November 19, 2009

Hmong: UNHCR Calls On Thailand To Allow Resettlement

Active ImageThe UNHCR on Tuesday called on the Thai government to allow 158 Lao Hmong refugees, who have been detained for three years pending deportation, to be resettled in four western countries.

 

Below is an article published by Agence France-Presse :

The UNHCR on Tuesday called on the Thai government to allow 158 Lao Hmong refugees, who have been detained for three years pending deportation, to be resettled in four western countries.

"Four countries -- the US, Australia, Canada and the Netherlands -- have offered resettlement places to the refugees, and we believe they should be allowed to leave Thailand for resettlement," said Andrej Mahecic, UNHCR spokesman.
"They have not committed any crime and their detention serves no purpose," he added.

Tens of thousands of ethnic minority Hmong have sought asylum in Thailand, claiming that they face persecution from the communist Laos regime as they had fought alongside US forces during the Vietnam war.

Large numbers have since been resettled in western countries, including the United States.

The group of 158 Hmong refugees includes women and children who were on December 8, 2006, rounded up and transferred to the Nong Khai immigration detention centre at the border with Laos pending deportation.
However, they have been held there since.

"We believe that a solution for this group will not only respond to an urgent humanitarian need but also help turn one of the final pages in the refugee history of the Hmong in Thailand," added Mahecic.