Article 182 of the Laotian Penal Code, relating to attacks on the liberty, tranquillity and reputation of others provides as follows:
“Any person convicted of having abducted, sold, assigned, pledged or hired out another person, irrespective of age, sex or status, shall be liability to a penalty of hard labour for life.
“The receiver shall be punished as an accomplice. Our penal law provides for the confiscation of the amounts received or agreed upon and their payment to the Treasury as a preventative measure against slavery and institutions or practices similar to slavery in Laos.”
The State protects the freedom and democratic rights of the people which cannot be violated by anyone. All state organisations and government officials must disseminate and create awareness of all policies, regulations and laws among the people and, together with the people, organise their implementation in order to guarantee the legitimate rights and interests of the people. All acts of bureaucratism and harassment that can be detrimental to the people’s honour, physical well-being, lives, consciences and property are prohibited.
(New) The State and society attend to developing skilled labour, upgrading labour discipline, promoting vocational skills and occupations and protecting the legitimate rights and benefits of workers.
(New) Lao citizens have the right to work and engage in occupations which are not contrary to the laws. Working people have the right to rest, to receive medical treatment in times of illness, [and] to receive assistance in the event of incapacity or disability, in old age, and in other cases as provided by the laws.
Lao citizens have the freedom of settlement and movement as provided by the laws.
LAO PEOPLE'S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC CONSTITUTION 1991 (WITH AMENDMENTS THROUGH 2003) (PDF)
Article 131. Prostitution
Any person engaging in prostitution shall be punished by three months to one year of imprisonment or by re-education without deprivation of liberty and shall be fined from 50,000 Kip to 500,000 Kip. Any person assisting or facilitating prostitution shall be punished by three months to one year of imprisonment or re-education without deprivation of liberty and shall be fined from 300,000 Kip to 1,000,000 Kip.
Article 132. Procuring
Any person generating income through procuring prostitution in any manner whatsoever shall be punished by six months to three years of imprisonment and shall be fined from Kip 5,000,000 to 10,000,000 Kip. Where procuring is performed as a regular profession or involves the prostitution of female minors48 or the forcing of a female person under the offender's guardianship into prostitution, the offender shall be punished by three to five years of imprisonment and shall be fined from 10,000,000 Kip to 50,000,000 Kip ranslation Endorsed by the Law Committee of the National Assembly of the Lao PDR
Article 133. (New) Forcing to Prostitution
Any person forcing another person to prostitution shall be punished by five years to ten years of imprisonment and shall be fined from 10,000,000 Kip to 20,000,000 Kip. Any person forcing another person who is under 18 years of age to prostitution shall be punished by ten years to twenty years of imprisonment and shall be fined from 20,000,000 Kip to 50,000,000 Kip.
Article 134. (New) Human Trafficking
Human trafficking means the recruitment, moving, transfer, harbouring, or receipt of any person within or across national borders by means of deception, threats, use of force, debt bondage or any other means [and using such person in] forced labour, prostitution, pornography, or anything that is against the fine traditions of the nation, or removing various body organs [of such person], or for other unlawful purposes. Any of the above-mentioned acts committed against children under 18 years of age shall be considered as human trafficking even though there is no deception, threat, use of force, or debt bondage. Any person engaging in human trafficking shall be punished by five years to fifteen years of imprisonment and shall be fined from 10,000,000 Kip to 100,000,000 Kip.
Where human trafficking is performed as a regular profession or in an organised group, where the victims are children, where there are two or more victims, where any victim is a close relative of the offender, or where any victim suffers serious injury or becomes an invalid or insane, the offender committing human trafficking shall be punished by fifteen to twenty years of imprisonment and shall be fined from more than 100,000,000 Kip to 500,000,000 Kip and his property shall be confiscated as provided in Article 34 of this law.
When the offence causes the victim to be a lifetime invalid, to be infected with HIV, or to die, the offender in human trafficking shall be punished by life imprisonment and shall be fined from more than 500,000,000 Kip to 1,000,000,000 Kip and his property shall be confiscated as provided in Article 34 of this law.
For trafficking in women and children, provisions of the Law on the Development and Protection of Women may be used. Any attempt to commit such an offence shall also be punished.
