Laos’ Human Rights Report Considered By UN Treaty-body

The Lao PDR’s delegation headed by Mr. Bounkeut Sangsomsack, Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office, Chairman of the National Steering Committee on Human Rights participated in the 123rd session of the UN Human Rights Committee in Geneva on 11-12 July 2018 for the consideration of the Lao PDR’s initial report under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) to which the country is a state party since 2009.

The Meeting was chaired by Mr. Yuval Shany, the Chairman of the UN Human Rights Committee, attended by the experts-members of the Committee and the Lao delegation. At the opening of the meeting, Mr. Bounkeut informed the committee of the efforts made by the Lao PDR in implementing the ICCPR, the guarantees of human rights and fundamental freedoms of Lao citizens in the Constitution, the transposition of obligations and commitments under human rights treaties into the domestic legal framework.

He said that over the past 43 years, the Lao PDR has recorded significant achievements in the implementation of the two national strategic tasks of safeguarding and developing the country, which enjoys political stability, sustained continuous economic growth. The Lao people live in peace and national independence. Their living conditions have gradually improved.

The head of the delegation also spoke of the thousands years-long history of the Lao nation and people, particularly the periods when the nation fell under foreign domination and colonization where the Lao people were deprived of basic human rights.

The establishment of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic in 1975 has opened up a new era for the Lao multi-ethnic people to be masters of their own country who have chosen a political system which is most suitable to the historical, social and cultural realities of the nation, as well as is best responsive to the will and aspirations of the Lao multi-ethnic people based on the right to self- determination. The Lao Government has pursued the policies of improving the people’s democracy, building of a rule of law, strengthening the judiciary and access to justice. The Lao PDR has adopted more than 120 laws and other legal documents and ratified 7 human rights treaties and 2 optional protocols out of the 9 core human rights treaties of the United Nations.

The dialogue between the Lao delegation and the Committee on the Lao PDR’s initial report was conducted in an opened, constructive and interactive manner, during which the Lao delegation responded to questions, provided information and clarification to the issues raised by the Committee. The topics of the dialogue included the implementation of the provisions of the Covenant in law and practice, the relationship between treaty and the laws of the Lao PDR, and other topics related to civil and political rights. Practical cases concerning the implementation of ICCPR were also discussed.

Addressing each question raised by the Committee, the Lao delegation took charge in responding in a clear, detail and responsible manner, by referring to the provisions of the Constitution, the provisions of the related laws and regulations of the Lao PDR, the policies, measures and efforts of the Lao government to promote and protect the civil and political rights as contained the Covenant.

The responses by the Lao delegation enabled the Human Rights Committee members and all those interested to have a better understanding of the reality of the realization of human rights in the Lao PDR, the just policies of the Lao government, as well as the legitimacy of the country’s political and governance system which is based on the Constitution, the UN Charter and international law.

The interactive dialogue also provided a good opportunity for the Lao delegates to exchange their lessons and experiences on the promotion and protection of human rights with the experts-members of the Committee.

Source: Lao News Agency