To the governments:

  • The government of Laos should immediately ensure that the conditions at the temporary camps are improved so that minimum human rights standards are met and people can return to their former homes and villages, should they wish to do so.
  • The governments of Korea and Thailand should work with the government of Laos to ensure full public release of the investigation findings and other information regarding the dam collapse. They should ensure those affected have access to effective remedy, including judicial remedies, and ensure accountability of the responsible individuals and corporate actors that are domiciled in their jurisdictions.
  • The governments of Laos and Cambodia should ensure those individuals and communities affected by the dam collapse suffering infringements of their human rights have access to effective remedy, including through judicial and/or non-judicial grievance mechanisms.

To the investors:

  • SK Engineering & Construction, the EPC contractor, and Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding should establish a fund and an accessible claims process through which affected people can receive compensation payments. Compensation must be adequate to cover all of the losses and harms suffered due to the Xe Pian-Xe Namnoy project and include a process to fully restore community lives and livelihoods.     
  • Xe Pian-Xe Namnoy Power Company and the debt investors Krung Thai Bank, Ayudhya Bank, Thanachart Bank and the Export-Import Bank of Thailand should contribute to the fund and the establishment of the claims process. Remaining disbursements, if any, should be withheld from the project until such time as the communities displaced and otherwise affected by the dam collapse and those in the consolidated resettlement site have been duly compensated and have dignified and secure living conditions.
  • AON Thailand, AIG, Korean Re, Samsung Fire & Marine and Asia Capital Re should cooperate with their clients, the developers of Xe Pian-Xe Namnoy, to establish the claims process, making the USD50 million in liability coverage available to claimants.  
  • All shareholders of the four Xe Pian-Xe Namnoy developers should use their leverage with the companies to ensure full and effective redress.

To the Asian Development Bank and other multilateral development banks:

  • The Asian Development Bank should fully disclose its role in the Xe Pian-Xe Namnoy project and should use its leverage with the companies to ensure full and effective redress. 
  • The Asian Development Bank an other multi-lateral development banks should fully disclose their roles with respect to supporting or facilitating future hydropower projects in Laos, including through financial mechanisms and project loan guarantees.  
  • The Asian Development Bank and other multi-lateral development banks should consider putting SK Engineering & Construction, Ratchaburi and Korea Western Power Company on debarment lists until all communities affected by the collapse have been provided with homes, land allocations and infrastructure to allow for dignified living conditions, and have access to operational-level grievance mechanisms.

To the project developers:

  • Xe Pian-Xe Namnoy Power Company Ltd. should immediately suspend filling of the dam’s reservoir and completion of the project until:
    • All of the people displaced by the dam collapse are supported in clearing their old land and repairing their homes or provided with new homes and land of comparable value to what they lost.
    • Land allocations for farming land are secured for people in the consolidated resettlement area near the project reservoir (known as Ban Chat San), along with any required infrastructure, including but not limited to, housing, water pumps, sanitation, health and education services.
    • A functioning grievance mechanism is in place offering effective and accessible means for community members to submit concerns and have them addressed free of fear of reprisals, made operational through an independent body and in consultation with concerned civil society organizations in the countries where the project’s developers are domiciled. 
  • Xe Pian-Xe Namnoy Power Company should disclose all recorded financial flows related to compensation, grievance and reparations disbursements, as above, through a publicly accessible database made available on the company’s website.
  • Xe Pian-Xe Namnoy Power Company should submit to a publicly disclosed assessment of the project undertaken by an independent advisory body to ensure it is compliant with international standards, to provide assurance that a future collapse will not happen, and that downstream river flows will be regularly assessed to provide assurances that the health of riparian ecosystems will be retained.

“Re-thinking Hydropower”: Recommendations from the Report of the Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights on His Visit to Laos

“The Government should review the situation of those affected by the Xe Pian-Xe  Namnoy dam collapse, including displaced people who remain in temporary accommodations and who have reported delays in receiving promised financial support. … People should promptly receive compensation for loss of their productive land and property. Although the Government has indicated that it intended to provide people with information about the response timeline and to meaningfully consult with them about potential plans, many interlocutors reported that they had had little or no information and had not been consulted. The Government should also provide psychosocial support, especially to women.” 

“As the Prime Minister rightly recognized following the Xe Pian-Xe Namnoy disaster in 2018, the time has come for a national review of hydropower. The Government should be commended for opening a dialogue on the future of hydropower and the role of Lao PDR as an exporter of power. However, the contours of a suspension imposed after the collapse are unclear and appear not to apply to the many planned dams already under consideration. The scope of the current review is unduly narrow: The World Bank is leading a process that considers only dam safety rather than the full impact of existing and planned hydropower dams. One-off reviews of individual dams are inadequate.

…The Government should conduct a comprehensive review of the role and future of the hydropower sector looking at the current and future impacts of existing and planned dams, how many and which projects should go forward, and how construction and operation arrangements should be adjusted in light of social and environmental risks.”