Press Releases
Oct 17, 2014 - Press Conference: 15 Years Since the Ottawa Mine Ban Treaty, Cambodian Survivor Speaking Tour of Japan
Press Conference on October 21, 2014

This year marks 15 years since the Ottawa Mine Ban Treaty became effective. This treaty, which was realized as a result of efforts by citizens around the world, now has 162 states parties. Since its coming into effect it has contributed to progress in the clearance of landmines around the world, and less people falling victim to these indiscrimiate weapons. As a result, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) and its coordinator Jody Williams were recognised with the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize.

Commemorating 15 years since the Ottawa treaty came into effect, Peace Boat is inviting Mr Sem Sovantha from Cambodia, himself a landmine survivor now involved in support efforts, to Japan for a national speaking tour in 5 cities.

Mr Sovantha will be joined at the press conference by Kitagawa Yasuhiro, representative of the Japan Campaign to Ban Landmines (JCBL), of which Peace Boat is also a member. Mr Kitagawa will speak on the role of the international community towards the abolition of landmines, and a report will be given about Mr Sovantha's speaking tour in Japan. Individual interviews are also possible - please contact in advance.

Press Conference
Date: October 21, 2014 (Tues) 13:00
Venue: Yokohama Osanbashi International Passenger Terminal, 2F Conference Room (

Sem Sovantha (Founder, Angkor Association for the Disabled)
Kitagawa Yasuhiro (Representative, Japan Campaign to Ban Landmines)
Morita Sachiko (Coordinator, Peace Boat Mine Abolition Campaign)
Yoshioka Tatsuya (Co-Founder and Director, Peace Boat)

* Sem Sovantha's Speaking Tour will take place in Tokyo (Oct 24), Kyoto (Oct 25), Osaka (Oct 26), Nagoya (Oct 27) and Fukuoka (Oct 28).
Details available here.

Peace Boat
TEL: 03-3363-8047 / Email: pbglobal(a)
Speaker Profile
Sem Sovantha Founder, Angkor Association for the Disabled

Mr Sovantha was injured by a landmine when fighting as a soldier in the Cambodian Civil War in 1990, and lost both his legs despite one year of treatment at a hospital in Phnom Penh. Confronted with harsh living conditions after this, he was forced to beg in order to fend for his family. Surmounting this hardship, however, he improved his situation by selling books to tourists, and began supporting disabled individuals who were begging at temples and markets by offering them employment. He founded the Angkor Association for the Disabled (AAD) in May 2003, and began to offer support not only to those injured by landmines, but to their family members as well. AAD was officially recognized by the Cambodian government as an NGO in 2004 and now works with over 700 landmine survivors in both Siem Reap and Phnom Penh.
With the Cooperation of
- Japanese Campaign to Ban Landmines (JCBL) - Angkor Association for the Disabled (AAD)

Learn more about Peace Boat's Mine Abolition Campaign (P-MAC) here.