Officially themselves and navigate the chaos and hardship that

Officially referred to as the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, the nation is one of five remaining socialist states run by a single party landlocked country in Southeast Asia. Laos shares borders with Burma, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand. A distinctly communist heritage and beliefs is seen throughout the other four nations: China, Vietnam, Cuba, North Korea. Laos seems to be heavily under the influence of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the Vietnam People’s Army. With a population of 6.5 million in 2012, nearly one-third of the population lives below the international poverty line of US$1.25 per day. The official language is Lao, although the Lao ethnic group only makes-up approximately 60% of the population. Laos declared independence from French colonialism on October 22nd, 1953, making it a relatively young nation. (Nick Fagge In The Democratic Republic Of Congo For Mailonline 2015)The problem of child witches in Sub-Saharan Africa has been an increasingly growing issue for the United Nations. Anthropologists have begun to identify a collection of disastrous factors that accumulate as the underlying cause for witchcraft accusations against children, a frighteningly popular tradition in Sub-Saharan Africa. These factors include economic hardship, conflict, urbanization, and family breakdown which especially spreads insecurity and undermines communities. A reprieve from this societal and economic turmoil can be found in revivalist churches which offer spiritual comfort in times of unrest. In Kinshasa alone there are around fifty-thousand children living on the streets homeless after being abandoned after being accused of witchcraft. This number is disheartening and extremely worrisome. This communities claim that these children are capable of horrible, horrendous crimes, including drinking the blood and eating the flesh of their relatives. However, a large percentage of the time these children are rejected for the sole reason that their parents cannot afford to feed them. These children, some as young as newborns, are left to take care of themselves and navigate the chaos and hardship that has been thrown at them. Sadly, many resort to crime and prostitution to get by. The United Nations have been working non-stop in a global effort to help these desperate children and combat the horrific tradition that plagues the region. The UN hopes that the poverty and lack of education that children also suffer from will be completely eradicated in fifteen years. The hardships the youth currently face in Sub-Saharan Africa are difficulties the people of Lao are no stranger to. The child protection system in Lao faces many obstacles, since there is little to no support for families and few community-based child protection services to assist endangered children who are at risk or in harmful situations. UNICEF moves to establish a more child-friendly and gender-sensitive justice system as well as supporting the social welfare sector to establish a child and family welfare system, in line with international standards. “The focus is on protecting all children in contact with the law, whether as victims, witnesses or alleged offenders. The programme supports research to inform evidence based policy development on child justice. At the central level, UNICEF is supporting the national training institutes for judges, prosecutors and the police to strengthen their curricula on child justice.” (UNICEF “What we do: Child Protection”) The horrors these children fall victim to can only be prevented permanently through the implementation and enforcement of systematic support given through the government. By combating the core catalysts leading to the dehumanization of these innocents, this problem can be abolished for good. The issues of economic hardships can only be fixed by a strong leadership and shared drive by all to better the nation and eliminate poverty. An even distribution of wealth is necessary for a successful nation, so children may grow up in safe, loving homes, with parents who can afford to feed them. Additionally, to defeat the widespread insecurity and societal issues in the region, the people must be educated. Ignorance has been passed down through generations, leading to the barbaric belief that children can do such monstrous things like drink the blood of their relatives. Left with no knowledge to counter this cultural myth, it is heartbreaking, albeit not surprising, that defenseless children are the ones falling victim to the misinformation of the people.