(Geneva) - Laos is scheduled to be reviewed at the 21st session of the Universal Periodic Review in January 2015.
At its first UPR of May 2010, Laos committed to allow civil society space to carry out human rights activities and advocacy. Since then, official restrictions on activism and freedom of expression have accompanied reports of disappearances and detentions of human rights defenders. Defenders working on land and environment rights are particularly threatened.
Key recommendations that should be made to Laos at the UPR in early 2015 include the development of specific policies for the recognition and protection of the work of human rights defenders and the removal of judicial restrictions on freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, along with the decriminalisation of defamation and ‘misinformation’.
This Briefing Paper on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders in Laos is intended to assist States and other stakeholders to formulate questions and recommendations regarding the protection of human rights defenders during the UPR.
For further information about the Briefing Paper or for any assistance or advice in the formulation of recommendations, please contact ISHR's Heather Collister, on h.collister@ishr.
Photo: UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe