Lao PDR Human Security Profile

Draft March 2008

Prepared by

Gaby Guerrero Serdán

OPHUSEC project, Swisspeace, Bern

CONTENTS

Abbreviations and Acronyms

ADB AI AFP ATS CIA FAO GDP GOL HI HIV/AIDS IDU IHT ILO IMR LAO PDR MDG MLSW MWBP NCCA NGO NRA NSC NTFP OPHUSEC PPP STI UN UNAIDS UNDP Unicef UNODC US U5M UXO WB WHO WFP

Asian Development Bank Amnesty International Agence France Press Amphetamine Type Stimulants Central Intelligence Agency Food and Agriculture Organization Gross Domestic Product Government of Lao People’s Democratic Republic Handicap International Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome Intravenous Drugs International Herald Tribune International Labour Organization Infant Mortality Rate Lao People’s Democratic Republic Millennium Development Goal Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, GOL Mekong Wetlands Biodiversity Project National Committee for the Control of AIDS Non-governmental Organization National Regulatory Authority for UXO National Statistics Center, Government of Lao PDR Non-timber Forest Product Operationalizing Human Security Project Purchasing Power Parity Sexually Transmitted Infection United Nations Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS United Nations Development Programme United Nations Children’s Fund United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime United States of America Under-five Mortality Rate Unexploded Ordnance World Bank World Health Organization World Food Programme

Lao PDR Human Security Profile

Introduction Since the 1990’s, debate on the concept of security among various actors not only in academia but also within international organizations and development practitioners has been increasing.

The 1994 UNDP Human Development Report “New Dimensions of Human

Security” embraced the concept of security as security for people rather than security for nation-states. It therefore expanded the notion of security by emphasizing the protection of people from threats of diseases, hunger, unemployment, crime, and environmental hazards. The focus on a human-centered security raised concerns on its definition and on methodological applications. Until now, there is not a common agreement on a definition of human security but there is a common understanding that security is about people. The present study analyses the security of Laotians through a human security lens. The study is organized in three main sections. The first one describes the country context. It refers to the main historical, political, socio-economic and human conditions that persist in the country. The second section introduces the human security framework developed by the OPHUSEC project. This framework is further studied on the subsequent subsections, which provide an analysis of 10 identified life-threatening risks to human security in Laos. In the third section, the paper then introduces an index for measuring human security among threats. This measure is applied as an attempt to quantify specific life-threatening risks to human security in Laos. The fourth section gives an overview of the past and present responses to such threats. It also identifies some of the possible future actions while outlining existing coping mechanisms as well as mitigation tools. This part is complemented by positive and negative scenarios of human insecurity with the use of the index developed. The paper finalizes with a conclusion.

Lao Country Context Lao People’s Democratic Republic, commonly known as Laos is a Land-locked and a Least Developed country situated in the heart of South East Asia. Surrounded by big neighbours; Thailand, Myanmar, China, Cambodia and Vietnam, its borders encompass 5 thousand sq. km, half of this lies along the Mekong River. The size of the country covers an area comparable to Uganda or the UK and has a population size of 5.6 million, similar to Nicaragua. It has one of the lowest densities in the world, being five times greater than Switzerland; it only has three quarters of the Swiss population. The country is one of the poorest nations in the

whole Asia-Pacific region with one of the fastest growing populations. It is ranked 133 out of 177 countries in the UNDP’s Human Development Index and has a GDP per capita of less than 2,000 USD (PPP)1. Historical and political developments The Lang Xang or the Land of A Million Elephants dates back to the 14th century when Price Fa Ngum established the kingdom in 1354.

The kingdom fluorished for more than 300

hundred years ruling from Muang Sua (Luang Prabang today) and covering parts of what is now Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. The population was made up of Lao and Thai ethnic groups as well as of Chinese-origin hill tribes. Laos fell under the French rule as part of Indochina in the late 19th century and remained under the Gaulois regime until its independece in 1954. The aftermath of the Vietnam war gave victory to the Pathet Lao and marked the revolution of 1975. Since then a communist system, mirrored to the Vietnam model, has been in placed. The political framework is based on a one-party system and is fairly centralized with major policy developments being decided at the central level, althought -to some extent- there is a decentralization process taking place. Governors of the 18 provinces have great autonomy and decision making on the administration and implementation of policy. This is more evident in the fiscal area where provincial authorities are responsible for most tax collection mechanisms. The single party is guided by the politburo of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party. Major reforms are proposed and adopted in the Party Congress, held every 5 years. Economic developments Laos is a very rural country. Its economy is very much based on subsistence agriculture and relies heavily on natural resources. It is estimated that around 60 percent of GDP comes from the use of the environment and from natural resources. Despite increasing trends of internal and external migration, the majority of the population, more than 70 percent, lives in rural areas. Land has been widely accessible to almost all sectors of society through agricultural plots. However, recent land reforms, displacement and resettlement policies have decreased land availability to farmers. In latest years, agricultural output of rice, the main staple, has decreased and the country has had to import this and other staples. Agriculture composes the largest part of GDP followed by industry, including hydroelectric power and mining. Services, mainly related to tourisms, have been increasing steadily since the country opened up to foreign tourism in 1999.

1

UNDP, HDR, 2007 and WB, 2007

Laos has changed dramatically during the past decade. The New Economic Mechanism adopted in 1980’s marked a shift to the opening up of the economy. It also introduced important decentralization reforms.

Since the 1990s, the Lao economy has followed its

Southeast Asian neighbours with a steady annual growth averaging 6 percent2. Large infrastructure projects, in particular in the hydroelectric, mining and transport areas have taken place just in a few years across the country. The majority of these have been financed through credits and grants by multilateral banks such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. The roads network has improved considerably in a few years. In 1999, there was only one all-season road in the country outside of the capital. Now, road networks cover all provincial capitals and connect several villages to all-season roads. Nevertheless, many rural areas and villages are only accessible during the dry season. Inhabitants of remote villages use boats or have to walk for several days to reach towns.

Despite the steady economic growth, there is a large unemployment rate, in particular among youth in urban centres. As a result, many migrate to neighbouring Thailand in search for jobs. In rural areas, the lack of opportunities, poor living conditions and less available land has push people to leave.

The location of Laos at the crossroads of large countries such as Vietnam, China and Thailand places the country in a strategic but difficult situation. On the positive side, it opens up opportunities for trade, investment and employment generation. These could create synergies to alleviate poverty and improve living conditions of the population. On the negative side, the huge appetite of China and Vietnam over Lao natural resources, in particular forests and minerals, threatens the environment and the livelihoods of people. In addition, there is also a fear that increasing traffic of persons will boost the still low rate of HIV/AIDS epidemic in the country. Moreover, the Thai cultural domination predominantly among the youth, risks undermining Lao’s rich history of traditions and customs3. Socio-cultural dimensions Lao PDR is a multi-ethnic country with more than 49 recognized groups4. These are divided into three major groups originating from geographical locations: Lao Leum, Lao Theug and Lao Soung, corresponding to lowland, midland and upland groups, respectively. However, group differences are more visible between lowland people and highland populations. The inhabitants of the North are mainly highlanders of hill tribes such as the Aka and Yao that have

2 During the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997/8 Laos was also affected but to a lower extent than its neighbour in Thailand due to the closeness of its capital market.

3 4

NHDR, 2006.

Some scholars argue that there are more than 200 groups, which depend on the ethno linguistic divisions used. See for example, the ADB, Participatory Poverty Assessment. 1997

lived for centuries in South China, Myanmar and Thailand. The South and parts of the East host ethnic groups such as the Katum and other Vietnamese-origin tribes. The center is predominantly composed of Lao-Thai groups. These compose around one third of the total population. The official language is Lao -despite the fact that it is the mother tongue of only 40 percent of the population. The Lao language is similar in many aspects to the Thai language, but has its own alphabet, words and grammatical rules. Lao is also widely spoken in the Northeast part of Thailand5. The diversity of the country makes it very rich in traditions, costumes and culture. People in the forest follow their own calendars and rituals. Their traditions and beliefs are attached very much to the forest, its animals and resources. Spirits take part of their daily life. Customs encircle social life, marriage, giving birth and funerals. Elderly play a major role in community life. Highland beliefs have melted with lowland customs such as in the Baci ceremony6, where animism rituals unites with Buddhist faith.

Many people in the highland have been harvesting opium for several centuries. Opium production in Laos is said to be consumed locally7. Smoking opium is part of elderly social life within some groups. Also, it has been used by local shamans as a herbal medicine. Until now people in remote areas continue to use it as a pain relief due to the lack of medicine. Nevertheless, being Laos part of the so-called Golden Triangle, it has been exposed to various forms of trading and smuggling8.

One of the major impacts of development that has shaped the life of highland populations is the displacement and resettlement of people. Although not being an official policy per se, a large majority of government development projects induced displacement from high and mountainous areas to the lowlands with the view to provide more services to the people9. Internal displacement and resettlement has become a very complex issue and its causes are now diverse, some being economic, some environmental and some political. Acknowledging that it is impossible to provide every village with access to adequate education, water and health services, the government established some sort of development clusters to merge a certain number of villages. To form the clusters, villages were often relocated. District authorities who were in charge of implementing such efforts applied informal – and unofficial criteria to decide if a village needs to be moved10. There are no official documents defining the criteria and it is said to vary from province to province at the discretion of the district officials interpretation. Based on research and informal discussions with villagers, a study on 5

This has facilitated the integration of migrants into Thailand as they can be perceived to be from the Thai region of Isan. The Baci is a ritual ceremony among family and friends with the purpose of getting success in life and happiness. It is held for marriages, funerals, new born babies, or before/after changing of house or job. 7 See UNDP and GOL, 2004and UNODC, 2006 8 The Golden Triangle is composed of Laos, China and Myanmar. The term was first used by 9 Evrard and Goudineau, 2004. 10 Some argue that still now villages are relocated for this purpose. The Government argues that relocation is done mainly due to large-scale infrastructure projects. 6

livelihoods supported by UNDP reports that a village was kept in its original location if it had at least 30 households, access to a primary school, access to a health clinic and access to a road11 within a range of 6-10 km12. However, more rigorous criteria has been applied to clear land for large-scale infrastructure projects such as hydroelectric dams. The most recent one, Nam Teum II in Khammouane province has possibly resettled more than 6,000 and affected around 100,000 people living downstream13.

From an environmental point of view, it has been argued that traditional agricultural practices such as the pioneering and shifting cultivation methods cause environmental degradation of land and forests. There is still debate on this among agriculture researchers and environmentalists. Despite a disagreement, in the past, several villages that had practiced such methods and therefore used to move from place to place following fallow periods were forced to a sedentary life. In some cases, they have been settled in villages together with other ethnic groups creating conflicts among them over land and customary practices.

Several International NGOs have argued that resettlement is politically motivated in specific areas and targeting the Hmong population, a group that backed the US during the Vietnam War. The Hmong have been living in the mountainous areas of Central and East Laos. They have somehow lived in isolation after the end of the war in 1975 with limited public services. The Hmong are said to have a strong and proud character with a great force of self-reliance and courage. A great number of them have migrated to the US, France and Australia.

