See also:

UNODC and GTIP Supports Strengthened Protection for Human Trafficking Victims

Ms.    Ketsone Philaphandet, Country Program Director of Friends International receives the small grant from Mr. Leik Boonwaat, UNODC Representative to the Lao PDR.

13 February 2012 - Friends-International, received a small grant of US$ 5000 from UNODC.  The small grant will help strengthen the capacity of Friends International's staff to protect street children from risk behaviors including human trafficking and illegal migration on related legal issues and will improve the referral system for the support and reintegration of trafficking victims, especially male victims, between Thailand and Lao PDR. Friends International has been working with street children in Laos for many years and is operating a shelter for about 70 street children, providing them with a safe environment, education and training while efforts to reintegrate them back with their families go on.

The Government of the Lao PDR is committed in the fight against trafficking in human beings.  The Country ratified the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) and the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (the TIP Protocol) attached thereto in 2003.  To date, both Government and civil society organizations have made many efforts to prevent human trafficking, as well as protect and support returning victims in rehabilitation and reintegration to society.  The Government agencies have made coordinated efforts to strengthen their capacity to prosecute traffickers.  The National Assembly plans to draft a comprehensive anti-human trafficking law as an effective tool for prevention, prosecution and protection.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is currently implementing the LAOX26 Project: Strengthening Criminal Justice Responses to Human Trafficking in Lao PDR.  The Project is supported by the Government of the United States of America.  The Project intends to empower victims of human trafficking through greater access to legal services and referrals, as one of its different outcomes.  To achieve the outcome, the Project is  strengthening the  capacity of victim service providers.