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Women’s Rights in Intellectual Property and Traditional Knowledge Protection in Lao PDR

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Lao People’s Democratic Republic is a multicultural country within the Association of South East Asian Nations. It recently adopted the Intellectual Property Law in the context of enhancing regional and global economic integration. The traditional handicraft textile sector is important in Laos. It is of benefit to the country’s economic development, as well as being recognized as an important element of both national culture and the identity of Lao women. However, Lao craftswomen are facing a strong challenge preserving their traditional knowledge due to the extremely cheap imitations of items such as scarves and Lao skirts, which are being sold in Laos.This article aims to discuss the existing international instruments and related national laws regarding intellectual property and protection of traditional knowledge with particular regard to women’s rights. Intellectual property and traditional knowledge issues attract more attention than intellectual property rights under the World Intellectual Property Organization regime; UNESCO, TRIPS, CBD and human rights treaties, all to which Lao is a party, are also relevant. Nationally, Laos is still lacking adequate and appropriate means to protect rights of women as traditional knowledge holders in terms of national laws.

Affiliations: 1: Lecturer, Faculty of Social Sciences, National University of Laos (nuol) and PhD candidate daad, c_phochanthilath@hotmail.com

10.1163/15718158-01601002
/content/journals/10.1163/15718158-01601002
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/content/journals/10.1163/15718158-01601002
2015-10-06
2017-11-25

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