35th Universal Periodic Review UK statement on Lao People’s Democratic Republic

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The Universal Periodic Review takes place in Geneva

The United Kingdom recognises progress in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, including on education and healthcare.

The UK welcomes increasing infrastructure and development in Laos, but remains concerned about projects resulting in forced land appropriation,. The UK also welcomes Laos’s acceptance of recommendations that detained persons be treated humanely, but remains concerned that allegations of torture are common and not properly investigated.

The UK is also concerned about restrictions on freedom of expression and foreign news agencies. We urge the Government to promote and protect freedom of expression for all.

We recommend that Laos:

  1. Develop and implement a national action plan on human trafficking and modern slavery, using this as a framework to evaluate progress on combatting modern slavery, and allocate funded budgets to the national action plan.
  2. Repeal all legislation inhibiting freedom of opinion and expression that are not compatible with Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
  3. Undertake impartial, thorough and transparent investigations into all enforced disappearances, including Sombath Somphone.
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