Last updated: 27 November 2020

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

Country Summary

The Kingdom of Cambodia became a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty on 1 January 2000. Since then, Cambodia has requested two extensions to its Article 5 clearance deadline. It submitted a 10-year extension request in April 2009 with a deadline of 31 December 2019, and a 6-year extension request in March 2019 with a deadline of 31 December 2025. Cambodia has adopted domestic legislation to address mine/ERW contamination: the Law to Prohibit the Use of Anti-Personnel Mines in May 1999, and the Law on Weapons, Explosives and Ammunition Management in 2005.

Cambodia is not party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Cambodia remains one of the world’s worst-affected states from contamination by mines, cluster munition remnants, and explosive remnants of war (ERW). Cambodia has struggled to determine the full extent of contamination, although the implementation of a baseline survey in 2009 and subsequent re-survey has helped to better define the extent of remaining contamination.

Cambodia has tied its commitment to a mine-free Cambodia to national level strategies and plans of the government. Cambodia also adopted a Cambodia-specific Millennium Development Goal (MDG) and Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) to end the negative impact of mines/ERW and to promote victim assistance.[1]

Risk education is conducted in the northwest and northeast of Cambodia, addressing the risk from landmines in the northwest and cluster munition contamination in the northeast. Cambodia trains the Cambodian National Police toimplement risk education and raise awareness of the 2005 law as part of the Ministry of Interior’s Policy on Village and Commune Safety, launched in 2010.

Cambodia is responsible for significant numbers of landmine survivors, cluster munition victims, and survivors of other ERW, all in need of support. Cambodia has made commitments to provide victim assistance through the Mine Ban Treaty, and also ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in 2012.

In 2019, annual casualty figures increased for the first time since 2014, with 77 people injured or killed. This followed a downward trend in the number of mine/ERW casualties recorded each year from the 286 casualties recorded in 2010. In 2019, ERW caused 70% of the casualties (54 out of 77), while a number of casualties resulted from people handling ordnance, or bystanders being injured by the blast.

Treaty status

Treaty status overview

Mine Ban Treaty

State Party

Convention on Cluster Munitions


Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

State Party


Mine Ban Treaty Article 5 deadline extension request

Following its first ten-year Article 5 deadline extension request (2010–2019), submitted in April 2009, Cambodia submitted a second extension request in March 2019 for six years (2020–2025). Cambodia reported that it did not meet the first extension request target because of the scale of the contamination; the demining technologies and methodologies available; the availability of funds; and resources allocated to high-priority areas.[2] Challenges to meeting its new Article 5 deadline of 2025 include un-demarcated border areas; available resources; inaccessible areas; competing development priorities and demands; and data discrepancies.[3] According to Cambodia, meeting its clearance deadline will require an additional 2,000 deminers,[4] along with US$165.3 million from 1 January 2020–31 December 2025.[5] However, these resources had not been secured.[6]

Management and coordination

Mine action management and coordination

Mine action management and coordination overview

Mine action commenced


National mine action management actors

Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA), established in 2000

Took over the regulation, coordination and monitoring of mine action from the Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC)

United Nations Agencies

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Clearing for Results: Phase 1 (2006–2010); Phase 2 (2011–2015); Phase 3 (2016–2019); Phase 4 (2020–2025)

Mine action legislation

1999 Law to Prohibit the Use of Anti-Personnel Mines

2005 Law on Weapons, Explosives and Ammunition Management

Mine action strategic and operational plans

National Mine Action Strategy 2018–2025. Supported by a three-year action plan for 2018–2020

Gender Mainstreaming in Mine Action Plan 2018–2022

Mine action standards

Cambodian Mine Action Standards (CMAS)

16 standards in Khmer and English

Most recent standard adopted in November 2018: Chapter 16, Cluster Munitions Remnants Survey


The Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA) was established in 2000, with Prime Minister Hun Sen as its President. The CMAA undertakes the regulation, planning, coordination and monitoring of the sector. Accreditation of humanitarian mine action operators began in 2006.[7]

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has partnered with the CMAA since 2006 through the Clearing for Results project. The first two phases, from 2006–2010 and 2011–2016, focused on capacity-building of the national authority to manage the mine action program, while thethird phase (2016–2019) focused on performance monitoring and ensuring the contribution of mine action to development.[8] A new fourth phase, mine action for human development (2020–2025) began in January 2020.

Strategies and policies

Cambodia’s current National Mine Action Strategy for 2018–2025 highlights its commitment to achieve a mine-free Cambodia by 2025. The strategy seeks to ensure effective targeting of clearance assets, stipulating that at least 75% of mine action funding should be allocated to communes selected by the CMAA as priority for clearance. The sector projects that it will need around US$406 million to implement the strategy to release all known mine, cluster munition remnant and ERW-contaminated areas during the 2018–2025 period.[9]

Goal 8 within the 2018–2025 strategy includes the mainstreaming of gender and environmental protection in mine action.[10] Cambodia approved their Gender Mainstreaming Action Plan (GMAP) (2018–2022) in 2018.[11] Clearing for Results Phase 4, planned continued support for CMAA gender mainstreaming, based on the Geneva International Centre for Human Demining (GICHD) gender and diversity baseline assessment 2019, and the GMAP 2018–2022. In June 2020, the Clearing for Results project was engaging a national gender specialist to revise the GMAP for the period 2021–2025.[12]

The CMAA is reported to have plans to implement a national Mine Action Standard on environmental management.[13]

National Mine Action Strategies are harmonized with Cambodia’s national planning documents, the Rectangular Strategy, now in Phase 4, and National Strategic Development Plan (2019–2023). In 2000, the Cambodian government set a ninth MDG on demining and victim assistance and has since adopted a specific SDG, Goal 18, aimed at ending the negative impact of mines/ERW and to promote victim assistance.[14]

National standards

Cambodia has 16 National Mine Action Standards in Khmer and English that are consistent with International Mine Action Standards (IMAS).[15] These include standards for mine clearance, explosive ordnance disposal (EOD), baseline survey, land release, accreditation and reporting of incidents. The most recent standard is Chapter 16, Cluster Munition Remnants Survey, which was adopted in November 2018.[16] The standards are consistent with IMAS.

Information management

All operators submit clearance reports to CMAA via a virtual private network (VPN) connection. Operators have been reporting clearance data to CMAA using a standard reporting format since 2008.[17] The CMAA has been using Information Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA) Next Generation since 2014.

Risk education management and coordination

Risk education management and coordination overview[18]

Government focal points


Coordination mechanisms

Risk Education Technical Reference Group (RE-TRG) convened on a quarterly basis by CMAA and attended by the national authority and representatives of all mine action organizations operating in Cambodia

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Mine Action Centre (ARMAC) coordinated risk education at a regional level for ASEAN countries, including a study into integrated approaches for risk education in ASEAN countries and recommendations for each country

United Nations agencies

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

Risk education standards

None. Reported to be under development


The CMAA is responsible for planning, coordinating and overseeing risk education activities in Cambodia. This includes organizing National Mine Awareness Day on 24 February; ensuring risk education messages are consistent; organizing events to share experience, lessons learned and best practices; and monitoring activities to ensure they are in line with the 2018–2025 strategy.[19] The CMAA also runs technical working groups for risk education, with the last in 2019 being held in November. UNICEF provides technical and financial support to CMAA for risk education coordination.

The CMAA cooperates with ARMAC to strengthen risk education across ASEAN member states.

The CMAA also manages the Cambodian Mine/ERW Victim Information System (CMVIS) which maintains updated information on casualties and incidents. This information is publicly available and is used by operators to plan the targeting of risk education activities.[20]

National Standards and guidelines

There are currently no national risk education standards, although these are reported to be under development.[21]

Goal 4, Objective 1, of the National Mine Action Strategy 2018–2025, aims to “provide effective mine/ERW risk education to people in current and emerging high-risk areas, appropriate for gender and age and strengthen local initiative network,” in order to reduce the occurrence of mine, cluster munition remnants, and other ERW casualties.[22] This includes strengthening operator capacity to provide effective risk education; coordinating the provision of risk education in emerging high-risk areas; ensuring the mainstreaming of risk education in the school curriculum; reinforcing community-based risk education, and strengthening risk education in the Village/Commune Safety Policy.[23]

Victim assistance management and coordination

Victim assistance management and coordination overview [24]

Government focal points

CMAA; Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation (MoSAVYR); Persons with Disabilities Foundation (PWDF); Disability Action Council (DAC)

Coordination mechanisms



Law on the Protection and Promotion of Rights of Persons with Disabilities, July 2009


National Disability Strategic Plan 2019–2023, adopted in 2019

Disability sector integration


DAC (established in 2009) is a governmental agency attached to the MoSAVYR

PWDF (created under MoSAVYR) to provide rehabilitation services for persons with disabilities; manage rehabilitation centers; provide funds for implementing various projects, such as support for education and vocational training; manage job placement services; and prepare policies for assisting and supporting persons with disabilities

Note: * The DAC is located within MoSAVYR, which provides it with technical, coordination, and advisory services.

Laws and policies

Following the National Plan of Action for Persons with Disabilities including Landmine/ERW Survivors for 2008–2011, and the subsequent National Disability Strategic Plan (NDSP) for 2014–2018, Cambodia developed the NDSP 2019–2023 for policy, reform of disability services, institutional capacity strengthening, poverty reduction and job opportunities.[25] Objectives relevant to the support and reintegration of mine/ERW survivors are also included within the NSPD 2019–2023,[26] and in the National Mine Action Strategy 2018–2025.[27]

Cambodia’s additional SDG, Goal 18, includes the objective to “Promote the rights and improve the quality of life of persons who have disabilities due to landmine/ERW accidents” under the responsibility of the CMAA[28]

The 2009 sub-decree to the Law on Protection and the Promotion of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities states that people with disabilities should make up at least 2% of the public sector workforce, but the actual recorded number remains much lower. [29]



Contamination (as of December 2019)[30]

Landmine contamination

Approximately 751km² (includes both CHA and SHA which are not yet differentiated on the CMAA database)*

Extent of contamination: Massive

Cluster munition remnants contamination


(CHA: 74km² and SHA: 635km²)

Extent of contamination: Heavy

Other ERW contamination** (excluding cluster munition remnants)

An estimated 535km2

Note: APM=antipersonnel mines; AVM=antivehicle mines; CHA=Confirmed Hazardous Area; SHA=Suspected Hazardous Area; ERW=Explosive Remnants of War.

* According to the CMAA land release categorization, the total contamination includes: A1-Dense APM: 94km2; A2.1-Mixed dense APM and AVM: 28km2; A2.2-Mixed scattered APM and AVM: 187km2; A3-AVM: 33km2; A4-Nuisance/scattered APM: 442km2; B2-No verifiable mine threat: 16km2. While, in its Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report for calendar year 2019, Cambodia gives a figure of 817.08km² of area suspected to contain antipersonnel mine contamination.

** This figure differs from that of 379km² given in the National Mine Action Strategy 2018–2025. The CMAA notes that the 535km² is the total for land contaminated by ERW from 2009–2019, including new data from the ongoing baseline survey. The next update on total ERW contamination is expected in 2021, upon completion of baseline survey in 73 remaining districts.

Mine Contamination

Cambodia has extensive mine/ERW contamination from 30 years of conflict, from the 1960s until the end of 1998. The northwest regions bordering Thailand are heavily affected, while other parts of the country in the east and northeast are considered moderate- to low-impact, and are primarily affected by ERW.

Official humanitarian mine clearance in Cambodia began in 1992.[31] Mine action efforts initially focused on emergency response to provide access and safe land to refugees returning from border camps. Demining efforts were then extended in the late 1990s with a focus on risk reduction and socio-economic development.

Since 2009, Cambodia has implemented a baseline survey which has led to the reduction of known antipersonnel mine-affected areas from 1,377.17km², to 817km² in 2019. The total affected area was estimated to be 890.43km² in 2018.[32]

In 2018, 23 districts were surveyed; while 25 were surveyed in 2019.[33] The remainder of districts were planned to be surveyed in 2020.[34] As of July 2020, the CMAA database unit expected that a complete update on the level of contamination will be available in 2021, upon completion of the baseline survey in the remaining 73 districts.[35]

Cluster Contamination

Cambodia has extensive cluster munition contamination, although the full extent is not known. Contamination results from intensive bombing by the United States (US) during the Vietnam War, and is concentrated in northeastern provinces along the borders with Lao PDR and Vietnam. The US Air Force (USAF) dropped at least 26 million explosive submunitions on Cambodia; between 1.9 million and 5.8 million of which did not explode.[36]

The CMAA figure for the extent of cluster munition contamination as of the end of December 2019 is 709km², of which 74km² are confirmed hazardous areas (CHA) and 635km² are suspected hazardous areas (SHA).[37] Cambodia has raised its estimate of cluster munition contamination in recent years as a result of the implementation of the baseline survey. The National Mine Action Strategy reported that known cluster munition contamination covered 645km2, although stated that the figure would rise as a result of future survey.[38]

ERW Contamination

As of December 2019, Cambodia estimated ERW contamination at 535km².[39] This is an increase of almost 30% from the 379km2 estimated in 2017[40] due to new contamination recorded through the ongoing baseline survey.


Casualties overview[41]


All known mine/ERW casualties (between 1979 and 2019)

64,849 (19,779 killed and 45,070 injured)

Casualties in 2019

Annual total

77 (an increase from 58 casualties reported in both 2018 and 2017)

Survival outcome

12 killed; 65 injured (16 amputees)

Device type causing casualties

13 antipersonnel mines; 10 antivehicle mines; 54 ERW

Civilian status

77 civilians

Age and gender

61 adults (6 women, 55 men)

16 children (all boys)


Casualties in 2019—details

The CMVIS recorded an increase in casualties in 2019: 77 casualties compared to 58 casualties in both 2018 and 2017. Mines caused 23 casualties and ERW incidents claimed 54 casualties (70% of the total). In 2019, several ERW casualties resulted from people handling ordnance, including for fishing, and bystanders being injured by the blast. One ERW handling incident in January 2019 claimed 10 casualties, nine of whom were bystanders.

Except for 2019 and 2014 (when 154 casualties recorded) there has been a general downward trend in the number of annual casualties, from 286 in 2010, to 211 in 2011, 186 in 2012 and 111 in 2013.

For the period from 1979 to October 2019, a total of 64,849 mine/ERW casualties were recorded by CMVIS data gatherers. The figure includes 19,779 people killed and 45,070 injured,[42] of whom 9,033 people had amputations as a result of their injuries.

Cluster munition casualties

No cluster munition casualties were recorded in Cambodia in 2019, although one casualty occurred in February 2020. Two casualties caused by unexploded submunitions were recorded in 2015 and one in 2014. For the period from 1998 to the end of 2015, 197 cluster munition remnant casualties were reported in Cambodia.[43] Data collection on cluster munition casualties has been limited and the total number of casualties, although not known, is thought to be much higher than reported. Cambodia is considered among the states “worst affected” by cluster munitions, with responsibility for significant numbers of cluster munition victims.[44]

Addressing the impact

Mine Action

Operators and service providers

Clearance operators


Cambodian Mine Action Center (CMAC): since 1992

Royal Cambodian Army National Centre for Peacekeeping Forces (NPMEC): MRE and ERW clearance, since 2008

Cambodian Self-Help Demining (CSHD): since 2008


Mines Advisory Group (MAG): since 1992

The HALO Trust: since 1991

Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA): NPA has provided partner and technical support to CMAC since 1992, and has carried out its own cluster munitions remnants clearance since 2013

APOPO: APOPO has partnered CMAC since 2014

Note: MRE=Mine Risk Education; ERW=Explosive Remnants of War.