Whatever the reasons might be, it is evident that internal migration is an escalating phenomenon. The pace of such movement has positive and negative impacts. It not only provides better access to public and health services, generating possible mitigation measures for health related risks. But also affects the livelihoods of people, and their exposure to human security threats such as new diseases, trafficking and exploitation. Human development conditions Investment in development and infrastructure projects has with no doubt enhanced human development conditions in the country. In particular, some progress has been made in the areas of education and health. In education, the literacy rate is now 80 percent and net enrolment rate in primary school exceeds the 80 percent14. This progress has been equally among men and women. In health, improvements are more modest. Under-five mortality 11

Gravel or paved. UNDP and GOL, 2004. 13 Norplan and EcoLao, 2004 report 5,000 people to be involuntarily resettled. AI, 2005. Reports 6,000 people resettled and 40,000 affected. Media reports estimate around 70,000 to 100,000. See for example: IHT http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/03/15/news/rcorpdam.php or AFP http://rawstory.com/news/afp/Controversial_mega_dam_takes_shape__07012007.html. 14 NHDR, 2006. 12

(U5M) and infant mortality (IMR) have decreased from 170 and 134 (per 1,000 live births) in 1990 to 98 and 70 in 200515. While these are not negligible improvements, the country still lags behind, as these rates are comparable to the poorest parts of Africa.

Moreover, women still face several health challenges during and after pregnancy. The maternal mortality rate has dropped from 750 (per 100,000 live births) in 1990 to 450 in 200516. Many women die due to lack of basic medication, malnourishment and infections. Few births are attended by skilled personnel and health clinics are poorly accessible in rural areas. Malaria and other diseases pose huge challenges to the health of children, women and also to the general population. The HIV/AIDS rate is surprisingly still low but vulnerability is high and increasing. By 2005 there have been 1,827 cases of HIV/AIDS reported from which 60 percent are infected mainly through heterosexual sex17. The rate of other sexual transmitted diseases especially among sex female workers is increasing. More than 40 percent have either Chlamydia or gonorrhoea18.

One of the cruel legacies of the Vietnam War are Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) and cluster ammunitions. 30 years after the end of the war they still claim the live of several thousand people, more than 200 per year. During the Vietnam War, US carriers attacked not only the Vietnamese territory but also the Lao border in the east and northern areas. The un/official reason was that the Ho Chi Minh trail that connected North and South Vietnam pass through some parts of Laos. Other sources indicate that carriers that were not able to throw the bombs in Vietnamese territory were thrown in Lao territory before going back to their bases in Thailand. Once with such cargo, carriers cannot land if they are still loaded19.

The UXO office has recently received the files of the US aerial bombardment in Laos during the 1970s. This has helped to estimate more appropriately the amount and location of unexploded ordnance. It is estimated that around 2 million tons of bombs were dropped in Lao, including 300 million anti-personnel cluster bombs.

The recent files show that the

amount could go up to 6 million. 30 percent of these cluster bomb units failed to explode, leaving millions of them in the Laotian land. The impact of this is immense. One third of the Lao territory is covered by a UXO or remnants of war. There have been recorded 13,000 casualties; around 50 percent are children and the majority are men.

15

CCA report, 2006. UNDP, ADR. 2007. ibid 18 ibid 19 This statements are partly drown from chats with ex-peace corps. See also Stuart-Fox, 1997 and Evans, 2002. 16 17

Human Security Analysis The concept of human security covers different dimensions. These include economic, food, health, environmental, personal, community and political security dimensions

20

. The analysis

presented here uses a broader definition of human security. Human security is related to freedom from fear, threat and freedom from want not only in war, genocide and terrorism but also includes threats from hunger, disease and natural disasters21. The present study uses the OPHUSEC project definition of human security, defined as “individual-centered security provision and threat/syndrome mitigation”22. It therefore considers human security provision as “internal and external approaches towards lowering levels of fear, threat and want” to assure basic and existential individual and community securities23.

In the Lao context, there have been studies covering one or few of the different dimensions that the concept of human security involves. For example, on poverty and deprivation or on food security or displacement, impacts of cluster bombs and mines, health illnesses, trafficking or on drugs and opium24. While it is true that many of these dimensions are interlinked, it is of great importance to analyse them in a combined manner. The following analysis applies the framework developed by the OPHUSEC project at Swiss Peace25.

The next section is based mainly on a desk review of existing papers and studies that focus on certain threats to human security in Laos. The material has been complemented by the knowledge and experience in the country of the author. After a review, various threats and risks to human security were identified. These threats are of Lao importance only and are therefore selected based on the local situation and conditions that persist in the Lao context. Moreover, these threats are solely life threatening or perceived to be life threatening as suggested by OPHUSEC framework.

Threats-based analysis What are the main threats in the Lao context? Table 1 below presents the ten local threats that this analysis focus on. Not surprisingly, we find many common risks to human security, which persist globally. These risks relate to the explosives of unexploded ordnance and remnants of war, vulnerability caused by HIV/AIDS, human exploitation and trafficking, addiction to opium, 20

See Human Development Report, 1994. See Human Security Report 2005 and 2006 and Human Development Report 1994. 22 Schnabel, Albrecht 2005. p. 14. 23 Idem 24 See for example UNODC, 2006; MLSW and Unicef, 2005; WFP, 2005; UNDP,2004; HI, 2006; HIB, 1997; FAO and WHO, 2004; UN and GoL, 2004. 25 The project started in 2007 with the title “Operationalizing Human Security”. 21

drug addiction of Amphetamine Type Stimulants (ATS), infant and child mortality, maternal mortality, malaria and other communicable diseases, food insecurity and road accidents.

These threats also represent some of the main global human development indicators reflected in the Millennium Development Goals. Many of these are interlinked and their causes and symptoms have similar roots. In general, risks related to health deprivation and illnesses are among the worst affecting the Lao population. The following sections include an analysis of each of the identified threats as reflected in Table 1. It is followed by an analysis of the main actors affected. UXO and landmine explosives 26

UXO and cluster ammunitions are present in more than a third of the Lao territory and cover 15 out of the 18 provinces and 25 percent of villages. This is an immense risk to the population. In 1996, the authorities established a Lao UXO unit in charge of planning and coordinating the clearing. However, estimates indicate that it will take more than 100 years to clear only the land that is inhabited or used for agricultural production. The UXO office requires a vast amount of financial resources for clearing land and relies mainly on donor money for its continuation and functioning. UXO clearing teams are constantly busy on trying to clear up land for schools, houses, health centres or new roads to be built. Priority exist for such infrastructure projects.

Data on total casualties, which are mainly civilians, is not accurately known but there are several estimates. The National Regulatory Authority (NRA) affirms that there have been more than 13,000 casualties since 1973. 43 percent of these result in death. The 1997 Handicap International (HI) survey recorded 10,649 casualties (5,495 killed, 5,154 injured) between 1973 and 1996. According to the landmine monitor reports (see table below), there have been an increase in the number of incidents. In 2002 there were 43 incidents. This number raised to 91 in 2005. The number of casualties has also increased from 122 to 164. The majority of recent casualties have been reported in the province of Xieng Khouang27.

26

This section is based on the following material: UXO Lao http://www.uxolao.org, UNDP ADR http://www.undp.org/eo/documents/ADR/ADR_Reports/ADR_Laos.pdf and Handicap international 1997 Survey. 27 Landmine monitor report, 2006.

Table 1: Threat Analysis WHAT is the threat?

UXO and explosives

landmine

AIDS, vulnerability illnesses

to

Who is theatened?

By whom?*

Men and children

by 90 million cluster bombs and 200,000 purpose 1/3 of the territory or 25% of bombs that were dropped by the US and remained communities in 15 of the 18 provinces unexplodded on the ground

How serious threat? )

Where? (location)

sex workers, mobile populations (truck drivers, diverse: sex workers and clients, HIV positive persons construction workers, poice and that are aware of their health status but dont Mainly border areas with Thailand military, housewives and undertake precautions in their behaivor children

all

is

very serious

rural households, individuals consumers of opium (men as per UNODC report)

Drug additction and drug Mainly youth trafficking (mainly ATS)

Infant and Mortality

mainly north and highlands

consumers of amphetamines and chemical-related border areas but increasingly urban areas potentially very serious drugs and from urban to rural

“imagined, percieved, Symptoms indoctrinated or real threat”

Root Causes

direct: unexploded ordonance (mainly bombies but also unexploded heavy bombs, rockets, grenades, artillery munitions, mortars, anti-personnel landmines, and improvised explosive devices), indirect: farming activities, working in paddies, children playing

13,000 UXO-related accidents occurred since 1973, 50% real children & 81%male, 43% of casualties result in death

loss of legs, arm(s), physical impediments, psychological trauma, lose of family members, dimish cultivatioin of paddies

Deaths <100[<200],Potential: Num people living w HIV 3700 (1800-12000), adults 15-49 w HIV .1 (.1-.4)%, adults perceived 15-up 3600(1700-12000), women aged 15-up w HIV <1000(260-2000)

vulnerable immune system, direct: HIV, indirect: unprotected sex, to less extent by blood transfussion or injuries, unawarness frequent illnesses, prostitution

17% of children from the survey areas, have simply disappeared and never returned to their homes and percieved families

forced prostitution and forced labour for domestic use and factory work, violence, drug used, sexual exploitation, HIV/AIDS

addiction rates: between 11,201 and 20,000 addicts as of 2006, 2005 1% and .58% 2006, HHs involved cultivation in indoctrinated 2006 133, 600 but higher in norht and highlands

addiction of family members, low direct: often used as pain killer, cultural and social level of nutrition status in family smoking, indirect: lack of medicine, need to grow to members, lack of food, earn money but then start using it psychological damages, etc..

potential threat

real

direct: unemployment, cheated by trafficking networks promising a job in Thailand, indirect: resettlement, migration, economic motivation, searching for opportunities

youth crime gangs, alchohol direct: illegal trade and production of drugs, abuse, family members beated, indirect: poverty, lack of awarness human trafficking

around 40,000 addicts in 2006

diverse: authorites responsible for providing adequate under-five infants and children under 5 mainly rural areas, places where there are health services, mothers/families unaware of risks and very serious years no midwifes do not make use of health services

Y

82 infant deaths per 1,000 live births and 107 child deaths real per 1,000 live deaths

diarrhea, malaria and direct:malnutrition, illness of infants and children, communicable diseases , indirect: lack of health facilities, lack of medicine, food insecurity, poverty, poor health unawarness

diverse: authorites responsible for providing adequate women at reproductive age, in villages without access to health services, health services, mothers/families unaware of risks and very serious rural areas remote areas do not make use of health services

Y

650 per 100,000 live births

direct: infections, postpartum haemorrhage and high mortality of women after abortions, indirect:poor quality of health services, pregnancy, during and after birth to some extent underutilization of services

Y

3.5 deaths per 100,000 of population, morbidity is 48 per 1,000 due to malaria, 72 % of risk areas not in use of percieved protective measures, tuberculosis prevalence rate is 144 per 100,000

sickness

pregnant women and children Malaria and other are most vulnerable once mosquito communicable diseases infected

and

Road accidents

in some cases

How many victims? **

in some cases

Maternal mortality

Malnutrition insecurity

Y

potentially serious to spread as epidemic as in Y Thailand and Cambodia

Mainly youg females aged most vulnerable lowland groups, from Human explotation and diverse: organized crime groups, trafficking networks between 12 - 18 years old and rural farming backgrounds but living in serious abuse operating in Thailand and SEA children urban areas

Opium addiction

the Life threatening?

