UN Expert on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights to Visit Laos in March

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, New York University School of Law Professor Philip Alston, will be undertaking an official visit to the Lao People’s Democratic Republic from March 18–28, 2019 at the invitation of the government. His visit will focus on the links between poverty and the realization of human rights in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic.

The Special Rapporteur is an independent expert appointed by the UN Human Rights Council, and he will report to the Human Rights Council on his visit to the UK in the first half of 2019. UN independent experts visit countries around the world to report on their human rights situation. In recent years, the Special Rapporteur has undertaken country visits to the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, Ghana, the United States, Chile, Romania, Mauritania, China, and Saudi Arabia.

Call for Submissions

The Special Rapporteur invites all interested individuals and organizations in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, including civil society organizations, activists, and academics, to provide input for the preparation of his visit.

Respondents are requested to limit their comments to a maximum of 1,500 words. Additional supporting materials, such as reports, academic studies, and other types of background materials may be annexed to the submission.

While all submissions are welcome and the questions below are not meant to be exhaustive, the Special Rapporteur would be grateful for comments that address topics such as:

Submissions can be sent to by January 25, 2019. Kindly send your submission as an attachment to an email.

By default, all submissions will be treated as confidential and the issues raised will not be attributed to specific individuals or organizations. However, if instead you would like your submission to be published on the website of the Special Rapporteur, please explicitly indicate consent to publication in the submission.

The Special Rapporteur will accept submissions via encrypted email at with this public key. If you have concerns about digital security, you may wish to contact an organization working on these issues. The organization Access Now has a free digital security helpline to help keep individuals and organizations safe online. Inquiries can be sent to

The Special Rapporteur’s visit will lead to a detailed end of mission statement on March 28 and a formal report which he will present to the UN Human Rights Council.

The Special Rapporteur greatly appreciates the effort that goes into making such contributions and looks forward to reading the submissions.

 Media inquiries

Regular updates on the visit to the Lao People’s Democratic Republic will be posted on the website of the Special Rapporteur and via his Twitter and Facebook pages. A press release with additional information about the visit will be issued in March 2019.

On the last day of his visit in March, the Special Rapporteur will hold a press conference in Vientiane where he will present a statement with his initial findings. Before and during the visit, the Special Rapporteur’s engagement with media will be limited to commenting on the scope of the visit, areas the Special Rapporteur will be visiting, and other logistical aspects. Only at the press conference and thereafter will the Special Rapporteur be in a position to comment on his findings and conclusions.

Media inquiries, including requests to join the Special Rapporteur’s press list, may be directed to Patricia Varela (, Maria Andrea Echazú (, and Bassam Khawaja (

Twitter:  @Alston_UNSR



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