The Law Society is concerned for Sombath Somphone who disappeared without trace on 15 December 2012. With the permission of the Lao Ministry of Education, in 1996 Sombath founded the Participatory Development Training Centre (PADETC) to promote education, leadership skills and sustainable development in Laos. He trained young volunteers and local government officials in community-based development, in areas including sanitation, recycling and agricultural production. PADETC became perhaps the best-known civil society organization in Laos, and in 2005 Sombath received the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership – known as Asia’s Nobel Peace Prize – for his work.
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