Food

remote areas and along side streams, serious areas with no sanitation

real

direct: poor sanitation, unsafe water, indirect: lack of awarness, poverty, lack of treatment and prevention tools, resettlement form highlands to lowlands

rural households

highlands, areas with no irrigation sytems, diverse: authorities responsible for displacement and presistence of droughts or floods, in the serious in some parts allocation of land, natural disasters, pests, diseases uplands rice deficit is of 4 months

Y

population living in 25 out of 146 districts. 47% of children percieved under 5 are malnourished

direct: lack of rice, lack of livestock, indirect: animal malnurished children, prevalence disease, poverty, pests, floods, lack of agricultural diminishing of NTFPs, of diseases, lack of good health, infraestructure, environmental degradation, resettlement, UXO, lack of labour land allocation, floods and droughts

VientianeCapital population

Bad drivers of motorvehicles: cars, motorcycles, tuk main roads in city area tuks

Y

:In 2006, 492 people died and 7,825 were injured in 4,620 percieved road traffic accidents. 542 road traffic accidens in a month

prevalence of head and/or facial direct: low use of safety helmets, drink-driving, injuries or in other parts of the speeding and night-time visibility, indirect: lack of body, loss of arms or legs, death awarness, lack of endorsement of law

*responsibility is given to those actors who are directly accountable for the threat ** Most of the estimates are taken from the National Statistics Center. Some of these estimates are larger than those reported in official reports such as the MDGR and CCA.

Table 2: 2001-2005 trend of UXO/mine Casualties Year

Casualties

Killed

Injured

Num. of incidents

2001

122

35

87

n.a.

2002

99

28

71

43

2003

118

33

85

59

2004

198

66

128

90

2005

164

36

128

91

Source: Landmine monitor, various reports. Casualties from UXO and mines.

The leading causes reported were related to incidents where victims reported carrying one of the following activities; building a fire, agricultural activities, tampering with UXO or playing. More recently, the increasing commerce of the UXO metal has triggered the number of incidents as people search for scrap metal to sell28.

During the past decades, one of the main difficulties was the lack of a specific geographic identification of the location of the remnants of war. Although maps existed, not until recently, the Lao Government received files from the aerial bombardments. The particularity in the Lao context is that although UXO can be identified over a certain area, its specific location its not known before detectors come or a bomb explodes. The mud-covered and swampy soil in Laos allows UXOs to move aside for some centimetres (or even metres) over time without exploding. Since farmers use mainly their legs to planting rice, in various cases, bombs get pushed deeper into the ground and get hid for years29. Once one of the bombs explodes, clearing teams can identify the location of several of others30, but in many cases, not before someone gets killed or injured.

The root causes are evidently not only the presence of UXO but also the lack of awareness, lack of time that teams can dedicate to clearing, the financial burden and the economic gains of scrap metal trade. Financial costs are enormous. From 1996 to 2005, contributions to a UNDP-managed trust fund have totalled $27,841,061. In 2004, the international community (10 countries) provided $8.1 million for mine action in Laos, twice as much as in 200331.

28

ibid This is based on anecdotal evidence collected by the author. 30 ibid 31 Landmine Monitor Report, 2005. 29

HIV/AIDS The HIV/AIDS epidemic in Laos is estimated 0.1 percent. This is low in comparison with higher prevalence neighbouring countries such as China, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia32. Laos has miraculously remained untouched until recent years. The increasing movement of Lao workers to Thailand, the creation of large infrastructure projects attracting foreign workers, the increase volumes of tourists, and the vast amount of new roads that have increased the number of transit drivers have triggered the situation. UNAIDS estimates that around 3,700 (with a confidence interval of 1,800-1,2000) people live with HIV/AIDS in Laos, from which less than 1,000 are women older than 1533.

Official estimates indicate that in 2004, 1470 people were identified with HIV. Of these 279 were known to be living with AIDS, 191 were under treatment, 556 have died34. 62 percent of reported HIV cases were male and 38 female. People infected are relatively young, 50 percent being between 20 and 39 years. The National Strategic and Action Plan on HIV/AIDS/STI 2006-2010 states that “of those whose mode of transmission was known, 95,1 (percent) had been transmitted through heterosexual sex, 3.6 percent transmitted from mother to child, 0.7 through homosexual sex, 0.3 through blood products and 0.08 through intravenous drug use”35.

In fact, the number of officially registered AIDS related deaths is much higher than the estimated number of people dying of AIDS based on 0.08 percent prevalence. This would mean that either a group with a relatively high HIV prevalence was not captured in the second round of surveillance, and/or that the epidemic in the Lao PDR started much earlier as assumed. The latter would point to labour migrants to Thailand, who may have brought HIV back to Laos in the early 90s.

Women who are sex workers are highly exposed to the virus. They are at high risk due to the little awareness of the necessity to use protection. Moreover, men working abroad often acquire the virus and return back infected. They then pass on the virus to their wives. Women then risk infecting their children. This circular situation is particularly relevant for the Lao-Thai border areas in the Southern parts of the country and in the capital, Vientiane.

32

UNAIDS/Unicef/WHO, 2004 UNAIDS, 2006. 34 NCCA, 2005 35 ibid 33

Due to its low prevalence, Lao authorities have been skeptical about the real danger that the spread of the virus is. Maybe also due to traditional and social restrictions. One of the main difficulties has also been the lack of data. There have been only two rounds of behavioral and sero-surveillance surveys conducted36. The last one was conducted in 2004 but covered only 6 out of the 18 provinces. The surveillance targeted sex-workers mainly leaving out other vulnerable groups such as labour migrants. The results suggest that two of the border provinces, Bokeo and Savanakhet, have the largest prevalence rates, 3.9 and 3.3, respectively37. As no national-wide survey exists, the low prevalence of 0.1 registered could evidently be an undercount. Opium, Drugs and ATS38 Opium production has been perceived as a real danger to communities in various areas of the Lao PDR. Since the 1990’s Laos has been flashed as the third-largest opium producer in the world and an important transit country being part of Golden Triangle and39. Illegal trade is a major concern but the majority of drug production is actually consumed locally40. The Government has committed to an opium eradication policy as part of the poverty reduction programs and national development plans41. Over the last years, opium cultivation and productions has substantially decreased in the country. Laos has passed from a net exporter to become a net importer42. This trend has been reversed during the last year. As a UNODC survey reports, opium production has slightly increased from 1,800 ha. in 2005 to 2,500 ha. in 2006. Moreover, poppy eradication has decreased from 2,574 ha. to 1,518 ha., respectively. This represents an increase in production of 39 percent. However, the number of households involved in cultivation has substantially decreased from 200,190 to 133,60043. Some of the causes of this reversal could be related to various reasons such as poverty, lack of coping capacities, decrease of livelihoods, etc. Moreover, cultivation is primarily in the north and in the highlands of the country.

Cultivation of opium as a cash crop in Southeast Asia was introduced during the mid-19 century, after the Opium Wars44. Before that, poppy has been traditionally used in South China -and in northern parts of Laos - as a pain and relief killer and as a supplement of medicine. Still now, many hill tribes in northern Laos do not have any other medicine to treat 36

One at the beginning of 2000s and the other in 2004. The survey is not national-wide. In 2004 covered only 6 provinces. NCCA, 2005. Ibid This section is drew mainly from UNODC, 2006. Opium Cultivation in the Golden Triangle 2006. 39 See for example: http://www.poppies.org/2001/08/04/report-laos-opium-production-down/, In 2003, UNODC Opium Survey reported Laos as the third main producer (UNODC, 2003, P.1). CIA, Worldfactbook. 40 UNODC, 2006. 41 GOL, 2004 and GOL, 2005. 42 Idem. UNODC, 2006a. 43 Ibid, UNODC, 2006a. Statistics taken from the factsheet table. 44 Ibid. See also wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opium_Wars#The_growth_of_the_opium_trade for a very general review of opium wars. 37 38

illness or diseases. They often start smoking opium to get relief of pain or make their life tolerable from diseases. Addiction comes after the continuous use of opium. Smoking opium has also merged with other traditional cultures of the various ethnic tribes45. Exact amounts of commercialization outside Laos are unknown, although it is assumed that transit goes from Myanmar and Laos to Thailand and China. Within Laos, trade has sparked off when tourists arrive in search for opportunities to smoke opium. The legal system in Laos penalizes the consumption or trafficking of opium with capital punishment, although this law is less enforced among those that require the drug for pain relief. How serious a threat opium addiction is to human security is not really know. It is also difficult to estimate as the causes of death are registered as chronic illnesses, diseases or infections46.

For many years, opium addiction rates were reported to be the high or one of the highest in the world47. However, these numbers seem to be decreasing, probably because of the opium reduction policy and the scarcity that it has generated. According to a report by Norplan the number of opium addicts reported by authorities was around 30,000 in 2003, out these, 9,700 (32%) was over 60 years and around 5,600 (19%) were women48. The majority of addicts were located in the northern provinces of Luang Prabang, Huaphan and Phongsaly. The report also notes that opium is becoming more scarce and expensive. It estimates a decline in the number of addicts, a supposition that is backed by other sources49. A report from the US Department of State noted that there were 20,160 opium addicts as of May 200550. It also mentioned that demand reduction efforts had mix results. Nevertheless, more than six thousands addicts were treated in 200551.

Another type of drug addiction and trafficking, which is becoming a real threat, is taking shape in several parts of Laos. ATS and Intravenous Drugs (IDU) are increasingly used among the Lao population, in particular by youth. The openness of the country to trade and communication networks has also exposed it to an easier transit and increasing number of drugs being trafficked through Laos from neighbouring Thailand, Myanmar and China. Young people living in urban and border areas are the most vulnerable to fall into the consumption of such drugs. In contrast to opium addiction, many of ATS addicts are from urban centres, they mainly reside in Capital Vientiane and in Southern provinces52. Efforts to monitor ATS abuse and trafficking are recent. In 2003, the Government adopted a National Strategy on

45

For example, elderly from ethnic groups in northwest Laos sit around to smoke as a social event. Based on authors’ conversations with villagers. 46 Based on author’s conversations with UNODC staff. 47 UN and Gol, 2006. and US.Department of State, 2001. 48 Idem. Norplan and EcoLao, 2004. 49 UNOCD, 2006. 50 US Department of State, 2006. 51 Ibid 52 Norplan and EcoLao, 2004.

Demand Reduction53. It is therefore difficult to estimate the number of addicts. Nevertheless, a report estimated that in 2006 there were 40,000 addicts in the country54. Studies in some educational institutions showed that ATS was commonly abused, in particular 15-19 year olds are the most vulnerable55. A surveillance study in 2001 found no IDU occurrences, however, the risk remains. As for the ATS threat, IDU emergence could expand due to the increasing trafficking and proximity to high IDU prevalence countries56. Human exploitation and abuse The UN estimates that 300,000 women and children are trafficked in Asia each year. Trafficked persons are exposed to human exploitation and abuse but also vulnerable to other threats such as the risk to be infected of HIV57. Laos together with neighbouring Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar is along the main human trafficking routes. As in many similar cases around the world, Lao people migrate looking for better opportunities but are often deceived when promised a good job and salary. They often have to pay a fee, which will sometimes make them incur huge debts that must be paid off in during months of work.

Trafficking networks operate throughout Southeast Asia, including Laos. The fact that there is no legal agreement between Thailand and Laos on migration makes it even harder to distinguish between those that are immigrants and those that have been trafficked58. Since 2005, there is a memorandum of understanding between Lao PDR and Thailand with respect to the protection of victims of trafficking in persons59. However, illegal migrants or trafficked persons are less inclined to look for help or assistance. Moreover, Lao and Thai people share similar cultural backgrounds and in some cases even the same language. It is therefore sometimes impossible to distinguish them from their Thai counterparts. Migration perse is not harmful but being exploited as a human being it is. The third National Human Development Report of Laos estimates that there are 200,000 illegal workers in Thailand. This calculation is based on Thai estimates. These numbers do not identify those being exploited.

A Unicef sponsored study conducted among 253 victims of trafficking revealed that many of these are not amongst the poorest. Neither have they an illiterate background. They often come from urban centres and they seem to believe that they will be migrating to a better

53

Ibid, Norplan and EcoLao, 2004. Council of the European Union, 2007. UNODC, 2006b. 56 Ibid 57 Reuters/ Ranga, 2007. 58 Situation up to September 2007. 59 Government of Lao PDR and Thailand, MoU on the protection of victims of trafficking. 2005. available on http://www.humantrafficking.org/updates/96 54 55

place and getting a better job60. Trafficking is not merely international related, the same report found that internal trafficking was found to be common. The provinces most affected by this phenomenon are Houphan and Xieng Kouang in the north part of Laos61. The study found that although many of the people trafficked are from ethnic minorities, the majority, 62 percent, is from the Lao-Thai groups62. On the legal side, there is no law that directly addresses the issues of trafficking. However, the Penal Code specifies some punishments for offences related to trafficking activates and to the trade and abduction of humans63. But none of the articles specify any definition of trafficking making it difficult to use as a legal instrument. Malaria and communicable diseases64

Some of the major threats to the health of Lao people are malaria, dengue, acute respiratory infections and other communicable diseases. Malaria claims 3.5 deaths per 100,000 of population and morbidity is 48 per 1,000 due to malaria65. At the beginning of the 1990s, the death rate due to malaria increased alarmingly reaching 15 per 100,000 in 1994. It then started to decline as protective measures, such as the distribution of impregnated bed nets, were put in place.

The proportion of the population using bed nets increased from 25

percent in 1999 to 60 in 2002. Nevertheless, still 76 percent of the population in malaria risk areas do not use preventive nor treatment measures.

Those living in remote areas along streams and with no proper sanitation are the most vulnerable. According to the MDG indicators, 72 percent of people living in risk areas do not use protective measures and only 25 use bed nets66. The infectious disease is transmitted by a mosquito carrying the parasite. Particularly vulnerable people include those moving from the highlands and those living in rural areas. People who migrate or are relocated from highlands to lowlands are unaware of such risks since mosquitos do not survive in higher altitudes. Potable water is mainly accessible in Vientiane Capital and in some urban centres. People in rural areas lack of safe water and live in poor sanitation conditions. They tend to store water during the months of the rainy season for drinking and cleaning purposes. The stagnant water attracts the mosquito, which then infects people. The disease makes people more prone to be anaemic, get fevers, flue-like illnesses, which combined with an already detrimental health, could lead to death. 60

MLSW and Unicef, 2005. ibid 62 ibid. Other groups where Mon-Khmers (27%), Tibeto-Burman (10%), Hmong-Mien (1%) 63 Ibid. Article 92 which relates to trade and abduction of humans gives a punishment of 5 to 15 years of imprisonment to any person trading or abducting humans for ransoms. 64 Data in this section is taken from Government of Lao PDR and UN. Millennium Development Goals Report. 2004. 65 Death rate refers to crude death rate, the total number of deaths per 100,000 people. Morbidity refers to the prevalence rate of a disease per 1, 000 people, see UN and GOL, 2004 and UN 2003. 66 UN and GOl, 2004. 61

Malnourishment and Food Security Laos is not particularly a country that faces famine but malnourishment. Some floods and droughts have happened during the last decade damaging harvest yields and therefore increasing rice deficit. The majority of the population practices subsistence agriculture. Rice is the main staple and for many families the only meal. Non-timber forest products (NTFPs) are also collected by the highland ethnic groups and are a major part of their diet as well as wildlife and aquatic resources

67

. Although the economy relies very much from agriculture

and natural resources the magnitude of malnourishment is alarming. According to the MGD indicator on hunger, the proportion of the population below the minimum level of dietary energy consumption, is 30 percent68. The FAO Country Nutrition Profile reports that 1.4 million people were undernourished between 1997 and 199969. The causes are diverse and multidimensional70. In some cases is not the lack of food per se but the different combination of nutriments. In others, poverty and food insecurity are the main reason. Rice sufficiency is not always a necessary condition71.

Many of the people living in the highlands and midlands have relied for centuries in the collection of NTFPs, wildlife hunting and on aquatic resources for their survival. But, their displacement to lower land areas and deforestation has diminished the possible amount of NTFPs to be collected or wildlife hunting and therefore their nutritional intake has diminished72. Aquatic resources are also in decline in the country73 and animal diseases kill household livestock. The consequences limit diversification of food intake. Fewer animals not only reflect a lower meat-intake for families, but also a decrease in the households coping capacities as animals are sold to get cash.

In some areas, people that have practiced pioneering or rotational agriculture systems have been resettled. Some researchers and international NGOs claim that the development policy of the government has relocated and displaced thousands of people74. A Government and UNDP-sponsored study reported that communities that have been relocated experience several months of rice shortage and are more prompt to get sick as they are exposed to new illnesses or viruses such as malaria75. In addition, they are faced with inadequate access to

67

Krahn and Jonhnson, 2007. Dyg, 2006. UN and GOL, 2004. FAO, 2003. 70 For example, rice insufficiency is related not only to poor yields and low income but also to declining household labour, shortening fallows, lack of affordable credit, poor health and land allocation policies, to name some. For a discussion on casual linkages and poverty analysis see: ADB, 1997 and UNDP, 2002. 71 Idem. Dyg, 2006. 72 Krah, 2003, Krahn and Jonhnson, 2007 and Dyg 2006. 73 Ibid. Krahn and Jonhnson, 2007 and Dyg 2006. 74 Evrard and Goudineau, 2004. and Romany, 2005. 75 UNDP and GOL, 2004. 68 69

sanitation, lack of safe water or are not provided with basic health services. It was also reported that government services arrive often several months later after the relocation posing a tremendous weight to families who have to sell their livestock and belongings to cover their basic needs. Displacement of people due to these projects is not necessarily a threat if it is well implemented with timely and adequate support to relocated families and communities. Road Accidents A particular threat that does not normally attract the attention of human security analysis but that is posing a major risk is the driving manners and road safety. Road accidents have registered a huge increase since 1997 (3,407 cases reported). In 2001, this number increased to 4,157 and by 2003 a record of 9,788 road accidents were reported in the country76. This raise is mainly due bad driving manners. There is an increase in new roads and on the number of motorcycles and vehicles, which translates into more drivers not knowing to follow traffic rules. Most of new drivers do not learn appropriately how to drive neither are aware of the road regulations. Since 2005, new interventions of many projects on road safety were put in place as well as a review of road transport rules and regulations. The majority of road accidents involve motorcycle drivers and tuk tuk drivers with few cases with truck drivers77.

Police data estimates that there were more than 4,600 road traffic accidents in Vientiane Municipality during 2006. The toll caused just a bit less than 500 victims and injured more than 7,80078. Accidents are not new to the capital but have been increasing steadily since the mid-1990s as more cars and motorcycles invade the roads of the capital. The police estimates that there has been an increase of 19 percent from 2005 to 200679. A survey by Handicap International reports that, during the month of April 2006, there were around 540 road accident victims seeking emergency treatment in one of the 4 hospitals in the capital80. These numbers might not seem large in comparison to global accident tolls. However, considering the population of Vientiane capital to be approximately 690,00081 the per capita death rate in Vientiane City could be estimated to be around 70 per 100,00082, one of the largest in Asia83. The major cause of deaths among road accidents is the very low use of 76

UNESCAP, 2007. Ibid. Tuk tuk is the Southeast Asian version of a vehicle known elsewhere as an auto rickshaw or cabin cycle. It is a widely used form of transport in Southeast Asia. 78 Data reported in HIB, 2007. 79 Ibid. 80 HIB, 2007. 81 UNDP and GOL. 2006. 82 Own calculations based on 492 annual fatalities. Population of Vientiane capital to be 690,000. 83 Rates in the Asia-Pacific region are the highest in the world. Estimates for Indonesia are around 30,000 and for Thailand and Vietnam on the 13,000. However, city per capita levels are higher in Laos considering that almost all of the accidents occur in Vientiane Capital. ADB, 2004. 77

safety helmets among motorcycle and tuk tuk drivers, a lack of application of road rules, unawareness of consequences and, a lack of law enforcement. The majority of victims are motorcycle users and young people between 15 to 25 years old84. Actor-based analysis The actor-based analysis is intended to highlight some of the main threats and risks that each group is facing. The actors have been divided into children, youth, women and men. Each subsection points out to the main human insecurities that each group faces and does not intend to cover all of the threats.

Children Lao children are the most vulnerable segment of the population. In particular, this is reflected by the very high infant mortality and under-five mortality rates. According to the National Statistics Centre (NSC) in Lao PDR, there are 82 infant deaths and 107 child deaths per 1,000 live births. This means that - in very rough estimates- with a population growth of 2.3 more than 8000 kids die every year. The direct causes are related to malnutrition, diarrhoea, malaria and communicable diseases. Moreover, there is a lack of adequate health facilities, lack of medicines, food insecurity and unawareness of existing remedies that are available. The majority of vulnerable children live in rural communities and in the highlands of Lao PDR.

