Overview Country Lao People’s Democratic Republic 1/ Background Statistics Human development index rank 122 1 GNI per capita (PPP in US$) 2,321 1 Life expectancy at birth (years) 65.9 1 Mean years of schooling (years) 4.6 1 Expected years of schooling (years) 9.2 1 Total population 6,201,000 2 2/ Disability Statistics Population of persons with disabilities 86,442,000 3 Proportion of persons with disabilities to 8 per cent 3, a total population Employment rate of persons with .. disabilities Access to education .. 3/ Definitions Definition of disability .. The Law on Hygiene, Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (2001) states that the term "handicapped" connotes 'a person who has Definition of persons with disabilities suffered a reduction in the use of his limbs' and "disabled" connotes "a person who has suffered a reduction in the use of his physical senses". Categories of impairment .. 4/ Commitment to Regional and International Instruments on Disability Ratification of ILO Convention 159 No 4 Ratification or signatory of Convention on Signed Convention on 15 January 2008; Ratified the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Convention on 25 September 2009 5 (CRPD), and its Optional Protocol Ratification or signatory of Convention on Signed Convention on 3 December 2008; Ratified Cluster Munitions Convention on 18 March 2009 6 5/ Legal Framework Constitution of the Lao People’s Democratic Constitutional provisions Republic (2001, chap. II, art. 48; chap. IV, art. 39) Disability-specific laws Draft decree on the rights of persons with Comprehensive disabilities (2001) Overview Country Lao People’s Democratic Republic Sectoral .. Law on Hygiene, Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (2001); Amended Labour Law (2007a); Decree 178/PM on a Social Security Disability-inclusive laws Scheme for Government Workers (1993); Decree on Social Security Scheme for Corporate Employees (2000) 6/ Policy Framework Disability-specific policies Action Plan of the National Strategy for People Comprehensive with Disability in Lao PDR (2000) Development Policy of Rehabilitation for the Handicapped Sector from 1996 to 2000 and Sectoral Beyond (2001); Strategic Plan on Rehabilitation and Development of Disabled Persons 2000-2003 Disability-inclusive .. 7/ Institutional Framework The national coordination mechanism or National Commission for People with Disabilities disability focal point Sources: 1. United Nations Development Programme (2010). Human Development Report 2010 (New York, UNDP). 2. United Nations (2011). World Population Prospects: The 2010 Revision, accessed from http://esa.un.org/unpd/wpp/index.htm on 30 May 2011. 3. ESCAP (2006). Questionnaire on the Mid-Point Review of the Implementation of the Biwako Millennium Framework for Action towards an Inclusive, Barrier-Free and Rights-Based Society for Persons with Disabilities in Asia and the Pacific (BMF), answers from the respective Government on file with ESCAP. 4. International Labour Organization (2011). “Convention No. C 159”, accessed from www.ilo.org/ilolex/cgi-lex/ratifce.pl?C159 on 30 May 2011. 5. United Nations (2011). “Convention and Optional Protocol Signatures and Ratifications”, on the United Nations Enable website, accessed from www.un.org/disabilities/countries.asp?navid=12&pid=166 on 30 May 2011. 6. Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) (2008). “Ratifications and Signatures”, accessed from www.clusterconvention.org/ratifications-and-signatures on 30 May 2011. Notes: a. World Health Organization estimate. Comprehensive 1. Definitions a) Disability .. b) Persons with disabilities The Law on Hygiene, Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (2001) states that the term "handicapped" connotes 'a person who has suffered a reduction in the use of his limbs' and "disabled" connotes "a person who has suffered a reduction in the use of his physical senses" (Lao People's Democratic Republic 2001, art. 28, note 9). c) Categories of impairment .. 2. Legal framework a) Constitutional provisions Constitution of the Lao People's Democratic Republic, 2003 [English] – [Lao] The disability-related provisions under the Constitution are as follows: o Chapter 2 on the Socio-Economic Regime states that “the State and society attend to implementing policies on social security, especially towards national heroes, soldiers, retired civil servants, disabled people, [and the] families of those who have sacrificed their lives for the revolution and who have contributed extensively to the nation.” (Lao People’s Democratic Republic 2003, chap. 2, art. 28) o Chapter 4 on the Fundamental Rights and Obligations of Citizens states that “Lao citizens have the right to work and engage in occupations which are not contrary to the laws. Working people have the right to rest, to receive medical treatment in times of illness, [and] to receive assistance in the event of incapacity or disability, in old age, and in other cases as provided by the laws.” (Lao People’s Democratic Republic 2003, chap. 2, art. 39) b) Disability-specific laws and regulations i. Comprehensive disability-specific laws and regulations A draft decree on the rights of persons with disabilities (Lao People's Democratic Republic 2006) has been developed in 