Thailand

Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Last updated: 08 July 2019

Summary: Non-signatory Thailand acknowledges the humanitarian concerns raised by cluster munitions, but has not taken any steps to accede. Thailand participates in meetings of the convention. It voted in favor of a key United Nations (UN) resolution on the convention in December 2018.

Thailand is not known to have produced or exported cluster munitions, but it has imported them and possesses a stockpile. Thailand’s only known use of cluster munitions was in Cambodia during a 2011 border dispute.

Policy

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

A senior Royal Thai Army officer met with the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) on 9 July 2018 and said Thailand is not be in a position to join the convention in the near future. [1] Thailand has previously acknowledged the humanitarian concerns raised by cluster munitions, but has not taken any steps to join the convention besides studying its provisions. [2] After Thailand fired cluster munition rockets into Cambodia during a 2011 border conflict, Thailand’s foreign minister told the UN Security Council the government was “seriously considering joining the Convention on Cluster Munitions.” [3]

Thailand participated in the diplomatic conferences of the Oslo Process that created the Convention on Cluster Munitions, but it attended the formal negotiations in May 2008 only as an observer. Thailand did not sign the convention when it was opened for signature in Oslo in December 2008. [4]

Thailand has participated as an observer in the convention’s meetings, but it did not attend the Eighth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in September 2018. [5] Thailand participated in a regional workshop on the convention in Vientiane, Lao PDR in April 2019 and has hosted regional meetings on the convention. [6]

In December 2018, Thailand voted in favor of a UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution that urges states outside the Convention on Cluster Munitions to “join as soon as possible.” [7] It has voted in favor of the annual UNGA resolution promoting the convention since it was first introduced in 2015.

Thailand has voted in favor of UNGA resolutions condemning continued use of cluster munitions in Syria, most recently in December 2018. [8]

Thailand is a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty. It is not party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.

Production, transfer, and stockpiling

Thailand is not known to have ever produced or exported cluster munitions.

In 2018, a military official said that Thailand has no cluster munitions in the operational stockpile as they were transferred years ago to a training stockpile that is inaccessible to active military units. [9] While there are no plans to change this policy, the Monitor will not remove Thailand from the list of cluster munition stockpilers after it receives official confirmation in writing.

Thailand possesses a stockpile of cluster munitions, but said in December 2008 that it does not intend to acquire more cluster munitions. [10]

The United States (US) supplied Thailand with 500 Rockeye and 200 CBU-71 air-dropped cluster bombs at some point between 1970 and 1995. [11] Thailand also received 2,806 cluster munitions containing 850,268 submunitions from the US after the US War Reserve Stock in Thailand (WRS-THAI) was dissolved by a 2002 agreement. [12]

Thailand also possesses French-made NR-269 ERFB extended-range 155mm artillery projectiles, each containing 56 M42/M46-type [13] dual-purpose improved conventional munition (DPICM) submunitions. [14] Based on the types of submunitions identified in Cambodia after the February 2011 artillery strikes, Thailand also possesses a cluster munition that delivers M85 DPICM submunitions.

Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) and other technical experts have provided advice and information on possible options for destroying Thailand’s stockpile of cluster munitions. [15]

Use

In February 2011, Thai military forces fired cluster munitions during fighting at the Preah Vihear temple on a disputed part of the border, according to the Cambodian Mine Action Center (CMAC), a government entity. [16] Thailand fired ground-delivered cluster munitions into Cambodian territory, including M42/M46 and M85-type DPICM submunitions. [17]

Thailand’s use of cluster munitions generated widespread concern and provoked a strong international response. [18] At first, Thailand denied using cluster munitions then stated that it “fully understands the concerns raised.” [19]



 [1] CMC meeting with Maj. Gen. Thongchai Rodyoi, Director, Office of Operations, Royal Thai Army Headquarters, Bangkok, 9 July 2018.

 [2] Statement of Thailand, Sixth Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Geneva, 6 September 2016. Previously, in October 2015, Thailand said it was “in the process of verifying scope and meaning under the CCM [Convention on Cluster Munitions], with a view to possible accession in the future.” Statement of Thailand, UN General Assembly (UNGA) First Committee on Disarmament and International Security, New York, 26 October 2015.

 [3] Statement by Kasit Piromya, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, UN Security Council, New York, 14 February 2011. Government officials also expressed Thailand’s intent to accede to the convention in “the near future.” Statement of Thailand, Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 27 June 2011. Notes by the CMC.

 [4] For details on Thailand’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. 245–246.

 [5] Thailand participated as an observer in the convention’s Meeting of States Parties in 2010–2017, the First Review Conference in 2015, and intersessional meetings in 2011–2015.

 [6] 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. Previously, EU Nonproliferation Consortium, “Cooperating to implement the Convention on Cluster Munitions: the country coalition concept,” Bangkok, 16–17 March 2017.

 [7]Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution 73/54, 5 December 2018.

 [8]Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic,” UNGA Resolution 73/182, 17 December 2018. Thailand voted in favor of similar resolutions in 2013–2017.

