Defending Human Rights in the Central Highlands of Vietnam


Rong Nay advocating for the Montagnard people

Advocacy is a cornerstone of the Montagnard Human Rights Organization mission. In all aspects of MHRO activities which focus on improvingthe life for the Montagnard people in Vietnam and the U.S, we feel it is essential to educate U.S. policy makers, promote legislation, advocate for foreign policy, and urge international assistance, access, and diplomatic intervention which will help the Montagnard people. Our commitment is to call for action and awareness about the plight of the Montagnard people; as we reach out to the U.S.,the United Nations, and the international community with our voice.

The late Senator Jesse Helms and Montagnard friends

This includes advocating for freedom of religion in Vietnam, Montagnard land rights, the rule of law and self-determination, and access for humanitarian aid and development assistance in the Central Highlands. Advocacy is crucial as MHRO works for Montagnard Family Reunificationin assisting petitioners with their immigration needs, both in the U.S.and in Vietnam.

Rong Nay at the UN in Geneva July 12-14 2010

MHRO has advocated with USCIS and the Department of Homeland Security with immigration processing for Montagnards. We havead vocated with the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) to ensure that Montagnard families are permitted to freely emigrate from Vietnam. MHRO cooperates with the U.S. Consulate General in Saigon, Vietnam (HCM City) in both immigrantvisa petitions for Montagnards and refugee petitions.

MHRO continues its advocacy with UNHCR, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, for Montagnard refugee protection inCambodia and for the fair and just adjudication of refugee processingin Phnom Penh, Cambodia and elsewhere in the world.

Kay Reibold at Plei do mat 1999 ( Vietnam Highlands Project)

Advocacy also takes the form of preserving Montagnard culture, culture that is in peril in Vietnam because of ethnic cleansing. Montagnard culture in the U.S. and other countries of the world where Montagnards have begun new lives also experience the pressures of assimilation. This is another reason why our Montagnard people ardently desire to keep our traditional music alive, to save the stories and historical chants known as the ancient “klei kut dues” of our people,to preserve and practice our language, to perform our dance, and tosave our beautiful fiber art and weaving arts.

Congressional Mission 1999(Vietnam Highlands Project)

MHRO will seek funding and encourage partnerships with researchers, academics, artists, musicians, writers, folklorists, historians, and anthropologists who are eager to learn more about the rich and beautiful traditions and culture of the Montagnard people.

All people have a right to religious freedom and MHRO will continue topeacefully struggle for the right to worship freely in Vietnam.

We are committed to saving our spirituality, and our long tradition of our Christian faith, including a deep and abiding love of the natural world; the world of mountains, trees, forests, rivers, and lakes. Our elders and the ancient “Anak Cu Chiang” people experienced their relationship with God through the natural world, and we honor this heritage.

Hearing March 10, 1998

For this reason, we advocate that the precious ecosystems and forests of the Central Highlands be protected by the Vietnamese government, with help from Montagnard people and Kinh people, and the international community. MHRO advocates for urgent attention to the environment, endangered plant species, and the animals of the Central Highlands. It was once our world and we cherished it. We cry out that our people survive and prevail. We cry out that our precious lands are also cared for and protected.

MHRO will continue to advocate for the education of Montagnard young people, in Vietnam and throughout the world. We believe that the Montagnard young people are the hope for our future, and the Montagnard Vision

About MHRO

The MHRO mission is To promote the rights and cultural heritage of the Montagnard people in Vietnam, the U.S., Europe, Canada, and throughout the world to live in freedom and dignity, sharing one heart and one vision of freedom. MHRO’s Mission includes refugee protection, family unity, advocacy, and Immigration Services to all refugees. More