Practice Relating to the Prohibition of Certain Types of Landmines
Cambodia’s Law Banning Anti-Personnel Mines (1999) provides:
1. The purpose of this law is to prohibit all anti-personnel landmines including the production, trading, exporting and importing of all types of anti-personnel mines.
2. The anti-personnel mines are all mines that when activated by a person, will detonate or explode, and are designed to cause injury, disability or death. Mines are ammunition which are placed on, near or under the ground, on other surface areas and are designed to detonate when activated by human, animal, vehicle, machinery or equipment, either by direct contact or remotely.
3. Civilians and government officials, including all armed carriers, especially the Royal Armed Forces, the Military Police and Police, shall be banned from anti-personnel mines, in all circumstances, except in cases when they have authorization from the Royal Government for mine clearance training.
Cambodia was one of the early supporters of a comprehensive ban on anti-personnel landmines. On 2 October 1994, King Norodom Sihanouk issued a declaration calling for a law against the use of anti-personnel mines, the destruction of existing stockpiles, and a request to donor countries for demining support.
The First Prime Minister, Norodom Ranariddh, announced at an international donor meeting on 11 March 1994 an immediate ban on the import and laying of landmines in Cambodia.
In August 1994, Ieng Mouly, the chairman of the Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC), announced the government’s intention to legislate a ban on the use of landmines. No timetable was given for the legislation, but he proposed the interim steps of criminalizing the re-mining of demining sites, ensuring that new minefields were marked, and banning sales of mines to civilians.
In January 1995, the Cambodian delegation to the meeting of governmental experts in the run-up to the Review Conference of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons called for a comprehensive ban on landmines.
On 2 June 1995, Samdech Chea Sim, High Representative of His Majesty the King, reiterated the position of the Kingdom of Cambodia at the NGO Landmine Conference in Phnom Penh in 1995.
At the closing ceremony of the same conference the co-Minister of Defence, Lieutenant-General Tea Banh, made a statement to the effect that the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces “fully and actively” supported “all kinds of efforts” to reduce the dangers caused by anti-personnel landmines.