Submission to the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on Thailand’s Compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination

Asylum Access Thailand (AAT), the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN), the Coalition for the Rights of Refugees and Stateless Persons (CRSP), and Fortify Rights welcome the opportunity to provide input to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) with regard to the Government of Thailand’s compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD).

This report finds that, in law and in practice, refugees’ and asylum seekers’ rights in Thailand have been systematically violated. The issues discussed in the report center on the experience of refugees and asylum seekers and include: hate speech directed towards minority refugees, restrictions on movement, the criminalization of asylum seekers and refugees in Thai law, the practice of arbitrary and indefinite detention, the threat of forced returns, and discriminatory barriers to accessing health, education, and work. Beyond this, refugees’ and asylum seekers’ precarious legal status in Thailand discourages them from pursuing their rights through the judicial system.

Finally, we welcome the Royal Thai Government’s (RTG) establishment of the National Screening Mechanism approved by the Thai cabinet on December 24, 2019. We note that this regulation, once implemented, has the potential to protect and fulfil a number of rights, such as the right to protection from refoulement and freedom of movement and access to socioeconomic rights for refugees. However, further clarification is needed to ensure that the National Screening Mechanism is implemented in line with international law.

For the full PDF version, please go here.

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