JOINT SUBMISSION TO THE UN UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW (UPR)
FOR LAO PDR THIRD UPR CYCLE
35TH SESSION OF THE UPR WORKING GROUP
21 JULY 2019
The 35th Session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group will conduct the 3rd UPR of Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR). All interested individuals and organizations, including civil society organizations, activists, and academics with work related to the Lao People’s Democratic Republic were invited to provide their input ahead of the 3rd UPR cycle that will take place between January and February 2020.
In this context, Manushya Foundation jointly with Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) made a joint submission to examine the compliance of the Government of Lao PDR with the recommendations received during the 2nd UPR cycle of Lao PDR, particularly in relation to development projects and investments in the country. To do so, we analyse the efforts made by the government to implement recommendations received related to rights to development, to political framework and good governance, to participate in public affairs, to an adequate standard of living and to an effective remedy. We also assess racial discrimination among and impacts on cultural rights of the affected groups as well as forced displacement of communities affected by them and impacts thereof on their rights.
This submission indicates that development projects and investments in Lao PDR are not carried out in a sustainable manner resulting in violations of human rights in the following manner:
Negative impacts of development initiatives for poverty eradication, of land concessions, and of relocation and resettlement programs for internally displaced persons
Corruption in development projects and investments
Racial discrimination and breaches to cultural rights of indigenous ethnic groups
Lack of participation in public affairs, particularly for women, and of an adequate standard of living
Absence of effective remedy in the context of development and business projects, exacerbating poverty
The submission also provides specific, measurable and action-oriented recommendations for the Lao government to ensure a real sustainable development with respect for fundamental rights of individuals, indigenous peoples and local communities. With our joint submission, we hope Lao PDR's 3rd UPR Cycle will be a real opportunity to improve the human rights situation in the country.