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Lao People's Democratic Republic: Background

This map does not reflect a position by UNICEF on the legal status of any country or territory or the delimitation of any frontiers.
After two decades of isolation from the outside world, the Lao People's Democratic Republic is enjoying peace and stabilizing its political and economic structures. It is characterized by a high degree of geographic, cultural and linguistic diversity. The country's rich traditions survive, including respect for cultural and religious beliefs and practices and utilization of consensus in decision-making.

The first constitution since 1975 was promulgated in August 1991. It reaffirmed the monopoly of the LPRP on political power as well as the goal of a market-oriented economy. Restated in the Sixth Congress (1996), the Party has sole responsibility to lead the country and the government under the Constitution.

In July 1997, Laos became a member of Asean. Lao is considered a least developed country, with a population estimated at 5 million. Lao has made significant progress in guaranteeing children their rights to survival. However, there is still much to be attained in terms of the other rights of children at the critical stages of their lives.


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