BOL Advises Media To Stop Ads For KIWI QR Code Payments (Alipay)

Authorities have directed all media outlets to stop carrying advertisements for KIWI Co Ltd’s QR Code payments and services via the Alipay system in Laos as they do not have the required permission from the Bank of the Lao PDR (BOL).

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Laos Continues To Be Target For Money Laundering

Laos continues to face a high risk of money laundering despite the country graduating from the “grey list” of the Financial Action Task Force last year, according to the National Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Risk Assessment (NRA).

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Marriage Law Amendments Ease Processes For Foreigners, Citizens

Amendments to the Law on Family Registration passed by the National Assembly (NA) recently will ease and regulate marriage between Lao and foreign nationals as well as family registration affairs in general.

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New Laos IP Law Is A Significant Step Forward For Domestic And International Brands

A new IP law will come into force in the Southeast Asian nation of Laos this weekend, introducing trademark opposition procedures to the country for the first time. The new law also stipulates the creation of a new digital platform for brand rights and expands the range of images eligible for trademark protection in the jurisdiction, among other things.

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Rule Of Law Key To Strengthening Laos’ Competitiveness

Laos has to strengthen the rule of law if it wants to become a competitive investment destination, according to a report from the World Bank.
“The country (Laos) faces issues that include weak regulatory effectiveness, control of corruption and rule of law,” the 2018-Doing Business in the Lao PDR report highlighted in its key findings.

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How To Protect Your Intellectual Property In Laos

As Lao PDR’s economy grows and more companies begin conducting commercial activities here it will become increasingly important for businesses to protect and maintain their competitiveness in the market. A company’s failure to effectively protect its IP or to restrict infringement of its IP can lead to the loss of market share, revenue, reputation, opportunity and competitive advantage.

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Utilise Local Tour Guides Or Face Penalties, Foreign Tour Operators Warned

Lao authorities have warned foreign tour operators to utilise local tour guides otherwise they will be fined.
The authorities also warned foreign tour operators to partner with local counterparts in arranging package tour programmes in Laos; if not they will face measures.

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Seek Permission Before Flying Your Drone, Lao Ministry Warns

The Ministry of Post and Telecommunications has warned drone owners to seek permission from the relevant authorities before flying their drones – if not, the owners will face penalties.

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Lease Agreements in Laos: Tips & Hints

One of the most common agreements made in Lao PDR are lease agreements, whether they are for residential accommodation, office or shop space, factory or farm land or any other personal or commercial purposes. However, from time to time, disputes or disagreements may arise from the lease agreement, many of which could have been avoidable through clearly stated terms in a lease contract or a legal review for compliance under Lao PDR law.

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Police Must Work Harder To Tackle Thefts And Burglaries In Vientiane

The people of the capital of Laos are, by and large, peaceful and law-abiding but as with all other cities around the world, they too face the problem of crimes such as thefts and burglaries.
Of late, the people of Vientiane have been troubled by several instances of car thefts and break-ins and it should be the mission of police officials to investigate these crimes and punish the wrong-doers under the laws of the country.

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Laos Faces US&EU Trade Suspensions Over Wildlife Trade

At SC69, Laos’ non-compliance was the subject of a working group in which EIA and other NGOs participated. The U.S. called for Laos to face full trade suspensions now, while the EU favored a warning and a time-bound process for specific remedial action to ensure Laos sets up proper CITES authorities and takes action to stop trade in parts and products of tigers (including farmed tigers), elephants, rhinos, pangolins and other wildlife.

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Telephone Number Registry Checks Planned

A planned review of all mobile telephone numbers registered for use via the nation’s mobile SIM cards is to be led by the Ministry of Post and Communications aiming to ensure records are up to date.

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The Lao-Singapore Tax Treaty/DTA is Now Effective

In case you missed it, Singapore’s reputation as an attractive holding company location for investments into Lao PDR recently went up a notch: after being signed way back in February 2014, the long-awaited tax treaty/double taxation agreement between Lao PDR and Singapore (the “DTA”) became effective on 1 January 2017.

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How Laos’ Black Market Undermines China’s Ivory Ban

As tour buses pull up in front of San Jiang Market, not far from Wattay International Airport, a guide beckons to a group of Chinese tourists. They soon disappear into the jungle of shops bearing signs in Chinese characters, many of which sell “local specialties,” or any illicit wildlife product imaginable.

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Arbitration in Laos

The choice of arbitration as a dispute resolution mechanism has risen in popularity as a time and cost-effective option to resolve commercial disputes. By including an arbitration clause in contractual arrangements, contracting parties may agree in advance on the seat and rules of arbitration, the size of the arbitration panel and even the rules to ….

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Why It’s Time To Comply: Internal Regulations For Workplaces In Laos

The Labour Law (2013) came into effect on 28 October 2014, repealing and replacing the previous Labour Law (2006) and introducing a number of significant changes relating to the basic rules of employment in Lao PDR. As the Labour Law is now well into its third year in force, we consider one of its more significant yet often overlooked legal requirements for employers in Lao PDR – internal regulations or “work rules” of the workplace for employees.

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Vientiane Authorities To Clamp Down On Advertising Hoardings

Vientiane authorities are taking a close look at advertisements written in foreign languages in the capital in a bid to enforce the regulations on such signs.
Many advertisements are written in foreign languages in the capital, especially in Sikhottabong, Xaysettha and Chanthabouly districts.
The department is planning to inspect all hoardings written in foreign languages to determine whether …..

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Lao Leaders Return Their Luxury Cars

Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith on Tuesday handed in his BMW 7 Series, following up on a promise made by the country’s leaders that they will no longer drive expensive luxury vehicles in an attempt to exercise frugality.
President Bounnhang Vorachit, who is Secretary General of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party, was also expected to give back his BMW 7 Series yesterday, an official at the ….

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Lao Prime Minister Moves To Stop Land-for-Capital Deals

Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith says he wants to end the Lao government’s policy of bartering land for development, in a reversal of a long-term practice that has seen large swaths of the country go to foreign-backed investors.
“The business sector should not convince the governmental sector to create debts for the nation,” Thongloun told the Lao version of the chamber of commerce earlier this month. “In recent years, many big development projects, including ….

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Lao Amended Investment Law Shortens Concession Period

Amendments to the Investment Promotion Law has shortened investment concession periods to ensure closer scrutiny of investors’ operations, Lao state-run daily Vientiane Times reported on Monday.
A draft amendment to the law, which was passed by Lao National Assembly (NA) last week, shortens the investment concession period from 99 years to 50 years, a change that was widely welcomed by NA members during ….

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Unlawful Financial Institutions Warned of Legal Action

Illegal financial institutions that have sourced funds by offering abnormally high interest rates will face legal measures, the governor of the central bank has warned.
Governor of the Bank of the Lao PDR, Dr Somphao Phaysith, told the ongoing ordinary session of the National Assembly (NA) that 24 institutions have been found acquiring deposits illegally. He said the bank has issued a notice instructing these institutions to …..

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Tax Rates Set To Increase Next Year: Ministry

The Taxation Department of the Ministry of Finance is aiming to introduce new land and road tax rates to boost government revenue for next fiscal year.
According to the Taxation Department’s report for the first seven months of the 2015-2016 fiscal year they were yet to determine what the percentage increase would be for the numerous categories of land and road tax.
At present tax is collected for land and vehicles at many different rates depending …..

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President Demands Harsh Penalties For Lack Of Discipline

Party Chief and President Bounnhang Vorachit has instructed the top anti-corruption body to appropriately punish those officials found violating the regulations in a bid to stamp out malpractice and lax discipline.
The president also endorsed the creation of measures that would enable members of the public to participate in inspection work …..

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Officials Express Concern About Illegal Marriages

People of 47 different nationalities are married to Lao citizens, with most foreign partners coming from the three nations of Thailand, the Republic of Korea and China, according to figures from the Protection Police and Lao-Anti Trafficking Department.
Some 1,600 marriages involving Lao citizens and foreigners were recorded from 2012-2015. In 75 cases, foreign women …..

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BOL Teams Up With Police To Combat Money Laundering

The government is taking a tough stance on financial transparency as well as crime prevention, especially in the area of money laundering, to help encourage foreign direct investment in Laos.
As part of government’s efforts to bring the country’s financial standards in line with international systems, the Bank of the Lao PDR (BOL)’s Anti-Money Laundering Intelligence Unit yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the ….

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South Korea Next To Issue Travel Warning For Parts Of Laos

South Korea followed the US and Australia in issuing a travel warning against trips to Laos’ central province of Xaisomboun, as well as traveling on Route 13 that stretches from Kasi to Phou Khoun, part of the road connection between Vientiane and Luang Prabang.
The warning followed a number of recent shootings that involved and killed Chinese nationals working in Laos and already prompted the Laos government to ……

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Vientiane Rescue: The Deadly Streets Of Laos

In the blinding glare of headlights, the traffic keeps coming. Motorbikes swerve dangerously, cars drive down the wrong side of the road – it’s Friday night in Vientiane, the busiest night of the week on the Laotian capital’s roads.
With the country’s economy booming, more people in Laos can afford motorbikes and cars than ever before – and they drive ….