Land release overview[45]

Landmine land release in 2019

Cleared: 20.93km²

Reduced: 7.51km²

Cancelled: 26.92km²


Total land released: 55.36km²

Landmine clearance in 2015–2019

2015: 46.47km²

2016: 25.33km²

2017: 27.68km²

2018: 36.66km²

2019: 20.93km²


Total land cleared: 157.07km²

Cluster munition remnants land release in 2019


Cleared: 25.46km²

Reduced: 4.47km²

Cancelled: 0.059km²


Total land released: 29.98km²

Total ordnance destroyed in 2019

Antipersonnel mines destroyed: 15,425*

Antivehicle mines destroyed: 401

ERW destroyed: 35,852

Submunitions destroyed: 19,919

Total land release estimate in 1992–January 2020

Antipersonnel mines destroyed: 1,082,746

Antivehicle mines destroyed: 25,224

Other ERW destroyed: 2,836,806


Total land released: 1,989.63km²



Cambodia reported the following achievements against the first extension request (2010–2019):

Target: 470km²

Achieved: 577 km²

946 villages declared free of antipersonnel mines


Targets for the new extension request (2020–2025):

Total area still to be released**: 806.18 km²

500 priority villages to be declared mine-free by 2021, representing 220 km²

Baseline survey to be completed in 73 un-surveyed or partially surveyed districts. Expected to be completed by 2021

Cluster munition remnants

Increase of cluster munition contamination estimate in recent years because of ongoing survey

Cluster Munition Remnants Survey (CMRS) methodology approved in 2017

New national mine action standard, Chapter 16 Cluster Munitions Remnants Survey, was adopted in November 2018

Note: ERW=Explosive Remnants of War.

* This figure includes 4,111 antipersonnel mines cleared during minefield clearance and 11,314 cleared through EOD callouts. Cambodia’s Convention on Conventional Weapons Article 13 Report (for calendar year 2019) gives a total of 15,808 antipersonnel mines destroyed, 342 antivehicle mines and 55,306 items of ERW.

** Dependent on 84.25km² being cleared in 2019.

Land release: landmines

Determining the full extent of contamination in Cambodia has long been problematic. A level one survey, conducted in 2000–2002, estimated that 4,544 km² was suspected to be contaminated by landmines, representing 46% of all villages. These figures are believed by the sector to have largely overestimated the extent of the problem.

In August 2009, a baseline survey was initiated with the aim of defining the extent of remaining contamination and allowing clearance assets to be targeted to the most contaminated areas.[46] A national standard for land release was developed, along with a land classification system, which categorizes contamination according to type and density. The survey was completed in 2013, although operators continue to re-survey baseline survey polygons to better identify the densely contaminated areas. Analysis of data from 2014–2016 from the CMAA national database showed that 40% of land was released through non-technical survey and 60% through technical survey and clearance.[47]

Cambodia has aligned mine action planning with government systems at the national, provincial and commune levels. Since 2004, Mine Action Planning Units (MAPU) at provincial level have been responsible for identifying clearance needs at community level, which feed into provincial workplans reviewed and approved by Provincial Mine Action Committees (PMAC). Using the baseline survey and casualty data, CMAA now identifies the priority communes for clearance, and the MAPUs are responsible for preparing annual clearance task lists with local authorities and operators. Task lists are reviewed and approved by PMAC and the CMAA.

Land release: cluster munition remnants

The baseline survey in cluster munition remnant areas originally employed a methodology more suitable for landmine contamination, resulting in inaccurate polygons. The CMAA recognized the limitations of baseline survey methodology in measuring cluster munition contamination, and in 2018 approved a Cluster Munition Remnants Survey (CMRS) methodology, which was adopted as a national standard in November 2018. The CMAA’s Three-year Implementation Plan calls for meetings with key stakeholders to develop cluster munition survey and land release standards and prioritization guidelines, build up survey team CMRS capacity, and implement CMRS.[48]

Clearance of border areas

Un-demarcated border areas and ongoing border disputes have been cited by Cambodia as obstacles to meeting its Article 5 deadline. Disputes between Cambodia and Thailand led to serious allegations of new use of antipersonnel mines by Cambodia along their border in October 2008. Cambodia plans to use the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) to demine border areas, as outlined in Section 6 of the General Border Commission and Circular 02 of March 2017.[49]

It was reported in September 2019 that an agreement was signed between CMAC and the Thailand Mine Action Centre (TMAC) regarding the areas along the border to clear. CMAC had agreed to clear 1.26km² in 14 locations, 300–500 meters from the border in Banteay Meanchey province.[50]

Residual hazards

Goal 7 of the National Mine Action Strategy 2018–2025 aims to establish a sustainable national capacity to address residual mine/ERW threats after 2025. This includes strengthening national capacity, including RCAF, CMAC and the police; enhancing and sharing mine action knowledge within the sector and beyond; and reviewing the legal, institutional and operational framework to address residual threats.[51] The National Mine Action Strategy states that the government will take more responsibility in addressing the mine/ERW problem by 2025 as it transitions from external to domestic funding.[52]

Risk Education

Operators and service providers

Risk education operators[53]

Type of organization

Name of organization

Type of activity


Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS)

Integrates risk education into the primary and lower secondary school curriculums across eight provinces with high casualty rates. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) provides technical and financial support


Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC)

Provides risk education through house-to-house visits, workplace visits and group presentations in both mine and cluster munition contaminated areas

Supports a community network in highly contaminated districts and supports them to reduce risk through accessing mine action services, community development and victim assistance

Cambodian Red Cross (CRC)

Risk education combined with support to livelihoods through micro-credit

Cambodian Mine Victim Information System (CMVIS)

Data collectors provide brief risk education messages when collecting accident data

Cambodian National Police (CNP)

Integrates risk education as part of the implementation of the Ministry of Interior policy on Village and Commune Safety launched in 2010. CNP officers are trained to educate people on the 2005 Law on Weapons, Explosives and Ammunition Management in efforts to prevent handling and tampering with mines and ERW


Cambodia Self-Help Demining (CSHD)

Provides risk education to communities in the areas where they are conducting demining and EOD activities

National Centre for Peacekeeping Forces (NPMEC)

Provides basic risk education and awareness-raising, and facilitates the reporting of ordnance.


