical, coordination, and advisory services. The Persons with Disabilities Foundation, an institution created under the MoSVY, has a mandate to provide rehabilitation services for persons with disabilities, manage the rehabilitation centers, provide funds for implementing various projects, such as support for education and vocational training, manage job placement services, and prepare policies for assisting and supporting persons with disabilities.[12]

At a more local level, relevant actors include a wide range of the Provincial and District Offices’ of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation (PoSVY/DoSVY) and of PWDF; provincial, district, and commune bodies; and village chiefs. In some specific areas, there are Commune Disability Committees, supported by NGOs.[13]

The NDSP 2014–2018 was developed by the DAC in cooperation with the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), the Asia and Pacific Centre for Development (APCD), the Australian Agency for International Development/the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Cambodia, and other national and international organizations.[14] The plan contains four goals and 10 key objectives, all of which are relevant to addressing the rights and needs of survivors.[15] The NDSP itself notes that it represents a continuation of the implementation of the National Plan of Action for Persons with Disabilities, including Landmine and ERW Survivors 2009–2011, which had remained in place by extension through 2013.[16]

The DAC is responsible for monitoring and reporting on the progress of implementation of the NDSP to government as well as proposing revisions to the plan in order to respond to the needs of persons with disabilities according to the resources available.[17]

The NDSP is the basis of enforcement of Cambodia’s core legal commitments to disability rights: the Law on the Protection and the Promotion of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; the CRPD; and the Decade of Persons with Disabilities in Asia and the Pacific 2013–2022, Incheon Strategy: Make the Right Real.[18] Disability advocates expressed concern that, if the new strategic disability plan lacked a corresponding state-allocated budget and was based on limited existing human resources, its goals could not be adequately implemented.[19]

The mid-term progress report in 2015 reported that no institutional and financial arrangements had been made for the implementation of the NDSP. Furthermore, the relevant ministries and agencies had no developed prioritized action plans, and such inaction “might eventually result in NDSP remaining as an aspirational document with no concrete action to improve the quality of life for persons with disabilities.”[20]

Cambodia has a relatively complex governmental structure for implementing the rights of persons with disabilities. In addition to the MoSVY, DAC, and NDCC, the DAC Secretariat, the Department of Welfare of Persons, and the Persons with Disabilities Foundation have specific roles and there were also many committees, sub-committees, and working groups. Due to overlapping functions of the various institutions, in practice accountability was often ambiguous. Most did not meet regularly and their effectiveness was reported to be “questionable.”[21] The joint project document for the UNDP Disability Rights Initiative Cambodia 2014, listed the following key challenges facing the government’s implementation of the CRPD overall:[22]

  • The lack of clear division of roles and responsibilities for the multiple government units with disability responsibilities;
  • Low levels of knowledge and experience within these government units;
  • Limited commitment to ensure the meaningful participation of disabled people’s organizations (DPOs) and civil society organizations;
  • Challenges facing the MoSVY in facilitating coordination with other ministries;
  • Relatively low levels of government funding for government units with disability responsibilities; and
  • A lack of reliable data on disability.[23]

The NDSP contains many goals and objectives relevant to mine/ERW survivors, including implementing the national disability strategy for 2014–2018, “including people with disabilities by mines” as well as implementing the national policy on disability through the Disability Action Council; strengthening the implementation of the Law on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; promoting enhancement of rights and welfare of the disabled according to the CRPD; improving the quality and efficiency of the disability fund; enhancing welfare for persons with disabilities; supporting poor people with disabilities with availability of funds; continuing implementation of community-based services; and providing employment opportunities.[24]

The MoSVY has core responsibility for disability issues and rehabilitation services. Several other ministries were involved in disability issues, including the Ministry of Health, which promoted physiotherapy services; the Ministry of Economy and Finance; the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, with a Special Education Office responsible for promoting inclusive education for children with disabilities; the Ministry of Public Works and Transport; and the Ministry of National Defense.[25]

The Disability Rights Initiative Cambodia (DRIC), is a five-year, Australian-funded program, launched in July 2014.[26] The DRIC was aimed at ensuring that persons with disabilities have increased opportunities for participation in social, economic, cultural, and political life through effective implementation of the NDSP. The main goals include to support Cambodia’s coordination of the NDSP, strengthen the capacity of DPOs, improve physical rehabilitation centers, and work with provincial and commune officials to promote disability inclusiveness.[27]

Carrying out the DRIC is a joint program of the UNDP, WHO, and UNICEF, through four components:

  • Component 1 (UNDP): Supporting government implementation of the CRPD.
  • Component 2 (UNDP): Supporting DPOs to raise the voice and protect the rights of persons with disabilities.
  • Component 3 (WHO): Supporting rehabilitation systems strengthening.
  • Component 4 (UNICEF): Inclusive governance and inclusive community development.

