Development partners: Where are the people?

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Above is a word cloud generated from the Vientiane Declaration on Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation  from the 2015 High Level Roundtable Meeting. Where are the people? The term only appears three times in the document itself, and those are within the Lao PDR’s name. Other terms such as rights, empowerment, participation, rural, ethnic minority,

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What is…Enforced Disappearance in Lao PDR?

ICJ

Briefing paper prepared by the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) Introduction “The phenomenon of enforced disappearances […] is the worst of all violations of human rights. It is certainly a challenge to the very concept of human rights, denial of the right for humans to have an existence, an identity. Enforced disappearance transforms humans into

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Laos: Free former student leaders arbitrarily detained for 17 years

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FIDH-OMCT & LMHR: 26 October 2016 The Lao government must immediately and unconditionally release two former pro-democracy student leaders who have been arbitrarily detained for 17 years and disclose the fate or whereabouts of two others, the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (a joint FIDH and OMCT partnership) and the Lao Movement for Human

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Solidarity Statement from Gwangju Prize for Human Rights Laureates

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The May 18th Memorial Foundation: 21 October 2016 We gathered in Kuala Lumpur over two days – 20-21 October 2016 – at the invitation of the May 18 Memorial Foundation, Bersih 2.0 and Suaram. Eleven countries were represented: Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor Leste. We listened

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What is…Civil Society in Laos?

Logo-Sombath Initiative

Briefing paper prepared by the Sombath Initiative Historically, the Lao PDR is a country of remarkable ethnic, linguistic and geographic diversity. Until recently, most communities, particularly in rural areas, were largely self- sustaining and locally-governed. A strong, traditional civil society still exists. Substantially supported through development aid, state-building is quickly replacing these traditional codes and

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What is…Freedom of Expression in the Lao PDR?

FIDH-Logo

Briefing paper prepared by International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) Freedom of expression severely repressed Lao authorities impose severe restrictions on the right to freedom of expression in the country. The state controls almost all media in Laos. Repressive laws prevent free expression and the circulation of opinions and information. In the rare instances where people

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“Most people are now too scared…”

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“Before the disappearance of Sombath, there was some optimism that civil society could be a force for change in Laos. Since his disappearance, such hopes have been virtually extinguished, since most people are now too scared to do anything that might rile the regime,” Martin Steward-Fox in Laos: Reform or Revolution, The Diplomat, 28 September 2016

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