Landmines laid during the ousting of the Khmer Rouge in 1979 and throughout the 80s and 90s have had a devastating impact on the people of Cambodia. Over 64,000 casualties and more than 25,000 amputees have been recorded since 1979.
Around half of Cambodia’s minefields have been cleared and those remaining are largely concentrated in the rural north-west of the country, especially along the Thai border on a 750km mined area known as the K5. As the population expands, families have little choice but to move onto mined land, placing themselves at risk. People like Cheng Seang, who lived near the notoriously dangerous K5 mine belt, live in hope, waiting for things to change.
Cheng Seang, Cambodia
We employ around 1,000 men and women from mine affected areas in Cambodia to work in minefields all along the Thai border from Koh Kong to Preah Vihear, and also in the south eastern province of Tboung Khmum. Our teams clear hundreds of landmines every month.
We also respond to a huge number of calls from people elsewhere in the country who have found dangerous explosives that need to be destroyed safely. The threat to the people of Cambodia—from landmines and other dangerous debris left after the war—is extremely high. Children like Arya and Molika, who walk to school right next to a minefield, are particularly vulnerable because of their innate curiosity, so our risk education visits to communities and schools are vital.