Laos has been ranked 130th on the 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI,) two places above last year, becoming one of a few countries in Southeast Asia to see less corruption.
CPI, released by Transparency International, ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, according to experts and businesspeople.
Laos has gradually climbed the index over the past few years. Its ranking rose from 135 in 2017 to 132 in 2018 and 130 in 2019. It is one of very few countries in Southeast Asia to climb the ranking.
In contrast, some of its close neighbors have slipped further down. Thailand, for instance, ranked 96th in 2017 but it slipped to 99 in 2018 and 101 in 2019.
Laos signed the United Nations Convention against Corruption in 2003 and ratified it in 2009, with 186 State Parties.
The Lao government has been focusing on anti-corruption awareness-raising among civil servants and students to increase transparency in the country.
In an attempt to crack down on corruption, the government is pursuing capacity building in the development of human resources and improved legislation such as the Law on Anti-Corruption.
In addition, the Government Inspection Authority issued an instruction in February last year to law enforcement agencies to create conditions that enable people from all walks of life to participate in the fight against corruption.
“The instruction appeared to be the first-ever reference to detailed ways that members of the public can participate in the fight against misconduct and corruption,” Vientiane Times said at that time.