2006-2007 by the Lao National Disabled People's Association, which aims to provide access to transportation, education and vocational training and employment facilities with the private and governmental sectors to persons with disabilities (O’Brien 2009). ii. Sectoral disability-specific laws and regulations Law on Hygiene, Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 2001 [English] – [Lao] The Law on Hygiene, Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (Lao People’s Democratic Republic 2001), has specific provisions for the health promotion of “handicapped” and "disabled persons". Article 32 on the "Health Care for Elderly, Handicapped and Disabled Persons" provides for close monitoring of the health of persons with disabilities as they are persons "with diminished strength and physical force, and in reduced health". The Law directs families, organizations and the society shall pay attention to the health care of "handicapped and disabled persons, and mentally disturbed persons" through the provision of health services. The Law also calls for "creating conditions for elderly, handicapped and disabled persons to live appropriate lives, to rest, and to be able to contribute to social activities." (Lao People's Democratic Republic 2001, art. 32) Amended Labour Law, 2006 [English] – [Lao] The Amended Labour Law (Lao People's Democratic Republic 2007a) replaces the Labour Law No. 002/NA, dated 14 March 1994. Article 26 entitled “Acceptance of Handicapped or Disabled Persons to Work” directs labour units to “give priority to disabled or handicapped persons to work in their units in accordance with their abilities and skills, and shall give them suitable positions with regular salary or wages as other general workers”. Workers who become handicapped as a result of work-related accidents or occupational diseases are entitled to allowances paid by the employer. The Law mandates employers and employees to contribute to a Social Security Fund which will be used to ensure the basic material and moral needs of employees and their families in case of disabilities and other difficulties. Decree 178/PM dated November 30, 1993 on a Social Security Scheme for Government Workers [English] – [Lao] The Decree covers issues on the authentication and allowances for amputee personnel. Article 6.4 warrants that for amputees wishing to have a prosthetic and orthotic facility, the Social Security Fund will cover 100 per cent of the value allocated by the State. The nationwide implementation of this Decree is carried out through the coordination between the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare and relevant sectional authority (JICA 2002). Decree on Social Security Scheme for Corporate Employees, 2000 [English] – [Lao] This Decree (JICA 2002) is targeted at employees working in state-owned, private, and joint- venture enterprises of the industrial, agricultural, servicing sectors and others that employ more than 10 personnel. o Article 54 establishes an allowance for work accidents and professional diseases including medical treatment and rehabilitation, allowance for temporary loss of working ability, allowance for the care giver (attending person), allowance for person with permanent loss of working ability, funeral allowance, and allowance for families of persons with disabilities. o Article 56 states that, with respect to a temporary loss of working ability, an employee who has insurance, who takes leave due to a work accident and/or professional disease is entitled to a temporary loss of working ability allowance until return to duty. c) Disability-inclusive laws and regulations .. 3. Policies and plans a) Disability-specific policies and plans i. Comprehensive disability-specific policies and plans Action Plan of the National Strategy for People with Disability in Lao PDR, 2000 [English] – [Lao] Developed by the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare, with the support of UNDP, and other international and local stakeholders, the Action Plan of the National Strategy for People with Disability in Lao PDR, 2002 (JICA 2002) includes the following priorities: o Creation of a comprehensive medical system that included rehabilitation; o Linkage of early rehabilitation with education; o Implementation of vocational rehabilitation programmes; o Reintegration into society (through increasing community sensitization and access to information and transportation). ii. Sectoral disability-specific policies and plans In a paper presented by the Government of Lao People’s Democratic Republic during the Regional Workshop towards a Comprehensive and Integral International Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities (Lao People's Democratic Republic 2003b), the following policies were outlined: Development Policy of Rehabilitation for the Handicapped Sector from 1996 to 2000 and Beyond [English] – [Lao] The Ministry of Public Health in 1996 issued the Development Policy of Rehabilitation for the Handicapped Sector from 1996 to 2000 and Beyond which sets out the nation’s proposals for supplying rehabilitation services for persons with disabilities in relation to training, prosthetics and orthotics, special education and vocational training and socialization (Lao People’s Democratic Republic 