Lao PDR reaffirms goal of ending child poverty on World Children’s Day

World Children’s Day is celebrated each year to mark the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and raise awareness about critical issues affecting children.

18 November 2022
CRC Consultation
UNICEF Laos/2022/OVannasouk

Vientiane Capital, 18 November 2022 – ​​​​​​Today, senior leaders of the Government of Lao PDR, Vice Governors from all 18 provinces of the country, representatives from the private sector, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), civil society, UNICEF and children gathered to take stock of Lao PDR’s progress in addressing child poverty on the occasion of World Children’s Day 2022.

World Children’s Day is globally celebrated on 20 November each year to mark the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and is aimed at raising awareness about the critical issues affecting children’s lives.

Building on the previous year’s focus on COVID-19 recovery, the theme of this year’s World Children’s Day will place a greater emphasis on children’s inclusivity in the pandemic recovery process.

At the high-level meeting, the various stakeholders presented their progress in the implementation of their previous commitment to reducing child poverty between 2021 and 2022 while also reviewing the situation of children in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Today’s meeting is an important one as it affords us the opportunity to evaluate and discuss our previous commitments toward the implementation of the CRC, the development of Lao Generation 2030, SDG 1.2 and our efforts to reduce child poverty between 2021-2022, alongside our plans to further reduce multi-dimensional child poverty in 2023,” said H.E. Dr. Inlavanh Keobounphanhມ President of the Lao Women’s Union

Vice President of the National Commission for Advancement of Women, Mothers and children of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic in her opening remarks during the meeting.

The stakeholders agreed during the meeting to make children and young people the priority in the country’s national COVID-19 recovery efforts and agreed to accelerate their progress towards reducing child poverty throughout all 18 provinces in Lao PDR by increasing investments in key areas such as education, child protection, health, nutrition, sanitation and social protection among others. The stakeholders further discussed context-specific commitments and actions to tackle children-related issues in the next year while children also provided their feedback and suggestions to ensure that these plans are reflective of their needs.

“From our experience of the COVID-19 pandemic so far, one thing is clear: it is key that we prioritise children in our pandemic recovery plans and hearing directly from children will help ensure that our plans are responsive to their needs,” remarked Dr. Pia Rebello Britto, UNICEF Representative to Lao PDR. “Now, more than ever, is the time for us to take stock of our progress, look forwards and ask how can we better address critical issues affecting children in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is precisely the purpose behind our meeting today,” she added.

In addition to this high-level meeting, UNICEF is also organising a series of advocacy events for World Children’s Day 2022 in Lao PDR, including a morning fun run and a children’s fair on 19 November. With World Children’s Day this year coinciding with the football World Cups, the fun fair will also be centred around the theme of football and sports.

On 20 November, which is World Children’s Day itself, children will also be taking over the Lao National Television and Lao National Radio to voice their concerns and aspirations, while Lao PDR’s iconic Patuxai monument will also be lit up in blue on the same day in support of children’s rights throughout the country.

UNICEF Laos/2022/OVannasouk

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