2nd Cycle UPR Recommendations

Each of the 196 recommendations is listed below, followed by whether it was Accepted or Noted. Government responses are also listed in italics.

121.1  Continue to exert efforts to accede to the international human rights instruments, to which it is not yet a party (Republic of Korea) Accepted

121.2  Ratify additional human rights conventions and reinforce efforts to combat child labour (Angola) Accepted

121.3   Ratify the remaining international human rights conventions and continue without delay to harmonize its national legislation with the Lao PDR’s international obligations under the respective human rights conventions, and implement them in policy and practice and strengthen its legal complaints system to ensure that most vulnerable groups have effective access to justice (Finland) Accepted

121.4  Ratify the 2nd Optional Protocol to the ICCPR aiming at the abolition of the death penalty (Montenegro); Accede to the ICCPR-OP 2, aimed at abolition of the death penalty (Poland)

Noted:  As the Second Optional Protocol concerns the death penalty, please see 121.85 in which the reasons and explanations why the Lao PDR is not ready to repeal provisions on death penalty.

121.5  Ratify the Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR (Italy)

Noted:  See 121.4

121.6   Ratify the Second Optional to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture; and the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Portugal)

Noted: The Lao PDR ratified the ICCPR, CAT and ICESCR and has been concentrating its efforts on the effective and successful implementation of the conventions provisions as the first priority. At this stage, the Lao PDR is not ready to become a party to their optional protocols.

121.7 Consider acceding to or, ratifying the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty (Slovenia)

Noted: See 121.4

121.8 Abolish the death penalty, and sign and ratify the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) (Sweden

Noted: See 121.4

121.9 Embark on the path to definitely abolishing the death penalty, and ratify the 2nd Optional Protocol to the ICCPR (Luxembourg)

Noted: See 121.4

121.10 Become a party to the optional protocols to the ICCPR and the CEDAW (Canada)

Noted: The Lao PDR recognizes the importance of gender equality and has pursued a proper policy in this regard. Women play an increasing role in the political, economic, social and cultural life of the nation. The Lao PDR is a party to CEDAW and has been successfully implementing its provisions. The Lao PDR needs more time to study the Optional Protocol to CEDAW in order to raise awareness and understanding of its provisions among officials, women’s organisations and the public at large. At the same time, the country is putting in place effective domestic remedies in order that the country is ready to implement the Protocol in the future.

121.11Ratify CEDAW and its Optional Protocol (Algeria)

Noted: See 121.10

121.12 Ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment (Switzerland; Uruguay)

Noted: See 121.6

121.13 Ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the International Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance (Paraguay)

Noted: The Lao PDR accepts this recommendation in part. As mentioned in 121.6, the Lao PDR is not ready to ratify the Optional Protocol to CAT.

121.14 Ratify the OP- CAT and the statue of Rome of the ICC (Honduras)

Noted: The Lao PDR accepts this recommendation in part (see 121.6) For the Rome Statue of ICC, the Lao PDR supports the principles enshrined in the ICC Statute. The ratification of the Rome Statute is accordingly in line with the Government’s policies. The country also needs in particular to build capacity of the Lao judiciary to be prepared for the implementation in the future. The Lao PDR will continue to study the ICC and to educate and inform the relevant officials in the judiciary, the military and the law enforcement agencies about the significance of the ICC and its principles.

121.15 Ratify the International Convention for the Protection of the Rights of Migrant Workers and their Families (Algeria; Honduras; Uruguay)

Noted: The Lao PDR is a party to 7 UN Core Human Rights Conventions and a signatory to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. This is already a huge burden for the country with its limited resources to fulfill treaty obligation including the reporting obligations under the ratified treaties. Also, the Lao PDR needs more time to study the International Convention for the Rights of Migrant Workers and their Family Members to prepare for its implementation.

121.16 Consider the possibility of ratifying the ICRMW (Egypt)

Noted: See 121.15

121.17 Consider ratifying the Convention on the Rights of Migrant Workers and Their Family Members (Indonesia)

Noted: See 121.15

121.18 Consider accelerating its efforts towards its ratification of the migrant workers’ rights convention (ICRMW) and of other international human rights instruments that it is not yet a party to (Philippines)

Noted: See 121.15

121.19 Ratify ICRMW and the optional protocols of CAT, ICESCR and CEDAW (Sierra Leone)

Noted: See 121.6 and 121.15

121.20 Implement its commitment made during the 2010 UPR to ratify and implement the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (Netherlands) Accepted

121.21 Ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (Canada; Spain) Accepted

121.22 Ratify without reservations the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (Uruguay)

Noted: At this moment, the Lao PDR is considering to ratify CED. The Lao PDR at this stage is unable to declare whether it will ratify it without any reservation or not. The Lao PDR will be able to do so only after a thorough study of the convention.

