Laos: Groups urge poor's participation in decision-making process for investment projects

Author: Joshua Lipes, Radio Free Asia, Published on: 9 February 2019

"Rights Groups Urge Laos to Include The Poor in Decision-Making, Ahead of UN Expert's Visit", 6 February 2019

The government of Laos must ensure that people living in poverty are able to take part in key decision-making processes that affect their lives, rights groups said...ahead of a fact-finding mission to the Southeast Asian nation by a United Nations expert.

...FIDH and LMHR detailed several human rights violations...[a]mong the violations the two groups listed are restrictions on participating in public affairs, curbs on freedom of association impacting civil society, a lack of due process and the ability to seek justice for rights violations, repression of the right to freedom of expression limiting people's participation, and the exclusion of communities from the decision-making process for infrastructure and investment projects.

...LMHR President Vanida Thephsouvanh..."Infrastructure and investment projects have disproportionately affected poor individuals and communities in Laos but such projects continue to be designed and implemented without their adequate participation," Vanida said.

...Andrea Giorgetta, FIDH's Asia Desk director..."[For] those living in poverty ... we're receiving the information that communities are in most cases not consulted about the project," he said.

"People don't know how the project will affect them, where they will be relocated and how much they should be compensated."

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