 [9] CMC meeting with Maj. Gen. Thongchai Rodyoi, Royal Thai Army, Bangkok, 9 July 2018.

 [10] Interview with Cherdkiat Atthakor, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bangkok, 24 February 2010; and statement of Thailand, Convention on Cluster Munitions Signing Conference, Oslo, 4 December 2008. Notes by Landmine Action.

 [11] US Defense Security Assistance Agency, Department of Defense, “Cluster Bomb Exports under FMS, FY1970–FY1995,” obtained by Human Rights Watch in a Freedom of Information Act request, 28 November 1995.

 [12] Department of State, “Memorandum of Agreement between the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and THAILAND Signed at Bangkok November 26, 2002.” The stockpile was comprised of 1,000 M483 and 432 M449A1 artillery projectiles, and 200 CBU-58, 200 Mk-20 Rockeye II, 100 CBU-52, 800 CBU-71, and 74 CBU-87 air-dropped bombs. The cluster munitions were stored at the Korat Munitions Storage Area at the time of the 2002 agreement. See, Andrew Haag, “Thailand received cluster munitions from the United States in 2002–2005,” Landmine and cluster munitions blog, 19 January 2016.

 [13] The DPICM submunition is often called a “grenade.” A certain amount of contradictory information exists publicly about the specific type of DPICM submunition contained in the NR269 projectile. France lists it as an “M42 type” in its initial Article 7 report in January 2011. Other international ammunition reference publications list the type as M46. There is little outward visual difference between the two types: the M46 DPICM is heavier/thicker and has a smooth interior surface. A portion of the interior of the M42 DPICM body is scored for greater fragmentation.

 [14] NPA, “Impact Assessment Report: Preah Vihear Province, Cambodia,” undated, but circulated 3 April 2011.

 [15] Email from Lee Moroney, Programme Manager, NPA, 17 August 2010.

 [17] For full analysis of the 2011 use incident, see CMC, Cluster Munition Monitor 2011 (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, October 2011), pp. 319–320. The missions were conducted by Cambodia Campaign to Ban Landmines and Cluster Bombs (on 9 February and 12 February) and NPA (1–2 April). CMC press release, “CMC condemns Thai use of cluster munitions in Cambodia,” 5 April 2011.

 [18] For example, the Beirut Progress Report issued by the convention’s Second Meeting of States Parties stated: “Several states have reported actions reacting to the instance of use of cluster munitions by Thailand in 2011. This includes individual and joint demarches, support for fact-finding missions and condemnation of the use in public statements. The President of the Convention has also issued a statement, stating his concern over the use of cluster munitions. States and civil society have reported on how they follow up, in terms of actions to increase the understanding and knowledge of the Convention. States and civil society have had a good dialogue with Thailand.” “Draft Beirut Progress Report: Monitoring progress in implementing the Vientiane Action Plan from the First up to the Second Meeting of States Parties,” CCM/MSP/2011/WP.5, 25 August 2011.

 [19] Guy De Launey, “Thailand ‘admits cluster bombs used against Cambodia,’” BBC News, 6 April 2011; and Statement of Thailand, Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 27 June 2011. Notes by the CMC.


Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 09 October 2018

Policy

The Kingdom of Thailand signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997 and ratified it on 27 November 1998, becoming a State Party on 1 May 1999.

Thailand has not enacted domestic legislation to implement the Mine Ban Treaty.[1]

Thailand submitted its annual Article 7 transparency report in 2018, covering calendar year 2017.[2]

Thailand 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. Thailand has regularly co-chaired committees of the Meeting of States Parties.

Production, transfer, stockpile destruction, and retention

Thailand states that it has never produced or exported antipersonnel mines. Thailand previously imported antipersonnel mines from China, Italy, the United States, and the former Yugoslavia. It completed destruction of 337,725 stockpiled antipersonnel mines on 24 April 2003.

In its Article 7 report submitted in 2018, Thailand stated that at the end of 2017 it retained 3,162 antipersonnel mines for training purposes, a reduction of 217 mines from the previous year.[3] Thailand has never reported in detail on the actual uses of mines kept for training—a step agreed upon by States Parties at the Review Conferences in 2004 and 2009.[4] At the end of 2017, the Royal Thai Army retained 2,516 mines, the Royal Thai Air Force retained 577 mines, and the Thai Border Patrol Police retained 69 mines.[5]

Thailand is not known to have undertaken physical modifications of its Claymore mine stockpile to ensure use only in command-detonated mode. Officials have previously stated that all units have received orders that Claymore mines are to be used only in command-detonated mode.[6]

Use

The use of command-detonated improvised explosive devices (IEDs) has been a feature of the insurgency in southern Thailand, but new reports of use of improvised mines emerged during this reporting period.[7]

On 2 July 2018, Suthin Haewkhuntod, an ethnic Thai Buddhist latex tapper in Yala province’s Krong Penang district, lost his foot after he stepped on a landmine emplaced by insurgents on the rubber plantation where he worked. Two other ethnic Thai Buddhist latex tappers, Wipawan Plodkaenthong and Chutipon Namwong, were seriously wounded by landmines, in Yala’s Yaha district on June 28 and in Muang district on 2 July.[8]

There have been no allegations of new use of antipersonnel mines on the Cambodian border with Thailand since March 2013.[9]



[1] In April 2018, Thailand reported under National Implementation that it had “re-established the National Committee for Mine Action under the Order of the Office of the Prime Minister with the Prime Minister as its Chairperson.” For further national implementation measures, the report directs the reader to Thailand’s 2015 Article 7 report, which states, “Thailand continues to consider regulations that will streamline and improve national implementation of the AP Mine Ban Convention.”

