26 July 2021

Psychological First Aid (PFA) and Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) Training Module

The Psychological First Aid and Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Training Manual for Sub-national Social Service Workforce in Lao PDR presents necessary knowledge and skills required for the social service workforce to identify, prevent and respond to psychosocial and mental health needs of people during emergencies, such as natural disaster and pandemic situations, including COVID-19. The training manual includes contextualized examples, practical cases and useful tips on the provision of a wide range of psychological, psychosocial and mental health services tailored to the needs of affected people, and to help them recover and build long-term resilience. The team who developed this booklet consists of the staff members from the Department of Social Welfare of the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare, professional psychologists and child protection specialists from UNICEF Lao PDR. The training materials were developed based on adaptation and modification from existing materials from various sources, including UNICEF, WHO, IOM, Save the Children, World Vision, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Mercy Malaysia and more. The Ministry of Education and Sport, Lao Youth Union, Lao Women’s Union, National University of Laos, Provincial Labour Social Welfare in Vientiane Capital, Friend International, SOS, Village Focus International, Vientiane Youth Centre provided their feedback and suggestions to finalize the manual. This book was produced as part of the Integrated Programme for Climate Resilience and Empowerment in Attapeu Province, Lao PDR – Child Protection (2020-2023), supported by KOICA and UNICEF. MOLSW endorsed the use of this book for nationwide use.
20 July 2021

Assessment of the Child Protection system in Lao PDR

The Assessment of the Child Protection System in Lao PDR was conducted by Child Frontiers for the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare, in collaboration with the members of the Committee of the Protection and Assistance of Children (CPAC) with support from UNICEF. This assessment report presents detailed findings on the functioning and effectiveness of existing components of the child protection system in Lao PDR and the experiences of children and families in contact with the system. This is crucial for expanding the knowledge and understanding of the current child protection system and identifying capacity caps and workforce development needs. The assessment methodology adopted elements of action research as well as traditional research strategies, utilising both quantitative and qualitative tools for collecting information, including data collection at the national level and sub-national levels, including in Xienkhouang and Attapeu Provinces. This initiative represents an important milestone towards achieving the goals of the Strategic Plan for Social Welfare Development 2011-2020 and is designed to contribute to an ambitious programme led by the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare (MOLSW) to articulate a vision for a child protection system that is based on the Lao context, resources and national aspirations. The preliminary findings were presented for review and validation to the National Working Committee established for the system visioning process chaired by MOLSW and comprised of national child protection actors including representatives from the National Commission for the Advancement of Women, Mothers – Children, Lao Women’s Union, Office of the People’s Supreme Prosecutor, Ministry of Planning and Investment, Ministry of Education and Sports,  Ministry of Home Affairs, Lao Youth Union and the Office of the Prime Minister. Development partners and civil society representatives from Save the Children, Plan International, World Vision, Friends International, ChildFund and other agencies have also provided valuable input to prelimary versions of this report.
27 May 2021

Cyberbullying: What is it and how to stop it

“What would you like to know about cyberbullying?” We posed this question to young people and received thousands of responses from around the world. We brought together UNICEF specialists, international cyberbullying and child protection experts, and teamed up with Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to answer the questions and give their advice on…, 2. What are the effects of cyberbullying?, When bullying happens online it can feel as if you’re being attacked everywhere, even inside your own home. It can seem like there’s no escape. The effects can last a long time and affect a person in many ways: Mentally — feeling upset, embarrassed, stupid, even angry  Emotionally — feeling ashamed or losing interest in the things you love…, 3. Who should I talk to if someone is bullying me online? Why is reporting important?, If you think you’re being bullied, the first step is to seek help from someone you trust such as your parents, a close family member or another trusted adult.In your school you can reach out to a counsellor, the sports coach or your favourite teacher. And if you are not comfortable talking to someone you know,  search for a helpline in your…, 4. I’m experiencing cyberbullying, but I’m afraid to talk to my parents about it. How can I approach them?, If you are experiencing cyberbullying, speaking to a trusted adult – someone you feel safe talking to – is one of the most important first steps you can take. Talking to parents isn’t easy for everyone. But there are things you can do to help the conversation. Choose a time to talk when you know you have their full attention. Explain how serious…, 5. How can I help my friends report a case of cyberbullying especially if they don’t want to do it?, Anyone can become a victim of cyberbullying. If you see this happening to someone you know, try to offer support. It is important to listen to your friend. Why don’t they want to report being cyberbullied? How are they feeling? Let them know that they don’t have to formally report anything, but it’s crucial to talk to someone who might be able to…, 6. How do we stop cyberbullying without giving up access to the Internet?, Being online has so many benefits. However, like many things in life, it comes with risks that you need to protect against. If you experience cyberbullying, you may want to delete certain apps or stay offline for a while to give yourself time to recover. But getting off the Internet is not a long-term solution. You did nothing wrong, so why should…, 9. Internet companies don’t seem to care about online bullying and harassment. Are they being held responsible?, Internet companies are increasingly paying attention to the issue of online bullying. Many of them are introducing ways to address it and  better protect their users  with  new tools, guidance and ways to report  online abuse. But it is true that even more is needed. Many young people experience cyberbullying every day. Some face extreme forms of…