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Police Break Up Gang Of Weapons Dealers

Vientiane police are pursuing their investigations into a network of people allegedly selling weapons in Laos.
Officials will step up efforts to track down other suspects involved in weapons dealing and would seek to obtain more information from those already in police custody.
Police held the press conference to inform the public that they had broken up a gang of weapons dealers and had impounded a number of items they were …..

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Vientiane Motorists Face Ten-Fold Fines On Roadside Parking

Motorists in Vientiane will face ten-fold fines from now on if they violate a new city ban on the use of pavements, sidewalks or roadsides where parking is prohibited.
In a warning for motorists, this includes all roads where the kerb and channeling is painted red and white, so members of the public will need to think more carefully about where they park their cars.
The new city ban comes into effect this …..

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Amended Constitution Creates Provincial Assemblies, Gives President Two Terms

The newly-amended constitution passed recently by the National Assembly (NA) has allowed the establishment of provincial assemblies (PAs) for the first time, which are set to function in an NA-like role as local parliaments.
The constitution also stipulates, for the first time, that the president can hold office for not more than …..

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New VAT Invoices Distributed To Boost Revenue Collection

Many people in Vientiane have begun to request the newly made Value Added Tax (VAT) invoices after learning the receipts may contain prizes, with tax officials hoping that the new incentives will boost revenue collection.
“I’d like a VAT invoice because I may win a prize,” said a customer at a small barber shop in Phontong village, Chanthabouly district, Vientiane last weekend. “If this invoice really contains prizes, it is better than……

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Lao Labour Law Interpretation Needed

The calculation of severance pay, the use of foreign labour, and many other matters stipulated in the newly amended Law on Labour needed explanation to ensure the law was effectively enforced.
These issues were discussed on Friday in Vientiane between employers, government officials, and international experts to test the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LNCCI) labour code guides and training material.
The calculation of severance pay that is fixed to 10 percent of previous ……

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Underage African Footballers ‘Trafficked’ To Laos

African footballers as young as 14 are being trafficked to Asia and forced to sign contracts, the BBC has learnt.
Six minors are still with top Laos side Champasak United, after it imported 23 under-age players from West Africa to an unregistered football academy in February, a BBC investigation found.
Fifa regulations prohibit the movement of players to a foreign club or academy until they are 18. The club, based in the southern city Pakse, denies any wrongdoing. “Fifa is in contact with several member associations in …..

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Foreign Drivers Should Understand Traffic In Laos: Police

Police authorities have asked foreign visitors to learn the traffic regulations in Laos before driving here in order to avoid road accidents.
The road accidents information sector from Vientiane Police Office reported on Tuesday that the number of road accidents in Vientiane involving foreigners is still low but stressed that they require foreign visitors to learn the Lao traffic regulations before driving here.
“It is still a low number but looking at the reality on the streets every day and you can see that there are several foreigners riding bicycles, motorcycles or even cars breaking the traffic regulations. If it stays like this the ….

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Police Seize Almost 3 Million Amphetamine Tablets After Car Chase

Narcotics suppression officials from Vientiane arrested a man on Sunday after finding almost 3 million amphetamine tablets stashed in the SUV he was driving.
As part of drug trafficking investigations in central Vientiane on June 7 officials followed a Toyota Prado that was driving at high speed through Phontong village in Chanthabouly district.
The Vientiane Police Office reported yesterday the narcotics suppression team was ….

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Bike Racers Being Reined In, Police Say

Police officers have responded to public complaints that they are not out on the streets at night to stop youths from racing motorbikes and disturbing the peace in central Vientiane.
Chief of the Commando Security Team at the Vientiane Police Headquarters, Lieutenant Colonel Khamphiew Vatthanaphone, said yesterday they wanted the public to know that they’re working on the problem every day, especially at weekends.
“Today we arrested some members of one group but by tomorrow there will be another group making trouble on …..

