United States Supports First Legal Aid Office in the Lao PDR

Vice Minister of Justice Bounsavath Boupha, Vice Major of Vientiane Capital Mr. Sihoun Sithiluexay, and U.S. Ambassador to the Lao PDR Dr. Peter M. Haymond Launched the First USAID-supported Legal Aid Support Project
Vice Minister of Justice Bounsavath Boupha, Vice Major of Vientiane Capital Mr. Sihoun Sithiluexay, and U.S. Ambassador to the Lao PDR Dr. Peter M. Haymond Launched the First USAID-supported Legal Aid Support Project
Bounthy Saechao for Legal Aid Support Project

United States Supports First Legal Aid Office in the Lao PDR

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

VIENTIANE, LAO PDR — With support of the United States through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Ministry of Justice opened the first-ever Legal Aid Office in the Lao PDR at a ceremony in Vientiane Capital.  The ceremony at Vientiane Capital Department of Justice was witnessed by Vice Minister of Justice Bounsavath Boupha, Vice Major of Vientiane Capital Mr. Sihoun Sithiluexay, and U.S. Ambassador to the Lao PDR Dr. Peter M. Haymond and attended by more than 80 representatives from the Ministry of Justice, lawyers, and development partners.

“This project demonstrates the United States’ determination under the U.S.-Lao Comprehensive Partnership to assist the Lao Government in creating a rule of law country by increasing access to justice for all the Lao people,” said Ambassador Haymond. “The United States is proud to support the Lao PDR’s goal to develop into a sovereign, strong and prosperous member of ASEAN.”

This Legal Aid Office will provide Lao citizens with important legal services, including legal advice, documentation, and court representation. The Legal Aid Office will also support the Legal Aid Decree’s goal of increasing access to justice for all and ensuring equality before the law, with the aim of building a rule of law society. 

This Legal Aid Office is part of the work under the Legal Aid Support project, which is funded by the United States and implemented by the Asia Foundation. The project will assist the Ministry of Justice to open additional Legal Aid Offices at the provincial level in Oudomxay, Phongsaly, Savannakhet, Luang Namtha, Champassak, Xayabouly, Luang Prabang, Salavan, and Vientiane Provinces, with more than 90 Legal Aid Offices at the district level. 

The Legal Aid Support project helps advance the goals of the Lao PDR, as described in the Legal Sector Master Plan, to become a rule of law state.  The United States also partners with the Lao PDR on a wide range of activities to improve health and nutrition, facilitate trade and investment, and counter transnational crime.

Last updated: October 13, 2020

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