Representatives from Lao Women’s Union (LWU), the National Commission for the Advancement of Women and Mothers and Children (NCAWMC) and UNFPA Lao PDR joined a virtual tour of the one-stop service centre (OSSC) for survivors of gender-based violence (GBV) in Vietnam during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence (16DoA).
The tour is part of the digital approach to exchange information, knowledge, skills, and lessons learned on establishing and operationalizing an OSCC.
The virtual tour was organised to foster synergies, accelerate results and save costs through South-South cooperation. UNFPA Laos and UNFPA Vietnam have shared donors, including KOICA and DFAT.
The UNFPA offices in Laos and Vietnam are also both supporting their host Governments to implement the Essential Services Package for Women and Girls Subject to Violence (ESP), to provide comprehensive, multi-sectoral assistance and services to survivors.
The establishment and operationalisation of OSCCs falls within the roll out of the ESP. This UNFPA organised virtual field visit promotes South-South Triangular Cooperation between government counterparts working in GBV response in the Asia-Pacific region.
The OSSC in Quang Ninh Province of Vietnam – Anh Duong (“Sunshine”) House – aims to (i) provide integrated, survivor centred support for GBV survivors (ii) raise awareness and behaviour change, including encouraging help-seeking behaviours; and (iii) strengthen multi-sectoral coordination mechanism in addressing violence against women and girls.
In the Lao PDR, under the Second National Plan of Action on Preventing and Elimination of Violence Against Women (2021-2025) (NPAVAW) and the Fourth National Plan of Action on Gender Equality (2021-2025) (NPAGE), UNFPA and Government of Laos’ 7th Programme of Cooperation (2022-2026) aims to support the government in upgrading the protection shelters in Vientiane and Savannakhet, as well as establish at least three more shelters in Borikhamxay, Champassak and Attapeu in 2022.
UNFPA aims to support the establishment of more shelters in additional provinces in the next 5-year programme cycle. The protection shelters in Laos provide social services to survivors of violence, including shelter, psychosocial support, medical and legal assistance, essential supplies and vocational training. The shelter staff also conduct community outreach activities.
A 2014 national survey found that about one in three women ever in a relationship in the Lao PDR had experienced physical, sexual and/or emotional violence from their partners. The data from LWU shows that COVID-19 intensified the issue – during strict lockdowns, the number of calls to hotlines operated by LWU surged 3-5 times compared to pre-COVID-19 times. Establishing additional protection shelters that align with the OSSC model has become urgent during the pandemic. Other critical response services include psychosocial counseling, essential social services to survivors, and dignity kits to women and girls in quarantine and isolation.
If you or someone you know requires assistance to be safe from violence or abuse contact the Lao Women’s Union hotline on #1362.
Source: Lao News Agency