The DRIC (US$10.4 million 2014–2018) is managed by a UNDP Multi-Partner Trust Fund, which engages the UNDP, UNICEF, and WHO, as well as NGOs through grant funding. Australia chose this model to consolidate its previous program of disability support with a view to engaging in high-level policy and leverage additional technical and financial resources from the UN. However, Australia found that “this modality has also not proven to be the most effective or efficient due to issues with coordination, communication and synergy across the components, external communication and advocacy.”[28]

In 2016, it was reported that the DRIC was “largely on track in achieving the stated outputs, with the exception of component 3 which is the most complex and challenging.”[29] Through component 3 of the DRIC, the WHO was supporting the development of the Cambodian government’s ability to manage the rehabilitation sector by building the capacity of key rehabilitation sector stakeholders, increasing government involvement and rehabilitation sector leadership, and establishing a coordination mechanism.[30]

The Cambodia Disability Inclusive Development Fund (CDIDF), managed by UNICEF, is part of the broader DRIC program. In order to achieve the rights of persons with disabilities, the fund aims to increase capacity of and collaboration between decision makers, civil society, and communities by providing funding through international and national NGOs and community-based organizations.[31] It applies only to certain geographic focus areas in about half of Cambodia’s provinces.[32] In 2015, six NGOs had grants approved through the CDIDF: Caritas Cambodia, Handicap International (HI), Komar Pikar Foundation, Krousar Thmey, Capacity Building for Disability Cooperation (CABDICO), and Phnom Penh Center for Independent Living.[33]

Cambodia provided an update on victim assistance at the Mine Ban Treaty Fifteenth Meeting of States Parties in 2016.[34] Cambodia also included updates on physical rehabilitation and medical services provided to persons with disabilities in 2015 in its Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report.[35]

Inclusion and participation in victim assistance

JRS and the CMAA developed a survivor network in provinces in Cambodia, encouraging persons with disabilities to understand their legal and human rights and to take action to access those rights.[36]

Many organizations included survivors and persons with disabilities in the provision of services.

Service accessibility and effectiveness

Victim assistance activities

Organization

Type

Activities

MoSVY

Government

Rehabilitation services; gradual assumption of responsibilities for funding and management of the rehabilitation sector through PWDF

CMAA/CMVIS

Government

Survey and data collection, referrals, training on disability rights, included providing emergency food aid, house repair, funeral costs, and referrals, as well as disability awareness-raising

Angkor Association for the Disabled

National NGO

Education for persons with disabilities near Siem Reap

Arrupe Outreach Center Battambang

National NGO

Wheelchair classes for children, economic inclusion through loans and grants, youth peer support, awareness-raising, inclusive dance

Buddhism for Development

National NGO

Assisting commune leaders to integrate persons with disabilities into existing programs, including loans and conflict negotiation in Pailin and Battambang

Cambodian Development Mission for Disability (CDMD)

National NGO

Comprehensive community-based rehabilitation; referrals, loans, specific services to address visual impairments

Capacity Building of People with Disabilities in Community Organizations (CABDICO)

National NGO

 

Referrals, awareness, and educational support in Kep provinces; capacity-building for self-help groups; economic inclusion

Cambodian Disabled People’s Organization (CDPO)

National DPO

National coordination, mainstreaming disability into development, advocacy (rights monitoring, awareness-raising), and rights training for relevant ministries

Disability Development Services Program (DDSP: formerly Disability Development Services Pursat)

National NGO

Self-help groups, economic inclusion, referral, and community-based rehabilitation

National Center for Disabled Persons (NCDP)

National NGO

Referral, education, awareness, and self-help groups

Opération Enfants du Cambodge (OEC)

National NGO

Home-based physical rehabilitation and referrals, education, and economic inclusion, and emergency support to new mine survivors

Association for Aid and Relief (AAR) - Wheel Chairs for Development (WCD)

National NGO

Wheelchair production and production of assistive mobility devices

Veterans International-Cambodia Rehabilitation Project (VIC)

National NGO

Physical rehabilitation, prosthetics, self-help groups, community-based rehabilitation, and economic inclusion