ASEAN Regional Mine Action Centre (ARMAC)

Implementing a project to enhance mine/ERW risk education and awareness among ASEAN Member States.


United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

Provides technical and financial support to CMAA for mine risk education coordination, and to the MoEYS for school risk education programs

Supports the development of risk education materials

Mines Advisory Group (MAG)

Provides community-based risk education through its community liaison teams and also as part of mine clearance operations

EOD teams may also deliver basic safety briefings to communities when responding to EOD callouts and emergency risk education may be delivered following mine accidents

Works in both the northwest in mine contaminated areas and also in the northeast in cluster munition contaminated areas

The HALO Trust

Provides face-to-face risk education sessions in communities and schools using flipcharts

Survey teams may also conduct risk education aimed at high-risk individuals when responding to an EOD call out

Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA)

Risk education is integrated within its non-technical survey teams working in the northeast of the country

Spirit of Soccer

Provides risk education messages to children in or outside schools through sports in the three most mine-affected provinces in northwest Cambodia

Note: ERW=Explosive Remnants of War; EOD=Explosive Ordnance Disposal. 

Beneficiary numbers

Beneficiary numbers 2019[54]

Risk education operator















Spirit of Soccer










The HALO Trust















N/R=Not Reported; N/A=Not Applicable.

*CMAC also provided risk education to 113,764 children in school, and to another 47,670 children in non-school settings. Data was not disaggregated by sex.

In addition to the figures in the table, NPMEC provided risk education to 1,896 beneficiaries, while the CNP provided risk education to 311,914 beneficiaries, and CMVIS provided risk education to 21,639 beneficiaries. Data on beneficiaries of these organizations was not disaggregated by sex.[55]


Communities have been living with the threat of mines/ERW for over 30 years in Cambodia, and a key challenge for risk education is that people are often complacent about the risks and engage in unsafe behavior.[56] Poverty, and a lack of viable livelihood alternatives, encourages people to take risks on contaminated land as they believe they have no other choice. At the same time, Cambodia’s economy is one of the fastest growing in the region at a rate of around 7% per year, due to increasing foreign investment and expansion of the tourism sector.[57] Economic development and population in-migration to the northwest and northeast has increased the demand for land and increased the threat from mines/ERW in these formerly remote areas.[58] The greater mechanization of farming has also led to an increased incidence of accidents caused by antivehicle mines.[59]

Risk education in Cambodia is almost exclusively conducted in remote, rural areas. Risk education is conducted for antipersonnel mines and antivehicle mines particularly in the west, and for cluster munition remnants in the east of the country. ERW are widespread throughout the country.

Adult men are seen by operators as the primary risk group accounting for the majority of casualties nationwide.[60] They are more likely to be engaged in high-risk activities such as agriculture, fishing and hunting that take them away from the village, or to engage knowingly in unsafe activities such as accessing vacant or forest land, or moving or tampering with items found. Men are also the most difficult to reach for risk education as they are often out of the village.[61] Other hard-to-reach risk groups include itinerant workers (including construction workers), farm laborers and former combatants.[62] Women and children are often easier to reach than men. MAG has noted that women are an important target group because they can promote safer behavior among men.[63] Boys are seen to be at higher risk than girls.

MAG, and The HALO Trust, both reported that efforts were made in 2019 to include people with disabilities in sessions.

Major developments in 2019

In 2019–2020, a UNICEF-funded, country-led evaluation of the mine risk education program in Cambodia was coordinated by the CMAA. The report is expected to be released in December 2020.[64]

The MoEYS, in cooperation with UNICEF and under the coordination of the CMAA, organized four workshops on ‘‘Mine Risk Education in Emergency’’ in the provinces of Battambang, Preah Vihear, and Pailin, to train 270 teachers.[65]

In 2019, ARMAC implemented a project called the “Enhance Awareness Programme on Dangers of Mines/Explosive Remnants of War among ASEAN members states.” This involved research and consultative meetings held from July–September in the five ASEAN states affected by mines and ERW, and the production of a report. An ARMAC side-event was held in November 2019 at the Mine Ban Treaty Fourth Review Conference in Oslo, and a regional consultative meeting with all ASEAN member states was held in Siem Reap on 6 February 2020 to finalize the study.[66] An ARMAC magazine, published in February 2020, focuses on mine/ERW risk education in ASEAN.[67]

Victim Assistance

Victim assistance providers and activities

Type of organization

Name of organization

Type of activity


MoSAVYR/Disability Action Council (DAC)

Rehabilitation services; gradual assumption of responsibilities for funding and management of the rehabilitation sector through the Persons with Disabilities Foundation (PWDF)


Survey and data collection, referrals, training on disability rights, assisting with emergency food aid, house repairs, funeral costs, and referrals, as well as disability awareness-raising


Angkor Association for the Disabled

Education for persons with disabilities in Siem Reap province

Arrupe Outreach Center Battambang

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

Buddhism for Development

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

Cambodian Development Mission for Disability (CDMD)

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

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

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

Cambodian Disabled People’s Organization (CDPO)

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

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

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

National Center for Disabled Persons (NCDP)

Referral, education, awareness, and self-help groups

Operation Children of Cambodia (Opération Enfants du Cambodge, OEC)

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

Association for Aid and Relief-Wheelchairs for Development (AAR-WCD)

Wheelchair production, and production of assistive mobility devices

Veterans InternationalCambodia (VIC)

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


ADD Cambodia

Capacity-building of national disabled persons’ organizations; community-based rehabilitation

Exceed Worldwide (Cambodia Trust)

Physical rehabilitation, prosthetic devices, training, and economic inclusion

HI (Humanity & Inclusion)

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

International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)

Physical rehabilitation, outreach, referrals

Japan Cambodia Interactive Association (JCIA)

Vocational training

Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS)

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

Note: ERW=Explosive Remnants of War.