Children are also vulnerable to the risks induced by UXO and landmines. The National Regulatory Authority of UXO in Laos (NRA) estimates that 50 percent of all UXO casualties are among children. This is not a Lao specific case. In many parts of the world children who are often unaware of the presence of mines or cluster bombs play in fields that are highly contaminated. They then encounter an explosion that could either kill them or leave them without a hand, arm or leg. The Handicap International survey done in 1997 estimated that UXO is present in a third of the Lao territory representing 25 percent of all Lao communities. This means roughly that children in one out of four villages are at risk of being trapped in a UXO.

Human exploitation poses an unaccountable risk to Lao children. The amount of people trafficked in Laos is very difficult to estimate as people are increasingly migrating and moving. It is also often complex to differentiate those that are illegal immigrants (as they do not appear in official estimates) to those that are being trafficked. The lack of data makes it even harder to assess how serious the threat is. Nevertheless, a Unicef report suggests that 84

Idem. HIB, 2007.

63 percent are under the age of 18 and 17 percent of children who are often trafficked into neighbouring Thailand simply disappear85. Causes are diverse. Family poverty, lack of adequate schooling and the need to search for opportunities are some of the push factors86. Children are also more vulnerable since they are unaware of the consequences of being trafficked.

Malnutrition is a human insecurity condition that also threatens the lives of children. The FAO estimates that 47 percent of the children are malnourished87. The MDG indicators report that around 40 percent of children under-five underweight88. This percentage has not changed since the 1990s. It could be probably higher in rural areas. The amount of children malnourished and underweight are enormous –and alarming- considering the low population density and the availability of natural resources in the country such as water, forests and land. However, this is a consequence of several factors e.g. low calorie-intake, lack of food diversification, poverty, bad sanitation and lack of opportunities to name some. Therefore, malnutrition cannot be only tackled by only rising rice-sufficiency but a combination of measures (e.g. increased food nutriments, adequate sanitation, land availability, income and awareness of possible solutions) is needed. Youth89 Young people in Laos are facing difficulties in completing education and finding a job. The lack of opportunities has caused many youth from rural areas to immigrate to urban centers. Many fall into illegal work such as drug abuse and drug trafficking. The emergence of ATS and poly-drug abuse patterns among youth people is leading to increase mental and health problems. Surveys indicate that among ATS users 42 percent are unemployed youth, 34 percent disco-clients and 14 percent sex workers. A study conducted in schools show that ATS abuse has increased from 3.7 percent in 2003 to 27.6 percent in 200590. Other data indicates that ATS is commonly used by 15-19 year olds. Although data is not national-wide collected, these studies indicate the danger that drug abuse poses to young people. The consequences of such threat in young populations can be devastating since the negative effects affect also the generations that follow.

85

ibid ILO, 2003. 87 FAO, 2004. 88 MDG, 2004. 86

89 90

This section is largely based on UNODC, 2006a, 2006b. UNODC, 2006b. Study conducted to 14,260 students from 99 schools in 17 provinces

Women91 The human security situation of Lao women is also at risk in many dimensions. In particular, the lives of women of reproductive age living in remote areas are threatened during pregnancy, delivery as well as in the months thereafter. Maternal mortality is extremely high not only in comparison to neighbouring countries, but also to nations in Africa92. Data on maternal mortality rates varies, but the National Statistics Center (NSC) estimates that 650 Lao women die per 100,000 live births93. International reports suggest a rate of 45094.

The root causes are mainly related to infections, post partum haemorrhage and the existence of poor health services, which are also often underutilized. As part of the Government’s poverty reduction efforts, health centres have being built in and around remote areas. However, UNFPA and the Ministry of Health argue that underutilization persists. In particular, because a perception among Lao communities exists that health services are poor, they prefer not to make use of them. The lack of adequately trained doctors or nurses contributes to this perception. Besides, some traditional ethnic groups also prefer to have child delivery in their own communities rather than going to neighbouring towns where the health centres are located. They often are not confident on midwives from other villages who in many cases are from different ethnic groups and speak different language. Moreover, in some cases, customs restrict them on how the delivery is arranged. Young women make up 60 percent of human exploitation and trafficking in Laos95. Their age averages between 12 and 18 years. Similar to the case of children, there is no available estimate on the amount of women that are being exposed to such risks. An ILO report states that 35 percent of women are forced into prostitution in neighbouring Thailand. Others encounter forced labour in factories or domestic slavery96. Regional trafficking networks operate along Southeast Asia and women are the most vulnerable to fall into the hands of such groups. The conditions in which they are often forced to live make them at risk of being infected of HIV or other diseases. Women that are being trafficked are coming from poor rural areas and from urban centres97. Therefore, it is not only a solely rural-related issue.

Men

91 This paragraph is written using the Lao PDR Common Country Assessment. UN and GOL, 2006., NSC. 2007 and personal communications with villagers and development workers. 92 Only Solomon Islands is reported to have a higher maternal mortality within the Asia-Pacific countries. In comparison to Africa, Laos has higher rate than Senegal, Guinea, Cote d Ivoire and Burkina Faso. International indicators taken from UNDP, 2007. 93 NSC, 2007. 94 MDG, 2004. UN and GOL, 2006. 95 MLSW and Unicef, 2005 and ILO study was cited on ILO, 2005. 96 ILO, 2003.

97

Idem. ILO,2003. and MLSW and Unicef, 2005.

Although children and women are vulnerable to the majority of the threats identified, men are also exposed to different sorts of life threatening risks. In particular, UXO claims around 80 percent of men amongst its victims. As stated in previous paragraphs the high contamination of land poses greater difficulties. Moreover, in several provinces, agricultural land is contaminated by different types of bombs, grenades, mines and other explosive devices. In some areas, farmers are often faced with the dilemma to either work or leave their land uncultivated. Costs of clearing land are also enormous. Since the location of bombies98 is hard to identify before one of them explodes, farmers might work for years or for decades without even noticing its presence. The type of soil in Laos has make many of these bombies swamp inside the earth several centimetres, leaving them untouched or unnoticed. Lao farmers practice labour intensive techniques and use their feet constantly, in particular for rice cultivation. They run the danger of touching and thus detonating such bombs. Due to the high costs of bomb clearing, much of the affected areas have not been cleared yet.

Discussion of symptoms and root causes Many threats to human security in Laos are interrelated and their root causes are very similar. Table 1 also presents the common root causes and symptoms for each threat identified. The table includes direct and indirect causes, which are often connected by do not necessarily affect the threat in the same way. Table 2 below shows –in a very general waythe number of threats that each direct root affects.

Malnourishment and food insecurity are detrimental to the health of children and infants. However, these also make women vulnerable to haemorrhages during and after pregnancy. In instances where malnourishment is present in conjunction with a lack of adequate sanitation, heath assistance or medicine, risks of death of children and women increase considerably. Food insecurity and malnourishment are also identified as root causes of three threats. Poverty is often perceived to be a direct root cause of the majority of threats. In the Lao case, it is an indirect cause because it depends on the definition of poverty. In many cases, it would not depend on a certain amount of money needed but more on the access to a particular service or medicine. Poverty, but also the lack of job possibilities and opportunities, feeds women’s willingness to migrate to other countries, where they do not always achieve better conditions.

98

In Laos, unexploded bomblets are often called bombies. Several bomblets are contained in a cluster bomb.

In many of the threats identified, unawareness of the existence of risks and unconsciousness of certain actions makes them most vulnerable. It is identified as a root cause of eight threats. To name some, unawareness of the existence of mosquitoes that transmit malaria, or the availability of health facilities in some rural communities poses serious detriments to their health conditions. Similarly, a low use of safety helmets (despite their broad availability at affordable prices) causes the death of many young people.

Such threats, could be

considerably diminished if people would be aware of the severity of risks. Table 3: Common root causes of threats to human security Root causes

Threats affected

Unexploded ordnance

1

Unprotected sex

1

Illegal trafficking

2

Lack of medicine, lack of treatment

3

Lack of adequate health services

3

Lack of law or law enforcement

2

Unawareness of solutions and risks

8

Relocation, inadequate planned migration

2

Food insecurity, malnourishment

3

Lack of access to safe water and sanitation

3

Diarrhoea, malaria and other communicable diseases Not use of safe-helmet

3 1

Some of the root causes are also identified as some of the threats. For example, food insecurity and malnourishment can be seen as a threat but also as a direct and indirect cause of infant and child mortality. The linkages between nutrition, access to adequate food, access to livelihoods and health services implies that one cannot isolate them but rather see them interlinked. Diarrhoea, malaria and other communicable diseases are a threat but also affect directly mortality of children and women.

So what are the main threats to human security? Looking at rough estimates, we can note that the HIV/AIDS epidemic, drug addiction and human exploitation all are potentially serious threats to human security in Laos. However, if we look at absolute numbers, the number of

deaths is smaller to other threats such as those posed by UXO, road accidents, malaria and other communicable diseases. Overall, infant and child mortality, and maternal mortality appear to be greatest threats to the population. But these also reflect symptoms and root causes of other threats. It is therefore important to keep in mind that one might not be able to completely isolate each of the threats without considering the effect of other life-threatening risks. Nevertheless, it is important to complement the analysis with objective measures, below is a proposal to measure the level of human insecurity of the mentioned threats. Lao Human Insecurity Cluster The analysis that was presented up to here shows that there are many threats to human security in Laos. From a practical point of view, it is important to know which of the threats are more serious to the population not only in the short term but also in the long term. The OPHUSEC project proposes to include two or three threats in a human security cluster. This cluster would form the basis for a response analysis that includes mitigation and coping capacity measures that deal with the reduction of such threats. Measuring Human Insecurity

As an attempt to try to measure the level of human insecurity that underpins the Lao population, I propose to develop an index for each of such threats. A comparison among them will allow determining the severity of each threat with the help of quantitative tools. An index can be developed to account for short-term and long-term risks. Hypothetically, a value of 100 means that the threat has the greatest risk in comparison to the other selected risks. A value of zero would mean that the threat poses no risk. All of the risks will be between 0 and 100. None of them have zero values nor a total 100 value as the value is determined in comparison to other threats. Two of the selected threats, HIV/AIDS and food insecurity and malnutrition were taken out of the analysis due to data limitations. The remaining eight threats were used for calculating a short-term index and a long-term index of insecurity. These two indexes were then combined to form the Human Insecurity Index. A technical note has been included in the annex detailing the composition of the index. The following graph shows the levels of human insecurity that each of the selected threats poses. The presented human insecurity index measures eight Lao specific threats and gives them a value between 0 and 100. This index makes possible their quantification and comparison. The calculated numbers for the short-term and long-term measures are included in the annex. The final values for the index are presented on the graph below.

