QLA informs the public about the impacts of UXO and advocates for the rights, empowerment and inclusion UXO survivors and people with disabilities.
An initiative of Handicap International since 2007, Ban Advocates is a group of cluster munitions victims who advocate around the world for the banning of cluster munitions and landmines. Thoummy Silamphan, QLA’s Executive Director, has been active for several years as a Ban Advocate and has attended several conferences both nationally and internationally to advocate on behalf of UXO survivors and people with disabilities. The Ban Advocates were actively involved in the Oslo Process that led to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM)
Thoummy Silamphan has given speeches at the First and Third Meetings of State Parties (MSP) to the Convention on Cluster Munitions. He was also a participant at the Fourth MSP.
First Meeting of State Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Vientiane, 9 November 2010
Click the link to download a PDF of Thoummy Silamphan’s speech at the opening ceremony of the First Meeting of State Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
Third Meeting of State Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Oslo, 12 September 2012
Thoummys_speech_Oslo_CMC_12Sept_2012 – Click the link to download a PDF of Thoummy Silamphan’s speech at the Third Meeting of State Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
‘Voices from Laos’ tour
• In 2013 Thoummy Silamphan and Manixia Thor (Mines Advisory Group bomb clearance team leader) travelled to the United States as key speakers in the ‘Voices from Laos’ tour which was the initiative of Legacies of War (USA). The tour covered 12 cities across the United States.
• While in the U.S. as part of the Voices from Laos tour, Thoummy and Manixia participated in popular “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) threads on Reddit, a social news sharing site.
• In 2014 Thoummy was awarded an Advocate’s Award from Legacies of War (USA) for years of dedication to UXO victims’ assistance and his support and partnership with Legacies of War. Manixia Thor also received an Advocate’s Award.
Below is a reproduction of the letters of acknowledgement:
We are so excited and honored to present you with this award on the occasion of Legacies of War’s 10th Anniversary. Even though we know you won’t be here in person, we wanted to acknowledge you for your years of dedication to UXO victims’ assistance and to your support and partnership with Legacies of War.
With best wishes,
Executive Director, Legacies of War
Legacies of War is pleased to inform you that you have been selected as a recipient of our Advocate’s Award, on the occasion of our 10th Anniversary Celebration on July 15, 2014 in Washington, D.C.
The Award is given to select individuals or groups who have made a significant contribution to Legacies’ efforts to rid Laos of unexploded ordnance and provide assistance to survivors. We greatly appreciate your work on behalf of the safety and well-being of the people of Laos, and are eager to offer our thanks. We are so grateful for the courage and generosity of spirit with which you shared your story during the Voices of Laos Tour in 2013. In addition, your strong and creative support for victims of UXO accidents in Laos has improved the quality of life for many.
We hope you will join us at the anniversary celebration, where we will present the awards to all our extraordinary honorees… We look forward to celebrating the progress we’ve made together!
Executive Director, Legacies of War
Titus Peachey Board Member, Honoree Committee
Impacts of UXO
Disability Rights and Equality
QLA facilitates inclusion of UXO survivors and PWD in their communities by:
• Conducting disability rights awareness sessions for its stakeholders at all levels, including its target group and their families, provincial, district and local leaders, village communities, hospital staff and vocational trainers.
• Establishing and facilitating leadership groups (Inclusion Committees) to enable government and local leaders to be change agents and facilitate the inclusion of UXO survivors and people with disabilities in their local communities.
• Working with families and communities to address the attitudinal, social and environmental barriers that UXO survivors and PWD face on a regular basis. QLA uses a detailed assessment process to empower its target group to speak up about their needs and to identify barriers to inclusion, which are then addressed.