[2] Thailand has provided annual updated reports every year since its initial Article 7 report was submitted in November 1999, except for its annual report in 2003.

[3] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D, 30 April 2013.

[4] The Royal Thai Army, Navy, Air Force, and National Police Department initially retained a total of 4,970 antipersonnel mines for training. The number of retained mines did not change from 2001 to 2004. In 2005–2006, Thailand reduced the number of mines retained by 257. There were discrepancies in the reporting on the number of mines. See, Landmine Monitor Report 2007, p. 665. In 2007, it reduced the number by another 1,063 mines. It appears that 63 of the mines retained by the National Police Department were consumed during training activities, and all of the 1,000 mines retained by the navy were simply destroyed, presumably because they were no longer deemed necessary. See, Landmine Monitor Report 2008, p. 678. In 2008 and 2009, Thailand destroyed another 12 mines per year. In 2010, Thailand reported transferring 200 mines for training, apparently 13 M2, 84 M14, 39 M16, and 64 M26 antipersonnel mines. Statement of Thailand, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on General Status and Operation, Geneva, 20 June 2011; and Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D, 30 April 2011. The types transferred are not noted in the Article 7 report.

[5] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D, submitted in 2018.

[6] Interview with Lt.-Gen. Deemongkol, Thailand Mine Action Center (TMAC), Bangkok, 19 March 2009. TMAC stated this in 2007 as well as in 2008. In its Article 7 report for 1999, Thailand reported that it had 6,117 M18 and M18A1 Claymore mines in stock.

[7] Improvised landmines are explosive devices made out of locally available materials that are designed to detonate due to the proximity or activity of a human being. Such devices are banned under the Mine Ban Treaty.

[8] Teeranai Charuvastra, “Landmine Wounds Deep South Farmer,” Khaosod, 2 July 2018; and Mariyam Ahmad, “Thailand: Landmine Injures Fifth Rubber Farm Worker in a Week,” Benar News, 5 July 2018. See also, Human Rights Watch, “Insurgents Use Landmines in South,” 4 July 2018.

[9] Previously, in March 2013, three Thai soldiers were injured by what the Thai military described as newly planted mines near the Ta Kwai Temple in Phanom Dong Rak district. Cambodia investigated and in its report to States Parties stated that it had found the mines to be old, dating from the Cambodian civil war. Other allegations made by Thailand of Cambodian use of antipersonnel mines on the Cambodian-Thai border in 2008 and 2009 were never resolved. 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 and 719–720; and also ICBL-CMC, “Country Profile: Cambodia: Mine Ban Policy,” 6 August 2010.


Mine Action

Last updated: 11 November 2018

 

Treaty status

Mine Ban Treaty

State Party
Article 5 deadline: 31 October 2023
Unclear whether on track to meet deadline

Mine action management

National mine action management actors

National Committee for Humanitarian Mine Action (NMAC)
Thailand Mine Action Centre (TMAC)

Mine action strategic plan

Second Article 5 extension request has a plan for 2017–2023

Mine action standards

National Mine Action Standards (NMAS)

Operators in 2017

TMAC’s fourHumanitarian Mine Action Units (HMAUs)
Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA)
Thai Civilian Deminer Association (TDA)

Extent of contamination as of end 2017

Landmines

391.38km2 SHA

Cluster munition remnants

None

ERW contamination

Extent unknown

Land release in 2017

Landmines

30.98km2 released: 26.8km2 cancelled, 3.75km2 reduced and 0.43km2cleared. 1.38kmconfirmed
10,510 antipersonnel mines and 212 antivehicle mines destroyed

Other ERW

125 UXO destroyed during mine technical survey and clearance

Progress

Antipersonnel mines

The greatest challenge to completion of Thailand’s Article 5 clearance obligations is the high proportion—around 90%—of remaining contamination located in border areas that are subject to demarcation disputes or are inaccessible due to insecurity

Note: SHA = suspected hazardous area; ERW = explosive remnants of war; UXO = unexploded ordinance.

Contamination

The Kingdom of Thailand is affected by mines as well as by ERW, the result of conflicts on its borders with Cambodia, the Lao PDR, Malaysia, and Myanmar. Re-survey in recent years has sharply reduced estimates of the extent of contamination.

