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Labour Day celebration – Getting youth ready for future employment

Laos Counter Trafficking in Persons Project (Laos CTIP Project) in colLabouration with the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare (MoLSW) held an event to celebrate International Labour Day with the aim to prepare vocational students for future employment and to raise their awareness about safe migration and counter trafficking in persons, in Vientiane on May 31, 2023, with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Labour Day is observed throughout the world to recognize the value and contributions of workers to economic growth and development. The Lao PDR observes International Labour Day to preserve workers’ rights, increase solidarity, and ensure proper working conditions.

Mr. Mixay Sengchanthavong, MoLSW’s Deputy Director of Social Welfare Department and Ms. Silavanh Pongphosy, USAID Governance Program Advisor and Mrs. Kaoru Yamagiwa, Deputy Chief of Party of the USAID Laos Counter Trafficking in Persons Project opened the ceremony together with more than 170 participants from the government, private sector, vocational and technical school students.

The celebration provided students of vocational training institutions an opportunity to set personal goals, learn about career options, receive assistance with job applications and interviews, and information about work ethics in order to boost their employability.

Furthermore, the event connected students with the private sector and prospective future employers. Participants had the opportunity to increase their awareness about discrimination, Labour exploitation, forced Labour, harassment, or unfair treatment, including sexual harassment and gender-based violence in the workplace.

During the event, Mr. Mixay Sengchanthavong, expressed his appreciation to USAID for supporting this event. He added, “Laos continues to face a human resource shortage, skilled Labour remains limited, and several young people are looking for new opportunities in countries such as Thailand, China, Japan and the Republic of Korea. This JOB FEST is an important venue for youth, including at-risk and vulnerable populations in Laos to prepare themselves for employment.”

In her speech, Ms. Silavanh stated, “USAID is proud to support the Government of Laos in organizing the JOB FEST that supports young people from across the country, of all ethnicities, identities, and economic backgrounds. Today’s event is not only a space to raise awareness of the risks of Labour exploitation and human trafficking, but a chance to promote equal opportunity and non-discrimination.”

The USAID CTIP project supports the government of Laos to strengthen its response to human trafficking cases; reduce the vulnerability of women, children, and marginalized people to trafficking; and improve trafficking victims’ access to services and safe economic opportunities.

Mrs. Kaoru Yamagiwa, Deputy Chief of Party of the USAID Laos Counter Trafficking in Persons Project said that the planned activities would connect the vocational students with potential employers, help them set personal goals, and build interview skills and CV development as these skills would better prepare them to enter the Labour market in Laos.

Source: Lao News Agency