Lao Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, ILO and IOM Mark International Migrants Day 2020

International Migrants Day

Lao People’s Democratic Republic – On 22 December, more than 200 students from around the Vientiane Capital gathered at the Faculty of Engineering, National University of Laos (NUOL) to commemorate International Migrants Day observed globally on 18 December.

The event was held to communicate the importance of safe, dignified and effective migration to young aspirant migrants. A short video on the rights and protection mechanisms for women migrant workers was screened to raise awareness among the public. Panelists then discussed the importance and challenges of safe migration and ways to minimize risks of exploitation throughout different stages of the migration cycle.

Opening the event, Ms. Shareen Tuladhar, Chief of Mission at the International Organization for Migration (IOM), noted, “Migration, when conducted safely with order and dignity, has endless advantages: better job opportunities, as well as chance to learn new skills, languages and integrate new cultures.” Ms. Khemphone Phaokhamkeo, Country Coordinator of the International Labour Organization (ILO), added that migration must be a free and careful decision guided by accurate evidence. “It is when migration is conducted wisely and through a regular channel that migrants can be given more rights and protection,” she said.

Ms. Anousone Khamsingsavath, Director General of Skills Development and Employment Department (SDED) of Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare (MoLSW), urged relevant sectors to continue disseminating knowledge on safe migration while enforcing relevant decrees.

At the venue, booths were set up by IOM, ILO, MoLSW, Lao Disabled Women’s Development Centre and Village Focus International to demonstrate their ongoing migrant-inclusive activities in Lao People’s Democratic Republic and raise awareness on migration-related issues among the youth.

This year, International Migrants Day was observed under the theme of ‘reimagining human mobility’, bringing relevant parties together to acknowledge the risks and hardships migrants face under mobility restrictions caused by COVID-19, and the contributions they make in our fight against and recovery from the pandemic. It was restated that the pandemic cannot be used as an excuse to roll back our commitments to promote and protect the rights of migrants.

There are currently more young people in the world than ever; the youth population reaches 1.8 billion - the largest generation in history. IOM seeks to engage young members of the community in a dialogue to exchange knowledge on anticipated challenges of migration, boost their potential to respond to emerging issues and opportunities to migrate, and uplift youths on the move to ensure their safe migration journey and successful integration into destination countries.

For more information please contact Suhyun PARK at IOM Vientiane. Tel. + 856 (0)55 136 294. Email: [email protected]

  • More than 200 students participated in the celebration at the National University of Laos. Photo: IOM Lao PDR/Suhyun Park

  • Ms. Shareen Tuladhar, Chief of Mission at IOM, giving opening remarks. Photo: IOM Lao PDR/Suhyun Park

  • Panelists leading a dialogue on the benefits and challenges of migration. Photo: IOM Lao PDR/Suhyun Park

  • Students signing a pledge of commitment to respect the right and dignity of all migrants. Photo: IOM Lao PDR/Suhyun Park