Soaring demand for food, fuel and other commodities is cranking up pressure on land, but the sector remains largely unregulated internationally.
Vietnam’s two biggest rubber companies are moving into Cambodia and Laos, seizing farmland, flouting land and forest protection laws and wrecking local livelihoods.
Corruption is allowing loggers and land grabbers to run amok in Laos
Revelations of a US$ 150 million hole in state coffers – the cost of corruption since 2012.
European leaders hosted on land grab site in Laos for key summit
Read about this story in the Daily Telegraph European and Asian leaders attending the ninth Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM 9) in Vientiane, Laos next week will stay in luxury villas built on land taken from local communities.
Dec. 21, 2012
Largely overlooked by the international community since suffering heavy bombing during the Vietnam War, Laos recorded the fastest growing economy in Southeast Asia in 2012. A decade of surging growth has attracted investor attention, with agribusinesses from nearby countries like China and Vietnam flooding in to cash in on an abundance of arable land and cheap labour.
Press Release / Aug. 20, 2014
Vietnam Rubber Group says its doors are now open to people affected by plantations in Cambodia and Laos
This press release, copies of the Vietnam Rubber Group decision and details on how to use the complaints mechanism are all available in English, Vietnamese, Lao and Khmer at the bottom of the page. Vietnam’s state-owned rubber giant, Vietnam Rubber Group (VRG), has announced steps to reform how it does business in neighbouring Cambodia and Laos, in response to requests by Global Witness and local groups for the company to respect national laws and citizens’ rights.
Press Release / Feb. 9, 2014
Cambodian communities submit complaint to World Bank over bankrolling of Vietnamese rubber giant behind land grabs and human rights abuse
Global Witness welcomes and supports a complaint submitted to the International Financial Corporation (IFC) today by Cambodian communities whose lives have been devastated by Vietnamese rubber baron Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL). The IFC – the private lending arm of the World Bank – invests in HAGL, a company responsible for environmental and human rights abuses in their plantations in both Cambodia and Laos.
Press Release / Dec. 12, 2013
Credit Suisse ignored human rights commitments and became major shareholder in Vietnamese rubber giant 2 weeks after land grab scandal
Credit Suisse became the largest institutional shareholder in Vietnamese rubber giant Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) just two weeks after Global Witness exposed a range of environmental and human rights abuses in the company’s plantations in Cambodia and Laos. Such action is in direct contravention of Credit Suisse’s commitments to human rights, the campaign group revealed today (1). The disclosures come as another investor confirmed it had divested from HAGL as a result of the Global Witness findings (2).
Press Release / Nov. 29, 2013
Deutsche Bank divests from Vietnamese land grabber HAGL following Global Witness’ expose
Deutsche Bank no longer holds any significant stock in Vietnamese rubber giant Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) Global Witness has learned. The decision comes after the campaign group’s research revealed a wide range of environmental and human rights abuses in HAGL’s plantations in Cambodia and Laos.
Press Release / Nov. 13, 2013
Global Witness calls for investors to drop Vietnamese rubber giant HAGL over failure to reform on land grabs
Vietnamese rubber giant Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) has failed to keep to commitments to address environmental and human rights abuses in its plantations in Cambodia and Laos, Global Witness said today. The campaign group says the company now poses a financial and reputational risk to its investors, including Deutsche Bank and the International Finance Corporation, and recommends they divest.
Report / May 20, 2013
Global Witness responds to HAGL’s claims over inaccuracy of Rubber Barons report
Global Witness understands that Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) CEO Doan Nguyen Duc held a press conference during which the company contested evidence in Global Witness’ report ‘Rubber Barons’. This report highlights how the company’s rubber plantations in Cambodia and Laos are violating laws and contributing to environmental and human rights abuses.