Project Childhood launched in Lao PDR
An initiative to combat the sexual exploitation of children in the travel and tourism sectors of the Greater Mekong sub-region was presented in Lao PDR. Project Childhood is a $7.5 million Australian AID (AusAID)-funded initiative focusing on Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Vietnam.
Project Childhood is implemented on the ground by UNODC, INTERPOL, and World Vision in two complementary pillars - the Protection Pillar and the Prevention Pillar. The Protection Pillar, being implemented by UNODC and INTERPOL, will strengthen the capacity of local law enforcement to identify, arrest and prosecute child sex offenders through a package of capacity building activities. The Prevention Pillar will be implemented by World Vision and will strengthen the protective environment for children in travel and tourism - including building community awareness and resilience to sexual exploitation of children.
Project Childhood was recently introduced with a workshop in Vientiane, the capital of Lao PDR. The 80 participants to the "Workshop on Anti Human Trafficking: Universal Periodic Review Recommendations and Combating Child Sex Tourism" included representatives from Lao PDR government ministries, international experts, and representatives from international and national governmental organizations and the media.