Justice and Policing Sector in Lao PDR prepares to draft Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for victims/survivors of violence against women

July 27, 2022
Participants of the event gathered next to the chairs and co-chairs

A recent study by the Gender Development Association on the barriers to justice faced by survivors of violence found that there is a worryingly low level of knowledge and understanding among people on the steps to accessing the justice system.

Eliminating violence against women (VAW) is a critical part of the development process which requires the State to implement and coordinate systematic responses to all forms of VAW. To this end, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the National Commission for the Advancement of Women, Mothers and Children (NCAWMC) co-hosted a workshop to prepare key justice sector officials to develop the Justice Sector SOP for Victim/Survivors of Violence.

“Our Government has a strong commitment to ensuring the rights of women, enhancing their role in society, and ensuring equality between women and men”, stated Mme. Inlavanh Keobounphanh, President of the LWU, “but we still have challenges to overcome. To do this, we need to ensure mutual understanding of violence and place victims at the centre of response. It is not beyond the capacity of anyone in the room and I believe we can work together to coordinate and cooperate better to provide support.

During the one-day workshop, participants discussed the purpose of the SOP, the key components for a strong SOP, and most importantly, how to localise internationally recognised standards for VAW prevention and response to the Lao context.

Ms. Ricarda Rieger, Resident Representative of UNDP Lao PDR highlighted that “Today’s workshop is about bringing together the voices of the justice sector to discuss how international standards for prevention and response to VAW can be used and adapted to the Lao context. This SOP is going to make a difference in the lives of men and women and therefore, needs to be a very consultative process.”

As a result, participants were familiarised with the guiding principles, essential components to make a strong SOP, and agreed upon next steps to developing a national SOP for the Justice and Policing Sector’s efforts to prevent and respond to violence against women.

The Khan Hom Project supports the Lao Government through the Lao Women’s Union (LWU) to reduce discrimination and violence against women by consolidating efforts across various stakeholders including by building capacities of duty bearers. UNDP will continue to work with key justice sector agencies, the LWU, and NCAWMC to develop the draft SOP to ensure that there is clear guidance for all sectors to coordinate closely in working to prevent violence against women, provide response services for survivors of violence, and prosecute perpetrators of such violence through the justice system in Lao PDR.


Ms. Sinsavanh Sonepaseuth

Communications and outreach officer, Governance Unit, UNDP Lao PDR

Lane Xang Avenue, P.O. Box 345

Vientiane, Lao PDR


+856 20 9729 8848