Government Delegation Travels to Geneva for the UN Review of Disability Rights in Laos

The Government Delegation, led by Mr. Padeumphone Sonthany, Vice Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, departs Wattay International Airport bound for Geneva, Switzerland, to participate in the first-time review of the situation of persons with disabilities in Lao PDR by the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), scheduled for 29-30 August 2022.

The Lao PDR was the third country in ASEAN to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2009. Under the Convention, the Government of the Lao PDR is required to undergo regular reviews by the Committee of 18 international experts at the UN in Geneva on the implementation of the Convention.

Under the first-time review of the Lao PDR, the UN Expert Committee will conduct a dialogue with the Government Delegation on a range of issues, including the participation of persons with disabilities in decision-making, their access to education, health, employment, and justice, as well as protection from discrimination and violence. The dialogue will be based on information provided in the Government Report (bit.ly/LaoGovt-CRPDReport), together with the Parallel Reports by a network of national disability organizations (bit.ly/LaoOPDs-CRPD Report) and the UN in the Lao PDR (bit.ly/LaoUNCT-CRPDReport).

The Government Delegation will be represented by the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare, Ministry of Education and Sports, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Justice, National Regulatory Authority for UXO, National Commission for the Advancement of Women, Mothers, and Children, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Lao PDR’s participation in the review was supported by UNDP, UNICEF, OHCHR, Australia, Ireland, Humanity and Inclusion, and Christian Blind Mission (CBM Global).

“The Lao PDR is committed to promoting and protecting the rights of persons with disabilities. With support from donors, a delegation of key ministries will participate in the review by the UN Expert Committee to discuss the progress and challenges in disability inclusion,” noted Mr. Padeumphone Sonthany. “Following the review, we will continue to coordinate across Government to mainstream disability in the implementation of the National Socio-Economic Development Plan.”

Following the review, the UN Expert Committee will issue observations and recommendations for the Government of the Lao PDR to implement before the next review in four years. To support the implementation of recommendations, UNDP will work with key ministries and disability organizations to develop a CRPD National Plan of Action.

Source: Lao News Agency

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