In doing so, Laos aims to fulfil the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 under the Convention of the Rights of the Child.
A meeting on child rights and the SDGs last week was attended by Unicef representative, Mr Otovian Bivol, along with senior officials from the Ministry of Planning and Investment, and other Unicef staff.
Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment, Dr Kikeo Chanthabouly, confirmed Laos’ continuing support for child rights at the meeting, which measured the progress made in child well-being in Laos. Efforts in this regard are aimed at unleashing the potential of the younger generation.
Dr Kikeo said Laos will continue to be an international pioneer in prioritising an understanding of the situation of its children through evidence-based, child-sensitive analysis.
But despite considerable progress, there continue to be significant levels of deprivation among children, according to a report presented at the meeting titled “SDGs and Child Well-being in Laos”.
Only 12 percent of children experience no deprivation while about 70 percent of children under 18 years of age suffer at least two forms of deprivation.
In the areas of nutrition, health, education, early childhood development, child protection, water, sanitation, housing, and information access, about 50 percent of children are deprived in at least three of these areas, according to the report.
The report uses the Lao Social Indicator Survey l as its main data source to assess unmet needs and the rights of children in Laos and shows the commitment of the government to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The country’s actions reflect Laos’ commitment to the international Sustainable Development agenda as well as the national poverty reduction agenda, which are both components of national ambitions for graduation from Least Developed Country (LDC) status by 2024.
A representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Anouparb Vongnorkeo, said that if Laos is to graduate from LDC status, progress in reducing the multidimensional poverty rate has to be monitored to ensure that gains are being made in the right direction.
He said that realising the cognitive and human capital of Laos’ generation 2030 requires urgently providing children with their basic needs and fulfilling their rights. National budgets must be directed at wiping out numerous deprivations during childhood and adolescence, as these can have irreversible effects on the productivity and social participation of children.
Alleviating the severity of deprivation among children today will contribute enormously towards the economic growth and overall productivity of the country for a better and more prosperous Laos, Mr Anouparb said.