United States Supports More Legal Aid Offices in the Lao PDR

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USAID and Ministry of Justice Opened the Luang Prabang Legal Aid Office
USAID and Ministry of Justice Opened the Luang Prabang Legal Aid Office
Bounthy Xaechao for USAID Legal Aid Support

For Immediate Release

Monday, November 23, 2020

Luang Prabang, Lao PDRWith support from the United States through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Ministry of Justice opened a Legal Aid Office in Luang Prabang Province on November 23.  The ceremony was witnessed by Vice Minister of Justice Bounsavath Boupha, Vice Governor of Luang Prabang Vongsavanh Thepphachanh, and U.S. Ambassador to the Lao PDR Dr. Peter M. Haymond and attended by more than 80 representatives from the Government of Laos.

“This project demonstrates the United States’ support, under the U.S.-Lao Comprehensive Partnership, for the Lao Government in strengthening the rule of law by increasing access to legal services and justice for all Lao people,” said Ambassador Haymond.  “The United States is proud to continue supporting the Lao PDR’s development as a sovereign, strong, and prosperous member of ASEAN.”

This Legal Aid Office will provide Lao citizens with important legal services in Luang Prabang Province, 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 included under the Legal Aid Support project, funded through USAID and implemented by The Asia Foundation.  The project has already assisted the Ministry of Justice in opening Legal Aid Offices at the provincial and district levels in Vientiane Capital, Salavan, and Phongsaly.  In addition, the project will support the Ministry of Justice in opening additional Legal Aid Offices at the district level in Oudomxay, Savannakhet, Luang Namtha, Champasak, Xayabouly, and Vientiane Provinces.

The United States also partners with the Lao PDR on a wide range of activities to help improve health and nutrition, facilitate trade and investment, and counter transnational crime.