By the end of 2017, Thailand reported suspected mined areas covering 391km2, of which 84% was located in seven eastern and northeastern provinces bordering Cambodia (see table below). Most of the rest was in Chiang Mai, bordering Myanmar, and in Pitsanuloke, on the border with Lao PDR.[1] This was a decrease on the 422.61km2 of suspected mined areas at the end of 2016.[2] 

Mine contamination by province (at end 2017)[3]

Region

Province

No. of SHAs

Area
(km2)

North

Chiang Mai

4

25.62

Pitsanulok

1

28.53

Tak

1

0.37

Uttaradit

1

3.35

Northeast

Buriram

15

19.48

Surin

27

29.17

Sisaket

51

84.06

Ubon Ratchathani

63

103.96

East

Sa Kaeo

23

9.21

Chanthaburi

21

3.94

Trat

68

80.23

South

Chumpon

1

3.17

Yala

3

0.29

Total

 

279

391.38

 

Program Management 

The National Committee for Humanitarian Mine Action (NMAC), chaired by the prime minister, hasresponsibility for overseeing the national mine action program, but has not met since 2008. The NMAC was reconstituted in May 2017, still with the prime minister as chairman. It was expected to meet for the first time before the Mine Ban Treaty Sixteenth Meeting of States Parties and thereafter to meet annually.[4] The engagement of national leadership in the committee was seen as important in facilitating policy direction and progress on issues affecting national security, notably regarding cooperation with neighboring countries on clearing border areas.[5]

The Thailand Mine Action Centre (TMAC), which is under the Armed Forces Supreme Command, coordinates, monitors, and conducts mine/ERW survey, mine clearance, mine/ERW risk education, and victim assistance. 

TMAC is also responsible for establishing a program to meet Thailand’s obligations as a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty.[6] However, TMAC has had to contend with limited funding and, as a military organization, with regular rotation of personnel at all levels.[7] Lieutenant-General Sittipol Nimnuan took over as TMAC’s director in October 2017, the eleventh director since TMAC was created in 2000 and the seventh in the last seven years. 

Strategic planning

Thailand’s revised Second Article 5 Extension Request, submitted in August 2017, set out a two-phase program for completing clearance, and seeking a deadline extension until 31 October 2023. Phase 1, spanning 2017 and 2018, projected release of 63.8kmof suspected contamination, leaving the remaining 358.8kmto be tackled in the requested five-year extension period.

Planned land release 2017–2023[8]

Province

Area to be released in Phase 1, 2017–2018 (m2)

Area to be released in Phase 2 (m2)

Sa Kaeo

366,850

9,192,948

Trat

19,199,151

67,454,225

Chanthaburi

754,820

3,936,224

Buriram

0

19,483,928

Surin

1,869,334

28,670,745

Sisaket

17,981,799

70,883,609

Ubon Ratchathani

22,478,947

89,945,265

Uttaradit

0

3,345,061

Pitsanulok

0

32,990,520

Tak

0

366,772

Chiang Mai

0

25,615,188

Chumphon

0

6,924,647

Yala

1,145,139

0

Total

63,796,040

358,809,132

 

Potential obstacles to completion identified in the request included border demarcation disputes, difficult terrain, financial constraints, and unforeseen circumstances, such as flooding and political upheavals. Border demarcation poses a particular concern. The request stated that Phase 1 is intended to release all SHAs outside border areas, leaving Phase 2 to tackle areas to be demarcated on its borders covering 358.8km2, or 85% of the outstanding suspected contamination.[9]

Standards 

TMAC’s director reported in mid-2018 that it is again in the process of updating standards.[10] The last revision was completed in April 2015.[11] 

Information management

TMAC manages a database using Excel and Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping.

Operators 

TMAC’sfour Humanitarian Mine Action Units (HMAUs), one international NGO—NPA— and two national NGOs—the Thai Civilian Deminer Association (TDA) and Peace Road Organization Foundation (PRO)—have operational accreditation. Operators are now required to renew their accreditations annually.[12]

Thailand’s second extension request said TMAC would employ 330 operations personnel in the five HMAUs and 172 headquarters staff.[13]

 NPA has supported TMAC operations since 2011, conducting land release through non-technical and technical survey along the Thai-Cambodian border (in cooperation with HMAU 3) and in the north (with HMAU 4). In 2017, working with three teams and 12 field personnel, NPA had two teams working in Sisaket province in cooperation with HMAU 3, and a third team in Trat province, working with HMAU 2. NPA’s two teams moved to Ubon Ratchathani province in March 2018, while the third team remained in Trat province.[14]

TDA employed a total of 24 staff in 2017, including 17 field staff.[15] PRO suspended operations in 2015 pending receipt of further funding.[16] 

Land Release 

Thailand released a total of 30.98kmin 2017, 10% more than the previous year. As in previous years, Thailand’s main focus remained on survey, seeking to define a realistic estimate of contamination and avoiding wasteful use of clearance assets.[17]

Land release in 2017[18]

Province

Area cancelled by NTS (m2)

Area reduced by TS (m2)

Area cleared (m2)

Total area released (m2)

