World Refugee Day 2023: Stop arbitrary detention of refugees: making this a reality under the new Thai government


On the eve of world refugee day, thousands of refugees, migrants, and stateless persons are held in detention in  Thailand's immigration facilities. Thailand's current system offers no legal status in Thailand for those who have been forced to flee their home countries due to war, violence or persecution. Certain nationalities may seek protection from UNHCR, and if recognised as a refugee, then apply for the small number of resettlement places available. Those who cannot register with UNHCR have few, if any options. Stateless persons including several hundred Rohingya and approximately 50 Uyghur have spent years held in overcrowded detention centres with no idea when they will be released, where lack of nutrition, adequate healthcare and exercise have led to serious health problems and, in a few instances this year, death. 


As the new government begins its term, the national screening mechanism for refugees commences, the  Prevention and Suppression of Torture and Enforced Disappearance Act is enforced and a policy on alternatives  to detention for children is under review, the landscape for those held in indefinite immigration detention could look very different. Our experts, including a person with lived experience of Thai immigration detention, will talk about the reality now and the opportunities to be seized by a new government to end indefinite detention.  


Members of Thailand’s refugee community will share their art in an installation entitled Life behind bars, and  Equal Asia Foundation and APRRN’s short film, Not Always Rainbows. Click Aroi foods and crafts prepared by  refugees will be also available. Speakers at the event will speak primarily in English and can respond to your  questions in both English and Thai. Press materials in both languages will be available at the event. 


About Event

Monday, 19 June 2023, 18.00 - 22.00, at Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand (FCCT) Clubhouse and  Facebook livestream


Join us in the FCCT clubhouse or via Facebook Live, to hear from: 

A speaker with lived experience in Thailand’s detention centre 

  • Kannavee Suebsang: Secretary-General, Fair Party, a proposed member of a new coalition government 
  • Pia Oberoi: Senior Advisor on Migration and Human Rights for the Asia Pacific Region, United Nations  Human Rights Office (OHCHR) Bangkok 
  • Chawaratt Chawarangkul: Southeast Asia Programme Manager, International Detention Coalition
  • Yuhanee Jehka: Regional Manager, Host International


Closing Remarks by Puttanee Kangkun, Director of The Fort and Chair of Amnesty International Thailand 


Moderated by Prima Sukmanop, Legal Officer, Asylum Access Thailand 

Livestream via Facebook pages: FCCT Thailand (English), CRSP (Thai) 



  • Panel discussion
  • Visual Simulation
  • Art Installation
  • Short-Film Screening
  • Foods & Crafts 




Coalition for the Rights of Refugees and Stateless Persons (CRSP)

Amnesty International Thailand (AI Thailand)

Asylum Access Thailand (AAT)

Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN)

Center for Asylum  Protection (CAP)

Equal Asia Foundation (EAF)

Host International

International Detention Coalition (IDC) 

Jesuit Refugee Services (JRS) 

Peace Rights Foundation (PRF) 

Refugee Rights Litigation Project (RRLP)