Get Involved

The primary concern is for Sombath’s safe return and answers for his family, but we should also not put his ideas and vision on hold:

  • Education that embraces and nourishes the heart and creativity of young people
  • A more humane, sustainable and equitable approach to development
  • A respect for the earth and the rich cultural heritage that has sustained Lao people for centuries

getinvolvedDirect Pressure: While scores of appeals to the Lao leadership have had little visible effect, Sombath’s disappearance has shone a harsher light on the Lao PDR’s human rights practices, and inequitable and unsustainable development policies. The Lao authorities hope this issue will fade. For the sake of Sombath, his family and his vision, don’t let that happen.

Write: A list of people and offices to contact can be found here. Points to consider:

  • Emphasize the good work Sombath has done in education, agriculture, sustainable development, and as a civil society leader.
  • Note the relationship between economic development and human rights. A modern country is one that respects the rights of all citizens.
  • Indicate that the continued disappearance of a well-known and highly-respected person like Sombath is affecting the international image of Laos, with possible consequences for investment, tourism, and foreign aid.

Organise an event at the Lao Embassy in your country, like those that have been held in Bangkok, Canberra, Manila or Tokyo, or see the Events page for more examples.

Indirect Pressure: As can be seen from the Statements and Appeals page, support from around the world has been remarkable and sustained. Help to continue this, as those responsible should not be allowed to return to ‘business as usual.’

Lobby: Key institutions include:

Publicise: Send information and appeals to local news media or organise a public statement of concern.

Organise a public event about Sombath or related issues, such as these in Tokyo, Bangkok or Manila.

Letters to Sombath: Raise your own voice and help sustain that of Sombath by writing a letter. The original appeal can be seen here, and examples of previous letters here. Those who have worked with Sombath are particularly encouraged, but others who have never met him have also made powerful contributions.

Where is Sombath? People from across the world continue to ask “Where is Sombath?” Some pictures they have sent are here. Send your own picture (or letter) to

Social Media: Participate and share in various social media:

Support Others who are supporting the cause: Many groups and organisations are making valuable contributions. Please click on the links for more information, or the logos for related posts on this website:

Amnesty InternationalAmnesty International (AI), contact Janice Beanland, Campaigner, Southeast Asia,



LOGO_APHRAsean Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR), contact



afadAsian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD), contact



AsForum Asiaian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-Asia), contact


Focus-iconFocus on the Global South (Focus)


Foundation for Ecological RecoveryFER (TERRA-PER), contact



Screen Shot 2013-02-20 at 9.39.28 AMHuman Rights Watch (HRW), contact Phil Robertson, Deputy Director of Asia Division at



FIDH_pinar_selekInternational Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), contact



icj_logoInternational Commission of Jurists (ICJ), contact Kingsley Abbott, International Legal Advisor for Southeast Asia at


Justice for Peace FoundationJustice for Peace Foundation (JPF), contact


ekong Watch-LogoMekong Watch, contact



SSBPSombath Somphone and Beyond Project



Contact: Send ideas, suggestions or questions to