ADD Cambodia

International NGO

Capacity-building of national DPOs; community-based rehabilitation

Exceed Worldwide (Cambodia Trust)

International NGO

Physical rehabilitation, prosthetic devices, training, and economic inclusion

Handicap International (HI)

International NGO

Support to national NGOs for economic inclusion; physical rehabilitation, disability mainstreaming activities, referrals

ICRC

International organization

Physical rehabilitation, outreach, referrals

Japan Cambodia Interactive Association (JCIA)

International Organization

Vocational training

JRS/Jesuit Service Cambodia (JSC)

International organization/national NGO

Economic inclusion, rehabilitation, peer support, awareness, material support (housing and well grants), referral, wheelchair production; hearing aids and ear service, psychosocial support visits to rural survivors, advocacy with cluster munition and mine/ERW survivors

New Humanity

International NGO

Community-based rehabilitation

 

Emergency and continuing medical care

No significant improvements to healthcare services available to survivors were reported. Less than 1% of the population had voluntary health insurance. Some NGOs offered community-based health insurance.[37]

Physical rehabilitation, including prosthetics

The physical rehabilitation sector included 11 rehabilitation centers, three repair workshops; the Phnom Penh Component Factory, supported by the PWDF; the Faculty of Prosthetic & Orthotic Engineering (formerly, Cambodian School for Prosthetics and Orthotics, CSPO); and the Technical School for Medical Care.[38]

In 2016, 28,061 persons with disabilities, including mine/ERW survivors, received services from physical rehabilitation centers including prosthetics and other mobility devices and repairs for assistive devices.[39] In 2015, 26,662 persons with disabilities, including mine/ERW survivors, received such services.[40] Prior to 2015, Cambodia reported on the specific number of mine/ERW survivors receiving services among the total number of beneficiaries with disabilities recorded annually.[41]

The ICRC continued to improve the accessibility of rehabilitation services by providing direct support for the beneficiaries (reimbursing, together with the MoSVY, the cost of transport and of accommodation at the centers), as well as by supporting staff training, outreach programs, and networking between the rehabilitation centers and potential local partners. In 2016, the ICRC worked with local institutions to draft a curriculum for a physiotherapy school and developed a business model for the successful independence of the national orthopedic component factory. ICRC-assisted centers provided 1,223 prosthetists for mine/ERW survivors in 2016, and 1,224 in 2015.[42]

HI continued its project supporting the physical rehabilitation center of Kampong Cham. It focused on capacity-building for staff and improving the centers’ management systems in coordination with MoSAVY and PDWF, the Ministry of Health, and the ministries’ provincial counterparts.[43]

AAR, WCD, a national NGO, was forced to stop providing services, including wheelchairs and assistive devices, due to a lack of funding and donor constraints from July 2015 through May 2016. Both the production of wheelchairs and the geographical coverage of AAR, WDC decreased due to limited funding, and services focused on children with disabilities from 2016 through October 2017. Funding from AAR Japan supported the production of some 10 wheelchairs per month. The number of requests for wheelchairs and assistive devices from rural areas increased and new sources of donor funding were needed to meet the demand.[44]

Veterans International in Cambodia (VIC) reregistered as a local NGO in Cambodia in 2015. VIC supported the operation of the three physical rehabilitation centers in Kien Khleang, Prey Veng, and Kratie under co-management with the PWDF. VIC also continued to run a community-based rehabilitation program in Kandal, Prey Veng, Svay Rieng, Kratie, and Phnom Penh provinces.

VIC statistics for 2016 and 2017 indicated an increase in services provision, with more than 4,250 clients from the three centers receiving services in 2016, while in 2017, there was a slight increase in clients received services (4,440). VIC reported that several factors contributed to more beneficiaries being reached, including increased quality and speed of services and greater awareness of the availability of services through outreach done with authorities. VIC clients and their caregivers received financial support for transportation and food from the PWDF and, at the end of 2017, additional support from the WHO.[45]

VIC reported making concerted efforts to handover its three centers in collaboration with the PWDF as the coordination body under the MoSVY, following a joint workplan to ensure the handover at the end of 2018.[46]

Economic and social integration and psychological support

The prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder in Cambodia is substantially higher than global averages. It was reported that there was a lack of activity to address this challenge with “just 0.2 per cent of the total health budget spent on mental health and no planning for psychologists and social workers in health sector human resource planning (in addition to psychiatrists and psychiatric nurses).”[47] A lack of awareness, understanding, funding, human resources, and leadership, as well as poor coordination of groups working in mental health were reported to be among the biggest challenges to accessing adequate psychological support.[48]

