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The National Assembly of the Lao PDR, the Lao Association of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (LAPPD) and the Lao Women Parliamentarians Caucus with the support of the United Nations in Lao PDR organised the first National Parliamentarians Conference on Gender Based Violence (GBV) held in Vientiane on Thursday, 25 November at the International Cooperation and Training Centre (ICTC).

The Conference was an initiative of the National Assembly to familiarise its Members (and others) with the issue of Gender Based Violence, and also to share the experience of neighbouring countries. Members of Parliament from Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand were invited to share details about the work they have done to develop laws on gender based violence, to prevent it taking place, and to develop services for those affected.

The conference marked the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25, and kicked off the "16 Days of Activism to End Violence against Women" campaign where governments and civil society groups work to raise awareness about gender violence.

A number of keynote speakers participated, including H.E. Mdm Pany Yathortou, Vice President of the National Assembly of the Lao PDR; H.E. Mr Somsavat Lengsavad, Deputy Prime Minister and President of the Lao National Commission for the Advancement of Women (LaoNCAW) and Ms. Sonam Yangchen Rana, United Nations Resident Coordinator.

Other keynote speakers included:

  • Hon. Mr Douangdy Outhachak, Chairman of the Social and Cultural Committee, President of LAPPD 
  • Hon Mdm Dr. Bounyong Bouppha, Member of the NA, Director General, National Institute of Public Health
  • Hon Mdm Chantheum Lathmany, Vice President of the Lao Women's Union and member of Parliament
  • Hon Dr. Mdm Souvanpheng Bouphanouvong, Deputy Chair of the Economic, Planning and Financial Committee of the Lao National Assembly
  • Hon Prof Davone Vangvichith, Acting Chairman of the Law Committee
  • Hon. Mdm Ho Naun, Chairwoman of the Commission on Public Health, Social Work, Veteran, Youth Rehabilitation, Labour, Vocational Training and Women's Affairs, National Assembly of Cambodia
  • Hon. Mr. Luong Phan Cu, Vice-Chair of Social Affairs Committee, National Assembly of Vietnam
  • Mr. James Lang, Coordinator for the United Nations Regional Joint Program: Partners for Prevention
  • Ms. Siriporn Skrobanek, Gender Based Violence expert (Thailand)

The Conference organisers noted that many organisations supported the development of this Conference and stressed out the cooperation that now takes place between the Government of Lao PDR, its mass organisations, the UN system, development partners, international NGOs, and others in this complex work.

Members of the Parliamentary Social and Cultural Committee were given firsthand experience of the way in which women and children are harmed by gender based violence, when they visited one village and found that a woman had just been beaten by her husband and was seriously injured.

The National Parliamentarians look forward to this Conference to make the first step in the difficult task of informing everyone about the issue of gender based violence and also to taking action on this matter. They want to ensure that everyone, not only senior government staff but also members of civil society, recognise that women have rights, that they are entitled to respect and equal treatment under the law, and that they are entitled to access to services also.
The National Assembly intends developing a law on gender based violence. It also intends that this draft law will be widely discussed with the community. The National Assembly will require that an annual report on progress will be made to them, so that it can continue to take the lead on this issue, and they hope to inspire all sectors in Lao PDR to work out what they need to do in their respective sectors.

For further information please contact:
Mr. Bounlert Louanedouangchah, 
Director of LAPPD Secretariat 
Tel. (+856 21) 911518
Mobile: (+856) 020 55400219

Mr. Diego De La Rosa
Advocacy and Communication Officer
United Nations Population Fund - UNFPA
Tel: (+856 21) 315547
Mobile: (+856) 020 7791053
E-mail :