AP mines destroyed

Pitsanuloke

4,460,000

0

0

4,460,000

0

Ubon Ratchathani

6,034,332

2,355,662

78,913

8,468,907

856

Sisaket

4,809,399

0

0

4,809,399

0

Surin

46,469

1,102,649

246,036

1,395,154

3,789

Sakaeo

189,845

160,015

1,140

351,000

100

Trat

6,354,238

38,850

32,610

6,425,698

619

Chanthaburi

590,535

96,601

69,284

756,420

300

Chumphon

3,751,127

0

0

3,751,127

0

Yala

561,564

0

0

561,564

0

Total

26,797,509

3,753,777

427,983

30,979,269

5,664

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

The total fell a little short of the 34.74kmplanned for release in 2017 under Phase 1 of Thailand’s 2017 Article 5 deadline extension request, but land release accelerated in the first half of 2018 and TMAC was confident of easily surpassing the 63.8kmtarget it set for 2017 and 2018 combined under Phase 1 of the request.[19] TMAC projected releasing 71.15kmin 2018, expecting more than 70% to be cancelled by non-technical survey.[20]

TMAC also expected to declare three provinces (Tak, Uttaradit,and Yala) as mine free in 2018 and progress in the first few months of the year appeared to put it on track to achieve those goals. TMAC said that by the end of April it had released 30km2, almost as much as in the whole of 2017. TMAC reported it had completed Uttaradit in April and moved its teams from that province to Tak province bordering Myanmar. In Yala, contamination in the jungle bordering Malaysia consisted of decaying booby-traps. After cancelling 0.56kmin Yala through non-technical survey in 2017, only around 5,000mremained to be cleared in 2018, a task that TMAC expected to complete in the second half of the year.[21] 

Survey in 2017

NPA’s results, as in the previous year, underscored the consistently small proportion of Thailand’s SHAs actually affected by mines. By the end of 2016, areas confirmed as hazardous averaged about 13.5% of the area surveyed. By the end of 2017, the average area confirmed had dropped to just below 10% of the SHA.[22]

In 2017, NPA-HMAU teams surveyed a total of 11.44km2, cancelling 10.76kmand confirming 0.68km2. It had one survey team working alongside HMAU 2 in Trad province and two survey teams that started the year working in Ubon Ratchathani province before moving to Sisaket province in March 2017.

TDA conducted a process it describes as “Survey to Identify Mined Area,” which combines non-technical survey, technical survey, and clearance, as well as undertaking spot tasks of explosive hazards posing an imminent threat. In 2017, it cancelled 100,000mand confirmed 701,434m2 in three districts of Surin province.[23] It also stated that it released 744,077mthrough technical survey but mostly through clearance. However, this was all reported as technical survey in Thailand’s Article 7 report.[24] 

The pace of survey appeared to increase in 2018. NPA cancelled almost 12.75kmthrough non-technical surveyin the first half of the year, more than in the whole of 2017, a result it attributed in part to increasing efficiency and experience of its surveyors. This included 4.5kmreleased in Sisaket province and 8.3kmin Trat. In this period, it also confirmed 0.3km2of hazard in Sisaket and 0.6kmin Trat.[25]

Clearance in 2017 

TMAC’s data showed clearance continued to account for a small part of land release, amounting to only 427,983min 2017 as the focus continues on survey. Most of the clearance occurred in Surin province (246,036m2) with small areas cleared in four other provinces. A total of 5,664 antipersonnel mines, 145 antivehicle mines, and 92 items of unexploded ordnance (UXO) were destroyed by TMAC during survey and clearance.

TDA reported releasing 744,077min Surin, some of it through technical survey but mostly as a result of full clearance. In the process it destroyed 4,846 antipersonnel mines, 67 antivehicle mines, and 33 other items of UXO. Thailand’s Article 7 Report for 2017 did not record any clearance by TDA and appears to have recorded all its operations as technical survey.[26] 

Article 5 Compliance 

Under Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty and in accordance with the second extension request granted in 2017, Thailand is required to destroy all antipersonnel mines in mined areas under its jurisdiction or control as soon as possible, but not later than 31 October 2023. 

Thailand’s extension request targets look highly ambitious set against the record of the last five years in which land release averaged less than half the levels the request has projected. Thus, in 2013–2017, cancellation by non-technical survey totaled 120km2, while reduction by technical survey released a further 33.8km2. During the same period, clearance released only 3.4km2. Land release annually therefore averaged less than 35km2.

Extension request 2019–2023: land release targets (km2)

2019

2020

2021

2022

2023

72.12

72.06

73.23

74.54

66.86

  

A major potential obstacle to achieving the 2023 deadline is thehigh proportion of remaining contamination located in border areas that are the subject of decades-old demarcation disputes or which are inaccessible due to insecurity (348kmat the end of 2017; close to 90% of outstanding contamination).[27] Cambodian soldiers requested TMAC deminers to cease operations in particular locations on two occasions in June and December 2017 and on one occasion in January 2018, underscoring the potential for setbacks in the progress of border clearance.[28] 

Improved relations between Thailand and Cambodia have opened the way for increased contacts with Cambodia on border cooperation. TMAC has previously had contacts with the Cambodian Mine Action Centre. TMAC Director Lieutenant-General Sittipol Nimnuan reported that Thailand was working with Cambodia’s mine action authorities to explore possibilities for cooperation.[29] 

Thailand’s extension request observed that earlier levels of cancellation through non-technical survey suggested the amount of land that would need technical survey and clearance in the extension period would amount to about 48.4km2.[30] If this is true, TMAC and partners would still have to release an average of 9.6kma year through technical survey and clearance. 

