Launches a Multi-Sectoral Priority Action Plan in Response to Violence against Children Survey

Action plan in response to Violence against Children Survey

UNICEF Lao PDR
Multi-Sectoral Priority Action Plan in Response to Violence against Children Survey
UNICEF Laos/2018/Saykoson
01 June 2018

On the occasion of Children’s Day, celebrated on 1 June, the Deputy Prime Minister and President of the National Commission for the Advancement of Women, Mothers and Children, Sonxay Siphandone, launched a multi-sectoral response with priority actions to address violence against children in Lao PDR.

In his address, the Deputy Prime minister highlighted that the Government has always given priority to promoting, developing and supporting Lao children to grow up in a safe environment, receive education and have access to basic health services.

“To achieve these objectives and goals, the Government of Lao PDR has developed policies, legislation and budget allocations, and has assigned the concerned sectors at central and local level to implement these policies, emphasizing awareness raising in order to prevent and eliminate violence against children, trafficking and sexual exploitation, and child labour,”

said Mr Siphandone.

The priority actions to address violence against children have been developed in response to the findings of the country’s first national survey on violence against children, which was conducted in 2014 and was carried out by the Lao Statistics Bureau under the lead of the then National Commission for Mothers and Children, with technical and financial support from UNICEF, among other key partners.

The survey found that more than a third of girls and boys in Lao PDR are subjected to some form of violence – physical, emotional or sexual. One in six children experience at least one form of physical violence before the age of 18. Roughly a fifth of children in Lao PDR experience emotional violence at home and 1 in 10 experience some form of sexual abuse as a child. The report revealed that few children ever receive the support they need to recover from their experiences of violence.

Speaking at the launch event, Octavian Bivol, Representative of UNICEF Lao PDR, welcomed the decisive step that the Government has taken to identify priority actions to work towards the elimination of violence against children and emphasised the need for a fundamental shift in the way the protection of children is approached.

“More emphasis must be placed on creating a culture of prevention at all levels, which should form a critical component of the nation’s child protection system,”

Mr Bivol highlighted while acknowledging the important role of partnerships to address violence against children. 

In the past, lack of comprehensive data on the different forms of violence against children and the context in which violence takes place has been one of the major barriers towards effective action to address the issue in Lao PDR. This solid evidence has enabled the Government to produce a set of concrete actions that are tailored to eliminate violence against children in the Lao context.

The multi-sectoral response to the survey findings will be followed by a detailed and costed implementation plan with a monitoring and evaluation framework to monitor implementation of the priority actions. This work will contribute to implementation of the National Plan of Action on the Prevention and Elimination of Violence against Women and Violence against Children (2014-2020) that aims to protect all children in Lao PDR from all forms of violence.