They want state department to stop Thailand from repatriating ex-US allies to Laos.
According to the Thai military supreme command’s border affairs office, which manages the Petchabun camp, the 12 volunteered to go back to Laos as a goodwill gesture prior to Sundaravej’s visit.
But the UN refugee agency is concerned about the repatriation because of reports that they were sent back involuntarily, a spokeswoman said on Friday.
|The Hmong people|
The Hmong have been living in Laos for more than 100 years
More than 200,000 Hmong have fled Laos since 1975
Thailand has initially taken in some Hmong into camps for resettlement or repatriation
About 90 per cent of Hmong refugees have been resettled in the US
A humanitarian aid group which works at the camp said one of the volunteers was a woman who had five children left behind at the camp.
Doctors Without Borders said the separation from her children suggested that her return was not voluntary.
The displacement of Hmong is a legacy of the Vietnam War.
Some 15 months ago, Thai immigration raided a poor suburb of the capital, Bangkok, along the Bang Sue Canal. They rounded up more than 150 Hmong.