Major developments 2019

In mid-2019, the DAC, in collaboration the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MoEF) and the Australia-Cambodia Cooperation for Equitable Sustainable Services (ACCESS) program, held a workshop on integration of the priorities from the National Disability Strategic Plan (NDSP) 2019–2023 into the annual budgets of relevant ministries and administrations.[68]

Although some persons with disabilities have benefited from broader improvements to the social security system, many do not receive adequate state assistance.[69]

Public streets and roadways have multiple obstacles and no facilities for persons with disabilities.[70]

The ACCESS program, a three-year (2018–2021) Australian Government initiative with the aim of improving services for persons with disabilities in Cambodia, also includes support for women affected by gender‐based violence. ACCESS is being implemented through Cowater—Canada’s largest international development consulting firm.[71] Six ACCESSpartners, supporting the rights of persons with disabilities to access rehabilitation services and economic opportunities, include:

  • Agile Development Group
  • Cambodian Disabled People’s Organisation
  • Chamroeun Microfinance
  • Humanity & Inclusion (HI)
  • Light for the World
  • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

ACCESS includes support to actors from government, non-government bodies, and the private sector.[72] It involves the MoSAVYR, DAC and the MoEF, to plan resources for disability-related services.[73] ACCESS focuses on three strategic areas to support the implementation of the NDSP:

  • Improvement of disability sector coordination at national and sub-national level;
  • Effective management of physical rehabilitation centers handed over to the PWDF;
  • Increased provision of economic opportunities to persons with disabilities.[74]

Since the process of handing over the running of physical rehabilitation centers from international NGOs to the PWDF began in early 2011, there has been a decrease in the number of people accessing rehabilitation services in Cambodia. This is attributed to the absence of a clear handover plan and limited technical and financial capacity, especially in the manufacturing of components, leading to a decrease in the quantity of components supplied to the eleven provincial rehabilitation centers. In addition, international organizations and NGOs paid for these components instead of receiving them free of charge as they had done in the past. The former ICRC orthopedic components factory and the provincial rehabilitation centers experienced long delays in receiving the materials needed for production purchased with the government budget.

The PWDF contributed to the functioning of the eleven physical rehabilitation centers and the national orthopedic components factory, with some progress in improving access to services in Siem Reap and Takeo, and sustaining access to services in in Kien Khleang, Prey Veng and Kratie during the gradual handover from VIC.[75] In December 2018, VIC officially handed over its physical rehabilitation centers in Kien Khleang, Prey Veng, and Kratie to the PWDF.[76] The ICRC reported that efforts to ensure the long-term sustainability of rehabilitation centers were making progress as the MoSAVYR took over a third of the running costs of the Battambang and Kampong Speu centers in 2019.[77]

The PWDF assumed more responsibility for managing physical rehabilitation services. Four internal steering groups (center processes; financial management; human resource management; and communications) have been established to address internal coordination issues between departments by developing action plans and management frameworks for implementation.[78]

The Ministry of Health started to develop its own physical therapy services in hospitals and health centers, recruiting physiotherapists, which resulted in a lack physiotherapists in the rehabilitation sector.[79]

Socio-economic and psychosocial inclusion

One of the last remaining vocational training centers, the long-established Banteay Prieb center near Phnom Penh, run by JRS, serves an increasing range of persons with disabilities and includes a wheelchair production facility and a farm project for training and income generation.[80] Without communicating in advance to the Banteay Prieb center, the MoSAVYR and the DAC announced a plan in July 2019 to use the land of the center to house several other departments and NGOs, by demolishing existing infrastructure and constructing new premises. The building works were being undertaken without providing an alternative temporary location for the existing vocational training center to operate. The center was forced to temporarily halt student intake for 2020, and take time to plan to restart the program in 2021.[81]

The CDPO, civil society organizations and government representatives expressed concern about limited opportunities for job-seekers with disabilities, who often had limited skills and education, and also faced regular discrimination from employers.[82] In 2019, the CDPO began work on a nationwide database to connect disabled jobseekers with private employers.[83]

In mine-affected rural areas of Pursat and nearby provinces, the DDSP supported a self-help group for persons with disabilities from very poor families, most being landmine survivors and youths with disabilities. New programs included working in kitchens and motor-repair training, with contributions from the Avast Foundation and Light for The World. Construction of the training center was supported by the Sir Bobby Charlton Foundation.[84]

There is limited coverage by social services generally. The Identification of Poor Households Programme[85] had not yet achieved a single system for management of information about the needs of poor and vulnerable persons. A lack of capacity to assess disability issues has resulted in some persons with disability not being recognized by the system. Reforms of the social protection system have the potential for improving the safety net for persons with disabilities and increasing their economic participation.[86]


In 2019, the Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MoWA), with the support of ACCESS, conducted a consultative workshop, engaging women with disabilities on the Third National Action Plan to Prevent Violence Against Women. This was the first intensive and participatory gathering to provide opportunities for women with disabilities to engage in the discussion on the draft.[87]

Access to basic water, sanitation and hygiene facilities is particularly challenging for women and girls, especially those living with disabilities, who experience increased vulnerability due to lack of private sanitation facilities, and the burden of household responsibilities such as carrying water over long distances.[88]

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Cambodia Mine Ban Treaty Second Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 27 March 2019, p. 7. Cambodia is considering deploying Royal Cambodian Army soldiers to meet this need, p. 9.