There were only two functioning vocational training centers for persons with disabilities in Cambodia, the Panteay Prieb center operated by JSC and the Phnom Penh Thmey center supported by JCIA. In 2016, 54 people with disabilities, including mine/ERW survivors were recorded as having been trained at the vocational training centers, compared to 58 in 2015.[49]

The ICRC supported some 80 persons with disabilities with income-generating activities in 2016, some beneficiaries were able to pay off their debts with the income earned. The ICRC also provided financial assistance to children’s school education and referred adults for jobs or vocational training.[50] Some 40 female wheelchair basketball players continued their training for regional competitions with ICRC support.[51]

HI supported economic inclusion through livelihoods access for persons with disabilities. This included vocational training, access to wage employment, removing barriers to healthcare, training and other services in Siem Reap province in collaboration with CABDICO. HI also supported self-advocacy and local development at the commune-level. The target beneficiaries are 1,720 vulnerable persons, including persons with disabilities and relatives of persons with disabilities through CDPO and the Representative Self-help Disabilities Organization Bantheay District (RSDOB) in four districts in Kampong Cham and Tbong Khmum provinces.[52]

A joint-study of 230 participants in Kampong Cham and Tbong Khmum provinces by the NGO Louvain Cooperation and HI found that persons with disabilities and their families experience significant psychological distress, endure discrimination and stigma, and their rights “remain largely unrecognized.” The study found that the level of physical impairment is a principal factor in the degree of psychological distress; survivors lost confidence in themselves after becoming disabled due to mine/ERW incidents and road accidents. Social exclusion, stigma, and discrimination, as well as family conflict and a lack of employment were key concerns. One third of respondents reported feeling worried, regretful, upset, embarrassed, lonely, and angry.[53]

Laws and policies

The 2009 Law on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities. The law also requires that buildings and government services be accessible to persons with disabilities.However, no authority or mechanism was put in place for standardizing accessibility or enforcing the law. Inaccessibility to public buildings, transport, facilities, and referral systems continued to prevent persons with disabilities from actively participating in social and economic activities. The government continued efforts to implement the law.[54] Some key provisions of national legislation are not in accordance with the CRPD, and the national disability law has not been amended by the MoSVY to ensure it is compatible with the CRPD. Though this is clearly the role of the ministry, the DAC, in accordance with Article 6 of the National Disability Law, is responsible for proposing revision to the national law.[55] In 2016, the MoSVY and the Ministry for Urban Planning met with the DAC to discuss accessibility standards for public buildings in accordance with the law.[56]

A 2010 sub-decree to the Law on Protection and the Promotion of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities requires that persons with disabilities make up at least 2% of the public sector and government departments with more than 50 employees. Private businesses with more than 100 employees have a quota for employing persons with disabilities as 1% their staff according to the sub-decree. Both the public and private sector were expected to fulfil the quota by 2013; within three years from the adoption of the sub-decree. By 2016, there was still “no accurate data” on how many persons with disabilities were employed overall, but some 1.3% of civil servants in 40 government agencies were persons with disabilities.[57]



[1] Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA), “CMVIS Monthly Report December 2015,” undated.

[2] Statement of Cambodia, Mine Ban Treaty Third Review Conference, Maputo, 24 June 2014.

[3] UNDP and Cambodia, “Disability Rights Initiative Cambodia: Joint Programme Document,” December 2013, p. 5.

[4] ICRC Physical Rehabilitation Programme (PRP), “Annual Report 2014,” Geneva, 2015, p. 52; and ICRC PRP, “Annual Report 2013,” Geneva, 2014.

[5] CCBL, Notes from National Workshop to Review the Implementation of the NDSP, Phnom Penh, 14 December 2015.

[6] JRS - Asia Pacific, “Annual Report 2016,” Bangkok, April 2017, p. 9.

[7] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2016), Form G; and Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2015), Form J.

[8] Analysis of CMVIS Monthly Reports for calendar year 2016.

[9] Statement of Cambodia, Mine Ban Treaty Fourteenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 2 December 2015.

[10] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2016), Form G.

[11] Ibid.

[12] ICRC PRP, “Annual Report 2014,” Geneva, 2015, p. 52.

[13] Sheree Bailey and Sophak Kanika Nguon (Report Prepared for UNICEF Cambodia), “Situation Analysis for Disability-Inclusive Governance and Community Development in Cambodia,” July 2014, p. 12.

