Rules and Law

Rules and LawSport

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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Expat Community LaosPermitsRules and LawSecurity

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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Rules and LawSecurity

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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Rules and LawSecurityTransportation - Vehicles

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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Rules and Law

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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Bars & EntertainmentHealthRestaurants & CafesRules and Law

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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Hotels, Guesthouse & ResortsRules and Law

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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BusinessPermitsRules and Law

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, ( 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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Communication (Phone-Internet-etc)InternetMediaRules and LawSecurity

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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Rules and Law

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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AppsCommunication (Phone-Internet-etc)InternetMediaRules and LawSecurity

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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Nature / WildlifeRules and Law

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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PermitsRules and LawThailand

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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Expat Community LaosLao EconomyPermitsRules and Law

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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Rules and LawSecurityTransportation - Vehicles

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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HousingLandLao EconomyPermitsReal Estate - Housing -GardeningRules and Law

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 EconomyRules and Law

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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PermitsRules and LawTransportation - Vehicles

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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Rules and LawSecurity

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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Expat Community LaosGeneral InterestRules and Law

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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Rules and Law

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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PermitsRules and LawSecurityTransportation - Vehicles

‘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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Finance - Banking - MoneyRules and Law

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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AIDS/HIVHealthpest controlRules and Law

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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Rules and Law

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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