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Mother and Child Issues on top of Agenda for National Commission

Date: 26 July 2017; Type: Legal News; Source: Vientiane Times

The National Commission for Advancement of Women and Mother and Child (National CWMC) has taken a range of steps to fulfill the Laos government's international commitments promoting gender equality and protecting children.

This issue was tabled for discussion at the National CWMC inauguration plenary held in Vientiane yesterday.

The commission reviewed its work over the past six months and discussed activities to be implemented in the second half of the year.

The Prime Minister's Decree on organisational structure and activities of CWMC, the Prime Minister's Decision on appointing members of the National CWMC and other related regulations were disseminated at yesterday's meeting.

The commission was founded after the eighth government was formed in May last year by combining the National Commission for Advancement of Women and the National Commission for Mother and Child.

The new commission has Deputy Prime Minister, Dr Sonexay Siphandone as its chairman, and the Lao Women's Union (LWU) President and vice president, a minister to Prime Minister, a deputy minister of Planning and Investment, deputy minister of Home Affairs and deputy minister of Justice as vice chairs.

The National CWMC has its secretariat at the LWU office. At the ministerial and ministerial-equivalent organisation level, the commission has deputy ministers and deputy heads as chairman. At the provincial level, it has provincial vice governors as chairman. The commission also has branches in every district and village.

In his opening remarks at the meeting, the Deputy Prime Minister and the National CWMC Chairman, Dr Sonexay Siphandone, called on the officials and staff of the commission to study, discuss, translate and implement the regulations with consensus from the central to the local levels.

Currently, the commission's focus is on the Convent ion on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), enactment of a new Law on Gender Equality, preparation of the combined second and third Lao PDR State Party report to UN Committee on the Rights of Child on the implementation of the Optional Protocol on Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, Optional Protocol on the Sale of Child, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, and Convention on the Rights of Child.

Dr Sonexay called on the commission members at all levels to enhance their efforts to implement the national strategy and action plan on gender equality and mother and child in line with the reality of each sector and locality.

He also called for efforts that contribute to imple menting the country's commitments under regional and international protocols, agreements, conventions and declarations by integrating these activities with the work of their sectors and localities .

Participants were also informed about the planned visit of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Sale of Child, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography to Laos in November.

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