Chart 1:Human Insecurity Index Comparing threats

Road accidents

Malaria

Maternal mortality

Infant Mortality

Drug addiction

Opium addiction

Human exploitation

UXO 0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

100

Human Insecurity Index

The chart clearly shows that infant mortality is the major risk to human security in Laos. This is measured through a human insecurity index of a value of 76. It is followed by malaria and road accidents, with values of 31 and 28, respectively. UXO and maternal health go after with 24 and 21 points in the index, respectively. Opium addiction receives a value of 17. The threats that seem to be of less alarm are drug addiction and human exploitation. It is important to highlight that several assumptions have been made in order to make feasible a quantification exercise. These assumptions were kept as simple as possible and using relevant information background. For a details please see annex.

Selection of Lao local threats

Using the threat analysis and the human insecurity index one could determine which are the most important threats for the Lao human security. I have chosen to cluster the threats in two groups since some have the same root causes and symptoms and could be tackled with parallel or similar programs. The first cluster comprises threats that are health related such as infant mortality, maternal mortality and malaria. These are also important since the majority of the Lao population dies due to one of these threats as reflected by the human insecurity index. I choose also to cluster them together

because are not directly the

consequences of human behaviour but relate to more structural country specific problems. They are threats that need to be considered within a long-term perspective since actions to diminish their risks could take years. The second cluster comprises threats that are of great

risk to the population but that in comparison to the previous cluster do not threaten people’s lives as much as specific health risks. Besides, these threats are sometimes carry out by unconscious actions and could be avoidable in many instances as they are under the control of people’s actions. These are accidents of UXO and motor vehicles. Response Analysis Coping Capacities99 Lao people and communities have developed mechanisms to cope with hardship situations, disasters and to reduce their vulnerability to specific threats. In particular, communities living in rural areas and in the highlands have responded with indigenous coping mechanisms to shocks to their livelihoods systems. They have transmitted such strategies between generations in order to mitigate the impacts of floods, droughts, pests, weed, animal diseases, epidemics and health related shocks100. Coping strategies in Laos are distinct with progressive stages. The paper of Woods (2003) refers to four stages. For the purposes of this paper on human security I have re-organized them on short term and on the long term strategies. Communities often use short-term measures, in particular, when coping with seasonal effects. Some examples of short-term measures that Lao people have developed are trade of NTFPs, collection of aquatic resources, change of food habits, assistance through a Kor Khau (community in-kind assistance), use of herbal medicines for human disease and consumption of death animals. When people are not able to overcome hazards with some of the short-term measures, maybe because the shock is longer than predicted or the measure is not enough to mitigate vulnerability, long-term measures are taken. For example, the sale of essential assets such as livestock or land, consumption of seeds for next harvest, borrowing food and money outside kinship relations, and in some instances displacement, permanent out-migration or begging have been adopted as a last resort.

The socio-economic and environmental changes that Laos has experience in the last decade have impact the way people cope with hazards. Not only on the way to cope with seasonal and already known threats such as UXO but new threats have appeared that were unknown. Many of these also were relevant in more urban areas but are becoming threats to communities in rural areas as well. For example, risks of malaria when communities have been displaced, HIV/AIDS menace as people when having unprotected-sex, dangers of human exploitation when migrating, drug addiction and so on.

99

This section is largely drawn from Woods, 2003, and MWBP, 2005. Woods, 2003 and Dyg, 2006

100

In many cases, there are several programs that are aimed to reduce such threats and vulnerabilities. These mitigation and response measures

have been put in place by

communities, local government, some with the support of NGOs or IOs. This is dealt more indepth in the next sections. Cluster One Table 3 reports the mitigation measures and response analysis to each identified threats in the two selected clusters. The responses to the first cluster, which includes risks of death due to malaria, infant and child mortality and maternal mortality, are explored below. Health infrastructure, medicine and provision of mosquito nets have increased considerably in Laos. These measures have been targeted mainly to people in rural areas having a modest impact on the reduction of risks. The ministry of health with some multilateral and bilateral donors has supported the construction of health clinics and improvement of hospitals. The soft part of improving health services has focused on the development of better qualified nurses and midwives. Several organizations, including the Unicef, UNFPA and WHO have been supporting the provision of emergency health services for pregnant women and their children. The impact of better health infrastructure is with no doubt indispensable for improving health conditions and therefore alleviating risks of death. However, proper medicines and suitable health personnel are indispensable to enable improvements in health services. The lack of adequate resources and qualify personnel in the health sector has made such infrastructure inefficient. Midwives and nurses could be trained from their own community and be therefore more aware of local traditions and customs. They could also make communication easier as they speak the local language.

Awareness raising on how to respond to different illnesses and some first aid training are indispensable for survival in some areas. This has been done to some extend but its impact has been more limited that envisaged. It could be possible that the techniques do not fit in many cases with the local context or traditional customs. Or in some instances awareness is not taken as seriously as it should be. This is in particular important for the prevention of malaria in remote areas where sanitation is poor. Villagers that are in the need to collect water and store it for future use are at major risk when mosquitoes spread out and transmit the disease. Mosquito-net-use has improved but still not all people at risk have access to them. This is a fairly inexpensive and efficient tool that helps prevent malaria and dengue that could be more widely supplied to villagers.

Nutritional supplements are also necessary for survival of many people, in particular for infants and pregnant women. Such supplements together with vaccines help reduce the risk

of death. They have been provided to some extent by some international organizations within the framework of development projects. One example is the food-for-work or school-feeding programs supported by WFP where participants get some food rations as part of the programs. For children going to school this is sometimes their main element of their dietary and nutritional intake. More important it is as they often have to walk a few kilometres in order to go to school. Such programs have therefore a dual objective improving attendance rates and at the same time enhance nutrition. The lack of financial resources make them unfeasible to establish national wide but the ministry of health could try to bring additional donors and persuade them that it’s a good investment.

Self-sufficiency on food with an adequate daily dietary intake could be improved by supporting people with more farming tools and irrigated-land but also by supporting their own traditional methods such as NTFPs and aquatic resources collection. Animal diseases causes also many deaths to livestock, impoverishing households and decreasing their selfsufficiency. Vaccination and veterinary services could help diminishing disease risk to livestock. This is often very poor and its mainly through NGOs that farmers get such services.

Overall there is a common agreement among all actors involved (government, civil servants, development workers, donors, families, etc) of the importance of improving health conditions of the population. But improvements require adequate efforts and resources. The government reliance on donor money for the implementation of programs posses some risks to the completion of projects as donor funds are allocated for a certain period and bounded by specific rules and requirements. From the other side, there is some pressure from the international community for Laos to reduce their aid dependence and to put more resources from hydropower revenues into the basic sectors of education and health.

Cluster Two The second cluster analyzed includes two other major threats posed by UXO and motor vehicle accidents. As mentioned in the threat analysis section, there have been responses to the danger of the presence of bombies. The government, through the NRA coordinates all demining efforts in the country. It also has established mechanisms to support victims and initiated a database for adequate monitoring of implementation activities and of victims. Demining is a very expensive task and the government relies on donor funding for such efforts. From 1996 to 2005, the donor community has contributed with just a bit less than 28 million USD. The number of donors has changed but in 2004 10 countries were supporting

UXO programs and projects. In 10 years, 7,422 hectares of land for agricultural production and development activities have been cleared101.

UXO Lao is still the largest clearance operator in Lao PDR but Mines Advisory Group (MAG), Handicap International (HI)-Belgium and the Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD) have started work as independent clearance operators102. An important and essential part of projects has been risk and awareness education. These has been done in different ways. The UXO unit has established some education centers where risk education classes are given to adults and children. In 2004 300,000 people received mine/UXO risk education103. It is evident that awareness rising helps diminish the risks of death as the majority of incidents occur when building a fire over buried UXO, agricultural activities, tampering with UXO and playing. However, even if education is provided, the households are increasingly searching for UXO to sell. This is more of a poverty-related cause rather than simple unawareness of the problem.

101

UNDP, 2006b UN, 2007. 103 figure includes first quarter of 2005. Landmine monitor, 2005. 102

Table 3: Response Analysis to Cluster One Cluster One: IMR, MM and Malaria

Cluster One: IMR, MM and Malaria

Cluster One: IMR, MM and Malaria

Cluster Two: UXO and motorvehicle accidents

What has been done in the past? Which mitigation measure?

By whom?

To whom?

Feasibility?

Effectiveness?

Provision of health services, medicine, awareness and emergency interventions, mosquito nets

IO such as UNFPA, Unicef, WHO, Ministry of Health

Children, Pregnant Woman and People in Malaria prompt areas

Feasible, costly

Effective to some extent in less remote areas

What is being done now? Which mitigation measure’

By whom?

To whom?

Feasibility?

Effectiveness?

Provision of health services, medicine, awareness and emergency interventions, mosquito nets, training of medical staff

Health authorities with support from development partners and NGOs

Children, Pregnant Woman and People in Malaria prompt areas

What needs to be done in the future Which mitigation measure?

By whom?

To whom?

Feasibility?

Effectiveness?

More, health-related risks awareness and advocacy, provision of basic medical supplies, bed-nets

Health authorities, development practitioners and community groups, Lao Women’s Union

Pregnant Women and their families, People in Malaria prompt areas

Feasible but needs adequate tools and financial commitment

If well targeted could be a great tool

Improve nutrition status of children and pregnant women, nutrition education and feeding practices

Families and communities

Pregnant women and infants

Complex as poor families lack of food or sanitation but vaccines and food supplements could be provided

Improving nutrition status improves health conditions of infants and women

Feasibility?

Effectiveness?

What has been done in the past? Which mitigation measure?

Table 3: Response Analysis to Cluster Two By whom? To whom?

Health infrastructure is not always effective as there are no proper medicines or staffing. Lack of resources.

Demining and clearing of land Assistance to victims

Advocacy for UXO risks

Cluster Two:

UXO and motorvehicle accidents

What is being done now? Which mitigation measure’ Demining and clearing land, Assistance to victims

Advocacy for UXO risks

Cluster Two: UXO and motorvehicle accidents

What needs to be done in the future Which mitigation measure? Demining and clearing land, Assistance to victims

Continue advocacy for UXO risks and motor vehicle drivers, enforcement of law

UXO Lao, with help of demining teams, IOs and INGOs Health authorities with help of IOs and INGOs

Land, areas nearby schools, health clinics and roads Affected persons

Very costly, feasible for specific target-areas

Effective to some extent

Costly treatment

UXO Lao, with help of demining teams, IOs and INGOs By whom?

Communities

Feasible

Effective in some areas where financial resources exit Effective

To whom?

Feasibility?

Effectiveness?

UXO Lao, with help of demining teams, IOs and INGOs Health authorities with help of IOs and INGOs

Land, areas nearby schools, health clinics and roads Affected persons

Very costly

Effective to some extent

Costly treatment

UXO Lao, with help of demining teams, IOs and INGOs By whom?

Communities

Feasible

Effective in some areas where financial resources exit Effective

To whom?

Feasibility?

Effectiveness?

