Hmong in Isolation: UNPO raises alarm
UNPO has written a letter requesting the United Nations Special Procedures and and the Assistant-Secretary General for Human Rights to issue a follow-up Joint Allegation Letter to the government of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Laos PDR) regarding the campaign being waged against the Hmong residing in the Xaysomboun region, in particular in the Phou Bia area. The request follows on from two previous Joint Allegation Letters sent (JAL UA LAO 3/2021 and UA LAO 3/2020) to Laos PDR. We strongly urge the UN and the international community to take action given the seriousness of the situation.
The letter, addressed to the United Nations Special Procedures and the Assistant-Secretary General for Human Rights, brings light to the critically deteriorating situation of the Chaofa Hmong in Xaysomboun, Laos.
However, the Lao Government has systematically ignored these serious humanitarian and human rights concerns. Since March 2021, the humanitarian situation has reached new heights. As the Lao Government continues to push the Ethnic Hmong from their indigenous homelands in order to build a lucrative tourism geared towards Chinese and Vietnamese citizens, the authorities continue to militarize the Xaysomboun region, deny international observers access into the region, and refuse to cooperate with UN mechanisms.
The current humanitarian crisis has escalated in recent years with ramped up military campaigns targeting the Chaofa Hmong, which also coincide with increased economic development and foreign investment in Xaysomboun region. They used tanks and heavy artillery and fired indiscriminately into Chaofa Hmong territory, despite the presence of women and children. Similar cases continued to be reported throughout 2018 and the first half of 2019.
Although many surrendered to the military and were put in camps, others fled taking refuge in neighboring countries. Yet, many were returned on denial of being given asylum status. Despite the need for intervention, the UNHCR has continued to remain stagnant on its aid.
With rising humanitarian concerns, the UNPO calls on the UN and the international community to:
issue follow-up communications to the Lao Government;
engage in advocacy and raise public awareness about the situation, in particular, with the different mechanisms and agencies of the United Nations system and Member States;
ask support to take effective humanitarian and diplomatic action in response to the situation the Hmong people in Laos are facing.
Click here to read the letter