UNODC and Ministry of Public Security initiate interventions to protect victims and vulnerable groups in Lao PDR

GLO.ACT Lao PDR Signing Ceremony

Vientiane, Lao PDR - 4 April 2018 - Under the framework of the Global Action to Prevent and Address Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants (GLO.ACT), UNODC and the Ministry of Public Security signed the GLO.ACT Action Plan to implement selected interventions against trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants with Lao PDR Government counterparts. The interventions include utilizing police media channels to raise awareness of these crimes among vulnerable groups, promoting inter-disciplinary cooperation on human trafficking cases among criminal justice practitioners and social workers, delivering training on victim identification and appropriate legal and social responses to cases of human trafficking and migrant smuggling, as well as strengthening child protection networks.

GLO.ACT Lao PDR Signing CeremonyAt the ceremonial event to mark the initiation of GLO.ACT activities, Pol.Col.Dr. Phengsavanh Thipphavongxay, Deputy Director General of the General Department of Police, Ministry of Public Security, and Head of Secretariat to the National Committee on Anti-Trafficking in Persons, urged for close cooperation among government representatives and international development partners on GLO.ACT events, particularly for building the capacity of law enforcement, assisting victims of trafficking and prevention efforts.

Representing the UNODC Regional Office of Southeast Asia and the Pacific, Mr. Benjamin Smith, Regional Coordinator of the Programme on Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling, stated, "The complexity of transnational organized crime quickly develops far beyond our anticipation, especially in Southeast Asia. Through a comprehensive approach and multi-country implementation, we can better prevent threats, improve and strengthen the response to these crimes and, importantly, meet our obligations to victims."

GLO.ACT Lao PDR Signing CeremonyDuring his opening speech, Ambassador of the EU Delegation to Lao PDR H.E. Mr. Léon Paul Faber took the opportunity to thank Pol.Col.Dr. Phengsavanh Thipphavongxay, Deputy Director General of the General Department of Police, Ministry of Public Security, and Head of Secretariat to the National Committee on Anti-Trafficking in Persons, as well as UNODC, IOM and UNICEF. He went on to say that the EU believes that projects such as GLO.ACT are the most appropriate mechanism to support the government in its efforts to combat human trafficking and migrant smuggling. Mr. Faber concluded by saying that this project will, without a doubt, strengthen the synergies on the ground.

GLO.ACT Lao PDR Signing CeremonyRepresenting UNODC Country Office of Lao PDR, Ms. Siliphaithoun Xayamoungkhoun, GLO.ACT National Project Officer, provided an overview of project delivery at the national level, guided by the findings of the 2016 GLO.ACT consultative review of the Lao PDR response to trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling.

Under the GLO.ACT framework, IOM Head of Office in Lao PDR, Ms. Misato Yuasa, oversees activities on the protection and assistance to trafficked victims and vulnerable migrants. IOM is focused on strengthening the national coordination mechanisms, as well as supporting civil society on victim services. UNICEF Lao, represented by Mr. Myo Zin Nyunt, oversees activities to strengthen the child protection framework in the country.

Also present at the ceremony were 40 representatives who were comprised of senior government officials from key line ministries, international and civil society partners, as well as diplomats from multiple embassies. The officals from government authorities represented the Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Justice, the Border Liaison Office, Judicial Research and Training Institute, Office of the Supreme People's Prosecutors, People's Supreme Court, Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Lao Women's Union and Lao Youth Union. Also participating were representatives from the Lao Bar Association, Village Focus International, Asia Foundation, Association for Development of Women and Legal Education, the Tripartite Action to Protect Migrant Workers from Labour Exploitation within and from the Greater Mekong Subregion, as well as UN colleagues from UNODC, IOM, UNICEF and the International Labour Organization.

GLO.ACT Lao PDR Signing Ceremony

The Lao Ministry of Public Security Television aired the ceremonial event nationwide, affirming its commitment to support GLO.ACT interventions.

The Global Action to Prevent and Address Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants (GLO.ACT) is a four-year (2015-2019), €11 million joint initiative by the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The project is being implemented in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). GLO.ACT aims to provide assistance to governmental authorities and civil society organizations across 13 strategically selected countries: Belarus, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Kyrgyz Republic, Lao PDR, Mali, Morocco, Nepal, Niger, Pakistan, South Africa, Ukraine. GLO.ACT works with the 13 countries to plan and implement strategic national counter-trafficking and counter smuggling efforts through a prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnerships approach. It supports the development of more effective responses to trafficking and smuggling, including providing assistance to victims of trafficking and vulnerable migrants through the strengthening of identification, referral, and direct support mechanisms. 

 

For more information, please contact:

Ms. Siliphaithoun Xayamoungkhoun

GLO.ACT National Project Officer

siliphaithoun.xayamoungkhoun@un.org

 

www.unodc.org/unodc/en/human-trafficking/glo-act/

Email: glo.act@un.org

Twitter: @glo_act