Lao People’s Democratic Republic

Lao PDR is contaminated with anti-personnel mines and massively contaminated with cluster munition remnants

Cluster Munition Remnants

Anti-Personnel Mines
  • Article 4 deadline

    1 August 2025

  • Performance


Performance Criterion Score
Understanding of contamination (20% of overall score) 7
National ownership and programme management (10% of overall score) 6
Gender (10% of overall score) 7
Information management and reporting (10% of overall score) 6
Planning and tasking (10% of overall score) 6
Land release system (20% of overall score) 8
Land release outputs and Article 4 compliance (20% of overall score) 8
Performance score 7.1

Key Developments

Clearance output in Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) in 2022 was again higher than the previous year. This was largely the result of the continued shift towards clearance since 2021, which has seen the United States (US) increase its funding for clearance capacity to address the confirmed hazardous areas (CHAs) identified through the ongoing Cluster Munition Remnants Survey (CMRS). Clearance output in 2022 finally reached the 50km2 target envisaged in Lao PDR’s 2019 Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) Article 4 deadline extension request, but still fell 50% short of the 100km2 clearance per year envisaged in Lao PDR’s 9th National Socio-Economic Development Plan.

The new national strategy for the unexploded ordnance (UXO) sector, “Safe Path Forward III” (2021–30), was adopted in January 2023. Work on a national prioritisation system for clearance was initiated in the first half of 2022, with the support of Tetra Tech, and the National Regulatory Authority (NRA) aims to launch the national prioritisation process in 2023.

Recommendations for Action

  • The NRA should develop a national planning and prioritisation system to support cluster munition remnants (CMR) survey and clearance as a matter of urgency.
  • The NRA should report and communicate on the progress made in the clearance of identified CHAs.
  • Procedures for issuing, amending, or renewing memorandums of understanding (MoUs) should be streamlined to avoid inefficiencies and excessive delays. Lao PDR should also consider permitting longer-term MoUs to help attract more investment into the sector while maximising impact.
  • The NRA should complete a review of the national standards to ensure that best practices are effectively disseminated across all operators. 
  • The NRA should ensure the Information Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA) database is accurate and up to date, incorporating the results of the ongoing nationwide CMRS. The NRA should ensure that historical operational data that are not already in the database are available to operators engaged in survey and clearance.
  • The NRA should take on board the recommendations of the international clearance non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and expand the mine action toolbox to include the use of mine/explosive detection dogs (MDDs/EDDs) and drones in order to increase operational efficiency. 

Download the full 2023 report for Lao PDR

Click here to download the full "Clearing Cluster Munition Remnants 2023" report for Lao PDR.