Round Table Meeting

Development partners: Where are the people?

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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Is Sombath Being Forgotten?

As Laos celebrates its traditional new year, a few points to ponder: While the Lao government claims it is continuing to investigate Sombath’s disappearance, no results have been released in nearly three years. But is anybody still asking? Within days of his disappearance, Sombath’s family filed an appeal with the Supreme People’s Prosecutor. Authorities later claimed the

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EU speaks up for Sombath & human rights of Lao citizens

European Development Partners reiterate their strong commitment to promote better lives and the exercise of constitutional human rights for all Lao citizens. We welcome Laos’ acceptance of some of the recommendations of the most recent Universal Periodic Review and we are open to the dialogue on how concerted measures by the government could address its

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CSOs operate in fear

“The working climate of Lao CSOs, which has been restricted by the government since Sombath’s disappearance, is an outstanding issue, so I wonder if development partners … will be willing to raise it. So far, I see that CSOs operate in fear—being threatened by governmental officials,” the official said. From “Development Partners Must Hold Lao

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Vientiane Declaration ignores rights, people, etc.

The Vientiane Declaration on Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation, which will be signed at the High Level Round Table Meeting, departs sharply from the spirit and assurances made during the recent Universal Periodic Review. A few observations include: The document makes no mention of human rights, civil rights or any kind of rights. Civil society, NPAs and INGOs are

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An open letter to Participants of the 2015 Lao Donor Round Table Meeting

November 5, 2015 As you prepare for this year’s High Level Round Table meeting, we ask that you take a few moments to read and reflect on the address below that Sombath Somphone gave to the 9th Asia-Europe People’s Forum in Vientiane, Lao PDR three years ago. It was Sombath’s last public address before he

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Are promises not important?

The Report of the 11th High Level Round Table Meeting, averred that: “With regard to the disappearance of Mr. Sombath Somphone, The Government of Lao PDR has concerns more than any nation,” and that it would continue the investigation and “…bring those involved into the justice.” (Emphasis added) Yet when donors from other nations raised

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Foreign Donors Slam Laos Over Lack of Progress on Missing Civil Society Leader

Radio Free Asia: 20 November 2014 Donor countries to Laos have pressed the government of Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong on the whereabouts of the country’s most prominent civil society leader who disappeared nearly two years ago. European and U.S. development partners mentioned the case of Sombath Somphone at a roundtable meeting with members of the

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EU: No progress on investigation

At last year’s RTM we raised the issue of the unexplained disappearance of Mr Sombath Somphone. We were re-assured by the government that it had taken all steps to continue the investigation and to bring the perpetrators to justice. One year later (and almost two years after the disappearance occurred), we note with grave concern

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International donors must press government on human rights issues

International Federation for Human Rights/Lao Movement for Human Rights (13 November 2014) Paris, 14 November 2014: International donors should make their future aid commitments to Laos contingent upon the government’s tangible progress in addressing key human rights issues, FIDH and its member organization, the Lao Movement for Human Rights (LMHR), said in a letter to

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