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The Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR or Laos) has dedicated counterterrorism provisions in its Criminal Code. There is no carve-out for the exercise of fundamental human rights. A Law on the financing of terrorism entered into force in 2015.

Compliance with International Law:
Last updated: one year ago

The Definition of Terrorism in Domestic Law

The Criminal Code defines and criminalizes an act of terrorism as follows:

Terrorism are actions of natural persons, groups of people, organisations or terrorist organisations within or outside the territory of the Lao PDR as follows:

1. Actions that aim at causing harm to national security, socio-economic system, foreign and international organisations or cause problems to the international relations of the Lao PDR or create havoc to individuals;

2. Violence that affects lives, health, freedom or that coerces, poses a physical and moral threat;

3. Seizure, destruction of properties, break-in, attack, obstruction, causing damage and chaos to computers and communications, internet systems or digital instruments of state organisations, legal persons and natural persons;

4. Processing, producing, utilising, packaging, transporting, collecting explosives, radioactive substance, toxics, inflammables, and weapons trafficking, equipment and vehicles, including seeking advice on how to commit certain actions defined in subparagraph 1, 2 and 3 of this article;

5. Disseminating, influencing, encouraging, imposing, hiring or creating conditions, aiding for the actions defined in subparagraph 1, 2, 3, 4 of this article;

6. Performing other acts which constitute acts of terrorism as provided for in the Laws, Treaties and International Conventions to which the Lao PDR is a party.Art. 120, Criminal Code of Laos.


The 2014 Law on Terrorist Financing, which entered into force in 2015, defines an act of terrorism in slightly different terms as follows:

1. Acts that effect the national security, socio-economic foundation, foreign and international organisations, cause difficulties to international relations of the Lao PDR or chaos to people in the society

2. Acts that affect lives, health, freedom, or deemed as a physical and psychological coercion and threat.

3. Seizure, damaging properties, invasion, attack,obstruction,causing damages and chaos to computercommunication and Internet systems or digital instruments of state organisations, legal persons and natural persons.

4. Processing, production, use,packaging, transportation,consolidation, and obtaining of explosives, radioactive substances, toxics, inflammables, and trading of weapons, equipment, vehicles including an offering of advice for certain act with an intention as defined in subparagraphs 1, 2, and 3 of this article.

5. Disseminating, recruiting, encouraging, coercing, threatening, hiring or creating conditions, and aiding an act as defined in subparagraph 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, and 8 of this article.

6. Organizing, financing, participating and attemptingto participate in the organisation, teaching,and training of selected individuals to conduct an act as defined in subparagraphs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, and 8 of this article.

7. Acknowledgmentof an act with an objective evidence to prove that it is an act of terrorism.

8. Other offences defined as acts of terrorism as per international agreements or treaties to which Lao PDR is a party.Art. 7, 2014 Law on Terrorist Financing. 

Adherence to Global and Regional Terrorism Treaties


Laos is a State Party to most of the main United Nations treaties on terrorism.


Adherence to Global Terrorism Treaties
Treaty Adherence
1973 Convention on Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons State Party
1979 Hostage-Taking Convention State Party
1997 Terrorist Bombings Convention State Party
1999 Terrorist Financing Convention State Party
2005 Nuclear Terrorism Convention Signatory


Laos is also a State Party to the main regional treaty on terrorism within the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN).


Adherence to Regional Terrorism Treaties
Treaty Adherence
ASEAN 2007 Treaty on Counter Terrorism State Party

Laws and Penalties for Terrorist Offences

Any person committing an offence of terrorism shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a term ranging from five years to twenty years.Art. 120, Criminal Code of Laos.Where such an offence is performed as part of an organized group or causes serious damage, the offender shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a term ranging from ten years to life imprisonment.Art. 120, Criminal Code of Laos.

The financing of terrorism is punished by five to eight years in prison.Art. 131, Criminal Code of Laos.

Counterterrorism Capacities and Policies at Domestic Level

The armed forces, under the Ministry of Defense, have domestic security responsibilities, including for counterterrorism.


Criminal Code of Laos (2017) (original text)

Criminal Code of Laos (2017) (English version)

Laos 2014 Law on Terrorist Financing (unofficial English translation)