BARBADIAN ASSISTS IN PREPARATION OF STATEMENT OF SOLIDARITY WITH THE HMONG INDIGENOUS PEOPLE OF LAOS

The statement below is currently being circulated in the United Nations, it was co-written by Thomas Alarcon (Peru), Charles Williams (Dominica) and Damon Corrie (Barbados).

STATEMENT TO THE SEVENTH SESSION OF THE PERMANENT FORUM ON INDIGENOUS ISSUES NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK 21ST APRIL – 2ND MAY, 2008.

We the undersigned members of the Global Indigenous Caucus at the Seventh Session of the Permanent Forum on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, hereby express our recognition for – and solidarity with – the Hmong Indigenous People of Laos.

The Hmong Indigenous brothers and sisters in Laos are complaining of the systematic and prolonged violation of their human rights a process that began since 1975 by the Laos Government. The Military of Laos is hunting down the Hmong indigenous people all through the interior and shoots them on sight, these people have no proper housing or settlement not even to grow food for day to day survival.

We are talking of some 7,000 Hmong Indigenous brothers who are undergoing this genocidal experience in Norther Laos.

In 2005 the committee for Elimination of Racial Discrimination (UN CERD) requested access to conduct an investigation regarding the situation in Laos – and was refused by the Laos Government.

In view of the above we are further calling on the Permanent Forum to submit our request to the Economic and Social Council and the Security Council to investigate the government of Laos to investigate the living conditions of those said persons.

We wish further to call on the United Nations to use the offices of the Rapporteur on indigenous issues, Mr. James Anaya to impress on the Government of Laos – their obligation to implement the human rights declaration and to observe such rights.

According to our Hmong brothers the Laos Government have signed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples on September 13th 2007; therefore we expect them to live up to that obligation.

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