12 January 2022, Vientiane- The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) supported key justice sector agencies with new ICT equipment and software to be used in their efforts to prevent and respond to gender-based violence through the Khan Hom Project.
The Khan Hom Project supports the Lao Government through the Lao Women’s Union (LWU) in building its institutional capacities to implement the 5-year National Action Plan on Ending Violence Against Women (NAPEVAW), as well as the key agencies across social and justice sectors. The project aims to reduce discrimination and violence against women by consolidating efforts across various stakeholders including by building capacities of duty bearers, increasing awareness of services among survivors and strengthened coordination across all sectors.
In 2021, UNDP conducted a capacity needs assessment of the justice sector to implement the NAPEVAW, including the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Public Security, the Courts, and the Office of the Supreme People’s Procuracy. The capacity need assessment faced serious delays due to lockdown measures which prohibited face-to-face meetings and the key agencies of the justice sector were not equipped with basic ICT equipment to join meetings online. Furthermore, the assessment highlighted significant gaps in the justice sector in terms of digital tools for communication, coordination and data collection, which needed to be filled to ensure the key agencies could fully play their part in ending violence against women by implementing the NAPEVAW.
Mr. Sangjun Kim, Acting Country Director of KOICA, highlighted that “ICT equipment would be a significant tool to help the justice sector to address challenges they may face in implementing the NAPEVAW and help to protect all Lao women at risk of violence.”
Ms. Ricarda Rieger, Resident Representative, UNDP, added that “2022 is a critical year for the Khan Hom Project and this ICT equipment will ensure that our work to end violence against women in Lao PDR with the justice sector, LWU and NCAWMC does not get interrupted by COVID-19 and that we can collect the key data we need to succeed in our work.”
Ms. Soukphaphone Phanit, Director General of the Department of International Cooperation and Planning, LWU, agreed that “ICT equipment is very helpful for us as we can continue working online to improve response to and prevention of violence against women, particularly in developing practical guidance and tools for the justice in 2022.”
In 2022, under the Khan Hom project, in partnership with project partner UNFPA and with support from KOICA, UNDP will continue to work with key justice sector agencies, the LWU and NCAWMC to develop Standard Operating Procedures to ensure that there is clear guidance for all sectors to coordinate closely in working to prevent violence against women, providing response services for survivors of violence, and prosecuting perpetrators of such violence through the justice system in Lao PDR.
Contact details to get in touch with UNDP or Project Team
Aksonethip SOMVORACHIT, UNDP Communications Analyst