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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

Laos becomes first country in Southeast Asia to ban corporal punishment of children

Thongloun Sisoulith, General Secretary of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party and President of Laos

Various Sources

The Lao People's Democratic Republic under the leadership of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party has achieved a significant milestone by becoming the first country in Southeast Asia and the 66th state worldwide to fully prohibit corporal punishment of children. This historic ban was celebrated by the Ministry of Justice in Laos on the International Day to End Corporal Punishment of Children, April 30.

The Law on the Protection of the Rights and Interests of Children now prohibits all forms of violent punishment for children in Laos. This includes corporal punishment in various settings such as homes, schools, and other spaces.

The amended law aligns with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Plan of Action for the Elimination of Violence Against Children 2016-2025.

Laos aims to strengthen its child protection systems and enforce the rights of every child. The prohibition of corporal punishment is part of a comprehensive strategy to bolster child protection and address violence against children across all environments.

The law reform process involved comprehensive consultations with children and youth across six provinces and in Vientiane. Multiple ministries and stakeholders collaborated to embed children’s rights within Laos’ legislative framework.

UNICEF commended Laos for advancing child rights through this legislation.

Laos’ proactive steps demonstrate its commitment to creating a safer environment for children and promoting their well-being. By banning corporal punishment, Laos joins the global movement toward a more compassionate and protective approach to child discipline



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