This year marks the 75th year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Much has been made about it by the United Nations and human rights community globally. As we celebrate the gains and victories in our continuing struggles for human rights, social justice, and systemic transformation, we remain outraged that one of the most egregious violations of human rights — enforced disappearance — continues unabated and unaddressed. Enforced disappearance is a crime above crimes: it not only violates the rights of the disappeared persons, but also the rights of their families who suffer loss, fear, and the absence of justice and closure. It demonstrates systemic abuse of power, especially on the part of those who hold duties to protect the lives and rights of people.

Today, on the 11th year of the enforced disappearance of Sombath Somphone, Focus on the Global South continues to demand truth, justice, and accountability for Sombath, his family, and all victims of enforced disappearance. We call on the international community of the United Nations, donors, diplomats to use every measure possible to put an end to this heinous crime, and the culture and practice of impunity that enables its perpetration. We support and stand in solidarity with people across the world for justice, peace, and life free of violence and human rights violations.

Joint Statement: Laos: 11 years of government inaction on Sombath Somphone’s enforced disappearance

Message from Shui Meng, Wife of disappeared Lao civil society leader Sombath Somphone

Resources on the case of Sombath Somphone:

    • Link to the website
    • Link to Documentary “The Disappearance of Sombath Somphone” on YouTube.
    • Link to Sombath’s interview “Sombath Somphone: Lao Development Visionary Speaks” on YouTube.


Message from Angkhana Neelaphaijit, Wife of disappeared Thai human rights lawyer Somchai Neelaphaijit

Resources on the case of Somchai Neelaphaijit and other cases in Thailand


Message from Jhay de Jesus, In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement (iDEFEND)

Resource on cases from the Philippines:


Message from Joey Faustino, The Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD)

Resources on AFAD:


Message from Aunt Noi, Wife of disappeared activist and political exile Surachai Danwattananusorn


The video is an excerpt from the full message. To read the full message (in Thai and English) please visit here.

Resource on cases of Surachai Danwattananusorn:


Message from Kanya Teerawut, Mother of disappeared Thai political exile Siam Teerawut

Resource on cases of Siam Teerawut:


Message from Sitanan Satsaksit, Sister of Thai political activist exiled in Cambodia  Wanchalearm Satsaksit

Watch on Facebook (in Thai)

Video Summary:
On 4 June 2020, Wanchalearm Satsaksit, Thai political activist and political exile in Cambodia, was abducted outside his home in Phnom Penh in broad daylight. The CCTV footage of the incident was later released on Prachatai – Thai independent media outlet. The abduction causes anger and fuels the 2020 youth-led mobilization in Thailand, calling the Government of both Thailand and Cambodia to take action on the case.

This short documentary records a journey of the Satsaksit family during their first year after Wanchalearm’s abduction. Sitanan Satsaksit – Wanchalearm’s sister, along with human rights lawyers from Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) and Cross Cultural Foundation (CrCF) traveled to Cambodia to deliver information to the judge at the invitation of the Phnom Penh District Court and submit evidence of his abduction.

At present, Thailand’s Department of Special Investigations opened an investigation into his case in March 2022 – almost two years after his abduction. At its worst, Thailand criminalizes anyone – including his sister, speaking the truth and seeking justice for Wanchalearm.

Resource on cases of Wanchalearm:


Other Resources