Lao Child Hearing on Climate Change

Tuesday 19 March 2024

In 2022, Save the Children International in Laos organized the child consultation workshop named Child Hearing with child and youth representative from Luang Prabang province and Vientiane capital of Lao PDR as part of Global Generation Hope Campaign. The consultation workshop held in two days in Luang Prabang Province. The objective of the consultation workshop is to provide the platform for child and youth participants to discuss and exchange the issues faced by Lao children and youth recently. Climate change and economic inequality were two identified topics for discussion in the consultation workshop. The participants took the opportunity to discuss the challenges associated with these issues for children and youth, the causes behind those challenges and solutions that youth think should be taken to address these challenges.  Their voices on climate concerns will be critical contributions the 2024 Voluntary National Review report of Lao PDR.

Children are the most vulnerable group in the nation to the severity of the climate crisis. In discussing the impacts of climate change in Lao PDR, the children and youth noted the changes that affected them and expressed their concerns about environmental degradation, extreme weather events, and loss of biodiversity caused by climate change. They shared personal stories of how climate change impacts, such as floods, droughts, heatwaves, and air and water pollution, have affected their health, education, families, and communities.

The consultation workshop was held during 01 – 02, October 2022. The participants included children and youth from diverse backgrounds and geographical locations. There were 42 students who participated in the consultation workshop and 21 were female, which 35 child and youth participants were from 5 schools in Luang Prabang capital and 6 child designers from Vientiane Capital.

According to our last Child Hearing workshop on climate change and economy inequality, climate change factors, such as unseasonal rain and warmer temperatures, have become more destructive to children regarding health crises and education disruption. During the Hearing, 35% of children’s responses were about their experience and concern about health issues caused by climate change and disaster. Among those responses, 73% shared physical effects, and 24% were about mental impacts. 84% of children used to miss a class due to heavy rain, and 33% and 14% shared that their school used to get damaged by storms and floods, respectively. Additionally, economic inequality and poverty have also exacerbated the effects of disaster on children.

Key findings

  1. Children's awareness and understanding of climate change varied, with many expressing deep concerns about its consequences for their present and future.
  2. Many children in rural areas have been affected by economic inequality and climate change in many ways. 
  3. Climate-related hazards, such as natural disasters and environmental pollution, pose significant risks to children's health, safety, and access to education and opportunities. 
  4. Challenges identified by children and youth, included uncontrolled deforestation for agricultural activity, the emission of greenhouse gases and wastewater, and the excessive use of plastics and littering.
  5. Children wanted to see adults to be more responsible and take action in addressing climate change and respecting children's rights in terms of listening to their voices and concerns.
  6. Limiting deforestation and replanting trees are among the proposed solutions from children and youth.
  7. Children emphasized the importance of urgent action to mitigate climate change and protect vulnerable communities, ecosystems, and future generations. The highlighted the need to have more national and local regulation on deforestation and littering control and management, having more campaigns, and creative policies to encourage more use of renewable energy, especially in transportation.


Save the Children International in Laos reaffirms its commitment to advocating for children's rights in the context of climate change, recognizing their agency, resilience, and potential to drive positive change. By listening to children's voices, amplifying their concerns, and acting on their recommendations, we can create a more sustainable and inclusive world for all.  To strengthen children's voice on on climate change, Save the Children is enthusiastic to collaborate with the Government of Laos in supporting children to stand up for their rights and lead in climate-related campaigns, bringing their voices to the international stage.