Vietnam makes progress in landmine clearance

(VOVWORLD) - Vietnam will mark International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action on Thursday. Over the years, Vietnam has worked to repair the damage caused by mines and explosive remnants of war by developing remediation services for landmines victims and rehabilitation centers.
Vietnam makes progress in landmine clearance  - ảnh 1

A member from Norwegian People’s Aid Vietnam surveys an area contaminated with landmines (Illustrative photo courtesy of NPA)

Vietnam is one of the countries most contaminated by landmines. It’s estimated that 6.1 million hectares, nearly 19 per cent of Vietnam’s land, remains contaminated with unexploded ordnance (UXO).

UXO clearance efforts

Government Decree 18, which has come into effect since last month, regulates all activities related to landmine and UXO clearance carried out on Vietnamese land by Vietnamese or foreign organizations, agencies, or individuals.

Deputy Director of the Vietnam National Mine Action Center Colonel Nguyen Hanh Phuc said: “The decree covers all regulations on resolving the consequences of landmines left by wars in Vietnam. Some regulations include international activities. This is the first legal document which shows Vietnam’s international integration in resolving landmine consequences and the Vietnamese government’s strong commitment to issues such as appropriate care for the victims.”

Vietnam published a map of suspected landmine contamination sites last year. It’s an important resource for land use and management. 30,000 ha of land contaminated with unexploded ordnance were treated last year.

A large network of volunteers has been spreading landmine awareness.

Assistance for UXO victims

Assistance for UXO victims is an important task. The government and social organizations have worked together in rehabilitation, orthopedic and psychotherapy, vocational training, and job generation for the victims. 1 million people with serious disabilities, many of them UXO victims, receive a monthly allowance and healthcare insurance. There are 400 assistance centers for UXO victims and other people with disabilities, including 120 rehabilitation and vocational training centers, operating nationwide.

To Duc, Deputy Director of the Social Assistance Department of the Ministry of Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs, said: “Under Vietnamese law, UXO victims with severe disabilities receive a monthly allowance and healthcare insurance. Victims who have no caretakers are treated at public centers. Last year we worked with several localities to pilot a UXO victims database to manage their needs and support from individuals and organizations. We’ll expand the database to more localities this year to ensure wider access to government assistance.”

Since 1975, landmines and unexploded war ordnance have claimed the lives of 40,000 people and injured 60,000 more.

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