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Published:February 1st, 2006 08:45 EST
 Lao Authorities  Detained Children

Lao Authorities Detained Children

By Leon (Producer) Leon

The United States is concerned about the welfare and whereabouts of a group of approximately 27 children separated from their parents at the Petchaboon displaced-persons settlement in northern Thailand and sent into Laos last December. The Lao government has declined repeated requests to clarify their whereabouts, to grant international organizations such as the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) or other UN agencies access to the children, and to ensure the provision of adequate care for them. We find this obstruction by the Lao Government troubling and disappointing.

In accordance with obligations it undertook by becoming a party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, we call upon the Lao Government to provide immediate and unfettered access to the children.

We urge the Lao Government to allow UNICEF or other UN agencies to immediately provide the children shelter so they can receive the appropriate care while their status is resolved. We also call upon the Lao Government to work with the international community to find a solution as soon as possible that upholds the best interests of the children and ultimately leads to reuniting them with their parents.