121.23 Consider ratifying the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance and establish an independent commission to carry out impartial investigations in a prompt, impartial and effective manner into the alleged cases of enforced disappearances reported in the country (Italy)

Noted: Currently the Lao PDR is considering ratifying CED. The alleged cases have been investigated by related authorities and found out that such allegations are not true.

121.24 Ratify the ICPPED and adopt implementing legislation, as well as mechanisms to independently investigate and identify perpetrators of those crimes (Brazil)

Noted: See 121.23

121.25 Conclude the process of ratification of the ICCPED shortly, and investigate vigorously all cases of enforced disappearances, including the case of civil society activist, Sombath Somphone, and inform the public transparently about the results of such investigation as far as feasible without endangering the investigation, and bring perpetrators to justice (Germany)

Noted: See 121.23

121.26 Ratify the ICCPED and modify the legislation accordingly; conduct independent and in-depth investigations on the cases of disappearances, in order to prosecute the perpetrators (France

Note: See 121.23

121.27 Ratify the ICPPED and define the crime of enforced disappearances as an offence in view of investigating and punishing such acts of crime (Argentina) Accepted

121.28 Ratify the Optional Protocol to the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as well as the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (Spain)

Noted: The Lao PDR has ratified the CRPD and CAT. The country intends to concentrate its efforts on the effective and successful implementation of the conventions as the first priority, and will consider Optional Protocols in the future.

121.29 Accede to and fully align its national legislation with the Rome Statute of the ICC and accede to the Agreement on the Privileges and Immunities of the ICC (Estonia)

Noted: See 121.14

121.30 Accede to and fully align its national legislation with the Rome Statute of the ICC, including by incorporating provisions to cooperate promptly and fully with the ICC (Montenegro)

Noted: See 121.14

121.31Ratify the Rome Statute of the ICC (France)

Noted: See 121.14

121.32 Accede to the Rome Statute of the ICC and to the Agreement on the Privileges and Immunities of the Court (Italy)

Noted: See 121.14

121.33 Accede to and fully align its national legislation with the Rome Statute of the ICC (Latvia)

Noted: See 121.14

121.34 Accede to the Rome Statue of the ICC (Luxembourg)

Noted: See 121.14

121.35 Ratify the Rome Statute on the ICC and the ICRMW (Ghana)

Noted: See 121.14 and 121.15

121.36 Continue implementing the obligations under the international human rights treaties ratified by the Lao PDR (Kuwait) Accepted

121.37 Revise the Penal Code to make all new laws conform with international human rights standards, and repeal provisions of the law on media and the new decree on the Internet that criminalize basic human rights and subordinate individual rights to the interests of the state (Sweden)

Noted: The first part of the recommendations are acceptable for the Lao PDR as it is currently in the process of creating a new Penal Code trying to ensure that the country’s relevant human rights obligations are reflected in the new Penal Code, but the country cannot accept the second part of the recommendation, simply because no Laws and Decrees in the Lao PDR, including the Media Law and the Internet Decree have provisions that criminalize the exercise of basic human rights.

121.38 Continue to incorporate the provisions of the human rights conventions, to which it is a party, in its national laws and development policies (Viet Nam) Accepted

121.39 Fully incorporate the major human rights treaties that the Lao People’s Democratic Republic has ratified into its domestic laws and allocate adequate human and financial resources to implement the laws (Republic of Korea) Accepted

121.40 Continue the work on the implementation of the series of international human rights conventions, including those in the field of labour protection (Russian Federation) Accepted

121.41 Strengthen its efforts to achieve the MDG targets in the areas of maternal and child mortality and the environment by end of 2015 which is currently lacking behind (Bhutan) Accepted

121.42 Strengthen and seek further assistance from the international community to support its efforts towards development and in effectively implementing the recommendations arising from the UPR (Bhutan)  Accepted

121.43 Enhance the implementation of the international human rights treaties, to which the Lao PDR is a party and the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration to benefit the entire Lao population (Cambodia) Accepted

121.44 Continue to reinforce efforts to support inclusive growth and prioritize budgetary allocations in primary education and in the reduction of malnutrition and maternal and infant mortality rates to achieve progress in the remaining MDGs (India) Accepted

121.45 Take additional measures for the protection of women and children (Japan) Accepted

121.46 Further promote human rights culture in the country (Uzbekistan) Accepted

121.47 Further develop its sound and successful social policies to support the population, especially those most in need (Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)) Accepted

