Press Release : