Thailand

Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Last updated: 05 September 2023

Summary: Non-signatory Thailand acknowledges the humanitarian concerns raised by cluster munitions, but has not taken any steps to join the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Thailand participated in the convention’s Tenth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in August–September 2022. Thailand voted in favor of a key United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolution promoting the convention in December 2022.

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

Policy

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

Thailand has expressed interest in the convention, but has not taken any steps to accede to it.[1] Thailand’s foreign minister told the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in 2011 that the government was “seriously considering joining the Convention on Cluster Munitions.”[2] However, military officials have since said that Thailand is not in a position to accede.[3]

In October 2022, Thailand associated itself with a statement by the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) that recognized “the adverse humanitarian impact caused by the use of cluster munitions.”[4]

Thailand participated in diplomatic conferences of the Oslo Process that created the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Yet it attended the formal negotiations in Dublin in May 2008 and the Oslo Signing Conference in December 2008 only as an observer.[5]

Thailand has participated as an observer at most of the convention’s meetings, most recently the Tenth Meeting of States Parties held in Geneva in August–September 2022, where it did not make a statement.[6]

In December 2022, Thailand voted in favor of a key UNGA resolution urging states outside the Convention on Cluster Munitions to “join as soon as possible.”[7] Thailand has voted in favor of the annual UNGA resolution promoting the convention since it was first introduced in 2015.

Thailand has also voted in favor of UNGA resolutions condemning use of cluster munitions in Syria.[8]

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

Production, transfer, and stockpiling

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

Thailand possesses a stockpile of cluster munitions, but in December 2008 announced that it did not intend to acquire more cluster munitions.[9] A military official claimed in 2018 that Thailand no longer had cluster munitions in its operational stockpile as they were transferred to a training stockpile years previously, which he said active military units cannot access.[10]

The Monitor will continue to list Thailand as a stockpiler of cluster munitions until official confirmation is provided, for example in a voluntary Article 7 transparency report, as other states not party have done.

Thailand received 500 Rockeye and 200 CBU-71 air-dropped cluster bombs from the United States (US) 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 was dissolved by a 2002 agreement.[12]

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

Several technical experts have provided advice and information on possible options for safely destroying Thailand’s stockpiled cluster munitions.[15]

Use

There has been no evidence or allegations of cluster munition use by Thailand since 2011.

Previous use

Thai military forces fired cluster munitions into Cambodia in February 2011, during fighting over a disputed part of the border at the Preah Vihear temple, 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]

At first, Thailand denied using cluster munitions, but later accepted the evidence, stating that it “fully understands the concerns raised.”[18] Thailand’s use of cluster munitions in 2011 generated widespread concern and provoked a strong international response.[19]



[1] Statement of Thailand, Convention on Cluster Munitions Sixth Meeting of States Parties, 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, UNGA First Committee on Disarmament and International Security, New York, 26 October 2015.

[2] Statement by Kasit Piromya, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, UNSC, 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.

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

[4] Statement of Indonesia on behalf of the NAM, UNGA First Committee on Disarmament and International Security, New York, 19 October 2022.

[5] For details on Thailand’s policy and practice regarding cluster munitions through early 2009, see Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Landmine Action, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, May 2009), pp. 245–246.

[6] Previously, Thailand participated in the convention’s First Review Conference in 2015, the Second Review Conference in 2020 and 2021, Meetings of States Parties in 2010–2017 and 2019, and intersessional meetings in 2011–2015.

[7]Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution 77/79, 7 December 2022.

[8]Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic,” UNGA Resolution 77/230, 15 December 2022. Thailand voted in favor of similar UNGA resolutions on Syria from 2013–2021.

[9] 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.

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

[11] Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), US Department of Defense, “Cluster Bomb Exports under FMS, FY1970–FY1995,” obtained by HRW in a Freedom of Information Act request, 28 November 1995.

[12] US Department of State, “Memorandum of Agreement between the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and THAILAND Signed at Bangkok November 26, 2002,” 26 November 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 Munition 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 listed 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] Norwegian People’s Aid (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 the Cambodia Campaign to Ban Landmines and Cluster Bombs (on 9 and 12 February) and NPA (1–2 April). CMC press release, “CMC condemns Thai use of cluster munitions in Cambodia,” 6 April 2011.

[18] 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.

[19] For example, the Beirut Progress Report issued at 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.” See, Convention on Cluster Munitions Second Meeting of States Parties, “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, Beirut, 25 August 2011.


Impact

Last updated: 19 November 2021

Jump to a specific section of the chapter:

Treaty Status | Management & Coordination | Impact (contamination & casualties) | Addressing the Impact (land release, risk education, victim assistance)

Country Summary

The Kingdom of Thailand is contaminated by landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) as a result of conflicts on its borders with Cambodia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, and Myanmar. Most remaining contamination is located in the seven eastern and northeastern provinces bordering Cambodia, with some contamination still along the borders with Lao PDR and Myanmar.

Thailand became a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty on 1 May 1999 and has an Article 5 clearance deadline of 31 October 2023. Thailand had said it would meet this deadline,[1] but in 2021 reported to the Monitor that it was uncertain whether this was still the case, due to the impact of COVID-19 restrictions in border areas and potential budget cuts.[2]

Thailand has a five-year Humanitarian Mine Action Plan which focuses on non-technical survey in the first phase from 2019–2020, and on technical survey and clearance from 2021–2023.[3] In 2020, Thailand declared the provinces of Chumphon and Chanthaburi mine-free.[4]

Thailand’s national mine action structure sits under the Supreme Command of the Royal Thai Armed Forces, with 90% of its funding provided by the government.[5] The Thailand Mine Action Center (TMAC) coordinates, monitors, and conducts mine/ERW survey, clearance, risk education, and victim assistance.

Risk education is implemented in the contaminated areas bordering Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Myanmar. Most risk education in Thailand is undertaken alongside ongoing survey, clearance, and victim assistance activities.[6]

Thailand’s victim assistance program is integrated into its national policy frameworks. Victim assistance services, grants, and allowances are primarily provided by the National Institute of Emergency Medicine, the Ministry of Public Health, and the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security.[7]

In 2020, Humanity & Inclusion (HI) provided risk education and victim assistance to refugees from Myanmar in nine refugee camps in Thailand.[8]

Treaty Status

Treaty status overview

Mine Ban Treaty

State Party (Entry into force: 1 May 1999)

Article 5 clearance deadline: 31 October 2023

Convention on Cluster Munitions

Non-signatory

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

State Party (Ratification: 29 July 2008)

 

Mine Ban Treaty Article 5 clearance deadline

Since becoming a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty in 1999, Thailand has since requested two extensions to its Article 5 clearance deadline. The second extension request was submitted in August 2017 and set out a two-phase program for completing clearance, with a deadline of 31 October 2023.

In 2020, Thailand had reported to the Monitor that it believed it would be able to meet its 2023 deadline,[9] but in 2021 reported that it was uncertain if the deadline would be met.[10] While on target in terms of its survey and clearance plan, Thailand reported that restrictions imposed amid the COVID-19 pandemic had prevented face-to-face meetings between Thailand and Cambodia to negotiate border clearance, while TMAC was also concerned that the Royal Thai Government might reduce its budget for mine clearance as a result of the pandemic.[11]

Management and Coordination

Mine action

Mine action management and coordination overview

Mine action commenced

1999

National mine action management actors

National Committee for Humanitarian Mine Action

Thailand Mine Action Center (TMAC), since 2000

Other actors

Golden West Humanitarian Foundation (GWHF)

Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA)

Mine action strategic and operational plans

Five-Year Humanitarian Mine Action Plan: 1 November 2018–31 October 2023

Mine action standards

National Mine Action Standards

 

Management and coordination

The National Committee for Humanitarian Mine Action, chaired by Thailand’s prime minister, oversees the mine action program. The engagement of national leadership in the committee is viewed as important in directing policy and facilitating progress in areas of mine action related to national security, such as cooperation with neighboring countries to clear border areas.

TMAC, formed in 2000, sits under the Supreme Command of the Royal Thai Armed Forces. It coordinates, monitors, and conducts survey, clearance, risk education, and victim assistance. It is also responsible for creating a program to meet Thailand’s Mine Ban Treaty obligations.

On 3 October 2020, TMAC and the Golden West Humanitarian Foundation (GWHF) signed a memorandum of understanding for GWHF to provide technical advisory support to TMAC.[12] Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) continued to provide advisory support to TMAC in 2020, and also supported survey activities and the use of mine detection dogs.[13]

The Royal Thai Government provides over 90% of costs for humanitarian mine action, through the Ministry of Defence.[14] International support makes up the remainder of the budget.

TMAC organizes monthly mine action meetings with the clearance operators.[15] In 2020, twelve such meetings were held.[16]

Strategies and policies

In line with its Article 5 deadline, Thailand has a Five-Year Humanitarian Mine Action Plan, covering 1 November 2018 to 31 October 2023.[17] In the first phase, non-technical survey was to be conducted in 2019–2020 in the northeast region and part of the eastern region, projecting release of 269km². In the second phase, technical survey and clearance in confirmed hazardous areas (CHAs) will be carried out from 2021–2023, projecting release of 90.96km².[18]

Legislation and standards

In 2020, Thailand began revising its National Mine Action Standards and Standard Operating Procedures, in line with the International Mine Action Standards (IMAS). Operators and other stakeholders are participating in the process. In 2021, Thailand reported that it was field-testing the revised versions of its national standards and operating procedures.[19]

Information management

TMAC does not use the Information Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA), but has a centralized database using Excel and Arc Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping.[20]

Gender and diversity

TMAC does not have a specific strategy or guidelines in place to ensure gender and diversity mainstreaming. TMAC personnel are seconded from the Royal Thai Armed Forces, and TMAC reported limited control over personnel recruited.[21] In 2019, 40% of TMAC staff were women, though most occupied administrative positions. From October 2019, TMAC had three senior women officers, serving as Deputy Chief of Special Affairs, Deputy Chief of Coordination and Evaluation, and Budget Officer, with a woman Commander serving as Head of Administration and Personnel.[22]

Risk education

Risk education management and coordination overview

Government focal points

Thailand Mine Action Center (TMAC)

Coordination mechanisms

Risk education included on the agenda of monthly mine action coordination meetings

Risk education standards

Risk education standards included in National Mine Action Standards, and undergoing revision

 

Coordination

TMAC is responsible for coordinating risk education activities in Thailand. Operators conduct risk education in line with TMAC policies and the National Mine Action Standards.

Risk education planning and implementation was discussed as part of the monthly mine action meetings held by TMAC in 2020. The meetings provide an opportunity for operators to present progress and challenges, and for TMAC to monitor and provide guidance on implementation.[23]

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Mine Action Center (ARMAC) acts as a platform for ASEAN member states to share experiences and best practice in relation to mine action, and to participate in seminars, workshops, and training programs to enhance risk education efforts. TMAC has contributed to these ARMAC events.[24]

Strategies

Thailand has no specific risk education strategy.[25] Risk education is included within the Five-Year Humanitarian Mine Action Plan for 2019–2023, but the plan provides no information on targeting populations based on risk behaviors, and no aim for the number of people reached.[26]

National Standards and guidelines

Risk education is included in the National Mine Action Standards, but was undergoing revision and translation. As of May 2021, the revised risk education standard had not been published.[27]

During 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forced TMAC to adjust its risk education strategy and operations.[28]

Victim assistance

Victim assistance management and coordination overview[29]

Government focal points

Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities

Other focal points

TMAC and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Coordination mechanisms

National Sub-Committee on Victim Assistance, under the National Committee for Humanitarian Mine Action

Plans/strategies

  • Fourth National Plan on Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, 2017–2021
  • First Strategic Plan on Empowerment of Women with Disabilities, 2017–2021

Disability sector integration

Mine/ERW victim assistance is integrated into broader legal frameworks, national plans, and programs for persons with disabilities

Survivor inclusion and participation

Government bodies and NGOs, including disabled people’s organizations, are working to support the full participation of mine/ERW victims in society

Note: ERW=explosive remnant of war; NGO=non-governmental organization.

Coordination

The National Sub-Committee on Victim Assistance is the main coordination mechanism for mine/ERW victim assistance in Thailand. It includes TMAC, the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, non-governmental Organizations (NGOs), and the ministries of Foreign Affairs, Public Health, Social Development and Human Security, Interior, and Labour.

Thailand’s victim assistance program is integrated into national policies and legal frameworks. Provision of healthcare is overseen by the Ministry of Public Health and the National Institute of Emergency Medicine; while the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security deals with the needs of persons with disabilities, including mine/ERW victims.

Strategies

Thailand has an overarching framework of plans and strategies related to victim assistance. These include the National Plan on Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, the Strategic Plan on Empowerment of Women with Disabilities, the Provincial Plan on Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, the Disaster Management Plan for Persons with Disabilities, and the Strategic Plan for Health Care System Development for Persons with Disabilities.[30]

Laws and policies

Thailand seeks to ensure that all persons with disabilities, including mine/ERW survivors, are entitled to the rights specified within its national act for persons with disabilities and updated national plans on the empowerment of persons with disabilities.[31] Thailand reports that victim assistance measures are in line with its obligations under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).[32]

Under Thai law, citizens are entitled to receive routine healthcare and other services for persons with disabilities. Legislation that guarantees the rights of persons with disabilities includes the National Health Security Act, Emergency Medical Service Act, and Persons with Disabilities Education Act. There is also a Persons with Disabilities’ Quality of Life Promotion Act, which provides a comprehensive legal and institutional framework on rights and entitlements.

The Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities Act 2007 promotes access and utilization of public facilities, welfare services, and other government support for persons with disabilities, and their acceptance and participation in social, economic, and political activities on an equal basis. A 2013 law established centers in 76 provinces to ensure that mine victims in rural areas had the same level of access to government services as those living in towns and cities.[33]

Mine/ERW victims registered at the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities are entitled to receive support for education, livelihoods, and social and economic inclusion.[34]

Information management

The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities runs an online database on all persons with disabilities in Thailand, including those injured by mines/ERW.[35] Data is shared with government agencies to enable the distribution of disability allowance, access to medical treatment and rehabilitation services, and support for job training and self-employment.[36]

Impact

Contamination

Contamination overview (as of December 2020)[37]

Landmines

62.95km² (23.27km² CHA, 39.68km² SHA)

 

Extent of contamination: Large

Cluster munition remnants

None

Other ERW contamination

Unknown

Note: CHA=confirmed hazardous area; and SHA=suspected hazardous area.

Landmine contamination

As of the end of 2020, Thailand had 62.95km² of contaminated land across seven provinces, of which 23.27km² across 183 areas is classified as CHA, and 39.68km² over 43 areas is classified as suspected hazardous area (SHA). A total of 19 districts within the following provinces are reported as contaminated: in the Eastern region: Sa Kaeo and Trat; in the Northeastern region: Buri Ram, Si Sa Ket, Surin, and Ubon Ratchatani; and in the Northern region: Phitsanulok.[38]

This is a significant reduction of 155.24km² from the 2019 contamination total of 218.19km², and is the result of ongoing survey by TMAC to reduce the total SHA and further define CHAs.[39]

In 2020, Thailand discovered an additional 1.83km² of CHA in the provinces of Buri Ram, Chanthaburi, Sa Kaeo, Si Sa Ket, Surin, Trat, and Ubon Ratchathani. During the first half of 2021, Thailand discovered 0.14km² of additional contamination.[40] In January 2021, a routine border patrol discovered a previously unknown densely mined area, around 5km from the Cambodian border, believed to have been laid in the 1970s.[41]

Casualties

Casualties overview

Casualties

All known mine/ ERW casualties(between 1978 and 2020)

3,882 (1,552 killed; 2,330 injured)

Casualties in 2020

Annual total

12 (increase from 10 in 2019)

Survival outcome

2 killed, 10 injured

Device type causing casualties

11 antipersonnel mines, 1 improvised mine

Civilian status

7 civilians, 5 military

Age and gender

11 adults (1 woman, 10 men); 1 boy

 

Casualties in 2020: details

In 2020, 12 landmine casualties were recorded in Thailand, an increase from 10 in 2019. Eleven casualties were recorded by TMAC in areas of responsibility of the Humanitarian Mine Action Units, with all 11 incidents caused by antipersonnel mines.[42] Those casualties comprised seven civilians, including one boy, and four military personnel. In addition, a paramilitary ranger was killed by an improvised mine in October 2020, while investigating an ambush by insurgents in Pattani province, in southern Thailand.[43]

Improvised mine casualties continued to be reported in Thailand in 2021. In August, a defense volunteer was injured when he stepped on a mine at a rubber plantation in Narathiwat province. His wife was also injured in the blast.[44] No improvised mine casualties were identified in 2019. In 2018, six improvised mine casualties were recorded, all in southern Thailand.

The most comprehensive casualty data that exists for Thailand remains the Landmine Impact Survey, which identified 3,468 casualties as of May 2001 (1,497 killed and 1,971 injured).[45] A survey completed in 2009 identified 1,252 mine survivors in Thailand.[46] This figure is thought to differ from the number reported in the Landmine Impact Survey, in part as it includes only Thai nationals resident in Thailand. TMAC has improved data collection since 2014. Past data was lost due to poor information management, and staff rotation.[47] In 2020, TMAC had 1,100 casualties reported in its database for all time.[48] No cluster munition casualties were reported.

Addressing the Impact

Mine action

Clearance operators

National

TMAC Humanitarian Mine Action Units

Thai Civilian Deminer Association (TCDA)

International

Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA), since 2011

 

Clearance

Land release overview[49]

Landmine clearance in 2020

Cleared: 0.92km²

Cancelled: 127.31km²

Reduced: 28.84km²

Landmines destroyed in 2020

9,355 antipersonnel mines

Landmine clearance in 2016–2020

2016: 0.39km²

2017: 0.42km²

2018: 0.52km²

2019: 0.1km²

2020: 0.92km²

 

Total land cleared: 2.35km²

Other ordnance destroyed in 2020

497 ERW

Progress

Landmines

  • Thailand land release result for 2020 exceeded the projected 148.19km² from its Five-Year Humanitarian Mine Action Plan
  • Chanthaburi and Chumphon provinces were declared mine-free in 2020
  • Thailand planned to continue demining across five provinces in 2021, with a projected total land release of 30.58km²

Note: ERW=explosive remnants of war.

Land release

The Landmine Impact Survey was conducted from September 2000 to May 2001 and identified 2,557km² of SHA. In January 2016, TMAC and NPA began a joint pilot project to re-survey suspected contaminated areas, which showed that only between 0.22% to 13.5% of those areas were contaminated. Thailand has applied the 13.5% figure to all remaining SHAs, to estimate that through non-technical survey, around 86.5% of SHAs could be cancelled.[50] This forms the basis for the Article 5 deadline extension to 2023. TMAC has noted that the introduction of the land release methodology increased its progress and was also less expensive than the traditional method of full clearance of all SHAs.[51]

In 2020, Thailand released 157.07km² of contaminated land. Of this, 127.31km² was cancelled via non-technical survey, while 28.84km² was reduced through technical survey and 0.92km² was cleared.[52] Land release occurred across 18 districts, in nine provinces. Thailand found and destroyed 9,355 antipersonnel landmines and 497 ERW. By the end of 2020, Chanthaburi and Chumphon provinces were declared mine-free.[53]

During June and July 2020, Thailand conducted clearance in Rueng Phueng, Ubon Ratchathani province—an area of mountainous jungle terrain with no access route, phone signal, or water source. TMAC worked with the Royal Thai Armed Forces to arrange helicopter transport for demining teams to access the site.[54] As part of this operation, Hungarian-produced GYATA 64 mines were cleared, the first of this mine type to have been found in Thailand.[55]

Phase 1 of Thailand’s mine clearance plan was from 2019–2020, and focused on non-technical survey to release SHA in the Eastern and Northeastern regions, and to identify remaining CHAs in inaccessible areas along the border. In Phase 2, from 2021–2023, the planned focus will be on technical survey and clearance of all areas confirmed during Phase 1 to be CHA.[56]

In 2021, Thailand planned to continue land release operations across five provinces with a total contaminated area of 30.58km²,[57] of which 4.54km² is CHA and 26.04km² is SHA. It plans to declare Buri Ram and Surin provinces as mine-free. In 2022, Thailand plans to release 16km², and to declare Phtanulok and Si Sa Ket provinces as mine-free. In 2023, its planned release of 15.3km² would see Sa Kaeo, Trat, and Ubon Ratchathani provinces declared mine-free.[58]

Thailand has reported that Phase 2 will be challenging due to the heavy contamination in many of the CHAs, and the length of time the mines have been in the ground, which may have led to changes in their placement and the growth of roots and vegetation around the mines. Many of the contaminated areas are located in remote forested and mountainous areas.[59] Thailand plans to procure drones during 2021 to aid survey and planning of operations.[60] Of the remaining 43 SHAs, 26 fall into the category of “areas to be demarcated” in sensitive border regions.[61]

Border clearance

The majority of Thailand’s remaining contaminated areas are along the border with Cambodia. In the past, clearance of border areas has been impeded by ongoing border disputes which have delayed border demarcation.[62] However, improved relations between Thailand and Cambodia have enabled progress on border cooperation.[63]

In April 2020, Thailand and Cambodia completed the “Pilot Project on Demining Cooperation along the Border of Thailand and Cambodia.” The project facilitated the release of 95,000m² in Aranyaprathet district, in Thailand’s Sa Kaeo province; and 123,810m² in Poi Pet district, in Cambodia’s Banteay Meanchey province.[64] Yet due to travel restrictions and border closures amid the COVID-19 pandemic, further negotiations on clearance in 2020 were postponed.[65]

During November and December 2020, clearance work by TMAC was halted in five SHAs, to avoid misunderstandings on border demarcation and comply with Article V of a Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2000 by the governments of Thailand and Cambodia.[66] TMAC has reported that it is exploring options for cooperation, in order to resume demining operations.[67]

Residual hazards

TMAC plans to maintain a local risk education network to ensure reporting of suspicious items to authorities, community leaders, and government agencies. The military combat engineers or police explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) teams will clear any residual hazards. TMAC plans to continue overseeing information management and risk education.[68]

Deminer safety

The environment for deminers is relatively safe in Thailand. However, risks do exist, including from armed illegal loggers, wild animals, and extreme weather events such as flash floods and lightning strikes in soils with high metal content.[69]

Risk education

Risk education operators

Type of organization

Name of organization

Type of activity

Government

Thailand Mine Action Center (TMAC)

Risk education integrated with survey and clearance

National

Thai Civilian Deminer Association (TCDA)

Risk education integrated with survey and clearance

International

Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA)

Risk education integrated with survey and clearance operations conducted by TMAC

Humanity & Inclusion (HI)

Risk education along the Thailand-Myanmar border

 

Beneficiary numbers

Beneficiaries of risk education in 2020[70]

Operator

Men

Boys

Women

Girls

TMAC

3,518

3,512

5,704

7,790

HI

4,347

3,873

6,087

3,998

 

The largest number of risk education beneficiaries were reached in the second week of January, on Thai Children’s Day, when TMAC held risk education events in Bangkok and the provincial mine-affected areas.[71] TMAC reported that beneficiaries were recorded according to Standard Beneficiary Definitions.[72]

HI reported conducting training of trainers workshops for 54 people, and reaching 146 persons with disabilities with risk education on the Thai-Myanmar border. An additional 14,598 people were reached by HI with risk education messaging through mass and digital media.[73]

Implementation

Target groups

Risk education is implemented by TMAC in the contaminated areas bordering Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Myanmar.[74] TMAC targets three main groups whom they consider to be vulnerable to the threat of mines: deminers, security force personnel, and people who access forest areas.

Deminers are at risk because of operating in challenging areas with dense undergrowth, which hampers the removal of mines. The security forces include border patrol police, rangers, forest rangers, and security personnel operating near or in mine-affected areas. New recruits and staff recently posted to these areas are at highest risk. Civilians most at risk include those collecting forest products such as mushrooms and those transiting the areas, such as cross-border migrant workers.[75]

HI provides risk education to refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Myanmar in nine refugee camps in Thailand.[76] HI risk education activities are combined with physical rehabilitation and social inclusion projects for mine/ERW survivors. The main focus of these messages is on contamination in Myanmar, which includes improvised mines.[77] The sessions are delivered by HI camp staff, who are refugees and able to speak local ethnic languages.[78]

In response to continuing reports of incidents in border areas, TMAC has revised its mine risk education approach to better reach those most at risk, including cross-border labor migrants.[79]

Refugee populations are considered at risk as they often travel across the border, either as part of the voluntary repatriation process or independently. Some refugees were born in the camps and are unaware of the mine threat in Myanmar.[80] Children are considered a high-risk group because of their natural curiosity and lower capacity to understand dangerous situations.[81]

Delivery methods

Most risk education in Thailand is undertaken together with ongoing survey, clearance, and victim assistance activities.[82]

TMAC provides risk education through certified teams, in schools and villages. Risk education messages are also disseminated in local press and via community radio broadcasts.[83]

TMAC supports local risk education networks, with representatives trained by the Mine Risk Education Training Center to disseminate messages and inform local authorities if landmines or ERW are found. Social media apps are used to coordinate activities through the networks,[84] while TMAC holds village meetings to ensure people understand the mine situation and safety measures.[85] As of 2019, there were eight active risk education networks; four were established in 2018 and four in 2019.[86] They coordinate with TMAC’s Humanitarian Mine Action Units.

TMAC utilized social media, including group chats on “Line,” to ensure that local officials and community leaders passed on messages on risk education and reporting of suspicious items.[87]

During holidays, such as the Thai New Year, when people are on the move, TMAC dispatched mobile risk education teams to mine-affected border areas to ensure people used safe paths.[88]

HI provided risk education in camp schools and student boarding houses. In partnership with the Karenni Education Department, risk education was also integrated into the primary school curriculum in two Karenni camps in Thailand. Thirty community focal points were also trained to provide risk education and messages on social inclusion.[89]

HI produced a drama film in 2019, based on the true story of a landmine survivor, which was screened as part of risk education sessions in 2020.[90]

Marking

TMAC has improved the posting of mine hazard warning signs in contaminated areas, through displaying warning signs in Thai, English, and languages spoken in neighboring countries.[91]

Major developments in 2020

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic restricted travel and face-to-face meetings. The International Day for Mine Awareness was cancelled and instead carried out through social media.[92]

TMAC partnered with Village Health Volunteers[93] to pass on COVID-19 safety messages and risk education messages in contaminated areas.[94] The volunteers received basic risk education training from the TMAC Humanitarian Mine Action Unit, and conducted daily household visits to disseminate COVID-19 prevention and risk education messages.[95]

HI adopted COVID-19 precautions while implementing risk education in the camps, including limiting the number of people attending each session.[96]

Victim assistance

Victim assistance operators

Type of organization

Name of organization

Type of activity

Government

Ministry of Public Health

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

Ministry of Development and Human Security

Community-based program providing social support for persons with disabilities

National Health Security Office

Funds the provision of prosthetics and mobility devices, and manages individual rehabilitation programs for persons with disabilities

Sirindhorn National Medical Rehabilitation Center

Free prostheses, assistive devices, wheelchairs, and other aids for persons with disabilities

Sirindhorn School of Prosthetics and Orthotics

Bachelor of prosthetic and orthotics degree program for Thai and international students

Thailand Mine Action Center (TMAC)

Visits to mine survivors, and care packages

National

Prostheses Foundation of HRH the Princess Mother

Free prostheses and assistive devices

International

Humanity & Inclusion (HI)

Rehabilitation and social inclusion on the Thai-Myanmar border

 

Medical care and rehabilitation

The remote location of contaminated areas in Thailand has created challenges to provide rapid and timely on-site emergency medical care to victims. The National Institute for Emergency Medicine (NIEM), under the Ministry of Public Health, and TMAC provide on-site emergency medical care to victims, including deminers. NIEM local emergency medical units, hospitals, and local emergency responder networks are on standby during clearance operations to respond rapidly. NIEM also coordinates with hospitals, where staff are trained and equipped to respond to explosive injuries.[97] Transport is provided to take victims to hospital, including helicopters of the Emergency Aeromedical Services.[98] Training and coordination for emergency access to casualties has been ongoing for over a decade, with the first landmine assistance emergency training session held in Chanthaburi province in August 2009.[99]

Thailand has established standards for transportation and healthcare, and set up an accreditation system to ensure the quality of care by all Emergency Medical Service providers.[100] Emergency medical responder volunteers are present in some communities and able to provide basic first-aid to injured persons before transfer to the Emergency Medical Services.[101] Thailand adopted the Universal Coverage for Emergency Patients policy, to ensure mine victims could receive the necessary medical treatment free of charge.[102]

Since 1996, the Department of Medical Services in the Ministry of Public Health has organized community-based rehabilitation for persons with disabilities, including mine victims. This has included research and support to community rehabilitation activities in 15 hospitals across four regions, and help to reintegrate persons with disabilities through Disability Service Centers.[103]

Thailand promotes peer-to-peer assistance for mine victims and other persons with disabilities via the provision of physical rehabilitation with local community participation. Caregivers and volunteers in communities are provided with primary healthcare training.[104]

Thailand has a referral system in place between hospitals, to ensure that patients are able to benefit from the required medical treatment at the most appropriate hospital.[105]

In 2020, the Prostheses Foundation of HRH the Princess Mother trained personnel and established prostheses factories within Ban Klam Hospital, Ban Kruat Hospital, Phang Nga Hospital, and Suvarnabhumi Hospital.[106]

The Sirindhorn School of Prosthetics and Orthotics is part of Mahidol University, and operates under the Faculty of Medicine at Siriraj Hospital. It provides domestic and international degree programs. It has two on-site rehabilitation clinics and a standard care clinic at Sirindhorn National Medical Rehabilitation Center, and provides high-end prosthetic devices at the private advanced care clinic of the Center of Excellence of Prosthetics and Orthotics. This center is a collaboration between the Faculty of Medicine and the Scandinavian Orthopedic Laboratory.[107]

Human Study e.V and the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO) signed a partnership and cooperation agreement with the Medical Faculty of Mahidol University in 2013 and, alongside the Sirindhorn School of Prosthetics and Orthotics, is implementing a Blended Distance Learning Bachelor Program.[108]

Socio-economic and psychosocial inclusion

Disability Service Centers are located in all 76 provinces of Thailand, and provide services in collaboration with local hospitals, village health volunteers, government agencies, and civil society groups. In 2020, 2,841 such centers provided psychological and physical rehabilitation, supporting social inclusion and raising awareness on disability rights and vocational training.[109]

The Ministry of Social Development and Human Security utilizes a community-based network of volunteers to help identify persons with disabilities and their needs, and support registration for disability identification cards.[110] All persons with disabilities registered with the ministry receive an allowance of approximately US$33 per month. They can also apply for an interest-free loan to start a career or business. Tax exemption is applicable to persons with disabilities, caregivers, and employers who hire persons with disabilities and have an accessible workplace. There are 1.7 million registered persons with disabilities in Thailand. In the 27 provinces either currently or historically contaminated with mines, there are 357,705 registered persons with disabilities. Thailand also funds a personal assistance service for persons with disabilities for a period of one year.[111]

In response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, via the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Thailand provided all registered persons with disabilities with a cash transfer of THB1,000 ($33) in initial financial assistance. The Fund for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities offered a 12-month debt moratorium for persons with disabilities or caregivers, to relieve the economic impact of COVID-19 restrictions. In addition, financial aid of THB2,000 ($66) for crisis-affected vulnerable groups—including persons with disabilities, children, and older persons—was offered on a case-by-case basis.[112]

Cross-border and refugees

Until 2020, mine survivors from Myanmar regularly crossed the border to Thailand to receive medical care and rehabilitation at the Mae Tao Clinic in Mae Sot. The clinic’s Prosthetic Centre closed in May 2020 after several warnings over decreased funding. Prior to closing, the clinic informed clients where to access services, and closely engaged with the Karen Department for Health and Welfare and the Korea-Mae Sot Cooperation Center to make quarterly field visits and provide technical support to the Klo Yaw Lay prosthetic clinic, in Hlaingbwe township of Kayin State, Myanmar.[113]

HI was the only organization providing victim assistance services in the nine refugees camps on the Thai-Myanmar border.[114] HI has been working on the border since 1984, and continued to provide physical rehabilitation and assistive technologies in 2020.[115] In 2020, working hours in camp-based hospitals were shortened amid the COVID-19 pandemic, reducing opportunities for persons with disabilities to access services.[116]

In 2020, HI provided training on gender-based violence to focal points among HI camp-based staff, and to self-help groups of people with disabilities in five refugee camps.[117] HI ran social inclusion projects to promote the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the community, and to improve their access to services on the Thai-Myanmar border.[118]

 



[1] Wassana Nanuam, “Landmine Clearance to finish ‘by 2023’: Pornpipat,” Bangkok Post, 26 December 2019; and response to Monitor questionnaire by Flt.-Lt. Chotibon Anukulvanich, Interpreter and Coordinator, on behalf of Lt.-Gen. Sittipol Nimnuan, Director General, TMAC, 2 June 2020.

[2] Ibid., 17 May 2021.

[4] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Flt.-Lt. Chotibon Anukulvanich, Interpreter and Coordinator, on behalf of Lt.-Gen. Sittipol Nimnuan, Director General, TMAC, 17 May 2021.

[5] Ibid., 2 June 2020.

[6] Thailand Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019), p. 9. See, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Database.

[7] Statement of Thailand, Mine Ban Treaty Fourth Review Conference, Oslo, 27 November 2019.

[8] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Hser Htee Praikammasit, Coordinator, HI Thailand, 18 March 2021; and by Marie Joron, Country Manager, HI Thailand, 16 April 2021.

[9] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Flt.-Lt. Chotibon Anukulvanich, Interpreter and Coordinator, on behalf of Lt.-Gen. Sittipol Nimnuan, Director General, TMAC, 2 June 2020.

[10] Ibid., 17 May 2021.

[11] Ibid., 17 May 2021.

[12] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Flt.-Lt. Chotibon Anukulvanich, Interpreter and Coordinator, on behalf of Lt.-Gen. Sittipol Nimnuan, Director General, TMAC, 17 May 2021; and Thailand Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2020), p. 40.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Flt.-Lt. Chotibon Anukulvanich, Interpreter and Coordinator, on behalf of Lt.-Gen. Sittipol Nimnuan, Director General, TMAC, 2 June 2020.

[15] Ibid.

[16] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Aksel Steen Nilsen, Country Director, NPA Thailand, 18 March 2021.

[18] Ibid., p. 13.

[19] Thailand Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2020), p. 26.

[20] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Flt.-Lt. Chotibon Anukulvanich, Interpreter and Coordinator, on behalf of Lt.-Gen. Sittipol Nimnuan, Director General, TMAC, 17 May 2021.

[21] Ibid.

[22] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Flt.-Lt. Chotibon Anukulvanich, Interpreter and Coordinator, on behalf of Lt.-Gen. Sittipol Nimnuan, Director General, TMAC, 2 June 2020 and 17 May 2021.

[23] Ibid.

[24] Ibid

[25] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Flt.-Lt. Chotibon Anukulvanich, Interpreter and Coordinator, on behalf of Lt.-Gen. Sittipol Nimnuan, Director General, TMAC, 17 May 2021.

[27] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Flt.-Lt. Chotibon Anukulvanich, Interpreter and Coordinator, on behalf of Lt.-Gen. Sittipol Nimnuan, Director General, TMAC, 17 May 2021.

[28] Ibid., 2 June 2020.

[29] Statement of Thailand, Mine Ban Treaty Sixteenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 19 December 2017.

[30] Thailand Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019), p. 18.

[31] Statement of Thailand, Mine Ban Treaty Fourth Review Conference, Oslo, 27 November 2019.

[32] Thailand Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2020), p. 30.

[33] Ibid., p. 31.

[34] Ibid.

[35] Thailand Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2020), p. 32; and Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, “Monthly Disability Data Statistics Report,” undated.

[36] Thailand Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2020), pp. 32–33.

[37] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Flt.-Lt. Chotibon Anukulvanich, Interpreter and Coordinator, on behalf of Lt.-Gen. Sittipol Nimnuan, Director General, TMAC, 17 May 2021: and Thailand Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2020), pp. 3 and 6.

[38] Thailand Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2020), pp. 3 and 6.

[39] Thailand Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2018), Form D, p. 3.

[40] Thailand Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2020), pp. 3 and 6.

[42] Emails from Flt.-Lt. Chotibon Anukulvanich, Interpreter and Coordinator, TMAC, 18 and 31 August 2021.

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

[46] Handicap International (HI), “Mine Victim Survey and Situation Analysis: Findings, Analyses and Recommendations,” June 2009, p. 3.

[47] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Flt.-Lt. Chotibon Anukulvanich, Interpreter and Coordinator, on behalf of Lt.-Gen. Sittipol Nimnuan, Director General, TMAC, 2 June 2020.

[48] Ibid., 17 May 2021.

[49] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Flt.-Lt. Chotibon Anukulvanich, Interpreter and Coordinator, on behalf of Lt.-Gen. Sittipol Nimnuan, Director General, TMAC, 2 June 2020 and 17 May 2021; TMAC, “Five-Year Humanitarian Mine Action Plan: 1 November 2018–31 October 2023,” 15 March 2019, p. 13; Thailand Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019), p. 3; and Thailand Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2020), pp. 3–4, 7 and 24.

[51] Ibid., p. 7.

[52] Thailand Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2020), p. 3.

[53] Ibid.

[54] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Flt.-Lt. Chotibon Anukulvanich, Interpreter and Coordinator, on behalf of Lt.-Gen. Sittipol Nimnuan, Director General, TMAC, 17 May 2021; and Thailand Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2020), p. 18.

[55] Thailand Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2020), p. 29.

[57] Thailand Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2020), pp. 3 and 7.

[58] Ibid., p. 25.

[59] Ibid., pp. 20–21.

[60] Ibid., p. 27.

[61] Ibid., p. 24.

[63] Khouth Sophak Chakrya, “CMAC, Thais join forces to clear mines at border provinces,” Phnom Penh Post, 24 September 2019.

[64] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Flt.-Lt. Chotibon Anukulvanich, Interpreter and Coordinator, on behalf of Lt.-Gen. Sittipol Nimnuan, Director General, TMAC, 17 May 2021; and Thailand Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2020), p. 35.

[65] Thailand Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2020), p. 24; and response to Monitor questionnaire by Flt.-Lt. Chotibon Anukulvanich, Interpreter and Coordinator, on behalf of Lt.-Gen. Sittipol Nimnuan, Director General, TMAC, 17 May 2021.

[66] Article V of the 2000 Memorandum of Understanding on the Survey and Demarcation of the Land Boundary stipulates that both sides “shall not carry out any work resulting in changes of environment of the frontier zone, except that which is carried out by the Joint Technical Sub-Commission in the interest of survey and demarcation.” Response to Monitor questionnaire by Flt.-Lt. Chotibon Anukulvanich, Interpreter and Coordinator, on behalf of Lt.-Gen. Sittipol Nimnuan, Director General, TMAC, 17 May 2021.

[67] Thailand Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019), pp. 19–20.

[68] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Flt.-Lt. Chotibon Anukulvanich, Interpreter and Coordinator, on behalf of Lt.-Gen. Sittipol Nimnuan, Director General, TMAC, 2 June 2020.

[69] Ibid., 17 May 2021.

[70] Ibid.; response to Monitor questionnaire by Hser Htee Praikammasit, Explosive Ordnance Risk Education (EORE) Project Manager, HI Thailand, 18 March 2021.

[71] Thailand Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2020), p. 8.

[72] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Flt.-Lt. Chotibon Anukulvanich, Interpreter and Coordinator, on behalf of Lt.-Gen. Sittipol Nimnuan, Director General, TMAC, 17 May 2021.

[73] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Hser Htee Praikammasit, EORE Project Manager, HI Thailand, 18 March 2021.

[74] Thailand Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019), p. 9.

[75] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Flt.-Lt. Chotibon Anukulvanich, Interpreter and Coordinator, on behalf of Lt.-Gen. Sittipol Nimnuan, Director General, TMAC, 2 June 2020 and 17 May 2021.

[76] HI, “Country Card: Thailand,” updated September 2020.

[77] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Hser Htee Praikammasit, EORE Project Manager, HI Thailand, 22 May 2020.

[78] Ibid., 18 March 2021.

[79] Thailand Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2020), pp. 3 and 6.

[80] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Hser Htee Praikammasit, EORE Project Manager, HI Thailand, 22 May 2020.

[81] Ibid., 18 March 2021.

[82] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Flt.-Lt. Chotibon Anukulvanich, Interpreter and Coordinator, on behalf of Lt.-Gen. Sittipol Nimnuan, Director General, TMAC, 2 June 2020 and 17 May 2021.

[83] Thailand Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019), p. 9.

[84] Ibid., p. 11.

[85] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Flt.-Lt. Chotibon Anukulvanich, Interpreter and Coordinator, on behalf of Lt.-Gen. Sittipol Nimnuan, Director General, TMAC, 2 June 2020.

[86] Thailand Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019), p. 10.

[87] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Flt.-Lt. Chotibon Anukulvanich, Interpreter and Coordinator, on behalf of Lt.-Gen. Sittipol Nimnuan, Director General, TMAC, 17 May 2021.

[88] Thailand Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019), p. 10.

[89] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Hser Htee Praikammasit, EORE Project Manager, HI Thailand, 18 March 2021; and HI, “Country Card: Thailand,” updated September 2020.

[90] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Hser Htee Praikammasit, EORE Project Manager, HI Thailand, 22 May 2020 and 18 March 2021.

[91] Thailand Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019), pp. 9 and 10; and ARMAC Magazine, “Exploring Mine/ERW Risk Education in ASEAN,” February 2020, p. 26.

[92] Thailand Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2020), p. 8.

[93] Village Health Volunteers were established in 1977 by the Ministry of Public Health. The volunteers are responsible for promoting behavior change related to public health in their communities.

[95] Thailand Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2020), p. 9; and statement of Thailand on Victim Assistance, Mine Ban Treaty Eighteenth Meeting of States Parties, held virtually, 16–20 November 2020.

[96] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Hser Htee Praikammasit, EORE Project Manager, HI Thailand, 18 March 2021.

[97] Thailand Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019), p. 14.

[98] Thailand Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2020), p. 30.

[99] Email from Dr. Prachaksvich Lebnak, Emergency Medical Institute of Thailand, 11 April 2010; and Emergency Medical Institute of Thailand, “Training plans help mine victims: a new dimension of medical emergency,” undated.

[100] Thailand Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2020), p. 33.

[101] Ibid.

[102] Thailand Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2020), p. 30.

[103] Thailand Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019), p. 15.

[104] Ibid.

[105] Thailand Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2020), p. 33.

[106] Prostheses Foundation of HRH the Princess Mother, “Ceremony of the Physical Therapist Training Program on Assessment of Prosthetics for People with Disabilities,” 20 November 2020.

[107] Sirindhorn School of Prosthetics and Orthotics, “One Mission, Two Clinics,” undated; Sirindhorn School of Prosthetics and Orthotics, “Welcome to Sirindhorn School of Prosthetics and Orthotics,” undated; and Center of Excellence of Prosthetics and Orthotics (CEPO), “About CEPO,” undated.

[108] Human Study e.V, “Who We Help: Thailand,” undated.

[109] Thailand Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2020), p. 33.

[110] Thailand Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019), p. 15.

[111] Ibid., pp. 13 and 16–17.

[112] Woranut On-ubol, Government of Thailand, Foreign Affairs Division of the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, “Good practices from the Government of Thailand,” undated; and United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), “Webinar: Protecting and Empowering Persons with Disabilities in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic,” 15 May 2020. Average exchange rate for December 2020: THB30.03=US$1. Oanda.

[113] Mae Tao Clinic, “Mae Tao Clinic Biennial Report 2019–2020,” p. 42.

[114] Email from Fabrice Vandeputte, Regional Programme Director, HI, 15 May 2020.

[115] HI, “Country Card: Thailand,” updated September 2020.

[116] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Marie Joron, Country Manager, HI Thailand, 16 April 2021.

[117] Ibid.

[118] HI, “Country Card: Thailand,” updated September 2020.


Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 14 November 2023

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 latest annual Article 7 transparency report for the treaty in April 2023, covering calendar year 2022.[2]

Thailand has attended all of the Mine Ban Treaty’s review conferences: in 2004, 2009, 2014, and 2019. It has regularly attended Meetings of States Parties and intersessional meetings. Thailand attended the Twentieth Meeting of States Parties held in Geneva in November 2022 and the intersessional meetings in Geneva in June 2023.

Thailand is a member of the Committee on Enhancement of Cooperation and Assistance until the end of the Twenty-First Meeting of States Parties in November 2023. Thailand has regularly co-chaired committees of the treaty.

Previously, in 2019, Thailand undertook two universalization activities alongside Myanmar. Thailand also undertook international cooperation and assistance activities with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Japan, Norway, South Korea, and the United States (US).[3]

Production, transfer, stockpile destruction, and retention

Thailand states that it has never produced or exported antipersonnel mines. Thailand retains no live mines for training purposes. On 6 August 2019, Thailand destroyed all 3,133 antipersonnel mines that it had previously retained for training purposes.[4]

Thailand previously imported antipersonnel landmines from China, Italy, the US, and the former Yugoslavia. Thailand completed destruction of 337,725 stockpiled antipersonnel mines on 24 April 2003. During clearance operations in 2020, Thailand found, for the first time, antipersonnel landmines of Hungarian origin.[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 military units received orders that Claymore mines are to be used only in command-detonated mode.[6]

Use

Sporadic use of improvised antipersonnel landmines by Pattani rebel groups in southern Thailand continued in 2022–2023, with multiple incidents reported.

In June 2023, a paramilitary officer was injured after stepping on a landmine while patrolling in Joh Ai Rong district, Narathiwat province.[7]

On 15 August 2022, a woman working in a rubber plantation was injured after stepping on a mine. Later the same day, a Thai soldier was killed and several other people were injured in a second explosion, while searching for more mines near the site of the first incident.[8]

On 15 April 2022, a villager in Sai Buri district, Pattani province, was killed after picking up an explosive device in a rice field. Three responding officials were injured by a second device.[9]

On 3 February 2022, a civilian was injured by an improvised mine when walking along a canal to go fishing in Chana district, Songkhla province, in an area where the Royal Thai Army had clashed with insurgents earlier in the day.[10]

Incidents of improvised antipersonnel mine use by insurgents in the south, often targeting Thai security forces and workers at rubber plantations, have been reported since at least 2006.[11] To date, Thailand has not provided any information to States Parties in its annual Article 7 reports regarding incidents of use, contamination by, or clearance of improvised antipersonnel mines in its southern provinces.[12] The Monitor has recorded almost 60 casualties due to improvised mines laid by insurgents in southern Thailand since 2006. (See Thailand Impact profile for more details).

There have been no allegations of new use of antipersonnel landmines on Thailand’s eastern border with Cambodia since March 2013.[13]



[1] In April 2018, Thailand reported under National Implementation Measures 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 detail on national implementation measures, the report directs readers to Thailand’s 2015 Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report, which states, “Thailand continues to consider regulations that will streamline and improve national implementation of the AP [Anti-personnel] Mine Ban Convention.” Thailand provided the same update in its Article 7 report covering calendar year 2018. See, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Database.

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

[3] During the Fourth Review Conference in November 2019, representatives of the Thailand Mine Action Center (TMAC) briefed the Myanmar delegation on the overall mine action situation in Thailand as well as the positive impacts of becoming a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty. This is considered part of Thailand’s universalization efforts in line with Action 11 of the Oslo Action Plan. Earlier in 2019, Thailand hosted a briefing and site visit for senior Myanmar representatives from the Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Home Affairs, to discuss organization for mine action. Thailand also received requests from South Korea to share its experiences on the establishment of a humanitarian mine action organization, resulting in the Director General of TMAC giving a briefing on mine action to South Korean and US delegates to the International Meeting of Mine Action National Directors in February 2019. For details, see, Thailand Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, 30 April 2020.

[4] Thailand Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, 30 April 2020.

[5] A total of 77 GYATA-64 PMN type mines were found and destroyed during clearance operations in Ubon Ratchathani province. See, Thailand Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, 30 April 2021, p. 29.

[6] Interview with Lt.-Gen. Deemongkol, 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.

[10] Assawin Pakkawan, “Villager steps on bomb, loses leg in Songkhla,” Bangkok Post, 4 February 2022.

[11] Incidents reported by the Monitor from 2018–2021 include the following. On 9 August 2021, a territorial defense volunteer lost a leg after stepping on a landmine at his rubber plantation, and his wife suffered facial injuries, in Su-Ngai Padi district, Narathiwat province. “Defense Volunteer has leg blown off after stepping on landmine in his rubber plantation - wife injured,” ASEAN Now, 10 August 2021. On 9 October 2020, a Thai Ranger was killed after stepping on a landmine while pursuing insurgents in Sai Buri district, Pattani province. “One ranger killed and two injured by suspected insurgents in Pattani province,” Thai PBS, 9 October 2020. On 2 July 2018, a latex tapper in Krong Penang district, Yala province, lost his foot after stepping on a landmine emplaced by insurgents at a rubber plantation. Two other latex tappers were seriously wounded by mines in separate incidents, in Yaha district on 28 June and Muang district on 2 July. See, Teeranai Charuvastra, “Landmine Wounds Deep South Farmer,” Khaosod, 2 July 2018; Mariyam Ahmad, “Thailand: Landmine Injures Fifth Rubber Farm Worker in a Week,” Benar News, 5 July 2018; and Human Rights Watch (HRW), “Thailand: Insurgents Use Landmines in South,” 4 July 2018. Earlier incidents involving improvised mines have been reported in southern Thailand by the Monitor since 2006.

[12] Thailand’s annual Article 7 reports are prepared by TMAC. In response to a request for further information on improvised mine contamination in southern Thailand by the Monitor, TMAC replied that it was set up to address antipersonnel mines remaining from previous armed conflicts and lacks the authority or jurisdiction to address new contamination from the current conflict in the south. Email from Flt.-Lt. Chotiboon Anukulvanich, Interpreter and Coordinator, TMAC, 19 April 2022.

[13] 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, Surin province. 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 along the Cambodia-Thailand border in 2008 and 2009 were never resolved. In October 2008, two Thai soldiers stepped on antipersonnel landmines while on patrol in disputed territory between Thailand and Cambodia, near the World Heritage Site of Preah Vihear. Thai authorities maintained that the area was previously clear of landmines, and that the mines had been newly emplaced by Cambodian forces. Cambodia denied the allegation, and stated that the Thai soldiers had entered Cambodian territory in an area known to contain antipersonnel landmines, 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, the then-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, ICBL, Landmine Monitor Report 2009: Toward a Mine-Free World (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, October 2009), pp. 243–244 and 719–720; and ICBL, “Country Profile: Cambodia: Mine Ban Policy,” updated 27 October 2010.


Support for Mine Action

Last updated: 09 January 2024

In 2022, Thailand received just over US$3 million in international assistance for mine action from two donors.[1]

The largest contribution was from the United States (US), which provided almost $2.5 million for various activities that were not disaggregated. Norway funded capacity-building support by Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA).

International contributions: 2022[2]

Donor

Sector

Amount

(national currency)

Amount

(US$)

United States

Various

US$2,448,000

2,448,000

Norway

Capacity-building

NOK5,424,089

564,198

Total

 -

N/A

3,012,198

Note: N/A=not applicable.

The Royal Thai Government provides most of the annual national mine action budget. In 2022, Thailand reported a national contribution of THB253.2 million ($7.2 million) to support mine action operations, personnel, and the Thailand Mine Action Center (TMAC).[3]

Thailand also reported its national contributions in 2021 ($8.2 million) and 2020 ($7.5 million).

Five-year support for mine action

In the five-year period from 2018–2022, international contributions to mine action in Thailand totaled approximately $5.6 million.

Summary of international contributions: 2018–2022[4]

Year

International contributions (US$)

% change from previous year

2022

3,012,198

+402

2021

600,000

0

2020

600,000

+1

2019

595,870

-26

2018

808,698

+144

Total

5,616,766

N/A

                    Note: N/A=not applicable.



[1] Norway: Norway Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2022), Form J. See, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Database. United States: US Department of State, Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (PM/WRA), “To Walk the Earth in Safety: 1 October 2021–30 September 2022,” 4 April 2023.

[2] Average exchange rate for 2022: NOK9.6138=US$1. US Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 9 January 2023.

[3] Thailand Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2022), p. 13. Average exchange rate for 2022: THB35.05=US$1. Xe.com.

[4] See previous Support for Mine Action country profiles. ICBL-CMC, “Country Profiles: Thailand,” undated; ICBL, Landmine Monitor 2022 (ICBL-CMC: Geneva, November 2022); ICBL, Landmine Monitor 2021 (ICBL-CMC: Geneva, November 2021); and ICBL, Landmine Monitor 2020 (ICBL-CMC: Geneva, November 2020).