Our Work in Advocacy
We serve as a leading voice in advocating for U.S. funding for clearance of unexploded bombs from Laos. We directly work and meet with key decision makers in the U.S. government — including Congress and the presidential administration — and with the private sector and media outlets to provide these influential groups with compelling information and analysis. We also serve as a convener and organizer for partner organizations and individuals seeking to resolve the issue of unexploded ordnance (UXO) and ongoing support for victims in Laos.
Legacies of War has set three primary goals for our advocacy work:
Conduct Congressional Visits: We visit congressional offices to recruit members to the UXO/Demining Caucus. We believe that increasing the number of caucus members will lead to greater support for UXO removal efforts in Southeast Asia.
Spearhead Community-Led Letter Writing Campaigns: These campaigns encourage constituents to write to their representatives in Congress, urging them to support UXO removal efforts in Southeast Asia. We aim to increase public awareness of the UXO issue and push for greater action.
Engage Think Tanks and Subject Matter Experts: We engage leaders around community programs and events through building coalitions and taking leadership on collaborative projects. We aim to broaden the scope of our advocacy efforts and build a network of supporters who can amplify our message and support our cause.
Our Advocacy Footprint
We do not receive any of the government funding that we advocate for. In bringing greater attention and increasing resources, we’ve helped to make a real impact on the ground in Laos: more land being cleared, lives being saved, and additional care and services made available for the UXO victims and survivors living in Laos.
Increased U.S. Funding
Our work has led to a thirteen-fold increase of U.S. funding for unexploded ordnance clearance, victim assistance, and explosive ordnance risk education programs in Laos, from $1.3 million in 2004 to $73 million in 2022 for programs in Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam.
Making Historic Change
Legacies of War worked closely with Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) on the introduction of the Legacies of War and Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) Removal Act. The bill 1) honor the contributions and sacrifices made by Southeast Asians in support of United States Armed Forces during the conflict in Southeast Asia in the 1960s and 1970s; and 2) Acknowledge the U.S.’ longstanding commitment to provide financial support for demining and UXO removal in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia
Senator Baldwin meeting and listening to stories from landmine survivors in Vietnam (April 2019). Photo credit: The Office of U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin
Team Up for Cross-Sector Collaboration
As the chair of the U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines and Cluster Munition Coalition, we are joining our partners in calling on the new administration to change course on U.S. landmine and cluster munition policies, including instituting a ban on the use of these weapons as well as an accelerated timeline for the destruction of U.S. stockpiles.