IOM Joins Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare to Support Migrants in Vientiane Quarantine Centre


Vientiane – On 26 June 2020, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare (MoLSW) visited the Quarantine Centre KM 27 in Vientiane Capital.

Nine representatives from IOM and MoLSW took part in the half-day visit, which was the first activity under IOM’s COVID-19 Response Project. The visit was an opportunity to better understand the needs and vulnerabilities of returned migrants and included key informant interviews with the quarantine management and migrants themselves.

The project team distributed 260 direct assistance packs with information, education, and communication (IEC) materials to migrants staying at the centre. The packs included items to support their everyday needs while in quarantine and for their onward journey, and provided information on COVID-19 prevention, employment opportunities, and psychosocial and counselling support available.

IOM handed over additional IEC materials and two loudspeakers for broadcasting safe migration and HIV/AIDS prevention messages for migrants staying at KM 27.

Khamkeo MAHASAY, Deputy Director of Labour and Social Welfare Department, Vientiane Capital, thanked IOM for the continued support, and shared his experience as the co-manager of the facility, “Many migrants do not have the resources to return (to Lao People’s Democratic Republic), they are susceptible to human trafficking as ill-intended brokers may defraud them on their journey back.”

IOM is extremely concerned over the impact of COVID-19 on groups who were already vulnerable before the crisis, and that includes migrant workers in precarious livelihoods or irregular situations.

Since 23 March 2020, 1,685 returnees have undergone mandatory quarantine at KM 27.  The 240 en-suite rooms each can accommodate up to two people of the same gender or family members. Drinking water and food are provided to all occupants with support from development partners.

This visit is part of IOM’s project Enhancing COVID-19 Pandemic Preparedness to Migrants and Mobility Affected Communities in Lao People’s Democratic Republic, generously supported by the People of Japan.

For more information please contact Karen HO at IOM Vientiane. Tel. + 856 (0)21 267 734. Email:

  • Anousone KHAMSINGSAVATH, Director General of Skills Development and Employment Department MoLSW, and Zena Van Bemmel-Faulkner, Officer-in-charge of IOM distribute direct assistance packs to migrants.

  • Each pack consists of 11 items, including: shirt, instant noodles, canned fish, bottled water, washing detergent, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, towel, soap, and mosquito repellent.

  • There are five quarantine buildings in KM27.