121.48 Continue its national efforts, with the support and assistance of the international community, in the promotion and protection of human rights particularly in the realization of economic, social and cultural rights of its people (Bangladesh) Accepted

121.49 Continue with the efforts of realizing the MDG targets in the areas of nutrition, gender equality in primary education, reduction of maternal and child mortality (Sri Lanka) Accepted

121.50 Continue its efforts to reach the remaining MDG targets (Myanmar) Accepted

121.51 Continue the realization of all national efforts and international cooperation for the establishment of a national human rights institution in accordance with the Paris Principles (Chile)

Noted: The Lao PDR will concert efforts to strengthen its existing national human rights arrangements mechanisms, including those mechanisms that deal with human rights complaints. Among, other human rights mechanisms, the Lao National Steering Committee on Human Rights functions to coordinate human rights activities in the Lao PDR such as making proposals for ratification of human rights treaties and dealing with issues related to the promotion and protection of human rights of the Lao people. The Committee will strengthen its capacity to supervise and coordinate the implementation of human rights obligations and commitments of the Lao PDR in a more effective and efficient way, including coordinating the translation of such obligations and commitments into national laws, policies and actions. Meanwhile, the Lao PDR also has other specific Committees/Commissions that deal with specific human rights. In addition, the Lao PDR’s judiciary has jurisdiction to adjudicate human rights related cases, while the National Assembly receives human rights-related and other legitimate complaints from the people. Putting together the existing human rights arrangements and mechanisms, in effect the Lao PDR has national mechanisms that deal with human rights, almost similar to the Paris principles-based NHRI. Nevertheless, the Lao PDR will study experience of other countries that have a successful NHRI and may consider NHRI in the future.

121.52 Give continuity to strengthening of national human rights institutions and mechanisms (Nepal)

Noted: See 121.51

121.53 Establish a national human rights institution in accordance with the Paris Principles (Timor-Leste)

Noted: See 121.51

121.54 Establish a national human rights institution in accordance with the Paris Principles (Canada

Noted: See 121.51

121.55 Establish a national human rights institution in accordance with the Paris Principles (Honduras)

Noted: See 121.51

121.56 Make efforts to establish an independent national human rights commission in accordance with the Paris Principles (India)

Noted: See 121.51

121.57 Ensure the creation of a strong, independent national human rights institution, which adheres to the Paris Principles (Latvia)

Noted: See 121.51

121.58 Establish a strong and independent national human rights institution in conformity with the Paris Principles (Costa Rica)

Noted: See 121.51

121.59 Consider establishing a national human rights institution compliant with the Paris Principles and provided with the necessary resources to adequately carry out its mandate (Portugal)

Noted: See 121.51

121.60 Consider establishing a national human rights institution in line with the Paris Principles (Egypt)

Noted: See 121.51

121.61 Further mainstream the rights of the vulnerable populations into its formulation of the 8th NSEDP for 2016 – 2020. Enhancing economic and social opportunities for women, children, persons with disabilities, and older persons should be clearly mentioned in the next national plan in order to ensure full implementation at all levels and in all sectors of society (Thailand) Accepted

121.62 Adopt a National Action Plan on Security Council Resolution (1325) on Women, Peace and Security (Portugal) Accepted

121.63 Continue efforts in education and training on human rights, particularly for state agents and civil servants (Morocco) Accepted

121.64 Strengthen international and regional cooperation in the protection and promotion of human rights (Viet Nam) Accepted

121.65 Analyse the possibility of creating a system for the monitoring of international recommendations which would facilitate the systematization of the tracking of the recommendations of the Treaty Bodies and the mechanisms of the Human Rights Council (Paraguay) Accepted

121.66 Submit their outstanding and long overdue reports to the relevant treaty bodies (Sierra Leone) Accepted

121.67 Submit national reports to the treaty bodies, including the ICESCR, and issue a standing invitation to special procedures (Japan)

Noted: The Lao PDR is in the process of drafting national reports under the Treaty Bodies, including ICCPR, ICESCR and CRPD. The Government intends to submit all overdue reports in the near future. As for inviting special procedures, see 121.68.

121.68 Cooperate more systematically with the treaty bodies and permit the visits by special procedures (Luxembourg) Accepted

121.69 Strengthen the national capacities through cooperation with the UN human rights mechanisms, particularly special procedures (Morocco) Accepted

121.70 Issue a standing invitation to all Special Procedures (Ghana)

Noted: The Lao Government is currently preparing for inviting special rapporteurs to visit the country by organizing seminars to raise awareness and understanding of the roles and functions of the special procedure among Government officials and stakeholders. The Lao PDR plans to invite the UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing to visit the country in the near future and will consider inviting other Special Rapporteurs on a case by case basis.

121.71 Issue a standing invitation to all United Nations special procedures (Hungary)

Noted: See 121.70

121.72 Issue a standing invitation to UN special rapporteurs to the country (Netherlands)

Noted: See 121.70

121.73 Extend a standing invitation to all mandate holders (Latvia)

Noted: See 121.70

121.74 Extend a permanent and open invitation to Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council (Paraguay

Noted: See 121.70

121.75 Extend, before the end of 2016, a standing invitation to the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression as well as to the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (Norway)

Noted: See 121.70

121.76 Extend an open invitation to the Special Procedures and follow the recommendations they have provided as well as those of the Treaty Bodies (Uruguay)

Noted: See 121.70

121.77 Request for technical assistance and cooperation as deemed appropriate from the international community, including relevant UN and specialized agencies in respect of capacity development for human rights implementation (Mongolia) Accepted

121.78 Continue to seek assistance from the international community to attain its objectives of full implementation of human rights (Djibouti) Accepted

121.79 Put forward more efforts to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women and ensure greater women’s empowerment, representation and advancement in all sectors (Republic of Korea) Accepted

121.80 Further promote measures for the advancement of women and address traditional stereotype attitudes which limit their self-development (Myanmar) Accepted

121.81 Pursue efforts to improve women’s access to education and health services and strengthen their role in local development planning (India) Accepted

121.82 Ensure full participation of women in the monitoring mechanisms of the Law on Development and Protection of Women adopted in 2004 and carry out dissemination campaign among the whole population of the country, particularly in rural areas (Mexico) Accepted

121.83 Expressly prohibit the dissemination of ideas based on racial incitement and discrimination, giving full effect to article 4 of the ICERD (Chile) Accepted

121.84 Ensure that all ethnic groups are treated equally and have equal access to social services, including health and education (Ghana) Accepted

121.85 Establish a moratorium on execution with a view to abolishing the death penalty for all crimes (Uruguay)

Noted: The Lao PDR retains death penalty in its legal system merely as a measure to deter the most serious crimes. However, in reality the Lao PDR has been practicing a moratorium on execution for a long time thanks to Lao Government’s humanitarian policy. Under the Penal Law, death penalty is not imposed on a person under 18 years old and a pregnant woman. Over the past years, many persons sentenced to death have their sentence reduced to life imprisonment due to their good behaviors. As a practice, every year the President of the Lao PDR grants amnesties, sentence reductions or pardons to a large number of prisoners including Lao citizens and foreigners. The Lao PDR is in the process of creating a new comprehensive Penal Code. In this process, the list of offenses subject to death penalty under the current Penal Law is being revised so as to be fully in compliance with Article 6 of the ICCPR.

121.86 Establish a formal moratorium on the death penalty with a view to ratifying the Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR (Australia)

Noted: See 121.85

121.87 Impose an immediate de jure moratorium on executions, with a view to the complete abolition of the death penalty for all crimes (Norway)

Noted: See 121.85

121.88 Declare a moratorium on executions pending the prompt abolition of the death penalty (Chile)

Noted: See 121.85

121.89 Institute an official moratorium on the passing of death sentences and on executions (Spain)

Noted: See 121.85

121.90 Formalise the moratorium on the death penalty in view of its abolition. Commute capital punishment into imprisonment (France)

Noted: See 121.85

121.91Consider taking steps to formally establish a de jure moratorium on the use of the death penalty with a view to its legal abolition (Italy)

Noted: See 121.85

121.92 Restrict the application of the death penalty to the most serious crimes as a step towards the abolition of the death penalty (Spain)

Noted: See 121.85

121.93 Formally abolish the death penalty in law (Germany)

Noted: See 121.85

121.94 Carry out without further delay an independent, credible investigation into the unexplained disappearance of a human rights defender, Mr. Sombath Somphone, which occurred on 15 December 2012 in Vientiane (Luxembourg)

Noted: The reason why the Lao PDR does not accept this and other recommendations on the missing case is that these recommendations partly contain the language or wording that do not reflect the reality in the Lao PDR.

Following the missing of Mr. Sombath Somphone, the the Government set up an investigation committee to promptly conduct an investigation to locate his whereabouts. The Investigation Committee undertook all the necessary steps in the investigation under the law of the Lao PDR. The Committee was opened to views or suggestions from all interested parties, especially the Committee met with and informed all interested parties, especially Ms Ng Shui Meng from time to time in the investigation process.

The investigation authorities issued reports to the public through the media on the progress of the investigation. The Lao Government confirms that the concerned authorities of the Lao PDR are still thoroughly conducting the investigation and will continue to do so in order to find out the truth and bring perpetrators to justice in accordance with the law of the Lao PDR.

121.95 Carry out a prompt, independent and impartial investigation aimed at determining the fate or whereabouts of Sombath Somphone (Poland)

Noted: See 121.94

121.96 Undertake a thorough investigation, consistent with international practices and standards, into the disappearance of Mr. Sombath Somphone (Portugal) Accepted

121.97 Intensify the investigation into the disappearance of Mr Sombath and accept external assistance in the investigation and make the results publicly known, and investigate in a transparent and credible manner all cases of enforced disappearances (Sweden)

Noted: See 121.94

121.98 Launch an impartial, efficient and in-depth investigation on the case of Sombath Somphone in accordance with Laos’ international obligations and submit the results of the investigation in a transparent manner (Switzerland) Accepted

121.99 Establish a thorough, transparent and impartial investigation into Sombath Somphone’s disappearance, as recommended by the UN Special Rapporteurs (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) Accepted

121.100 Conduct an urgent and credible police investigation into Mr Sombath’s disappearance and communicate the findings, including to address any suspicions of government involvement in his abduction (Australia) Accepted

121.101 Undertake a thorough and credible investigation into the disappearance of Sombath Somphone and other cases of purported enforced disappearances (Canada)

Noted: See 121.94

121.102 Conduct a thorough and credible investigation into all and any unresolved cases of disappearances of civil society workers in Lao PDR (New Zealand)

Noted: See 121.94

121.103 Define torture in its Criminal Procedure Code in accordance with the CAT standards (Serbia) Accepted

121.104 Include a definition of torture in line with CAT and add specific offences relating to torture and other ill-treatment into the relevant legislation (Hungary) Accepted

121.105 Guarantee ICRC unconditional and unrestricted access to local and central authorities as well as detention centres in Laos (Switzerland)

Noted: With regard to the access by ICRC to local and central authorities as well as the penitentiary and detention centres, the Lao PDR will consider requests for such access on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the Law of the Lao PDR.

121.106 Ensure that detained persons are treated humanely and given access to legal counsel and all allegations of torture in detention are properly investigated (Ghana) Accepted

121.107 Ensure the effective respect of international human rights standards for persons deprived of liberty by allocating the necessary resources (France) Accepted

121.108 Continue carrying out the principles contained in the CAT, with a specific focus on the elimination of arbitrary detention, especially of minors, and of violence occurring at the hands of law enforcement personnel (Holy See) Accepted

121.109 Establish legislation which penalizes early marriage, adopting appropriate measures towards its elimination (Chile) Accepted

121.110 Ensure the implementation of national laws created to abolish early marriage and impose sanctions penalizing this practice (Sierra Leone) Accepted

121.111 Redouble efforts to ensure that children were not employed in situations that could be detrimental to their health, development or well-being (Timor-Leste) Accepted

121.112 Establish measures and programmes to eradicate human trafficking and gender-based violence, especially of women and girls (Sierra Leone) Accepted

121.113 Implement the national action plan to combat corruption, including strengthening of laws and enforcement, and provide greater resources to independent anti-corruption bodies (New Zealand) Accepted

121.114 Step up efforts to prevent and combat modern forms of slavery and human trafficking with special attention to the investigation and prosecution of all cases of sale and trafficking of children, including providing protection of child victims (Serbia) Accepted

121.115 Take concrete steps to tackle human trafficking, in particular by strengthening the work of the National Steering Committee on Anti-Human Trafficking (Sri Lanka) Accepted

121.116 Fully implement national legislation on trafficking and address root causes of trafficking (Slovenia) Accepted

121.117 Continue implementing the legislation against all forms of trafficking, and formulate a specific legislation to combat human trafficking, especially of women and children (Holy See) Accepted

121.118 Speed up the drafting of a law on Anti-Human Trafficking (Indonesia) Accepted

121.119 Further strengthen its national legislation to combat human trafficking (Iran (Islamic Republic of)) Accepted

121.120 Adopt a law to combat human trafficking, sexual exploitation, as well as to ensure victim rehabilitation (Lebanon) Accepted

121.121 Strive to eradicate the root causes of human trafficking (Belarus) Accepted

121.122 Implement the national legislation against trafficking in persons to curb the high incidence of trafficking in the country (Ghana) Accepted

121.123 Continue its efforts in training and capacity building programme for government and law enforcement officials in dealing with the issue of trafficking in persons, particularly women and girls (Malaysia) Accepted

121.124 Continue its efforts in implementing its Master Plan on the Development of the Rule of Law (Philippines) Accepted

121.125 Continue implementing the Master Plan on the Rule of Law to improve its legal framework and institutional mechanisms (Cuba) Accepted

121.126 Continue to strengthen the rule of law and improve governance (Singapore) Accepted

121.127 Endeavour to implement the obligations under Article 14 of the ICCPR, which comprehensively guarantees the right to a fair trial and the rights of the accused (Namibia) Accepted

121.128 Continue to provide effective protection for the family, as the natural and fundamental unit of society (Egypt) Accepted

121.129 Ensure de jure and de facto protection of fundamental freedoms in order to be in conformity with the ICCPR that has been ratified by Laos. Regarding freedom of expression; lift the restrictions to freedom of press, ensure the independence and pluralism of media, and a safe environment for the work of journalists. Regarding freedom of association; facilitate unhindered action for human rights defenders and NGOs, notably through a reform of their registration system (France)

Noted: The Lao PDR constitution and law guarantee the freedom of expression. No legislation in the country allows for suppression of freedoms of assembly and expression. For this very simple reason, the Lao PDR cannot accept this and other similar recommendations.

In 2014, the Government issued a Decree on Internet in order to manage and facilitate internet use as well as the social media. This Decree forms a legal basis in the enjoyment of the right to access to information and expression of opinions in a responsible manner which is in line with international law, including the provisions and permissible limitations in Article 19 of the ICCPR.

The Lao Government encourages mass, media, professional and social organizations to be involved in human rights education, advocacy and monitoring. These organisations participated in the process of UPR, periodic reports under treaties. Particularly, local NPAs were consulted on the UPR recommendations of the second cycle review before the Government gave final consideration to the recommendations.

The Lao Government has adopted the Guidelines on the implementation of the Prime Minister’s Decree on INGOs. The drafting of the Guidelines were undertaken in consultation with a wide range of stakeholders including INGOs, international organisations and development partners. The Guidelines are not aiming at restrictions but effectively managing and facilitating the activities of INGOs which have made meaningful contributions to the development of the Lao PDR. The concerns raised by some INGOs concerning the Guidelines, especially tax issue have been addressed to the satisfaction of all parties.

121.130 Ensure the protection of the rights of persons belonging to religious and other minorities and effectively investigate all alleged abuses and violations (Ireland) Accepted

121.131 Fully respect the right to freedom of religion, promotion of tolerance and inter-religious dialogue (Slovenia) Accepted

121.132 Reinforce respect for the rights to freedom of religion, freedom of conscience and free association (Holy See)

Noted: The Lao PDR respects and protects the right to freedom of religion and all lawful religious activities, according to the Lao PDR’s constitution prohibits acts of discrimination based on religions or beliefs. The constitutional provisions are detailed in the Decree on the Management and Protection of Religious Activities in the Lao PDR, which regulates and protects all the religious activities, with a view to ensuring that all religions are equal before the law and enjoy equal protection of the law. The Decree is being revised currently to ensure its practicality with the current conditions, and better implementing the country’s international obligations and commitments including Article 18 of the ICCPR, the relevant UPR recommendations, the recommendations from the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and Beliefs who visited the Lao PDR some years ago. In undertaking amendments to the Decree consultations with representatives of all religions and faiths were held. The Drafting Committee under the Ministry of Home Affairs integrated inputs from the consultations in the finalization of the draft Decree, which has already been submitted to the Government for approval.

121.133 Amend the Prime Minister’s Decree on Religious Practice (Decree 92) to ease the process for religious groups to register their places of worship and allow new religious groups to obtain official recognition (United States of America) Accepted

121.134 Intensify the dialogue with religious leaders in order to erase all remaining restrictions on religions by law (Hungary) Accepted

121.135 Decriminalize defamation and misinformation and remove all undue restrictions on freedom of expression from the Penal Code, the Law on Publications and the newly adopted Internet law in conformity with the country’s international human rights obligations (Latvia)

Noted: See 121.129

121.136 Fully implement its obligations under the ICCPR to respect and ensure the right to freedom of expression (Canada) Accepted

121.137 Amend provisions of the Penal Code, the law on media, the law on internet and all other legislation that criminalises the exercise of fundamental rights in order to align Lao’s legislation with international standards in this sphere (Belgium)

Noted: See 121.129

121.138 Guarantee freedom of expression, the press, assembly and association, as well as freedom of religion and belief in accordance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Uruguay) Accepted

121.139 Ensure that the right to freedom of expression and its other international human rights commitments are upheld in any move to adopt a cyber law (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) Accepted

121.140 Review its decree on internet-based information control and management to ensure citizens’ rights to information and expression are respected (Australia)

Noted: See 121.129

121.141 Ensure freedom of expression and media freedom, including internet freedom by bringing its national legislation fully in line with international standards, including by decriminalizing defamation, misinformation and related offences in relevant national laws (Estonia)

Noted: See 121.129

121.142 Re-examine recent legislation that limits dissemination of certain information via the Internet, including through social media (New Zealand) Accepted

121.143 Promote the development of a free and open Internet by amending the Prime Minister’s Decree, which appears to unduly limit the right to freedom of expression online (United States of America)

Noted: See 121.129

121.144 Take measures to ensure that all the legislation, especially on press and media including digital media is fully aligned with its international human rights obligations (Costa Rica) Accepted

121.145 Continue efforts to improve and facilitate access to the Internet and refrain from any restrictions on content other than permitted under international human rights law, in particular the ICCPR (Germany) Accepted

121.146 Guarantee the effective exercise of freedom of expression, assembly and association by reforming its legislation particularly in order not to undermine the legitimate work of NGOs and human rights defenders (Luxembourg)

Noted: See 121.129

121.147 Reverse the approval of the Prime Minister Decree on International Non-governmental Organizations and implement the mechanisms necessary to accelerate the process of legalizing NGOs (Spain)

Noted: See 121.129

121.148 Refrain from undue restrictions such as the prohibition to engage in the promotion and protection of human rights, in the elaboration of legislation on civil society organisations, and facilitate the registration of international NGOs (Germany)

Noted: See 121.129

121.149 Enable independent local and international NGOs, including international human rights organisations, to freely register and to operate in accordance with international law and standards (Norway)

Noted: See 121.129

121.150 Remove all restrictions in law and practice which infringe upon the work of civil societies and to ensure that all legal provisions on the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly are in line with international human rights standards (Poland)

Noted: See 121.129

121.151 Fully implement its international obligations to ensure the protection of human rights defenders and other civil society actors while exercising their human rights, including the freedom of expression, association and assembly, and remove all restrictions in law and practice which infringe on their work. The Government of the Lao DPR should establish without delay, a new, independent commission to undertake an impartial and thorough investigation into the enforced disappearance of Sombath Somphone (Finland)

Noted: See 121.129

121.152 Reconsider decrees and guidelines that are overly burdensome on domestic and international civil society organizations through lengthy and opaque registration requirements, taxation and other means (United States of America) Accepted

121.153 Facilitate an environment for local and international civil society organizations to fulfil their role (Australia) Accepted

121.154: Fully enable civil society and NGO groups to conduct their activities (New Zealand) Accepted

121.155 Create a framework where civil society, including active human rights NGOs can be included in the follow-up to UPR without any fear of retaliation (Belgium)

Noted: See 121.129

121.156 Take all necessary steps to protect human rights defenders from intimidation, ill-treatment or violence, including enforced disappearances, and to ensure prompt, impartial and thorough investigation of all allegations, including those of enforced disappearances (Ireland)

Noted: See 121.129

121.157 Further work in empowering women in decision making (Ethiopia) Accepted

121.158 Continue its efforts in realizing the right to work through comprehensive policies for productive and decent employment (Egypt) Accepted

121.159 Bring Labour Law into full compliance with international labour standards, including the freedom of association (Ghana) Accepted

121.160 Continue efforts to improve standards of living, ensure broad access to quality education and health services (Uzbekistan) Accepted

121.161 Continue ongoing efforts of the Government towards increased realization of the human rights of its people, including through poverty alleviation measures and investment in health and education (Nepal) Accepted

121.162 Pursue its efforts to broadly reduce poverty (Djibouti) Accepted

121.163 Continue its efforts to eliminate poverty especially in remote regions (Viet Nam) Accepted

121.164 Continue its efforts to adopt a development policy to meet the needs of the people to reduce poverty in order to protect and promote human rights (Yemen) Accepted

121.165 Continue its efforts in the eradication of poverty (Bangladesh) Accepted

121.166 Continue to implement the National Action Plan for Poverty Reduction in order to alleviate poverty and improve the standards of living (Kuwait) Accepted

121.167 Continue its efforts in socio-economic development and eradication of poverty with a view of achieving its MDG’s target (Malaysia) Accepted

121.168 Implement national socio-economic policies and continue its efforts to alleviate poverty by 2015 and to leave LDC status by 2020 (Cuba) Accepted

121.169 Intensify its efforts to promote inclusive growth, especially in the rural and mountainous areas (Thailand) Accepted

121.170 Ensure in the elaboration and implementation of the national land policy that economic, social and cultural as well as civil and political rights of all affected persons are fully respected, including by applying international standards such as the FAO Guidelines on Land Tenure and on Responsible Investment in Agriculture, in particular by providing full, adequate and effective compensation for expropriations and by recognizing and protecting customary land rights (Germany) Accepted

121.171 Enforce the Moratorium on new land concessions announced by Lao government in June 2012 and reform the current system for the management of land leases and concessions (Poland) Accepted

121.172 Review existing land concessions and cancel or sanction those found to be violating the law (Sweden) Accepted

121.173 Continue the consolidation of its worthy programmes in health, leading towards universal quality healthcare for the whole population (Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)) Accepted

121.174 Continue implementing policies to improve the general health of its population (Brunei Darussalam) Accepted

121.175 Continue the efforts to improve and develop health care infrastructure in remote areas in order to enable people for better health care services (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) Accepted

121.176 Pay particular attention to the interests of children, especially with respect to healthcare and education in its further work on improving the population’s living standards (Belarus) Accepted

121.177 Continue its initiatives in the promotion and protection of the people’s right to education (Brunei Darussalam) Accepted

121.178 Continue the implementation of ongoing national policies to guarantee for the multi-ethnic people to quality education (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) Accepted

121.179 Continue its educational reform towards comprehensive and inclusive education policies, with a particular focus on vulnerable groups, including children (Iran (Islamic Republic of) Accepted

121.180 Sustain efforts for children to have better access to education at various levels (Myanmar) Accepted

121.181 Continue socio-economic reforms to better the lives of its people, in particular by investing in education (Singapore) Accepted

121.182 Continue to work to address issues such as a lack of teachers, school facilities and the marked differences between the quality of educational institutions in urban and rural areas (New Zealand) Accepted

121.183 Remedy school drop-outs especially in the rural areas (Djibouti) Accepted

121.184 Continue to address the problem of school drop-out of children (Lebanon) Accepted

121.185 Adopt legislation to prohibit the collection of school fees and take the necessary measures to ensure free and universal access to education regardless of gender, ethnicity, mother tongue, religion, belief, disability or social condition (Mexico) Accepted

121.186 Increase input in poverty reduction, implement the 8th National Socio-Economic Development Plan, increase input in education, and further increase girls enrolment rate (China) Accepted

121.187 Increase efforts to promote and protect the cultural rights of the Lao people to preserve the national culture and the cultures and languages of ethnic groups in the Lao PDR (Cambodia) Accepted

121.188 Provide more financial and technical support for the preservation of Lao traditional and cultural heritage (Ethiopia) Accepted

121.189 Continue work on the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities (Russian Federation) Accepted

121.190 Adopt all the legislative and policy measures to guarantee a comprehensive inclusion of persons with disabilities in all spheres of activities to ensure the full enjoyment of their rights (Honduras) Accepted

121.191 Acknowledge and guarantee the indigenous peoples’ rights including by fully engaging indigenous peoples of the country in decision-making in all the matters that affect them (Estonia)

Noted: The constitution, laws and policies of the Lao PDR ensure the equality and non-discrimination among the 49 ethnic groups in the Lao PDR. No ethnic groups are inferior to the others. Representatives of ethnic groups hold official positions at different levels of Government and State organs. At local levels, people potentially affected by development projects participate in consultation and express their views. No ethnic group in the Lao PDR is considered as indigenous and all the 49 ethnic groups are equal. Therefore, the Lao PDR does not support the part of a recommendation that contains “indigenous people”.

121.192 Strengthen cooperation with UNHCR in order to adopt legal and administrative measures to guarantee respect of the principle of non-refoulement and to ratify the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (Argentina)

Noted: The Lao Government recognises the important role of UNHCR as a global humanitarian agency in assisting refugees worldwide. The Lao PDR still continues cooperation with UNHCR in various ways even though there is no refugee issue in Laos. On the ratification of 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugee, the Lao PDR needs more time to study the convention, but at this stage the convention is not directly related to the present day of the Lao PDR.

121.193 Continue to modernize its birth registration system and improve access to remote locations, and step up efforts to ensure free and universal birth registration (Brazil) Accepted

121.194 Adopt legal and administrative provisions for the issuance of free birth certificates for all children born in the national territory, and for the establishment of civil registry offices in all districts, including rural districts (Mexico) Accepted

121.195 Continue efforts to modernize its birth registration system, and evaluate if more steps are needed to ensure access to universal birth registration in order to ensure the rights of children to nationality is adequately protected (Namibia) Accepted

121.196 Respect all its national and international obligations regarding forcibly displaced persons (Switzerland) Accepted