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U.N. Officials Visit Cambodia-Landmines and Women

A four-member U.N. delagation to Cambodia will spend one week to study mine and women isssues which are serious matters in Cambodia. The delegation led by Ms. Nancy Robin, U.N. Ambassador on Landmine and Women Issues, met with opposition Sam Rainsy party (SRP) officials and plans to meet government officials.

SRP legislators' president Son Chhay says that the issues are landmine accidents and the women who have to take care of landmine victims in their families and they have to make a living to make ends meet.

He says that right now, powerful people grab the lands from the poor, the lands which these people get from demining. Destitute people clear the lands to grow vegetables, and people with important positions grab the lands, creating violence and human rights abuses.

Mr. Son says that women suffer from landmine accidents and war. They have to make a living , and Cambodia and the government still haven't provided any aids for them yet.

Cambodia Mine Action Center (CMAC) is a landmine organization, and its director Mr. Khem Sophoan says that in 2005, eight hundred and sixty two people died and are wounded by landmines.

A total number of landmine victims to the present time is 60,000 of people who have died, or were wounded.

CMAC says that in this number, most victims are men and children.

In Cambodia CMAC estimates unexploded landmines to be from 4 to 6 millions scattered all over Cambodia.

Mr. Khem says that his organization now is expanding its capacity in areas which suffer high casualties such as in Battambang, Pailin, Banteay Mean Chey, Pursat, Udor Mean Chey, Preah Vihear, Kampong Thom, Siemreap, and Kampong Cham provinces. From March 19-27 , U.N. special representative for Human Rights in Cambodia Yash Ghai will visit Cambodia.