2003). Strategic Plan on Rehabilitation and Development of Disabled Persons 2000-2003 [English] – [Lao] The Strategic Plan on Rehabilitation and Development of Disabled Persons 2000-2003 identifies the following priority areas for the period indicated: 1. coordination of planning at the national level, 2. law, 3. information for persons with disabilities, 4. public awareness about the Decade of Persons with Disabilities, 5. support for persons with disabilities amongst ethnic minorities, 6. educational rehabilitation, 7. vocational rehabilitation and promotion of employment for persons with disabilities, 8. prevention of disability, 9. physical rehabilitation, 10. equipment and aid kits for persons with disabilities, 11. promotion and encouragement of self-help activities for persons with disabilities and 12. strengthening regional cooperation (Lao People’s Democratic Republic 2003). b) Disability-inclusive policies and plans .. 4. Institutional framework and Government focal point Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare The Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare provides persons with disabilities with vocational training, employment and caring for victims of war and Unexploded Ordnance (UXO). Organizations under the Ministry are (1) the Department of Old Veterans and Welfare (at the central level) and (2) the Provincial Labour and Social Welfare Service and Old Veterans and Welfare Division (at other levels). National Commission for Disabled Persons The National Commission for Disabled Persons is a cross-Ministerial body headed by the Minister of Labor and Social Welfare. Commission Board members include the Vice-Ministers of Health, Education and Foreign Affairs, as well as staff from related Ministries. The Commission is mandated to represent and protect the legal rights of persons with disabilities, gather data on disability, develop and propose policies on disability, exchange information about disability with other countries, raise general awareness about disability and encourage the public to help persons with disabilities, to prevent disability, to establish an association for persons with disabilities, reduce barriers to access for persons with disabilities, develop rehabilitation and employment programmes for persons with disabilities, prepare a plan of action on disability, promote community-based rehabilitation, develop legislation supporting persons with disabilities, set up a network of organization to support persons with disabilities throughout the country, attend international events and seek support for persons with disabilities. The Secretariat of the National Commission for Disabled Persons is the focal point within the Government on matters relating to persons with disabilities, including implementation of the Convention. 5. Useful links National Assembly of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic www.na.gov.la Lao PDR Country Profile on Asia Pacific Development Center on Disability www.apcdfoundation.org/?q=content/lao-pdr 6. References International Labour Organization (ILO) (1998). "People with Disabilities in Lao PDR, Training for Employment and Income Generation: Key Issues and Potential Strategies", accessed from http://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1134&context=gladnetcollect on 30 May 2011. Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) (2002). "Country Profile on Disability, Lao People's Democratic Republic", accessed from http://gwweb.jica.go.jp/km/FSubject0601.nsf/3b8a2d403517ae4549256f2d002e1dcc/54a619bb76f d92034925727d0008246b/$FILE/LaoPDR(2002).pdf on 30 May 2011. Lao People's Democratic Republic (2001). Law on Hygiene, Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (translation Endorsed by the Law Committee of the National Assembly of the Lao PDR), accessed from www.la.emb- japan.go.jp/jp/laos/Law_on_Hygiene,_Disease_Prevention_and_Health_Promotion.pdf on 30 May 2011. _______ (2003a). Decree of the President of the Lao People's Democratic Republic on the Promulgation of the Amended Constitution of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, accessed from www.la.emb-japan.go.jp/jp/laos/Law_on_Lao_Nationality.pdf on 30 May 2011. _______ (2003b). "Review Paper – Laos", presented at the Regional Workshop towards a Comprehensive and Integral International Convention on Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities Bangkok, Thailand, 14-17 October 2003, accessed from www.worldenable.net/bangkok2003a/paperlao.htm on 6 October 2010. _______ (2006). Draft decree on the rights of persons with disabilities. _______ (2007a). Amended Labour Law, accessed from www.na.gov.la/docs/eng/laws/soc_cult/Labour%20(2006)%20Eng.pdf on 30 May 2011. _______ (2007b). Decree on the Promulgation of the Amended Labour Law, accessed from www.la.emb-japan.go.jp/jp/laos/Law_on_Labour.pdf on 30 May 2011. _______ (2009). Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare, electronical communication with ESCAP.O'Brien, Richard (2009). “Summary of Lao People’s Democratic Republic response to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)”, presented at the ESCAP Expert Group Meeting on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Bangkok, Thailand, 8 – 10 June 2009. Last updated: 2 June 2011.