Hmong: Laos Scrutinized by the Universal Periodic Review
AITPN concerned about continuous violations of Hmongs’ human rights and urges Laos to implement UPR recommendations
Below the statement by the Asian Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Network
Asian Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Network taking note the UPR report and its recommendations to Laos, would like to make the following comments concerning the situation of Hmong ChaoFa people.
With reference to the claims of the Laotian authorities on the well being of 4,000 repatriated Hmongs, we wish to alert the Council that they were forcibly harassed by thousands of military personnel with 158 Hmongs now believed to have been forced to renounce the offer of resettlement in third countries.
We urge the international community to monitor the situation of these Hmongs as alerted by the UN Secretary-General in December 2009 and of course, to help implement the UPR recommendations to Laos under para. 98.31.
In this respect AITPN remains deeply concerned about the continued violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms of the Hmong people and call upon for the full implementation of the recommendation in para. 96.19 that the Laotian authorities: “Issue travel and identification documents to all Lao Hmong returnees in a timely manner, and guarantee freedom of movement.”
While supporting the recommendation in para. 96.47 which asks Laos to “eradicate trafficking persons”, we remain deeply concerned about the trafficking of almost 30 Hmong children in 2005 from a Christmas Choir event1 and urge the authorities to promptly prosecute those responsible and ascertain their whereabouts and well being of the children.
AITP acknowledges that Laos accepted recommendations in para. 98.14 to extend a standing invitation to all Special Procedures of the Council and believe that UN human rights experts given the opportunity to visit the victims in the Xaysombune Special Zone who are confronted with daily military operations.
On the recommendation in para. 98.31 that Laos provide unfettered access to Hmong returnees, we deplore that U.S. Senator Al Franken was denied access to Phonekham camp during a recent visit.
In conclusion, AITPN remains deeply concerned that the Laotian authorities to date have not accounted for the fate and whereabouts of three Hmong Americans2 after their detention in 2007 and call for their immediate release. As Hmong ChaoFa people remain deprived of their civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, we urge Laos to address their long standing grievances through dialogue and not by the policy of military operations and exclusion.
I thank you, Mr. President.
21 September, 2010
Statement by Mr. James HER on behalf of Asian Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Network (AITPN)