Mine clearance in 2013–2017

Year

Area cleared
(m2)

2017[31]

427,983

2016

394,238

2015

2,047,662

2014

228,911

2013

312,053

Total

3,410,847

  

Land release in 2012–2016 compared to 2008 extension request targets (km2)[32]

Year

Mined area cleared

Area released by survey

Total area released

Extension Request target

2016

0.39

27.80

28.19

64.18

2015

2.05

39.67

41.72

61.95

2014

0.23

24.84

25.07

62.92

2013

0.31

31.91

32.22

41.05

2012

0.29

20.6

20.89

41.95

Total

3.27

112.91

148.09

272.05

 

The extension request also presumed a sharp increase in mine action expenditure, with funding averaging about THB 240 million (US$6.15 million) a year during the extension period, compared with TMAC’s annual budget averaging about THB70 million ($ 2.1 million) a year in recent years.[33]

 

 

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] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2017), Form D.

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

[3] Ibid., Table D−1. The totals in the table are corrected as they are incorrect in the Article 7 transparency report.

[4] Mine Ban Treaty Second Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 8 August 2017, p. 7; and interview with Lt.-Gen. Prasopchai Kongburan, Director General, TMAC, in Geneva, 8 June 2017.

[5] Interview with Lt.-Gen. Prasopchai Kongburan, TMAC, in Geneva, 8 June 2017.

[6] “About us: Thailand Mine Action Center,” TMAC website, undated.

[7] Interview with Col. Terdsak Trirattanagool, Assistant Director General, TMAC, Bangkok, 15 May 2017.

[8] Mine Ban Treaty Second Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 8 August 2017, p. 21.

[9] Ibid., pp. 3–5, 21–23.

[10] Statement by Lt.-Gen. Sittipol Nimnuan, Director, TMAC, Mine Ban Treaty Intersessional Meetings , 7 June 2018.

[11] Thailand’s National Mine Action Standards, 1 April 2015.

[12] Email from Aksel Steen-Nilsen, Country Director, NPA Thailand, 22 August 2018.

[13] Mine Ban Treaty Second Article 5 deadline Extension Request (revised), 8 August 2017, p. 25.

[14] Email from Shushira Chonhenchob, Programme Manager, NPA, Bangkok, 23 July 2018.

[15] Emails from Amornchai Sirisai, Director, TDA, 27 and 28 July 2018.

[16] Embassy of Japan in Thailand, “The Government of Japan Provides Grant Assistance for the Project for the Clearance of Landmines/UXOs along the Thai-Cambodia border through the Land Release Method,” undated; and Mine Ban Treaty Second Article 5 deadline Extension Request (revised), 8 August 2017, p. 25.

[17] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2017), Form D, Table D–3.

[18] Ibid. The totals for cancellation, reduction, and clearance outputs on Thailand’s Article 7 report to not correctly sum, based on the subtotals. The correct totals have been used in Mine Action Review’s Table 3 on Land Release in 2017.

[19] Interview with Maj.-Gen Trirattanagool, TMAC, Bangkok, 27 April 2018.

[20] Ibid.; and Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2017), Form D, Table D–4.

[21] Statement of Thailand, Mine Ban Treaty Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 7 June 2018; and interview with Maj.-Gen Trirattanagool, TMAC, Bangkok, 27 April 2018.

[22] Email from Shushira Chonhenchob, NPA, 23 July 2018.

[23] Emails from Amornchai Sirisai, TDA, 27 and 28 July 2018.

[24] Ibid., 28 and 31 July 2018; and Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2017), Form D.

[25] Email from Shushira Chonhenchob, NPA, 23 July 2018.

[26] Emails from Amornchai Sirisai, TDA, 28 and 31 July 2018; and Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2017), Form D.

[27] Border contamination at the start of 2016 included 215 areas affecting 256.3 kmon the Cambodian border, seven areas affecting 32.9kmon the border with Myanmar, and 24 areas affecting 69.6kmon the border with Lao PDR.

[28] Interview with Maj.-Gen Trirattanagool, TMAC, Bangkok, 27 April 2018.

[29] Statement of Thailand, Mine Ban Treaty Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 7 June 2018.

[30] Mine Ban Treaty Second Article 5 deadline Extension Request (revised), 8 August 2017, p. 12.

[31] Thailand’s Article 7 Report includes only TMAC operating results.

[32] Compiled from: Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2015), Form D; and Mine Ban Treaty Article 5 deadline Extension Request (revised), 7 August 2008, p. 23.

