Home World News Global landmine victim assistance conference promises support to survivors

Global landmine victim assistance conference promises support to survivors


The third global conference on assistance to landmine victims concluded in the capital of Cambodia on Thursday, vowing to carry out actions and policies to improve the lives of survivors and affected communities, a senior Cambodian official said.

The three-day conference brought together delegates from 45 countries and regions, which are state parties to the Mine-Ban Convention, known as the Ottawa Treaty.

Ly Thuch, senior minister and first vice-president of the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA), said the participants deliberated a comprehensive exploration of victim assistance, delving into critical topics such as mental health and psychological support, access to healthcare and socio-economic inclusion.

“We explored the challenges and opportunities faced by survivors and affected communities, and discussed ways to enhance cooperation, assistance and socio-economic inclusion,” he said in a speech at the closing ceremony of the conference.

“Together, we can build a world where these survivors have access to the care, support and opportunities they deserve,” he added.

Thuch said countries should strive to fulfill their moral obligation to protect the rights and destinies of those who have fallen victim to these indiscriminate weapons.

“As a global community, we can make a difference in the lives of those affected by landmines and explosive ordnances,” he said.

Cambodia is one of the worst affected countries by landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERWs). An estimated 4 million to 6 million landmines and other munitions had been left over from three decades of war and internal conflicts that ended in 1998.

According to the Yale University, between 1965 and 1973, the United States had dropped some 230,516 bombs on 113,716 sites in Cambodia.

According to the CMAA’s latest report, from 1979 to August 2023, landmine and ERW explosions had killed 19,822 people and either injured or amputated 45,209 others, making Cambodia one of the countries with the highest number of casualties.

The Southeast Asian country is committed to achieving a mine-free goal by 2025.

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