Empowering Disadvantaged Youth in Laos to Find Decent Work

Continuing its commitment to support out-of-school youth in the local community, Mekong Timber Plantations Co., Ltd partnered with The Centre (formerly ‘CCR CSR’) to deliver a series of youth training sessions. Training was delivered to 15 youth in total, of whom 10 were out of school and five were still attending school. This training gave them a chance to acquire critical thinking skills, learn about life as a young worker and broaden their knowledge on issues such as the environment. 

The training activities were held in Khammuan Province, Laos, where Mekong Timber Plantation’s regional office, nursery office and plantations are located. It’s also home to the 15 youth who participated in the training, who are all aged between 15-17 and are hoping to secure a decent job in the near future. 

The Centre has been a long-term implementation partner for Mekong Timber Plantations Co., Ltd, supporting their vision to empower disadvantaged youth through knowledge so that they make smart career-related decisions when they enter the workforce. Prior to the pandemic, youth unemployment in Laos stood at approximately 40% (ILO), but these young people are now facing much greater barriers in the wake of COVID-19. 

Although Laos has had very few cases of COVID-19 in general, businesses have been impacted by ongoing travel restrictions and border closures. While there is no official data available yet, the unemployment rate among youth is likely to soar this year, as are the risks of youth taking up hazardous or exploitative jobs in informal settings. 

I was fired from my previous job because they said I was too small. It's good to have been given a chance to hear about the ork I can and can't do, and about the rights of the young worker from this workshop.” A participant from Danhi Village

By equipping them with greater awareness on workplace practices and rights, Mekong Timber Plantations hopes to pave a pathway for these youth to access decent, safe working opportunities, including at their own company. Below are a series of photos from the training sessions. 

The Centre partners with businesses across Asia to support decent work opportunities for young people in supply chains. Contact us to find out more about our in-factory programmes to support workers and families. 

Related: Visit our COVID-19 Resource Hub for the latest updates on the situation in Laos

Published on   03/08/2020
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