At FORUM-ASIA, we employ a range of strategies to effectively achieve our goals and create a lasting impact.

Through a diverse array of approaches, FORUM-ASIA is dedicated to achieving our objectives and leaving a lasting imprint on human rights advocacy.

Who we work with

Our interventions are meticulously crafted and ready to enact tangible change, addressing pressing issues and empowering communities.

Each statements, letters, and publications are meticulously tailored, poised to transform challenges into opportunities, and to empower communities towards sustainable progress.

Multimedia Stories

With a firm commitment to turning ideas into action, FORUM-ASIA strives to create lasting change that leaves a positive legacy for future generations.

Explore our dedicated sub-sites to witness firsthand how FORUM-ASIA turns ideas into action, striving to create a legacy of lasting positive change for future generations.

Subscribe our monthly e-newsletter

Open Letter to the Prime Minister of Thailand: Lao-Hmong Have Suffered Enough in Detention

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Lao-Hmong individuals of concern have been held for over nine months at Nong Khai Immigration and Detention Centre in inhumane living conditions. In an open letter to the Prime Minister of Thailand, FORUM-ASIA expresses concern for the health and safety of the detainees.
Prime Minister
General Surayud Chulanont
Office of the Prime Minister
Government House, Phitsanulok Road
Dusit, Bangkok, 10300 Thailand

Dear Prime Minister,
Mr Nitya Pibulsonggram, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Mr Prakit Prachonpachanuk, Secretary General of National Security Council
Mr Homayoun Alizadeh, OHCHR Regional Office for South-East Asia
Mr Morris Assaf, UNHCR Protection Officer, Bangkok
Mr Volker Turk, UNHCR Representative, Kuala Lumpur

The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) would like to express our deep concern for the health and safety of the 149 Lao-Hmong refugees in the Nong Khai Immigration and Detention Centre (IDC). The IDC is for temporary detention of a few days only and is an inadequate living environment for those in long term detention. The detention of these individuals in the IDC has been over nine months now. We ask you to allow the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) access to the Lao-Hmong to facilitate third country resettlement of these individuals to end their suffering and the government of Thailand’s burden of sheltering them.

Of the 149 Lao-Hmong, 90 are children who had no say on their entrance to Thailand. Five of these children were born in the IDC. Thailand has ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which ensures among other things, that the government of Thailand will keep the best interests of children in mind. Specifically, article 37 of the CRC, states that detention “shall be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time.” These children deserve a better life than prolonged detention in a small cell.

As third countries have offered settlement to the Lao-Hmong refugees, we ask that you allow this process to take place by allowing access for the UNHCR to the IDC. We understand your argument that resettling the Lao-Hmong will only encourage others to cross the border and seek resettlement as well, but surely these Lao-Hmong individuals have suffered enough at this point. They have been labeled as “individuals of concern” by the UNHCR and are not simply seeking better economic conditions but are legitimately concerned for their safety in Laos. The UNHCR along with foreign embassies should be allowed access to the Lao-Hmong in the IDC so the process of resettlement can be completed.
A sustainable solution for those entering Thailand illegally must be sought; keeping the 149 Lao-Hmong in the dreadful conditions of the IDC is not sustainable. In the mean time a humane end to the continuously deteriorating situation of the Lao Hmong in the Nong Khai can be achieved by allowing these individuals to be resettled in third countries.


Anselmo Lee
Executive Director

For more information, please contact:
Anselmo Lee, Executive Director, +66 (02) 391 8801 (ext 502), [email protected]
Laura McLennan, Ethnic Minorities in Southeast Asia Programme, +66 (02) 391 8801 (ext
105), [email protected]