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UN in Cambodia: Mine Action

The photographer Marco Grob visited Cambodia in 2011. This is a film produced for the Inter-Agency Coordination Group for Mine Action and International Mine Awareness Day 2012. In mid-1992 the Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) was created and operated under the UN Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) to implement and coordinate demining efforts in Cambodia. CMAC now continues its activities as a full-fledged Cambodian institution, running activities which include an extensive public awareness programme utilizing mass media, mine marking, mine clearance, and mine clearance training. Mine action in Cambodia has come of age. The painstaking efforts that began about two decades ago have freed more than 700 square kilometres of land from landmines and explosive remnants of war. In 2011, the number of landmine casualties has never been lower. The casualty number stood at 211, a dramatic decrease compared to peak number of 4,320 in 1996. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has been working closely with the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA) and other development partners to tackle the remaining challenges. This long-standing partnership has resulted in a wide range of achievements. Despite the achievements, threats posed landmines and explosive remnants of war continue to persist in Cambodia. In affected areas, farmers can be found working on land that may be still littered with these deadly weapons. Children walk to school and may not know what lies in the ground in their path.