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Corruption: A cancer That Erodes Development Potential

Some officials in certain sectors in Laos still believe that if corruption issues are allowed to come to light it will have a negative impact not only on the individuals concerned but also on the country as a whole.
However a recent report from the Anti-corruption department posits the opposite, that in fact, when issues surrounding corruption and malpractice are exposed and then addressed, this actually paints the country in a positive light.
The recently disclosed report was quite frightening to read and it was evident that corruption has become widespread, especially amongst …….

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New Law Promulgated To Regulate Alcoholic Beverages

A new law promulgated recently aims to better regulate alcoholic beverage businesses and their advertisements, hopefully preventing people from drinking to excess and lessening the resultant social and economic impacts.
According to Article 20 of the 26 page Law on Alcoholic Beverages, venues offering alcoholic beverages are not allowed to be located near healthcare and education centres, state offices, religious venues, embassies, public parks, opera houses, passenger vehicle stations, petrol stations, sports complexes and factories.
In addition, advertisements for alcoholic beverage products must not attempt to …..

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Vietnamese Bank Official (Almost) Makes Off With Lao Buddha Statue

A Vietnamese bank executive managed to get his hands on a Buddhist statue believed to be about 500 years old from a Lao Buddhist temple in the capital Vientiane—but only for five hours.
It all started last year when the chairman and general director of the Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) headquartered in Hanoi, visited Ongtue Wat in Mixay village near the Mekong River in the capital’s Chanthaburi district. He was accompanied by a ….

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Merger Of McDonald Steed McGrath Lawyers Co Ltd With Australian Law Firm Arion Legal

McDonald Steed McGrath Lawyers Co Ltd has merged with Australian law firm Arion Legal, (www.arionlegal.com) creating a strong and improved presence and capability in the Lao PDR, now under the new name “Arion Legal” (incorporating McDonald Steed McGrath Lawyers Co Ltd).
The merger will allow Arion Legal to leverage the strong …

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New Decree Prohibits Online Criticism of Lao Government Policies

Laos has issued a new law prohibiting online criticism of the government and the ruling communist party, according to state media, setting out stiff penalties for netizens and Internet service providers who violate controls.
The 28-point decree makes Laos the latest Southeast Asian country to implement tough new laws governing use of the Internet.
Under the decree, which will take effect on Oct. 1, netizens will face criminal charges for publishing ….

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Enforcement of Contracts in Laos

Here in Laos there is a system of ‘notarising’ and ‘registering’ various documents that are used in everyday life and for business purposes. A “certified translation” is sometimes required by embassies and the Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for example for visa applications and official documentation. A certified translation of a document can be obtained from a company registered to provide translations.
A “notary” is generally defined as a person with legal training (but not a law degree necessarily) who is licensed by the state to perform acts in ……

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Inappropriate Facebook Use Could Be Blocked

Internet users who use social media such as Facebook to circulate false information or any use targeting to disrupt social order or undermine security could have their accounts blocked, a minister has said.
The technical officials are working in an attempt to block false information and some accounts that target to tarnish the reputation of individuals, disrupt social order, and tarnish the image of the country and the government.
Facebook has rapidly become popular among users worldwide and in Laos. The number of Lao Facebook users has more than doubled from ….

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Public Concerned Lao Forests Will Be Left With No Big Trees

People are seeing scores of wood trucks on the roads every day in some parts of the country, prompting concerns that Lao’s forests may soon be stripped of all big trees.
Most of the trucks look overloaded and some do not display number plates, leading to suspicions of illegal timber trading.
“Logging is not taking place in all the woodlands of the country as the public think,” Deputy Director of the Forestry Department …..

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Thai Immigration Boss Confirms The Out-In Visa Run Is Dead

The national commander of Thai Immigration, Lt Gen Phanu Kerdlaphon, has confirmed that “Out-In” visa runs are – apart from a few exceptions – a thing of the past.
Speaking with The Phuket News this morning, Gen Phanu said, “We have been very lenient about this. I’ve had many comments about [our excessive leniency].”
Several factors have come together to kill off the tourist visa run. The first is fallout from the disappearance of …. .

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More Foreign Work Permits Granted Amidst Rising Labour Demand

The government granted more work permits to foreign workers last year amid rising demand for a larger labour force to drive national economic development.
The Lao National Economic Research Institute released its latest economic outlook recently, showing that the government granted work permits to 5,663 foreign workers in 2013 as part of efforts to secure the manpower needed by an increasing number of foreign investment projects.
About 54 percent of the workers which received the work permits were from ….

