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Laos looks to toughen response to human trafficking

Article from Vientiane Times
Author: Vientiane Times Staff
Published: 20/09/2011
Newspaper section: International Cooperation

A Project Steering Committee meeting for the X26 project called 'Strengthening Criminal Justice Responses to Human Trafficking in Laos' was held in Vientiane on September 15. The X26 project is a threeyear-project implemented by the Ministry of Justice and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime with funding from the United States, through its Department of State's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.

The project, initiated in March this year under the overall guidance of the National Steering Committee on Human Trafficking, aims to strengthen Laos' capacity to implement its laws to effectively prevent, investigate and prosecute human trafficking, and to protect and empower victims of trafficking.

The steering committee ensures overall supervision and monitoring of the project for effective implementation.

Yesterday's meeting, which was co-chaired by Deputy Minister of Justice Mr Ket Kiettisack and UNODC Lao Country Office Representative Mr Leik Boonwaat, was to report on progress to date and discuss proposed plans.

The participants came from across the Lao legal sector, including the Secretariat to the National Steering Committee on Human Trafficking. The project has five main areas of intervention, including legal reform on human trafficking; capacitybuilding and training of legal and law enforcement officials, and victim service providers; cross-border cooperation on human trafficking; awarenessraising on human trafficking, Lao laws and victims' rights at grassroots level and through media and victim empowerment; and protection through strengthening access to services and legal assistance.