Torture in  [Laos]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Laos]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Laos]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Laos]  [other countries]

Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance

& Other Ill Treatment

In the early years of the 21st Century                                                                      

Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Laos)

Despite this high growth rate, Laos remains a country with an underdeveloped infrastructure, particularly in rural areas. It has no railroads, a rudimentary road system, and limited external and internal telecommunications, though the government is sponsoring major improvements in the road system with support from Japan and China. Electricity is available in urban areas and in many rural districts. Subsistence agriculture, dominated by rice, accounts for about 40% of GDP and provides 80% of total employment.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Description: Laos

CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Laos.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.

*** ARCHIVES ***

The state of the world's human rights

Amnesty International AI, Annual Report 2013

[accessed 27 Jan 2014]

ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCES - On 15 December, Sombath Somphone, a respected member of Lao civil society well known for his work promoting education and sustainable development, was taken away in a truck by unknown persons after being stopped by police in the capital, Vientiane. He helped to organize the Asia-Europe People’s Forum in Vientiane in October.

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 17 February 2011]

TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN, OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT – The law prohibits the beating or torture of an arrested person. In practice members of the police and security forces sometimes abused prisoners, especially those suspected of associations with the insurgency; however, there were anecdotal reports that abuse has decreased in recent years. In the past detainees sometimes were subjected to beatings and long‑term solitary confinement in completely darkened rooms, and in many cases they were detained in leg chains or wooden stocks for long periods. Former inmates reported that degrading treatment, the chaining and manacling of prisoners, and solitary confinement in small unlit rooms were standard punishments in larger prisons, while smaller provincial or district prisons employed manacles and chains to prevent prisoners from escaping.

Freedom House Country Report - Political Rights: 7   Civil Liberties: 6   Status: Not Free

2009 Edition

[accessed 26 June 2012]

The courts are corrupt and controlled by the LPRP. Long delays in court hearings are common, particularly for cases dealing with public grievances and complaints against government abuses. Security forces often illegally detain suspects, and some Laotians have allegedly spent more than a decade in jail without trial. Hundreds of political activists have also been held for months or years without trial. Prisoners are often tortured and must bribe prison officials to obtain better food, medicine, visits from family, and more humane treatment.

Somsanga’s Secrets

Human Rights Watch, 11 October 2011

[accessed 31 January 2015]

This report examines conditions in the Somsanga Treatment and Rehabilitation Center, which has received a decade of international support from the United States, the United Nations, and other donors. Detainees are held without due process, and many are locked in cells inside barbed wire compounds. Former detainees told Human Rights Watch that they had been held for periods of three months to more than a year. Police and guards are a constant presence, and those who try to escape may be brutally beaten.

All material used herein reproduced under the fair use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use.  PLEASE RESPECT COPYRIGHTS OF COMPONENT ARTICLES. 

Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance & Other Ill Treatment in the early years of the 21st Century- Laos",, [accessed <date>]



Torture in  [Laos]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Laos]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Laos]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Laos]  [other countries]