[33] Mine Ban Treaty Second Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 8 August 2017, pp. 25–26; interview with Maj.-Gen. Trirattanagool, TMAC, Bangkok, 27 April 2018; and exchange rate, US$1=THB 33.2699, at Oanda.com, 31 July 2018.


Support for Mine Action

Last updated: 19 November 2018

The Kingdom of Thailand has not reported any national contributions to its mine action program since 2008, when it provided US$3.2 million.

In 2017, Norway was Thailand’s sole international mine action donor, contributing some NOK2.7 million (some US$300,000) toward clearance activities.[1]

Summary of international contributions: 2013–2017[2]

Year

International contributions

(US$)

2017

331,160

2016

1,116,036

2015

720,946

2014

1,023,067

2013

1,525,915

Total

4,717,124

 



[1] Email from Ingrid Schoyen, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 25 September 2018. Average exchange rate for 2017: €1=NOK8.2679. US Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 11 January 2018.

[2] See previous Monitor reports.


Casualties

Last updated: 10 October 2018

 

Casualties

All known casualties to 2017

At least 3,865 mine/unexploded remnants of war (ERW) casualties

Casualties in 2017[1]

Annual total

11

Decrease from
19 in 2016

Survival outcome

2 killed; 9 injured

Device type causing casualties

5 unspecified mines; 2 improvised mines; 4 unknown devices

Civilian status

6 civilians; 4 deminers; 1 military

 

Age and gender

11 adults:
8 men; 3 unknown

0 children

 

Of the 11 mine/ERW casualties identified by the Monitor in the Kingdom of Thailand in 2017, five were recorded by the Thailand Mine Action Center (TMAC), and six were reported in the media.[2]

The most comprehensive casualty data collection for Thailand remains the Landmine Impact Survey (LIS), which identified at least 3,468 casualties as of May 2001 (1,497 killed; 1,971 injured).[3] From 1999 to the end of 2017, the Monitor recorded 743 mine/ERW casualties in Thailand: 52 people killed, 331 injured, and for 360 it was unknown if they survived. This number includes 395 casualties since 2002.[4]

Casualties continued to be reported in 2018. One man was injured when he stepped on a mine of unspecified type at the Thai-Cambodian border in Sa Kaew’s Ta Phraya district.[5] Three casualties were injured in southern Thailand as a result of improvised antipersonnel mines targeting rubber plantation workers.[6]



[1] Unless otherwise indicated, casualty data for 2017 is based on information provided by Thailand Mine Action Center (TMAC), Bangkok, May 2018; and Monitor media scanning for calendar year 2017.

[2] However, at the Mine Ban Treaty 16th Meeting of States Parties, 19 December 2017, Thailand reported that there were six casualties in 2017.

[3] Survey Action Center and Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA), “Landmine Impact Survey: Kingdom of Thailand,” 2001, p. 18

[4] See previous editions of the Monitor available on the website. The LIS recorded 348 new casualties between June 1998 and May 2001. This total includes some casualties injured in Myanmar and recorded in Thailand, which could not be separated from the data.

[5] “Man loses right foot from landmine in Sa Kaew,” The Nation, 14 April 2018.

[6] Human Rights Watch, “Thailand: Insurgents Use Landmines in South,” 4 July 2018.


Victim Assistance

Last updated: 21 October 2018

Victim assistance action points

  • Employment, work training, livelihood incentives, and other economic opportunities continued to be areas with the greatest need for improvement for survivors.
  • Representation of local survivors’ networks through survivor leaders should be maintained and developed through all levels of coordination.
  • Enhance the system for ordering prosthetic components and introduce functional waitlists in rehabilitation centers.

Victim assistance planning and coordination

Government focal points

The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEP)

Other focal points

Thailand Mine Action Center (TMAC) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Coordination activities

The National Sub-Committee on Victim Assistance under the National Committee for Humanitarian Mine Action, includes TMAC, relevant government ministries and agencies: Foreign Affairs, Public Health, Social Development and Human Security, DEP, Interior, and Labor, as well as NGOs. TMAC periodically called together members of the National Sub-Committee on Victim Assistance

Plans/strategies

The Master Plan for Mine Victim Assistance 2012–2016 (expired)

Disability sector integration

Thailand connected its work on victim assistance both in line with planning and implementation of its obligations under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and also its universal health coverage strategy. Victim assistance is integrated into the broader legal framework, national plans, and programs for persons with disabilities, and is implemented under the umbrella of universal health coverage[1]

Disability sector meetings

The National Commission on Promotion and Development of the Quality of Lives of Persons with Disabilities is responsible for the establishment of provincial service centers for persons with disabilities; amendments to regulations under the Person with Disabilities Empowerment Act; procedures for acquiring accessible public buses; approval of projects for income-generating activities; house modifications; and making government venues accessible. The commission met twice in 2017

Reporting

Thailand provided updates on victim assistance activities through statements at the Mine Ban Treaty intersessional meetings in June 2017 and at the Sixteenth Meeting of States Parties in December 2018

 

