Women and children are the heart of a village -- they need to be protected.

Child protection Children are the key to Laos’ future, but poverty, remoteness, social or cultural norms, and rapid economic changes bring challenges for Lao youth. Many are prevented from reaching their full potential due to inadequate education, labor or sexual exploitation, domestic violence, malnutrition and poor access to healthcare and other essential services.
Gender equity Despite progress in policies recognizing women’s rights, gender inequalities persist in Laos. Women and girls are overall less educated and literate than Lao men, lack representation in decision-making bodies, struggle to access economic opportunities, experience high levels of child/teenage marriage and pregnancy, and are vulnerable to domestic violence.
Human trafficking Laos is a major source country of trafficking victims. Most are young women and girls from poor villages or ethnic minority groups who are lured to wealthier neighboring countries by promises of lucrative employment. Once there, they are exploited in the sex industry, forced into domestic servitude, or put to work in factories or on plantations for little to no pay.

Protecting and Empowering

Women and Children

How does VFI help?

VFI’s shelters

VFI operates two of only three shelters in Laos for trafficking survivors and at-risk girls and young women, with a total capacity of up to 60 residents. Each individual’s circumstances and needs are assessed by a social worker to develop a case management plan. At our shelters, residents are provided safe accommodation, nutritious food, healthcare, vocational training, holistic pastoral care and other daily necessities for their rehabilitation, empowerment and successful reintegration into society. The safety and services provided through VFI’s two shelters have changed the lives of over 500 young women and girls. Read some of their stories by scrolling over the pictures below. Please note that, to ensure privacy, pseudonyms have been used in place of real names, and photos do not depict survivors themselves, but rather illustrate VFI shelter activities.
The purple lotus is VFI’s symbol of hope in the fight against human trafficking. Just like lotus seeds grow into beautiful flowers from the mud, so too can women and girls blossom from adversity. VFI empowers them to overcome their difficult pasts and make the most of their futures. 
697 18 3,155
By the numbers VFI’s advocacy against human trafficking continues to  strengthen villages, government capacity, and individuals each year. Between 2016 and 2017, VFI’s work led to: youth engaged in new peer educator groups new Child Protection Units in southern Laos villagers reached through our awareness programs
Photography by Samantha Nieman and VFI staff © Village Focus International 2017
Preventing •	Conduct education outreach programs to thousands of village youth on child rights and safe labor migration •	Establish Child Protection Units across Laos (45 established already) to prevent harmful situations before they happen Empowering •	Give skills and vocational training to up to 70 shelter residents each year •	Equip women and girls to operate social enterprises at VFI’s Dream Weaver shop in Pakse Protecting •	Operate two of only three trafficking shelters in Laos •	Host drop-in center to assist potential trafficking victims referred by immigration authorities •	Operate transit center on Thai border to reintegrate pushed back emigrants into Laos Advocating •	Lobby government officials for improved access to services and justice for trafficking victims •	Build government capacity through trainings and education
© Village Focus International 2017 Photos by Samantha Nieman and VFI staff

Protecting and

Empowering Women

and Children

Human trafficking Laos   is   a   major   source   country   of   trafficking victims.    Most    are    young    women    and    girls from   poor   villages   or   ethnic   minority   groups who     are     lured     to     wealthier     neighboring countries        by        promises        of        lucrative employment.   Once   there,   they   are   exploited in    the    sex    industry,    forced    into    domestic servitude,   or   put   to   work   in   factories   or   on plantations for little to no pay.
Child protection Children    are    the    key    to    Laos’    future,    but poverty,      remoteness,      social      or      cultural norms,    and    rapid    economic    changes    bring challenges      for      Lao      youth.      Many      are prevented   from   reaching   their   full   potential due   to   inadequate   education,   labor   or   sexual exploitation,   domestic   violence,   malnutrition and    poor    access    to    healthcare    and    other essential services.
Gender equity Despite     progress     in     policies     recognizing women’s   rights,   gender   inequalities   persist   in Laos.     Women     and     girls     are     overall     less educated    and    literate    than    Lao    men,    lack representation     in     decision-making     bodies, struggle    to    access    economic    opportunities, experience      high      levels      of      child/teenage marriage   and   pregnancy,   and   are   vulnerable to domestic violence.

How does VFI help?

