Status: Cambodia has made remarkable progress in reducing casualties from land mines and explosive remnants of war (ERW). The annual number of civilian casualties recorded has fallen from a record 4,320 in 1996 to 243 in 2009, well above the current target of 461.
About 45% of an assumed total of 117,798 hectares of contaminated land has been cleared. Since the contaminated area is greater than originally expected, this target cannot be achieved by 2015, and Cambodia has obtained an extension to 2019 under the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction. Almost all elements of a victim assistance framework have now been adopted and implementation is under way.
Challenges: Accurate data availability on services received by mine/ERW survivors, as distinguished from other persons with disabilities is a major challenge which hinders policy formulation, the setting of targets and the development of strategies and plans. In addition, there are no clear statistics about the level of services to landmine/ERW victims. Victim assistance needs to be systematized and better managed. The national response also suffers from insufficient funding, lack of capacity and organizational problems.
The Way Forward: Addressing the still enormous problem of land mines and ERW will require energetic actions and continued high levels of funding over an extended period. Psycho-social support and social reintegration services need strengthening, with community based rehabilitation emerging as a promising approach.
Evolution of Mine and ERW Casualties
Required, Actual and Projected Land Clearance (in hectares)