International commitments and obligations

Thailand is responsible for significant numbers of landmine and explosive remnants of war (ERW) survivors. Thailand has made a commitment to victim assistance through the Mine Ban Treaty

Mine Ban Treaty

Yes

Convention on Cluster Munitions

No

CRPD

Yes

 

Laws and policies

The Kingdom of Thailand stated that other legislative measures that guarantee the rights of persons with disabilities include: 1) the National Health Security Act; 2) the Emergency Medical Service Act; and 3) The Persons with Disabilities Education Act. Thailand also revised the Persons with Disabilities’ Quality of Life Promotion Act, which provides a comprehensive legal and institutional framework regarding rights and entitlements for persons with disabilities. The revised act decentralized coordination of essential services to the local administrative authorities, which are closer to communities. Thailand reported that authorities has started establishing more service centers for persons with disabilities in mine-affected areas so as to ensure that mine victims in rural areas have equal access to government services as others living in towns and cities. We also encourage local communities’ involvement in our victim assistance efforts to ensure that services provided to mine victims will be most accessible and sustainable.[2]

Major Developments in 2017–2018

Needs assessment

No specific needs assessment was reported for 2017. However General Service Centers for Persons with Disabilities, operated by any governmental and non‐governmental agencies related to the empowerment of persons with disabilities, including local administration organizations, facilitate the access of persons with disabilities, including mine survivors.

Medical care and rehabilitation

The national community-based rehabilitation (CBR) program remained active in all provinces of Thailand.[3]

The Sirindhorn School of Prosthetics and Orthotics, part of the Mahidol University, continued to focus on research, development, and innovation of devices, applying more advanced technology and testing. It was reported that despite a graduate-level training program for prosthetics and orthotics technicians, the numbers of qualified clinical technicians were still inadequate in 2018.[4]

Disability rights organization reported that there was inequality in access to health services among three health insurance systems: the Social Security Fund, the National Health Security Fund, and the Government Officer Treatment Welfare Fund. There are clear differences among these three funds: the National Health Security Fund covers equipment for various disabilities, while the Social Security Fund covers the least equipment for the disabilities.Every person with disability who could engage in employment is obliged to register in the social security system, which requires co-payment for healthcare services in registered hospitals.[5]

Persons with disabilities in the Social Security System receive benefits only when registered in the category of “disabled person” not able to return to employment. These persons with disabilities have to advance the payment before being reimbursed by the Social Security Office, thus creating a financial burden in case of costly equipment. Those in the National Health Security Fund receive the equipment without any advance of payment and they can freely choose to attend any hospital.[6]

Socio-economic and psychosocial inclusion 

The Fund for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities provides loans for self‐employment for persons with disabilities and their caregivers, this offers opportunities for economic-inclusion activities and livelihoods for survivors.To be eligible to seek support from the fund,persons with disabilities must be registered with disabilityidentitycards. Groups including at least 10 individual persons with disabilities or disability-related organizationscan also apply.[7] The fund is managed by a sub-committee of its management structure, with the DEP as the secretariat, which includes at least seven civil society organization representatives. However, DPOs pointed out that the budget for projects and activities under the fund are mostly spent by government agencies and local administration, compared to that received by civil society organizations. The later received just some 30% of the total funding.[8]

Victim assistance providers and activities

Name of organization

Type of activity

Government

Ministry of Public Health (MoPH)

Operated healthcare facilities in mine-affected areas and a network of emergency response teams

National Health Security Office (NHSO)

Responsible for funding the provision of prosthetic and other mobility devices and managing individual rehabilitation programs for persons with disabilities

Ministry of Development and Human Security (MSDHS)

Community-based program providing social support for persons with disabilities

Sirindhorn National Medical Rehabilitation Center

Provided free prostheses, assistive devices, wheelchairs, and other aids for persons with disabilities through hospitals

Sirindhorn School of Prosthetics and Orthotics

International bachelor of prosthetic and orthotics program

National

Name of organization

Type of activity

Catholic Office for Emergency Relief and Refugees(COERR)

Supplied basic essentials such as food to persons with disabilities

Prostheses Foundation

Prostheses and assistive devices provided free-of-charge

International

Jesuit Relief Services (JRS)

Assistance to mine/ERW survivors and their children as part of its broader programs, including visits to mine survivors, and emergency support such as dry food and blankets

 



[1] Statement of Thailand, Mine Ban Treaty Sixteenth Meeting of States Parties,Geneva,19 December 2017; and statement of Thailand, Mine Ban Treaty Fifteenth Meeting of States Parties,Santiago, Chile, December 2016.

[2] Statement of Thailand, Mine Ban Treaty Intersessional Meetings, 19 May 2016.

[3] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2017), Form J.

[4] “New limbs that save lives,” The Nation, 26 June 2018.

[5] Disabilities Thailand and Network of Disability Rights Advocates, “Thailand CRPD Alternative Report for the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities,” March 2016.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2017), Form J.

[8] Disabilities Thailand and Network of Disability Rights Advocates, “Thailand CRPD Alternative Report for the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities,” March 2016.