Lao PDR Celebrates International Children’s Day to Shape a Better Future for Every Child

Lao PDR advocates and raises awareness on pressing issues faced by children on International Children’s Day.

01 June 2022
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UNICEF Laos/2022/KHo

Lao PDR, 1 June 2022 – To celebrate International Children’s Day this year, the Government of Lao PDR, UNICEF, development partners, and children united to promote child rights and welfare under the theme “A Better Future for Every Child.”

The pinnacle of the celebrations was the two high-level events organised in Vientiane Capital and Attapeu Province. In Vientiane Capital, nearly 300 people, including children, youths, and a delegation led by the Government of Lao PDR and development partners, gathered at Nongkhamsan, Hadxayfong district. To kickstart the celebrations, children performed a traditional Lao dance. This was followed by children presenting their views and vision on four selected topics, namely child marriage, online media, road accidents, and the COVID-19 pandemic. The seedling of a tree was planted to symbolize the nurturing of children and investment in the future.

“Children are the future of Lao PDR. Just like the seeds we are planting today, investment in our younger populations will bring positive results for many years to come. As Lao PDR is set to graduate from the Least Developed Country (LDC) status by 2026, we must focus on empowering children and youths to be productive members of society as we transit into a new stage of national development,” said H.E. Prof. Dr. Kikeo Khaykhamphithoune, Deputy Prime Minister of Lao PDR, Chairperson of the National  Commission for the Advancement of Women, Mothers and Children (NCAWMC).

Additionally, an exhibition was set up by the youth representatives to raise awareness on topics relevant to them, such as the prevention of violence against children, reproductive health and birth registration among others, with H.E. Mr. Athsaphangthong Siphandone, Vientiane Capital Mayor, leading all participants on a booth tour.

“Today’s event is an excellent example of how we could listen to children and youths and work alongside them. Their perspectives provide valuable insights into the challenges they face and help us devise better solutions. The Government of the Republic of Korea is extremely pleased to join today’s event to witness the power of children and youths in this country,” explained H.E. Mr. Im Moohong, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Lao PDR.

The celebrations in Attapeu province focused on child marriage prevention as it remains one of the more prominent issues. Children and youths had been discussing over the past week on issues concerning them, before presenting their views with recommendations to the visiting Government officials and representatives. Performances of traditional dance, theatrical play, singing, and an ethnic costume show were done by children to showcase their artistic talents and cultural roots, in front of nearly 400 guests.

“Today reminds us of the importance of putting children first. We must continue to work together to ensure that families and children are protected from violence and other harmful practices. All children should have a childhood filled with love and care. The NCAWMC extend our sincerest thanks to UNICEF and all development partners for the ongoing support in protecting and supporting Lao children, including the most vulnerable.” said H.E. Mme. Inlavanh Keobounphanh, President of the Lao Women’s Union and Vice Chair of the NCAWMC.

The COVID-19 pandemic has unleashed irreversible impacts on the world over the course of two years. In Lao PDR, countless families faced unprecedented challenges. The pandemic risks increasing levels of harmful practices, such as child marriage and child labour, as a way to combat economic distress. Nationwide school closure hindered children’s learning and threatened their psychosocial well-being, while disruption of health and social services left those in need more vulnerable than ever.

However, under the leadership of the Government of Lao PDR, the country is reopening with adequate safety measures to protect the people of Lao PDR. “As we move towards a post-pandemic world, we must ensure that children and parents are equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to overcome challenges and realize their full potential. The International Children’s Day marks a great opportunity to reinforce our commitments to reimagine a better future for every child, who will be the leaders of our world,” said Ms. Beate Dastel, UNICEF Representative a.i. to Lao PDR.

The series of events are organized with support from UNICEF, the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), ChildFund, and the Australian Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

Media contacts

Ms. Vilayvanh Boupphanouvong
Deputy Permanent Secretary
National Commission for the Advancement of Women and Mothers-Children
Tel: 856-21 316714-5856-20 55774475
Tabongphet Phouthavong
Communication Specialist
UNICEF Lao PDR
Tel: +85621 487520;ext=7520
Tel: +856 20 96888890

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