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Yearbook 2018

Laos. A large pond collapsed in southern Laos on July 23 and at least 30 people died. Dozens were reported missing while several thousand people became homeless downstream in Champassak and Attapeu provinces. Construction managers claimed that heavy monsoon rains were a contributing cause of the accident, while government officials thought the construction was deficient.

2018 Laos

According to, Laos plans to construct 140 dams, mostly in tributaries to the Mekong River, to expand hydropower and become Southeast Asia's "battery" and export electric power to neighboring China, Thailand and Vietnam.

Floods caused by the monsoon rains also affected other provinces. Agriculture, housing, schools and other infrastructure were destroyed.

In July, the UN Human Rights Council criticized Laos for enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrests, deficiencies in freedom of speech and assembly, conditions in prisons, the right to vote and how minorities are treated. It was the Council's first review of Laos since the country adopted in 2009 the United Nations Convention on Civil and Political Rights.

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