Press Release

Private Sector Investment in Lao’s Human Capital

17 September 2020
@Photo l Participants of Consultation on Noi Friendly Business Criteria

Vientiane, Lao PDR, 17 September 2020 - Recognising that the business sector has a critical role to play in achieving the sustainable development goals, including through the human capital investments in Lao, UNFPA and the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare organized a stakeholder consultation on Noi Friendly Business Criteria. The meeting gathered representatives of Ministries, civil society, development agencies, and the private sector.

The consultation meeting today is a part of the Noi 14th Anniversary celebrations which will take place on 14 October 2020. We are going to hear feedback and suggestions for Noi Friendly Business Criteria, the support from the private sectors is significant in order to achieve Noi Framework 2030,  Mr. Thiphasone Soukhathammavong, Deputy Director-General, Department of Planning and International Cooperation.

The Noi approach, launched in 2016 to raise awareness, build partnerships, and increase investment in adolescent girls and boys to enable them to achieve their full potential. Noi represents the Lao adolescent girls and the Noi 2030 Framework aligned with Sustainable Development Goals aims to bring to zero the rates of anaemia among adolescent girls, adolescent pregnancy, school drop-out, child marriage, and child labour by 2030.

Noi Friendly Business Criteria include a set of actions for the business sector to protect the well being of their workers. It focuses on the obstacles faced by adolescent girls and young people especially:  malnutrition, limited education, and access to information and services on sexual and reproductive health, and learning essential life skills.

@Photo l UNFPA staff present on the information of Noi Friendly Business Criteria
@Photo l UNFPA staff present on the information of Noi Friendly Business Criteria

Empowering and investing in adolescents and young people, especially adolescent girls, is essential for reducing poverty and ensuring sustainable development in Laos. Lao PDR has a young population with 58% population below 25 years. The next few decades will provide a “window of opportunity” for realizing a “demographic dividend”, an accelerated socio-economic development that can arise when there are more workers than dependents in a country. The workers have to be healthy, educated, empowered, and employed.

Participants debated the business criteria to adapt them to the realities, make them achievable. They include specific interventions that increase awareness of youth and women’s rights, such as national strategy for the prevention of gender-based violence, the legal age of marriage, etc. They also cover employers responsibilities to combat child labor, harassment and sexual exploitation amongst other items “What is good for employees is also good for business, studies across the world show that business which invests in employee health and well being have higher returns and profits.”  said Ms. Mariam A. Khan, UNFPA Representative

The Noi friendly Business Criteria will be presented during the commemoration of the International Day of the Girl Child where Noi will celebrate her 14th anniversary.

For more information please contact:

Mr. Tej Ram Jat, Programme Specialist- Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health, UNFPA Lao PDR

Email: tejram@unfpa.org

 

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UNFPA, the UN's sexual and reproductive health agency, works in over 150 countries including Lao PDR, to achieve zero maternal deaths, zero unmet need for family planning and zero gender-based violence and harmful practices towards women and girls.