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Spike In Fatal High Speed Crashes: Vientiane

Vientiane traffic police reported more than 30 road accidents in Vientiane last week, including six fatalities. Among the latest accidents involves a sport car which crashed into an electricity pole and tree at the Setthathirath Road in Xiengngeun village, Vientiane in the early morning of April 27.
The 21-year old driver sustained critical wounds and later died in hospital. The passenger also …..

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One Million Land Titles By 2015 ‘Possible’ Despite Major Funding Gap: Minister

Laos reaching its target of issuing one million land titles by 2015 “is possible”, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Mr Noulin Sinbandith said on Friday.
Work on giving out land titles began in 1997 and since then around 730,000 have been issued.
“The ministry has assigned provinces to pursue the ambitious target [of issuing the remaining 270,000 titles] by 2015,” the Minister told …..

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Lao Anti Corruption Law To Meet International Standards

Laos has largely fulfilled its commitment in implementing the United Nations Convention against Corruption as regards incorporating the principles of the convention into its national laws.
The evaluation suggested that Laos has 14 good points in combating corruption, while 15 shortcomings remain in existence and require the attention of authorities.
The good points included the fact that Laos signed and ratified the ….

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Import of Bigger Motorbikes Approved

The Lao government will now allow the importation of motorcycles with engine capacities of greater than 250 cc’s, lifting a previous ban on the bikes as part of efforts to comply with World Trade Organisation obligations.
In the past, the government banned imports of motorcycles with engine capacities of greater than 250cc’s in an effort to prevent criminals utilising high powered bikes to evade arrest by the police.
Laos has no more reasons to ban the import of the vehicles since the country became a member of …..

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Laos Remains A Source Of Human Trafficking Victims

Some young Lao women are reportedly being sold as brides in China, while about 72 per cent of trafficked children are girls under 18, according to a recent joint report by the government and the United Nations.
Laos is primarily a source country for victims of trafficking and, to a much lesser extent, a transit and destination country. The government investigated 49 cases and convicted 37 offenders in 2012, compared with 20 cases investigated and 33 convictions in 2010.
The details show that most of the cases involve children and young people who are often migrant workers seeking …..

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Lao Can’t Have Same-Sex Marriage In France

Same-sex couples in France are not allowed to marry if one of the two is a Lao citizen or an expatriate of one of 11 countries, French officials said.
France signed agreements with the countries stipulating their expatriates are prohibited from marrying under France’s new gay marriage law passed in May.
The 11 countries are Laos, Poland, …..

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Bar Association Pinpoints Defence Law Issues

The Lao Bar Association (LBA) is struggling to implement the professional rights of defence lawyers in regards to protecting and bringing justice to their clients.
“All defence lawyers should strive to carry out their work effectively and uphold their rights as stipulated by the law in regards to protecting the rights and interests of individuals and legal entities in accordance with the law,” he said when speaking about the association’s future plans.
The Law on Defence Lawyers stipulates 22 points regarding the rights and obligations of defence lawyers in relation to criminal and civil procedures….

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‘Driving Licences Not For Sale’: Official

Officials have quashed rumours that driving licences are being issued for sale by officials in the Vientiane Vehicle and Driving Management Division (VVDMD) – the body in charge of issuing licences in the capital.
The statement comes following public allegations that licences could be bought and sold on the black market, and were made by officials involved in the regular issuing process.
VVDMD rejected the allegation. He said it was impossible for such an irregularity to occur. “The application procedures to obtain a …

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Minimum Wage Increase Remains Unpaid, Despite New Ruling

Many businesses, notably garment factories, are failing to comply with an increase in the minimum wage paid to workers, which came into effect on January 1.
The government announced that the monthly minimum wage would increase from 348,000 kip to 626,000 kip plus any supporting allowances previously received, such as for lunch, good performance and social welfare benefits.

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Increasing HIV Infection Challenges Gov’t Reduction Target

Between 1990 and June 2012, over 5,260 out of 334,876 people who were given blood check were identified HIV positive and other 3,282 people were living with AIDS.
1,334 people died of the disease during the period adding Vientiane was ranked first as a province with highest number of HIV infected people (1,873 people), followed by Savannakhet 1,793, and Champassack 552.

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Report On Child Labour Highlights Issues Of Concern

Some 178,000 children below the age of 18 are considered to be engaged in child labour out of more than two million children in this age group nationwide, according to a child labour report.
Seven child labourers out of every 10 have been found working more than 49 hours a week, more than the 46 official working hours stipulated in the Labour Law.
The National Child Labour Survey 2010 Report has been carried out since 2010, when the Lao population was about 5.8 million.

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