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ERW Clearance, Laos, socio-economic, development, UXO
Over thirty-four years since the 1960-1975 Second Indochina War, Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) continues to inhibit a multitude of development priorities in Laos. One of only three remaining Least Developed Countries in Southeast Asia, greater understanding of the socio-economic effects of UXO is crucial to the development of Laos. Drawing on three weeks of field work in June 2009, primarily composed of semi-structured interviews, non-participant observation and literature analysis, this thesis examines the effects of UXO alongside an analysis of how existing responses to UXO contamination in Laos may be improved.
Furthermore, it is argued in this thesis that discrepancies over the perceived seriousness of UXO contamination exist between humanitarian operators and those who lived in contaminated districts. In examining the effects of UXO contamination on the consolidation of post-conflict development, the analysis offered highlights the need for greater understanding of this legacy of war within post-conflict human development theories.