OHCHR chief visits Laos

Anjali Sharma

GG News Bureau
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk on Friday visited Lao People’s Democratic Republic marked the first ever visit by a UN rights chief to the country.

He discussed progress Lao PDR has made in advancing the human rights of their citizens.

Mr. Türk stated that by ratifying seven out of nine core international human rights treaties, “the country has signalled its commitment to accede to a roadmap for human rights.”

Mr. Türk was also sure to highlight several key challenges facing the country, notably rising public debt.

“One key challenge for Lao PDR is public debt. Let me be clear: debt is a human rights issue,” he stated.

Mr. Türk pushed for international financial institutions to work through a human rights lens, called it an “urgent priority,” with over half the world’s poorest countries in or near full-blown debt distress.

He stressed the dangers of declining public spending on social services and the necessity of human rights playing a role in budget allocations.

“If a country does not invest sufficiently in education, health, equality and other essentials, this will result in a cascade of problems in society,” the UN human rights chief stated.

He warned that the high levels of child marriage and the low participation of women in decision-making were also mentioned as areas for improvement in Lao PDR.

Mr. Türk expressed hope that his visit “heralds the deepening of our collaboration on the promotion and protection of human rights for all the people in the country, as well as in the region.”

Comments are closed.