In November 2018, the government promulgated an updated penal code. Article 215 of the 2018 Penal Code criminalized sex trafficking and labor trafficking and prescribed increased penalties of five to 15 years’ imprisonment and a fine of 10 million to 100 million Lao kip ($1,170 to $11,720); if the offense involved a child victim, the fine range increased to 100 million to 500 million Lao kip ($11,720 to $58,580).
Men and women reaching the age of marriage have the right to marry on the basis of will, freedom and love. It is forbidden to force or hinder other individuals marriage
Men and women have the right to marry from eighteen years old. In special and necessary cases, this limit may be lowered down to no less than fifteen years old. Marriage must be based on mutual consent and will from both sides without coercion from any side or individual.”
A couple having the intention to marry must submit a written request to the registrar office…If it is seen that the couple meets all required conditions, the registrar officer will invite the concerned person to register their act of marriage in the presence of three witnesses
Article 24. Trafficking in Women and Children
Trafficking in women means the recruitment, hiding, moving, transportation, transfer, harbouring, [or] receipt of women, within or across national borders, by means of deception, the giving or receiving of bribes, threats, the use of force, [the use of] other forms of coercion, abduction, debt bondage or by other means[,] for forced labour, [for] prostitution, [for] publishing pornography and what is in contradiction to fine national culture, [for] the removal of various body parts13, or for other unlawful purposes.
If these acts are committed against children under 18 years old, then even though there is no deception, threat, force, or debt bondage, trafficking shall be regarded to have occurred.
Any individual who co-operates with14 the offender [who commits] an offence mentioned above[,] whether by incitement, providing assets or vehicles to the offender, the provision of shelter, or the concealment or removal of traces of an infraction, shall be considered as an accomplice in trafficking in women and children.
Trafficking in women and children is an offence.
Article 49. Penal Measures against Trafficking in Women and Children
Any person committing the offence of trafficking in women and children shall be punished by five to fifteen years of imprisonment and shall be fined from 10,000,000 Kip to 100,000,000 Kip, and shall be subject to confiscation of property as provided under Article 32 of the Penal Law.
In cases where offenders organise themselves, the victims are children, the victims are more than two persons, the victims are close relatives of the offenders, [or] the victims suffer severe injury [or] mental insanity, the offender in trafficking in women and children shall be punished by fifteen to twenty years of imprisonment and shall be fined from 100,000,000 Kip to 500,000,000 Kip[,] and shall be subject to confiscation of property as provided under Article 32 of the Penal Law.
In cases where offenders cause the victim lifetime incapacity, or [cause the victim to be] infected with HIV/AIDS, or cause death, the offender in trafficking in women and children shall be punished with life imprisonment and shall be fined from 500,000,000 Kip to 1,000,000,000 Kip[,] and shall be subject to confiscation of property as provided under Article 32 of the Penal Law, or shall be subject to capital punishment.
Preparation and attempts shall be subject to punishment.
Any person who has been an accomplice in the trafficking of women and children, as stipulated in paragraph 3 of Article 24 of this law, shall be punished by four to ten years of imprisonment and shall be fined from 5,000,000 Kip to 50,000,000 Kip[,] and shall be subject to confiscation of property as provided under Article 32 of the Penal Law.
Article 51. Criminal Measures against Those who Do Not Assist Victims
Any person who does not assist the victims of trafficking in women and children or of domestic violence in severe cases[,] where he or she is capable of giving such assistance[,] is punishable in accordance with Article 86 of the Penal Law.
Article 59 (New) Unauthorized Use of Forced Labor
No matter in what form, the use of forced labor is not authorized except in the following cases:
Article 101 (Revised) Acceptance of Youth Employees
Employers may accept employees under the age of eighteen years but not younger than fourteen years; however, they are prohibited from working overtime.
When necessary, the employer may accept and use youth employees under the age of fourteen, but not younger than twelve years, and must ensure the work is light work such as:
Article 102 (New) Unauthorized Use of Youth Employees
Cases wherein the use of youth employees is prohibited are as follows:
The list of hazardous works is specified separately.
Article 141 Prohibitions for Employers
The employer is prohibited from the following actions:
10.Any other actions which are in violation of the law.
Article 179 Measures Against Violators
Any individual or legal entity that violates this law shall be re-educated, warned, fined, subject to temporary suspension of business, subject to withdrawal of business license or brought to court proceedings based on the nature of the offence, including having to compensate for the civil damage caused, as regulated by the laws and regulations.