UXO Lao, with help of demining teams, IOs and INGOs Health authorities with help of IOs and INGOs

Land and places

Very costly

Effective to some extent

Affected persons

Costly treatment

UXO Lao, with help of demining teams, IOs and INGOs

Communities

Feasible

Effective in some areas where financial resources exist Effective

Unicef has the establishment of an information system for targeting victim assistance and plays a major role on community awareness. World Education/Consortium has develop an in-school programme now being implemented in nine provinces by some 3,700 teachers. HIB besides working on clearing, is also working on risk education and awareness through a village volunteer scheme in Savanakhet province. It is estimated that UXO Lao awareness teams have reached 5,554 villages and more than 1.4 million children and adults about the dangers of UXO104.

On the road safety side, not until recently there have been efforts to ameliorate the situation. The government developed in 2005 a road safety strategy. The ADB has been involved in creating synergies to the road constructions programmes and maintenance fund. It has also been involved on advocacy and awareness raising within the region.

A major project on road safety is being implemented by Handicap International Belgium. The project started in 2003 covering Vientiane Municipality and Savanakhet province. The project has not only collected data on road accidents but also has supported victim rehabilitation and disability. It also provides road safety education and awareness including curriculum development and teaching materials.

The threats of UXO and road safety are likely to be reduce substantially if educational and awareness raising programs are well targeted and implemented. There is no doubt that such efforts exist, it is probably necessary for them to continue. But these are not sufficient in themselves. On the one hand, UXO education programs are banned if people still tamper UXO consciously in the search for metal. Other measures are necessary to cope with these risks such as improving family incomes. On the other hand, road safety mitigation measures need to be combined with an adequate implementation of road regulations. Drivers need not only to be aware that accidents can occur but that they are responsible for their own lives and the ones of third parties.

Human Insecurity in different scenarios

So, how does human security levels change if adequate mitigation measures are pursued or put in place? This section attempts to use the human security index to measure how threat

104

UNDP, 2006b 34

levels changed based on good or bad scenarios. Using the human security index as a baseline, two scenarios can be visualized.

A positive scenario is when mitigation measures are put in placed or coping capacity of individuals and communities increases. In such circumstances, one would see that the largest impact is on the long-term span of the threat. Nevertheless, some short-term impacts might be visible. In my hypothetical situation, I reduced the short term index by 1/5 and reduced the long term index by 1/3.

A negative scenario is when responses and coping capacities have not been strengthen or expanded. This has consequences on the short and long term spans of the threat. In this situation, the short-term index increases by 1/5 but the long-term measure by 1/3.

It is not the scope of these paper to predict how this existing measures will affect human security in Laos. For this, it would be necessary to quantify several of the existing programs and projects. This exercise intends to explore some general but objective methodology to track progress on human security (i.e. see how different threats are affected when different “possible scenarios” occur).

The chart below shows that with a positive scenario, the threat of infant mortality is reduced considerably from 77 to 60 and malaria from 31 to 23. The rest of the threats are all below 20. Similarly, a negative scenario would increase substantially levels of insecurity. Infant mortality reaching 90, and five other threats surpassing 20.

35

Chart 2: Human Insecurity Index With positive and negative scenarios

Road accidents

Malaria

Maternal mortality

Infant Mortality

Drug addiction Human Insecurity (negative scenario)

Opium addiction Human Insecurity (positive scenario)

Human Insecurity Index

Human exploitation

UXO

0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

100

Conclusion

The present study has drawn from a human security lens to conduct an analysis based on local specific threats. The application to a Lao case study highlights that some threats are common globally but others are local specific, for example, while infant and maternal mortality are major threats in the developing world, UXO and Opium addiction seem to be more regional and particular to the Lao case. The study has also undertaken an response analysis while touching on possible coping and mitigation measures that could help alleviate such threats. In addition, a quantitative measure of human security has been proposed to help not only estimate the importance of threats but to also help track them and monitor them within a local framework.

36

Annex Bibliography Technical Note for Measuring Human Insecurity

37

Bibliography ALL-About Switzerland. 2005. www.all-about-switzerland.info accessed on 3 July 2007. ADB, Participatory Poverty Assessment. 1997 ADB, 2004. Road Crashes Costing Southeast Asian Countries US$15 Billion Per Year, ADB Studies Say. 14 November, 2004. http://www.adb.org/Media/Articles/2004/6330_southeast_crashes/ accessed on September 18, 2007. AI. 2005. AI Report 2005. Laos. Covering events from January - December 2004. http://web.amnesty.org/report2005/lao-summary-eng accesed September 18, 2007. AFP. 2007.Controversial mega-dam takes shape in Laos. Published on July 1, 2007. http://rawstory.com/news/afp/Controversial_mega_dam_takes_shape__07012007.html accessed on September 18, 2007. Council of the European Union. July 2007. Report on South East Asia and China on Drug Abuse. Belgium, Brussels. Commission on Human Security. 2003. Human Security Now. New York. Committee for Planning and Investment, National Statistics Center, and UNDP. 2006. National Human Development Report.INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND HUMAN DEVELOPMENT LAO PDR 2006. Vientiane, Lao PDR. CIA. The World Factbook. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-worldfactbook/geos/la.html accessed on 3 July 2007. Council of the European Union. 2007. Drug Regional Report on Southeast Asia and China. July 2007. Brussels, Belgium. Dyg, Pernille. 2006. Understading malnutrition and rural food consumption in Lao PDR. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis 19. p. 763-764. Evants, Grant. 2002. A Short History of Laos. Allen & Unwin Publishers. Evrard, Olivier and Goudineau, Yves. 2002. Planned Resettlement, Unexpected Migrations and Cultural Trauma in Laos. Development and Change 35(5): 937–962 (2004).Institute of Social Studies 2004. Published by Blackwell Publishing, 9600 Garsington Road, Oxford OX4 2DQ, UK. FAO and WHO. Country Overview on food safety. People's Democratic Republic of Laos. Regional Conference on Food Safety for Asia and the Pacific Seremban, Malaysia, 24-27 May 2004. FAO. 2003. Nutrition Country Profile-Lao PDR. FAO Rome, Italy. Gender Resource Information and Development Center. 2005. Lao PDR Gender Profile. Vientiane, Lao PDR. Novembre 2005. GOL. 2004. National Growth and Poverty Eradication Strategy. Vientiane, Lao PDR.

GOL. 2005. National Socio-economic Development Plan 2006-2010. Vientiane, Lao PDR. Handicap International. 2006. The Global Human Impact of Cluster Ammunitions. November 2006. Brussels, Belgium. HI Belgium. "Living with UXO—Final Report on the National Survey on the Socio-Economic Impact of UXO in Lao PDR." 1997. HI. 2007. Circle of Impact: The Fatal Footprint of Cluster Munitions on People and Communities. May 2007. Brussels, Belgium. HI Belgium. 2007. Road Safety Project Phase II - Preventing Road Traffic Accidents and Disabilities in Vientiane and Savannakhet Province (LA07 RDS). In Project Information: Internet Directory of Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) in the Lao PDR. http://www.directoryofngos.org/project.cfm?id=144 accessed on August 17, 2007. Human Security Report Project. Human Security Report 2005. Oxford University Press. Human Security Report Project. Human Security Report 2006. Oxford University Press. ILO-IPEC. Preliminary Assessment on Trafficking of Children and Women for Labour Exploitation in Lao PDR. January 2003. ILO. Situation on Human trafficking in Lao PDR. Section on: Programme to Combat Trafficking in Human in Lao People’s Democratic Republic. 2005. http://www.ilo.org/public/english/region/asro/bangkok/child/trafficking/downloads/laosituationn ote.pdf accessed September 17, 2007. IHT. 2006. Dam project brings Laos cash and controversy. Published on March 15, 2006. http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/03/15/news/rcorpdam.php accessed on September 18, 2007. Krahn, Jutta. 2003. Cooking up dietary change in Lao upland kitchens. In Juth PakaiPerspectives of Lao Development. Vientiane, Lao PDR. Issue I, December 2003. Krahn, Jutta and Johnson, Arlyne. 2007. Upland Food Security and Wildlife Management. In Juth Pakai- Perspectives of Lao Development. Vientiane, Lao PDR. Issue 9. July 2007. Lao National Unexploded Ordonance Programme. http://www.uxolao.org/ accessed 25 July 2007. Landmine Monitor. Landmine Monitor Report 2005:Toward a Mine-Free World. 2005. http://www.icbl.org/lm/2005/laos.html accessed September 15, 2007. Landmine Monitor. Landmine Monitor Reports 2001-2004. Accessed through: http://www.icbl.org/lm. MLSW and NSC . Labour Migration Survey. 2003. Vientiane, Lao PDR. MLSW and UNICEF. 2005?. Broken Promises Shatered Dreams. A Profile of Child Trafficking in the Lao PDR. MWBP. 2005. Vulnerability Assessment of Climate Risks in Attapeu Province, Lao PDR. January 2005. Vientiane, Lao PDR. National Statistics Center, 2007. Committee for Planning and Investment. Several statistics. http://www.nsc.gov.la/Statistics accessed 26 of July 2007 and 14 August 2007.

NRA For UXO/Mine Action Sector in LAO P.D.R. http://www.nra.gov.la/ accessed 26 July 2007. NCCA. 2005. National Strategic and Action Plan on HIV/AIDS/STI 2006-2010. Fifth Draft . July 2005. Vientiane, Lao PDR. NORPLAN and EcoLao. 2004. Cumulative Impact Analysis and Nam Theun 2 Contributions. Annex 7: Drugs and Human Trafficking. Final Report. Prepared by NORTRAM and EcoLao for ADB and Government of Lao PDR. October 2004. Reuters. Sirilal, Ranga. 2007. “Human trafficking helps spread HIV/AIDS in Asia-UN” http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L223252.htm article downloaded on 24 August 2007. Romany, Laurent. 2005. An Alternative for Upland Development? http://www.directoryofngos.org/ngo_publications/ACF%20paper%20about%20resettlement.p df accessed on September 18, 2007. Roland, Donald. T. 2003. Demographic Methods and Concepts. Oxford University Press. Schnabel, Albrecht. April 2005. Operationalizing Human Security. Paradigm-Policy-Local Implementation. OHUSEC project file. Swiss Peace. Bern, Switzerland. Stuart-Fox, Martin. 1997. A History of Laos. Cambridge University Press. UN. 2003. Indicators for Monitoring the Millennium Development Goals--Definitions, Rationale, Concepts and Sources. New York. U.S.A. UN. 2007. Electronic Mine Information Network. Lao PDR. United Nations Mine Action Service. Department of Peacekeeping Operations http://www.mineaction.org/country.asp?c=15 accessed on September 20, 2007. UN and GOL. 2004. Millennium Development Goals Report.Vientiane, Lao PDR. UN and GOL. June 2006. Common Country Assessment 2006. Electronic version http://www.unlao.org/Publications,%20Media/publications/CCA%20Lao%20PDR%20Final%2 0_June2006.pdf accessed on 20 June 2007. UNAIDS, Unicef, WHO. 2004. Epidemiological Factsheets on HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections. UNAIDS. 2007. Country Situation Analysis. Challenges and Emerging Issues for 2007. www.unaids.org/en/Regions_Countries/Countries/lao_peoples accessed on June 26, 2007. UNESCAP. 2007. Health Without Borders. Situation Analysis of Lao PDR. Regional Workshop Report. http://www.unescap.org/esid/hds/pubs/2442/5_LaoPDR.pdf accessed September 18, 2007. UNDP. 1994. Human Development Report 1994. New Dimensions of Human Security. Oxford University Press. New York. UNDP. 2002. National Human Development Report 2001. Advancing Rural Development. Vientiane, Lao PDR.

