LYL in Lao PDR

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In the lead up to the Mine Ban Treaty’s Third Review Conference in June, the Lao Ban Advocates (BA), a group of cluster munition survivors supported by Handicap International, marked the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action with the Lend Your Leg campaign. This campaign aims to show solidarity and support to the victims of landmines and cluster munitions and to promote the Universalization of the Mine Ban Treaty.

The Lao Ban Advocates, representing more than twenty thousand UXO/Mine survivors in Lao PDR, join this campaign and ask everyone to Lend Their Leg on April 4th to show solidarity and support to the victims of landmines and cluster munitions.

PhongsavathManithong, a Lao Ban Advocate, said “This year is an important year for the Lao PDR; it is the 20th Anniversary of formal agreement to begin UXO/Mine clearance work in Laos (1994); and also 50th Anniversary of the beginning of U.S. bombing in Laos (1964). Importantly, it is also the 15th year Anniversary of the Mine Ban Treaty entry into force (March 1st 1999). On these important occasions, we the Lao Ban Advocates would like to call the Government of Lao PDR and donor countries for more action on these issues.”

The Government of Lao PDR has expressed in previous occasions its willingness to join the treaty, but hasn’t yet signed it. The Lao Ban Advocates have been key spokespeople for the Conventions on national, regional and international levels, advocating for assistance to victims of landmines and cluster munitions as well as promoting disability rights and allocation of funds for UXO/Mine clearance in the Lao PDR and worldwide.

Seevanh Xaykia