Japan Assistance Team for Small Arms Management in Cambodia (JSAC)
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After more than 30 years of civil war, traces of the war are still significant in Cambodia today.

While the issues of landmines are better known,
small arms left from the war are also a problem for peace and security of post-war Cambodia. One research estimated that 1 in every 5 household owned a gun after the war in heavily affected areas. Such weapons are often used for criminal purposes and encourages the culture of violence, and therefore is recognized as a serious problem in Cambodia.

In this context, the Government of Japan provided funds to the pilot project of EU-Assistance on Curbing Small Arms and Light Weapons in Cambodi a (EU-ASAC) and dispatched a researcher to respond to the issue of weapons management in Cambodia. This specialist conducted a study that concluded that a
comprehensive approach is crucial to tackle this issue, and prepared for the Japanese team to start its own program "Peace Building and Comprehensive Small Arms Management Program in Cambodia".

As a result, the project team "JSAC (Japan Assistance Team for Small Arms Management in Cambodia)" was established on April 21, 2003 and started the Program
in cooperation with the Royal Government of Cambodia.


The ultimate goal of this program is to build peace in Cambodia.  JSAC and the Government of Cambodia implements 5 projects to achieve the following specific objectives necessary for this goal.

  • Increasing social stability and public security by reducing the number of small arms.
  • Strenghtening participatory decision-making and residents' identities as community members through their participation in JSAC activities.
  • Capacity building of Government and NGO staff
  • Strenghthening the management of government (legal) weapons and preventing possible illegal circulation of these weapons.
  • Destroying and eliminating un-necessary weapons (collected illegal weapons and surplus legal weapons)
  • Building confidence between security forces and civilians.
  • Improving residents' living conditions through development assistance, and demonstrating the positive relationship between peaceful/ safe communities and development
This program also serves to demonstrate Japan's commitment in peace building to the international community and to the Cambodian people.

@Small Arms in Cambodia
Why do people keep small arms illegally?
Lack of trust in the police (self-defense) They cannot believe that the police can protect themselves, their families and their property.
Distrust in the police They are afraid that if they handover weapons to the police, the police will punish them.
Poverty and economic purposes They use the weapons for crimes, such as robbery, and illegal hunting/ logging/ fishing.
Culture of violence They use weapons to settle problems, or they think owning weapons is a symbol of status/power.
Lack of information They do not know what to do with the left weapons.

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