[5] Cambodia Mine Ban Treaty Second Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 27 March 2019, p. 55. This figure does not include an additional US$8.1 million for clearance of antivehicle mines; US$38.6 million for management and coordination; US$118.9 million for cluster munitions clearance; or US$41.3 million for ERW clearance. The total sum is US$372.2 million.

[6] ICBL comments on Cambodia’s extension request, Mine Ban Treaty intersessional meetings, Geneva, 22–24 May 2019.

[7] CMAA, ‘‘National Mine Action Strategy 2018–2025,’’ 12 December 2017, p. 17.

[8] Denika Blacklock and Chey Tech, UNDP, “Clearing for Results Phase III: Mine Action for Human Development: Mid-term Review,” 2 February 2018.

[9] Ibid., p. 26.

[10] CMAA, ‘‘National Mine Action Strategy 2018–2025,’’ 12 December 2017. p. 7.

[12] UNDP Jobs, ‘‘National Consultant - Gender Specialist,’’ July 2020.

[13] Conflict and Environment Observatory, ‘‘Environmental mainstreaming at the 23rd National Mine Action Directors and UN Advisers meeting,’’ 21 February 2020.

[15] CMAA, ‘‘National Mine Action Strategy 2018–2025,’’ 12 December 2017, pp. 14–15.

[16] CMAA, ‘‘Cambodian Mine Action Standards,’’ undated, Chapters 1–16.

[18] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Josh Ridley, Programme Officer, HALO Trust, 21 April 2020; and by Jason Miller, Community Liaison Manager, MAG, 7 April 2020.

[19] Cambodia Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019), Annex I, p. 19.

[20] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Rebecca Letven, Country Programme Manager, and Jason Miller, Community Liaison Manager, MAG, 7 April 2020; and Josh Ridley, Programme Officer, HALO Trust, 21 April 2020.

[21] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Rebecca Letven, Country Programme Manager, and Jason Miller, Community Liaison Manager, MAG, 7 April 2020

[22] CMAA, “National Mine Action Strategy 2018–2025,” 12 December 2017, p. 12.

[23] Ibid.

[24] Cambodia Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019), p. 13.

[25] Cambodia CCW Article 13 Report (for calendar year 2019), Form B, p. 10. See also, EIFL, “Cambodia’s Disability Strategy Targets Marrakesh,” 23 January 2019.

[27] CMAA, “National Mine Action Strategy 2018–2025,” 12 December 2017, p. 12.

[29] David Hutt, “Cambodia Is Still Failing Its Disabled Persons,” The Diplomat, 18 February 2020.

[30] Cambodia Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019); and emails from Ros Sophal, Database Unit Manager, CMAA, 23 and 27 July 2020.

[31] CMAA, “National Mine Action Strategy 2018–2025,” 12 December 2017, p. vii

[33] Cambodia Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019), p. 8.

[35] Email from Ros Sophal, Database Unit Manager, CMAA, 27 July 2020.

[36] South East Asia Air Sortie Database, cited in Dave McCracken, Bruce Powell and Leng Sochea, “National Explosive Remnants of War Response Study, Cambodia,” James Madison University, Center for International Stabilization and Recovery, March 2006, p. 15; Human Rights Watch, “Cluster Munitions in the Asia-Pacific Region,” 17 October 2008; and Humanity & Inclusion (HI), Fatal Footprint: The Global Human Impact of Cluster Munitions, (HI: Brussels, November 2006), p. 11.

[37] Email from Ros Sophal, Database Unit Manager, CMAA, 23 July 2020.

[38] CMAA, “National Mine Action Strategy 2018–2025,” 12 December 2017, p. 9.

[39] Email from Ros Sophal, Database Unit Manager, CMAA, 23 July 2020.

[40] CMAA, “National Mine Action Strategy 2018–2025,” 12 December 2017, p. 10.

[41] Unless otherwise indicated, casualty data for 2019 is based on Monitor analysis of CMVIS casualty data provided by email from Nguon Monoketya, CMVIS Officer, CMAA, 2 April 2020. CMAA, ‘‘CMVIS Report for October 2019,’’ undated.

[42] Ibid.

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

[44]Draft Beirut Progress Report: Monitoring progress in implementing the Vientiane Action Plan from the First up to the Second Meeting of States Parties,” Convention on Cluster Munitions Second Meeting of States Parties, Beirut, 12–16 September 2011, CCM/MSP/2011/WP.5, 25 August 2011, pp. 10–11. The definition of a cluster munition victim encompasses the individuals, their families, and affected communities.

