Lao People’s Democratic Republic
Practice Relating to Rule 135. Children
Section A. Special protection
In 2009, in its second periodic report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) stated:
2. Children in armed conflict (art. 38 [of the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child]), including physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration (art. 39 [of the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child])
122. … In time of war … the authorities responsible (Ministry of National [D]efence and Ministry of [S]ecurity) will take the necessary measures to protect the civilian population, including children.
124. … In the event of the threat of war and emergency general mobilization, the administrative authorities, the State bodies, the mass organizations and the social organizations will take care of the families of those who have been mobilized to perform their patriotic duty (art. 24, subpara. 4, of the Act on National Service Obligations) and to protect the civilian population generally; if fighting takes place, the Government will apply the provisions of the  Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (arts. 14 to 17).
125. The international humanitarian law applicable to the Lao PDR in such circumstances will consist in the 1949 Geneva Convention[s], and, more particularly, the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War to which the Lao PDR is a signatory. As for the measures to be taken to protect children, the Government does not yet know what they would be, as the Lao PDR is currently living in a time of peace, and the Lao Government has no intention of provoking anyone and will not be the first to engage in war. However, if the Lao PDR is attacked, the Government will take account of the circumstances at the time to seek humanitarian assistance from friendly countries and international organizations.
126. In the current situation where everything is normal, the Government applies the general principles of the  Convention [on the Rights of the Child] where it can; in applying the provisions of article 38 of the Convention, it will, of course, respect those principles, except in emergency situations beyond its control.
127. In the event of war, the Government will review the measures necessary for the physical and mental rehabilitation of children who are the victims of armed conflict and their social reintegration, according to the possibilities at the time.
128. Since the past 30 years have been a time of peace, children under 18 have never been the victims of war. As a result, the Government has no policy or plan to repair the physical and psychological effects of war on children and promote their social reintegration; similarly, no measure has been taken to demobilize child soldiers, as the Lao People’s Army contains no soldiers below the age of 18.
129. Given that the provisions of articles 38 and 39 of the Convention do not reflect the actual situation in the Lao PDR, the Government is unable to assess the progress made or difficulties encountered in implementing those articles. It is, however, in the process of looking into the possibility of signing the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict.