Rep. Bera Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Support Southeast Asian Countries Impacted by Landmines and Explosive Remnants of War
The Legacies of War Recognition and Unexploded Ordnance Removal Act would fund the removal of landmines, unexploded ordnance, and other explosive remnants of war in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam
Washington, DC, July 12, 2023
Today, Representative Ami Bera, M.D. (D-CA) introduced the Legacies of War Recognition and Unexploded Ordnance Removal Act, bipartisan legislation aimed at providing critical support for the clearance of landmines and other explosive remnants of war in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam.
“After more than four decades, communities across Southeast Asia continue to endure the devastating consequences of war,” said Representative Ami Bera, who serves as Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Indo-Pacific. “Having recently led a bipartisan Congressional delegation to Laos, I witnessed firsthand the profound impact the legacy of war still has on civilians and the heroic efforts of those working tirelessly to remove unexploded ordnances. The bipartisan Legacies of War Recognition and Unexploded Ordnance Removal Act will play a crucial role in advancing these lifesaving efforts and support victims injured by landmines and other explosive remnants of war.”
More than 40 years after the end of the Vietnam War, unexploded ordnances (UXO) dropped over Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam during the Vietnam War continue to cause injuries and casualties. Vietnam remains one of the world’s most contaminated countries, with an estimated 800,000 tons of UXO left over from conflict and more than 38,000 civilian deaths since 1975. Since 1964, UXO and other explosive remnants of war have injured or killed more than 50,000 civilians in Laos. Additionally, over 64,000 Cambodians have been injured or killed by landmines, UXO, or other explosive remnants of war since 1979.
The Legacies of War Recognition and Unexploded Ordnance Removal Act authorizes humanitarian assistance to Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia for programs to support the clearance of such landmines and UXO. The legislation also recognizes the Hmong, Cham, Cambodian, Iu-Mien, Khmu, Lao, Montagnard, and Vietnamese Americans communities who supported U.S. Armed Forces during the war in Vietnam.
Original cosponsors include Dean Phillips (MN-03), Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen (AS-AL), Chrissy Houlahan (PA-06), Bill Johnson (OH-06), Stephen F. Lynch (MA-08), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-AL), Kevin Mullin (CA-15), Rick Larsen (WA-02), Brad Schneider (IL-10), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Dan Kildee (MI-08), Jill Tokuda (HI-02), Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02), Derek Kilmer (WA-06), Dina Titus (NV-01), Jim Himes (CT-04), Frank Pallone (NJ-06), James P. McGovern (MA-02), André Carson (IN-07), and David Trone (MD-06).