What is…?

What is…Enforced Disappearance in Lao PDR?

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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What is…Civil Society in Laos?

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?

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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What are…Laos’ International Human Rights Obligations & Commitments?

Briefing paper prepared by Civil Rights Defenders (CRD) The Lao People’s Democratic Republic (LPDR) has participated in the first two rounds of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of its human rights records, but its compliance and engagement with other UN human rights mechanisms has been very limited, despite its treaty obligations and UPR commitments. This

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What is…Enforced Disappearance?

Definition Enforced disappearance is when a person is secretly taken by the government, or by others with the knowledge and support of state authorities. The government then denies any role in the abduction, as well as knowledge about what happened, or where the person might be. The result is that the person is denied all

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What are—a state’s key obligations under the CPED?

“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 non-beings. It is the ultimate corruption, abuse of power that allows

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What is…the AICHR?

Introduction In 2007, Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) adopted the ASEAN Charter. Article 14 of the Charter provided that ASEAN shall establish a “human rights body”. In July 2009, the ASEAN Foreign Minister Meeting adopted the Terms of Reference (TOR) of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR). During

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What is…the Role of the ASEAN Chair?

Introduction The ASEAN Charter provides that all Member States shall take turns in acting as Chair of the ASEAN. The chairmanship of ASEAN rotates annually, based on the alphabetical order of the English names of Member States. There were instances in the past, however, when Member States switched turns or did not take a turn

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What is…a Least Developed Country (LDC)?

Background and Criteria The classification of Least Developed Country (LDC) was established by the United Nations in 1971. The main purpose was to enhance support those countries facing severe and persistent challenges to economic growth and development. The criteria for LDC status have evolved over time. They currently are: Gross National Income (GNI): The average

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