Laos to clamp down on sexual exploitation of children

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Article from Vientiane Times
Author: Vientiane Times Reporters
Published: 30/10/2012
Newspaper section: International Cooperation

The Ministry of Justice is strengthening the legal framework concerning offences relating to the sexual exploitation of children in tourism.

A workshop to discuss the issue took place at Thalad, Vientiane, earlier this week, organised by the Ministry of Justice and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and supported by the AusAID-funded Project Childhood.

The main objective of the workshop, which was the fourth of its kind in Laos in recent months, was to finalise UNODC's legal report on Laos regarding the sexual exploitation of children by travelling child sex offend ers.

The discussions, chaired by Chief of Cabinet of the Ministry of Justice, Mr Vilath Phiewon, brought together law enforcement officials, justice officials, prosecutors, police officers, judges and other relevant officials to discuss and review the plan to tighten Laos' child protection laws.

Also attending the workshop were representatives from 21 government organisations, UNODC, and World Vision.

Those involved in tackling the issue hope that by making the law more comprehensive, law enforcement officials will be able to better combat the sexual exploitation of children in tourism and ensure that laws meet international standards .

During the workshop the Ministry of Justice set out its plan of action to strengthen the legislative framework regarding the sexual exploitation of children by travelling child sex offend ers.

Discussions concluded with concrete recom-mendations, in particular the agreement to review Lao legislation on the subject in 2013 and 2014.