[14] Statement of Cambodia, Mine Ban Treaty Thirteenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 3 December 2013.

[15] Statement of Cambodia, Mine Ban Treaty Third Review Conference, Maputo, 24 June 2014.

[16] National Disability Strategic Plan 2014.

[17] National Workshop to Review the Implementation of NDSP 2014–2018 and the Way Forward, Phnom Penh, 14–16 December 2015.

[18] Cambodia, “NDSP,” 2014.

[19] Holly Robertson and Khy Sovuthy, “Disability Initiatives Launched as Jobs Quota Not Met,” Cambodia Daily, 5 July 2014.

[21] SIDA, “Disability Rights in Cambodia,” January 2015.

[22] UNDP & Cambodia, “Disability Rights Initiative Cambodia: Joint Programme Document,” December 2013, p. 3; and DAC, “H.E Sem Sokha presided over the Launch of Disability Rights Initiative Cambodia,” 4 July 2014.

[23] UNDP & Cambodia, “Disability Rights Initiative Cambodia: Joint Programme Document,” December 2013, p. vi.

[24] Cambodia, “NDSP,” 2014.

[25] United States (US) Department of State, “2014 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Cambodia,” Washington, DC, 25 April 2015.

[27] Holly Robertson and Khy Sovuthy, “Disability Initiatives Launched as Jobs Quota Not Met,” Cambodia Daily, 5 July 2014.

[28] Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, “Investment Concept: Cambodia Vulnerable Peoples Support Program,” April 2017.

[29] Maya Thomas, “Mid-term Review of Disability Rights Initiative Cambodia,” May 2016, p. 34.

[31] CDIDF, “Call for Proposals 2014,” 30 September 2014; and “Call for Proposals 2015,” 30 April 2015.

[32] These were in the following provinces: Banteay Meanchey, Battambang, Pursat, Siem Reap, Kampong Thom, Kampong Cham, Kandal, Phnom Penh, Preah Sihanouk, Ratanakiri, Mondulkiri, Prey Veng, and Svay Rieng.

[34] Statement of Cambodia, Mine Ban Treaty Fifteenth Meeting of States Parties, Santiago, 29 November 2016.

[35] Statement of Cambodia, Mine Ban Treaty Third Review Conference, Maputo, 24 June 2014; and Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2015), Form J.

[36] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2016), Form G; Notes from Monitor field mission, December 2014; and statement of Cambodia, Mine Ban Treaty Third Review Conference, Maputo, 24 June 2014.

[37] Presentation by Ros Chhung Eang, Ministry of Health, National Workshop to Review the Implementation of NDSP, Phnom Penh, 14 December 2015.

[38] ICRC PRP, “Annual Report 2014,” Geneva, 2015, p. 52.

[39] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2016), Form G.

[40] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2015), Form J.

[41] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2014), Form J.

[42] The ICRC also provided 1,647 prostheses (81% for mine survivors) in 2014; and 1,597 prostheses (1,287 or 81% for mine survivors) in 2013. ICRC, “Annual Report 2016,” Geneva, 2017, p. 358; ICRC, “Annual Report 2015,” Geneva, 2016, p. 374; ICRC PRP, “Annual Report 2014,” Geneva, 2015, p. 52; and ICRC PRP, “Annual Report 2013,” Geneva, 2014.

[44] Email from Sar Sophano, Executive Director, AAR, WCD, 19 October 2017.

[45] Email from Sophall Phorn, Program Manager, VIC, 2 November 2017.

[46] Ibid.

[47] SIDA, “Disability Rights in Cambodia,” January 2015.

[48]Mental Health Care Cambodia,” Asia Life, 2 January 2013; “Analysis: What ails Cambodia's mental health system?” IRIN, 12 March 2012; and Denise Hruby, “Cambodia suffers from an appalling mental health crisis,” Global Post, 18 June 2014.

[49] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2016), Form G; and Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2015), Form J.

[50] ICRC, Annual Report 2016,” Geneva 2017, p. 354.

[51] Ibid., p. 356.

[54] US Department of State, “2015 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Cambodia,” Washington, DC, 13 April 2016; and CCBL, Notes from National Workshop to Review the Implementation of NDSP, Phnom Penh, 14 December 2015.

[56] Andrew Nachemson, “Ministries discuss long-promised handicap accessibility,” Phnom Penh Post, 14 September 2016.

[57] David Hutt, “Failure to enforce jobs quota law shortchanges Cambodia’s disabled,” Southeast Asia Globe, 26 April 2016.