The purple lotus is VFI’s symbol of hope in the fight against human trafficking. Just like lotus seeds grow into beautiful flowers from the mud, so too can women and girls blossom from adversity. VFI empowers them to overcome their difficult pasts and make the most of their futures. 
697 18 3,155
By the numbers VFI’s advocacy against human trafficking continues to  strengthen villages, government capacity, and individuals each year. Between 2016 and 2017, VFI’s work led to: youth engaged in new peer educator groups new Child Protection Units in southern Laos villagers reached through our awareness programs

VFI’s shelters

VFI operates two of only three shelters in Laos for trafficking survivors and at-risk girls and young women, with a total capacity of up to 60 residents. Each individual’s circumstances and needs are assessed by a social worker to develop a case management plan. At our shelters, residents are provided safe accommodation, nutritious food, healthcare, vocational training, holistic pastoral care and other daily necessities for their rehabilitation, empowerment and successful reintegration into society. The safety and services provided through VFI’s two shelters have changed the lives of over 500 young women and girls. Read some of their stories here.  Please note that, to ensure privacy, pseudonyms have been used in place of real names, and photos do not depict survivors themselves, but rather illustrate VFI shelter activities.
Preventing •	Conduct education outreach programs to thousands of village youth on child rights and safe labor migration •	Establish Child Protection Units across Laos (45 established already) to prevent harmful situations before they happen Empowering •	Give skills and vocational training to up to 70 shelter residents each year •	Equip women and girls to operate social enterprises at VFI’s Dream Weaver shop in Pakse Advocating •	Lobby government officials for improved access to services and justice for trafficking victims •	Build government capacity through trainings and education Protecting •	Operate two of only three trafficking shelters in Laos •	Host drop-in center to assist potential trafficking victims referred by immigration authorities •	Operate transit center on Thai border to reintegrate pushed back emigrants into Laos
© Village Focus International 2017 Photos by Samantha Nieman and VFI staff

Women and children are the heart of a village -- they

need to be protected.

Human trafficking Laos is a major source country of trafficking victims. Most are young women and girls from poor villages or ethnic minority groups who are lured to wealthier neighboring countries by promises of lucrative employment. Once there, they are exploited in the sex industry, forced into domestic servitude, or put to work in factories or on plantations for little to no pay. Child protection Children are the key to Laos’ future, but poverty, remoteness, social or cultural norms, and rapid economic changes bring challenges for Lao youth. Many are prevented from reaching their full potential due to inadequate education, labor or sexual exploitation, domestic violence, malnutrition and poor access to healthcare and other essential services. Gender equity Despite progress in policies recognizing women’s rights, gender inequalities persist in Laos. Women and girls are overall less educated and literate than Lao men, lack representation in decision-making bodies, struggle to access economic opportunities, experience high levels of child/teenage marriage and pregnancy, and are vulnerable to domestic violence.

How does VFI help?

The purple lotus is VFI’s symbol of hope in the fight against human trafficking. Just like lotus seeds grow into beautiful flowers from the mud, so too can women and girls blossom from adversity. VFI empowers them to overcome their difficult pasts and make the  most of their futures. 
697 18 3,155
By the numbers VFI’s advocacy against human trafficking continues to  strengthen villages, government capacity, and individuals each year. Between 2016 and 2017, VFI’s work led to: youth engaged in new peer educator groups new Child Protection Units in southern Laos villagers reached through our awareness programs

Protecting and Empowering

Women and Children

VFI’s shelters

VFI operates two of only three shelters in Laos for trafficking survivors and at-risk girls and young women, with a total capacity of up to 60 residents. Each individual’s circumstances and needs are assessed by a social worker to develop a case management plan. At our shelters, residents are provided safe accommodation, nutritious food, healthcare, vocational training, holistic pastoral care and other daily necessities for their rehabilitation, empowerment and successful reintegration into society. The safety and services provided through VFI’s two shelters have changed the lives of over 500 young women and girls. Read some of their stories by scrolling over the pictures below.. Please note that, to ensure privacy, pseudonyms have been used in place of real names, and photos do not depict survivors themselves, but rather illustrate VFI shelter activities.
Empowering •	Give skills and vocational training to up to 70 shelter residents each year •	Equip women and girls to operate social enterprises at VFI’s Dream Weaver shop in Pakse Advocating •	Lobby government officials for improved access to services and justice for trafficking victims •	Build government capacity through trainings and education Preventing •	Conduct education outreach programs to thousands of village youth on child rights and safe labor migration •	Establish Child Protection Units across Laos (45 established already) to prevent harmful situations before they happen Protecting •	Operate two of only three trafficking shelters in Laos  •	Host drop-in center to assist potential trafficking victims referred by immigration authorities •	Operate transit center on Thai border to reintegrate pushed back emigrants into Laos