Protecting children in Laos

Save the Children works to protect children from abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence in Laos. We work to ensure children can enjoy a safe and happy childhood.

In Laos, we are building new systems to protect children from abuse and educating whole communities about child rights.

Why protecting children in Laos is important

In 2012, a Laos government report found alarming trends in the physical punishment of children. Seventy-six percent of children interviewed said they were subject to at least one form of humiliating or physical punishment from an adult in their household.

Save the Children's research in the same year showed corporal punishment is common practice in families and schools. Forms of physical and humiliating punishment at school include being hit with a wooden stick or pulled by the ear; being scolded and made to do chores such as cleaning latrines; or being made to stand for long periods. At home, children are often hit, yelled at, and sometimes witness parents physically and verbally fighting.

Our Strengthening Child Protection Systems program

In Laos, we educate families, teachers, communities and government officials about child protection and child rights. We are working to implement stronger laws  to protect children from exploitation, abuse and neglect.

We also work directly with children to help them respond to concerns around abuse. We establish and support youth clubs, which help to raise awareness about the risk of abuse and child rights.

Save the Children establishes district and provincial committees that receive training on child rights and positive discipline. These committees also work to strengthen child rights within the legal system.

How we know we're making a difference

More than 3600 parents and 90  teachers have a greater understanding of child protection issues and now have more positive behaviour at home and at school. This has been the result of local and district-level networks awareness-raising efforts and regular meetings with communities. Local festivals have also helped to increase awareness.

More than 230 children and 40 youth  have also learnt about their right to protection and participation, and are supporting village Child Protection Networks. We used puppetry, drama and radio to teach children about these important issues.

Who makes our program possible

Save the Children delivers this program in partnership with the Laos government and the Australian government.

Help give children a better future