Seattle University to honor renown global landmine activist

Co-recipient of 1997 Nobel Peace Prize Tun Channareth will be awarded honorary degree
2011-03-31
By Casey Corr
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Internationally renown activist Tun Channareth, right, holds a Seattle University banner during a visit to his home by students and faculty of Seattle University.Photo Credit:

In recognition of an internationally celebrated advocate for social justice, Seattle University in June will grant an honorary degree to Tun Channareth, a Cambodian who has worked with the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (the ICBL). Channareth is a co-recipient of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize.  

A soldier in 1982 resisting the Khmer Rouge regime, Channareth stepped on a landmine near the Thai-Cambodian border and lost both legs. Since then, he has traveled the world as an ambassador of the ICBL urging governments to make landmines history. In 2006, the United Nations declared April 4 as International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action. That year alone, between 15,000 and 20,000 people were killed or maimed by landmines, according to a United Nations report. An estimated 20 percent of victims are children.  

Channareth is known as a gregarious personality who has tireless worked to promote awareness of landmines. When not traveling on speaking trips, he spends his time in Siem Reap, Cambodia, at a Jesuit Service Center  where he builds and delivers affordable wheelchairs for landmine victims throughout the country.   

“Mr. Channareth has reached out with compassion in service to other landmine victims while working tirelessly to rid the world of these insidious weapons,” said Seattle University President Stephen Sundborg, S.J. “He is an inspiring example to our students of our mission as a university that empowers leaders for a just and humane world.” 

For more information, please see the officially press release.