Raised: 115$

Goal: 20,000$

Thousands of Montagnards have fled Vietnam to seek asylum in neighboring countries since 2001.

The refugees initially end up in surrounding nations like Cambodia and Thailand, where they face a stateless future as their refugee status is not recognized; the two are not signatories to the different international treaties that deal with the status of refugees.

Being ‘stateless’, the Montagnards asylum seekers have been described as undocumented economic migrants. They have no rights or status regardless of their registration with the UN refugee agency, the UNHCR.

These people cannot return to Central Highlands. If they do, they will be silently persecuted by the Vietnam government. They left the Central Highlands because they can no longer live in peace under the Vietnam government control. They are seeking for freedom.

Evan Jones, a coordinator for Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network, a non-governmental organization that advocates for refugees in the Asia Pacific region, explained why these people don’t want to return to Vietnam.

“Vietnam is well-known for punishing returnees with prison sentences, harassment, physical abuse and intimidation,” she said. “It has been particularly difficult to keep in contact with Montagnards who have been forcibly returned in the past. This may suggest that they have faced reprisals from the Vietnamese authorities after their return.”

Phil Robertson, deputy director of the Asian Division for Human Rights Watch, has been observing the human rights situation in the Central Highlands for nearly 20 years. He is not optimistic about the situation of Montagnards refugees.

“Vietnam continues to press hard to persuade the Thai government to force Montagnards to go back. In Bangkok and nearby provinces, Montagnards live in difficult situations, doing low paying work in the informal sector, and facing problems with access to health and education services for themselves and their children. Most importantly, they don’t know what the future will hold for them, and whether they will ever be safe,” he said. “In Cambodia, Vietnam’s influence is even greater [than in Thailand], so seeking protection is even harder. UNHCR officials and diplomats based in Bangkok and Phnom Penh, who represent governments that resettle refugees, should redouble their efforts to protect the Montagnards, and strongly resist Vietnam’s efforts to force the Montagnards to go back.”

Despite pressure from the Vietnamese government, the number of Montagnards crossing the border into Thailand is still increasing.

The Montagnard refugees don’t speak English or Thai and very little Vietnamese. As a result, it takes them much longer to go through UNHCR procedures to obtain refugee status; after that, they have to wait for approval from a third country to be re-settled. The chance of resettling is uncertain, and nobody is sure what the future will be like.

Jennifer Harrison, UNHCR spokeswoman in Bangkok, said she could not reveal the total number of Montagnards who are applying for refugee status at UNHCR. She said UNHCR is doing its best to help refugees.

She said: “UNHCR consistently advocates that refugees and asylum seekers – having been confirmed or claimed to be in need of international protection – cannot be returned to their countries of origin according to the principle of non-refoulement, which prevents states from expelling or returning persons to a territory where their life or freedom would be threatened.”

We are asking for your sympathy to help these people.

Enter amount


Recent Donors

  • anonymous

    29 Mar 23 03:22:15
  • anonymous

    15 Feb 22 01:45:40
  • anonymous

    13 Feb 22 04:10:53


Thank you for visiting our new website. We hope you find our website useful to your research. Please leave your feedback before you leave. Thank you!