UNDP. 2006a. Country Fact Sheets-Lao People’s Democratic Republic. http://hdr.undp.org/hdr2006/statistics/country_fact_sheets/cty_fs_LAO.html accessed 3 July 2007. UNDP. 2006b. Factsheets. Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) Lao programme & National Regulatory Authority (NRA). http://www.undplao.org/whatwedo/crisisprev.php accessed June 26, 2007. UNDP. 2006d. Assessment of Development Results. Lao PDR. NY, USA. UNDP. 2006c Human Development Report 2006. NY, USA. UNDP, HDR 2007 country factsheets and human development indicators available at http://hdr.undp.org/hdr2006/statistics/countries/country_fact_sheets/cty_fs_LAO.html and http://hdr.undp.org/reports/global/2003/indicator/indic_78_1_1.html accessed 3 July, 2007

UNDP and GOL. 2004. Service Delivery and Resettlement. Options for Development Planning. Vientiane, Lao PDR. UNDP and GOL. 2006. National Human Development Rerpot. International Trade and Human Development. Vientiane, Lao PDR.

UNODC. June 2003. Opium Survey 2003. UNODC. June 2005. Opium Survey 2005. UNODC. 2006a. Opium Poppy Cultivation in the Golden Triangle. Lao PDR, Myanmar and Thailand. October 2006.Vienna, Austria. UNODC. 2006b. Strategic Programme Framework 2006-2009. January 2006. http://www.unodc.org/pdf/laopdr/publications/lao_strategic_programme_framework_20062009.pdf accessed on 20 September 2007. UNODC. 2007. World Drug Report. Vienna, Austria. U.S. Government, CIA World Factbook. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/la.html accessed on 3 July 2007. US Department of State. 2001, 2006 and 2007. INCSR- International Narcotics Control Strategy Report. Released by the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. March 2001, 2006 and 2007. http://www.state.gov accessed September 18, 2007. WFP. 2005. Lao PDR District Vulnerability Analysis Update 2005. Vientiane, Lao PDR. Wood, Sarah. 2003. Coping with Disasters: The Challenge of Ongoing Hazards. What are Coping Mechanisms? In Juth Pakai, Perspectives on Lao Development. Issue 1. Decemeber, 2003. Vientiane, Lao PDR. WB. May 2007. Lao Economic Monitor. http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTLAOPRD/Resources/2935821163107098038/3145698-1174622249581/LaoEconomicMonitorMay2007English.pdf accessed on 26 July 2007.

Technical Note: Measuring Human Insecurity Although scholars have debated extensively on the definition of human security and have a common consensus on what human security is, discussions on the way to measure it or to quantify lags far behind. Some attempts have been made to create indicators for human security. The Human Security Project in its Human Security Report 2005 explicitly argues that it is not feasible to create a composite measure of human security. In particular, the report states that “it is certainly not current possible, and that is probably not desirable” because of the existing datasets are not comprehensive enough (HSRP, 2005. p. 90). The report therefore argues against a cross-country composite index that would enable to rank countries. On the contrary, Kings and Murray, in their article “Rethinking Human Security” argue that such a measure is necessary to expand the concept of human security. They develop an index based on well-being and poverty concepts. Some of the arguments against creating an index mention that there exist already several indexes that cover in parts the different dimensions of human security. The most know is the UNDP human development index. It is evident that the lack of measurable tools of human security undermines a feasible application in practice. Moreover, although an agreement on the concept exists, human security varies across populations and it is difficult to determine what threat is more important than others. Rather than trying to attempt for a cross-country comparison, it is important to focus on local aspects. Using a life threatening human security framework and taking the broader definition of human security as “individual-centered security provision and threat/syndrome mitigation” (Schnabel, 2005.p.12), I propose to focus the attention on such life threatening local risks. Given the presence of various threats, one needs to determine objectively how important each of them is to human security and how actions will be prioritized. To do so, I propose to create a human insecurity index, which will be used to measure and rank the importance of such threats. It will also provide some guidelines where the most of resources are needed to alleviate its impact on human lives. I do so by doing the following. First, I generate an absolute measure of insecurity related to each threat. This is represented by the absolute number of deaths per year originated by a particular threat. Second, I create a relative measure of such a threat among the population (e.i. to answer the question how serious is the threat?). This is measured by the proportion of people at risk or that are vulnerable to such a threat. This measure is less objective as it depends on ones assessment where the people are located, who they are, their gender, age and ethnicity, socio-economic status, short term vs long term aspects, etc. Such data is not normally ready available or not collected, therefore posing difficulties to quantify it. Third, I generate an index based on the previous two measures. The index gives values from 1 to 100 to the different threats. The index here proposed is based on the same principle as the Human Development Index developed by UNDP in 1990. Fist and Second steps: The absolute and relative measures of insecurity for each threat would help the researcher establish benchmarks and select the most important local threats that exist in a particular population. It will also provide benchmarks for policy makers, development practitioners on what the threats are and therefore it will be easier to identify what are the causes, existing coping mechanisms and would help prioritize adequately resources. The absolute and relative measures are weighted by population numbers and then two indexes are created for each threat. The first one, which I call short term index, measures Ana Gabriela Guerrero Serdan- for HUSEC project Swiss Peace, Bern

1

how important the threat is based on number of people death during a year. The second, long term index, measures the population that is potentially at risk and therefore providing a more longer term perspective. Each index is calculated using the following formula: Index = (actual value-min)/(max-min) Third step: These two created indexes are then used to generate a composite Human Insecurity Index. The short-term index is weighted 75 % and the long term index is weighted 25 %. Again, the Human Insecurity index is calculated for all the local threats that are identified. I have chosen to give a weighted value of .75 to the short-term index and a value of .25 to the long term because of two reasons. The first is that it is important to account for the real and actual human impact. The second is that the estimates are larger in the long term than in the short term because the population at risk is always larger than those that are actually affected. Giving a lower weight to the long-term index does not change the overall result but the importance that one gives to the population at risk. The following formula is used: Human Insecurity Index= .75* ST index + .25 LT index

A value of 0 means that the threat poses no major risk in comparison to the other threats. In the contrary, a value of 100 indicates that the threat is of great importance. One could also appoint values from 1 to 10 (1 less serious 10 more serious) in order to provide a better visual comparison among the local specific threats. Table 1b below shows a mathematical example using the Lao case study on human security.

Threat

Table 1b: Human Insecurity Measurement Step One Step Two Relative Measure of Short term (absolute Long Term (relative Absolute measure of human Human Insecurity based measure weightened ST index* measure weightened insecurity (estimated deaths per year)

1 UXO

200

3 Human exploitation

253

4 Opium addiction 6 Infant Mortality 7 Maternal mortality 8 Malaria 10 Road accidents

on Population at risk 800000 200000

by population)

Step Three Measure of Human

Human Insecurity

Insecurity (based on

LT index*

deaths per year and

by population)

Index

population at risk)

0.00003571

0

0.14286

1

0.25

25

0.00004518

0.006625

0.03571

0.17808

0.0495

4.9489

0.05800

0.34904

0.0873

8.7260

324800 8200

70000

0.00146429

1

0.01250

0.00000

0.7500

75.0000

650

309700

0.00011607

0.05625

0.05530

0.32836

0.1243

12.4277

1960

268800

0.00035000

0.22

0.04800

0.27233

0.2331

23.3082

492

451750

0.00008786

0.0365

0.08067

0.52295

0.1581

15.8111

In sum the overall process is: 1) Enlisting all possible threats 2) Doing a threat analysis (who, what, where, etc.) 3) Calculate absolute measure of the threat (number of victims, deaths by threat) 4) Calculate relative measures of the threat (number of population at risk) 5) Generate Short term and Long term indicators 6) Calculate the Human Insecurity Index 7) Selection of key threats to include in the Human Security Cluster based on the index 8) Development of Threats responses to selected threats

Ana Gabriela Guerrero Serdan- for HUSEC project Swiss Peace, Bern

2

Chart 1a: Human Insecurity in Lao PDR: short term impact of threats (values reflect the additional risk of a threat based on the value of the threat possing the minimum risk)

Road accidents

Malaria

Maternal mortality

Infant Mortality

Drug additction and drug trafficking (mainly ATS)

Opium addiction

Human exploitation

UXO

0.0000

0.2000

0.4000

0.6000

0.8000

1.0000

1.2000

ST index*

Chart 1b: Human Insecurity in Lao PDR: long term impact of threat (values reflect the additional risk of a threat based on the value of the threat possing the minimum risk)

Road accidents

Malaria

Maternal mortality

Infant Mortality

Drug additction and drug trafficking (mainly ATS)

Opium addiction

Human exploitation

UXO

0.0000

0.2000

0.4000

0.6000

0.8000

1.0000

1.2000

LT index*

References used for the technical note: Alkire Sabina. 2003. A Conceptual Framework for Human Security. Working Paper 2. Centre for Research on Inequality, Human Security and Ethnicity, CRISE Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford. Andrew Mack, ‘The Concept of Human Security’ in Brief 30, Promoting Security: But How and For Whom?' Contributions to BICC’s Ten-year Anniversary Conference, October 2004 pp. 47 – 51. Bonn, Germany.

Ana Gabriela Guerrero Serdan- for HUSEC project Swiss Peace, Bern

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Commission on Human Security. 2003. Human Security Now. New York. King, Gary and Murray, Christopher. 2001. Rethinking Human Security. Political Science Quarterly. Volume 116. Num 4. The Academy of Political Science. New York. NY. Human Security Report Project. Human Security Report 2005. Oxford University Press. Human Security Report Project. Human Security Report 2006. Oxford University Press. Krause, Keith. 2004. The Concept of Human Security’ in Brief 30, Promoting Security: But How and For Whom? Contributions to BICC’s Ten-year Anniversary Conference, October 2004 pp. 43-46. Bonn, Germany. Roland, Donald. T. 2003. Demographic Methods and Concepts. Oxford University Press. Schnabel, Albrecht. 2005. Operationalizing Human Security. Paradigm-Policy-Local Implementation. Presentation for the Swiss Political Association Annual Conference 2004. Revised Draft April 2005 United Nations Development Programme. 1994. Human Development Report 1994. Oxford University Press.. New York.

Ana Gabriela Guerrero Serdan- for HUSEC project Swiss Peace, Bern

4

Lao PDR Human Security Profile

Workshop Report. http://www.unescap.org/esid/hds/pubs/2442/5_LaoPDR.pdf accessed. September 18, 2007. UNDP. 1994. Human Development Report 1994.

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