[45] Landmine land release data: Cambodia Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019), p. 10; Cluster munition land release data: Email from Ros Sophal, Database Unit Manager, CMAA, 23 July 2020. Total ordnance destroyed data: Emails from Ros Sophal, Database Unit Manager, CMAA, 23 and 27 July 2020. Total land release estimate 1992–January 2020 data: Cambodia CCW Article 13 Report (for calendar year 2019), Form B, 31 March 2020, p. 8. See also: Cambodia Mine Ban Treaty Second Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 27 March 2019, and CMAA, ‘‘Cambodian Mine Action Standards (CMAS): Chapter 16 Cluster Munitions Remnant Survey (CMRS),’’ November 2018.

[46] Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor, ‘‘Archives 1999–2014: Cambodia: 2008 Key Data,’’ undated.

[47] CMAA, ‘‘National Mine Action Strategy 2018–2025,’’ 12 December 2017, p. 9.

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

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

[51] CMAA, ‘‘National Mine Action Strategy 2018–2025,’’ 12 December 2017, p. 14.

[52] CMAA, ‘‘National Mine Action Strategy 2018–2025,’’ 12 December 2017, p. IX.

[53] Information provided by Hugues Laurenge, UNICEF, 2 June 2020; Cambodia Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019), Annex I, pp. 20–22; Hal Judge, ARMAC, “Report on Integrated Approaches to Explosive Ordnance Risk Education in ASEAN Member States,” April 2020, p. 42; Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Rebecca Letven, Country Programme Manager, and Jason Miller, Community Liaison Manager, MAG, 7 April 2020; Response to Monitor questionnaire by Josh Ridley, Programme Officer, HALO Trust, 21 April 2020; and Email from Rasmus Sandvoll Weschke, Advisor, NPA, 5 June 2020.

[54] MoEYS/UNICEF data: figures on those reached through the school program reported in Cambodia’s Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019), Annex I, p. 21, were slightly different, at 14,482 children in total. MAG data: responses to Monitor questionnaire by Rebecca Letven, Country Programme Manager, and Jason Miller, Community Liaison Manager, MAG, 7 April 2020. The beneficiary numbers for MAG in Cambodia’s Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019), Annex I, p. 22, are different at 9,141 men, 2,334 women, 2,077 boys, and 2,048 girls. HALO Trust data: response to Monitor questionnaire by Josh Ridley, Programme Officer, HALO Trust, 21 April 2020. The HALO Trust beneficiary numbers reported in Cambodia’s Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019), Annex I, p. 21, are different at 45,145 men, 44,361 women, 33,759 boys, and 34,820 girls. CRC and CHSD data: beneficiary figures are from Cambodia’s Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019), Annex 1, pp. 20–21.

[55] CMVIS, NPMEC and CNP beneficiary figures from Cambodia’s Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019), Annex 1, pp. 20–21.

[56] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Rebecca Letven, Country Programme Manager, and Jason Miller, Community Liaison Manager, MAG, 7 April 2020

[57] CMAA, ‘‘National Mine Action Strategy 2018–2025,’’ 12 December 2017, p. viii.

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

[59] See, for example, Khouth Sopheak Chakrya, “Oddar Menachey farmer dies after ploughing over landmine,” Phnom Penh Post, 14 May 2020.

[60] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Rebecca Letven, Country Programme Manager, and Jason Miller, Community Liaison Manager, MAG, 7 April 2020; and Josh Ridley, Programme Officer, HALO Trust, 21 April 2020.

[61] Ibid.

[62] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Josh Ridley, Programme Officer, HALO Trust, 21 April 2020.

[63] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Rebecca Letven, Country Programme Manager, and Jason Miller, Community Liaison Manager, MAG, 7 April 2020.

[64] Email from Chhaya Plong, UNICEF Cambodia, 9 July 2020.

[65] Cambodia Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019), Annex I, pp. 19–22.

[67] ARMAC Magazine, “Exploring Mine/ERW Risk Education in ASEAN,” February 2020.

[69] David Hutt, “Cambodia Is Still Failing Its Disabled Persons,’’ The Diplomat, 18 February 2020.

[70] Jillian Louis, “Cambodia’s disabled left behind,” The ASEAN Post, 3 March 2020.

[73] ACCESS, “Sustainable quality services,” undated.

[74] ACCESS, “Empower persons with disabilities,” undated.

[75] UNICEF, WHO-West Pacific Region, United Nations Development Group, UNDP, “Disability Rights Initiative Cambodia (DRIC) Final Programme Narrative Report,” Reporting Period: December 2013–March 2018, pp. 26–27.

[78] UNICEF, WHO-West Pacific Region, United Nations Development Group, UNDP, “Disability Rights Initiative Cambodia (DRIC) Final Programme Narrative Report,” Reporting Period: December 2013–March 2018, pp. 26–27.

[79] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Edith van Wijngaarden, Country Director, HI Cambodia, 14 May 2020.

[80] Erber Group, ‘‘Cambodia: A New Future for People with Disabilities,’’ 21 January 2019; Ate Hoekstra, ‘‘Jesuit center gives new future to Cambodia's disabled,’’ UCA News, 8 October 2018.

[81] ISSUU Newsletter, ‘‘The 37th Letter from Banteay Prieb,’’ 24 December 2019.

[82] Soth Koemsoeun, “Concern over jobs for disabled,” The Phnom Penh Post, 26 June 2019.

[83] David Hutt, “Cambodia is still failing its disabled persons,’’ The Diplomat, 18 February 2020.

[85] The Identification of Poor Households Programme is Cambodia’s official national poverty identification system.

[88] Cambodia Rural Sanitation and Hygiene Improvement Programme, ‘‘WASH Experiences of Women Living with Disabilities in Cambodia,” June 2018.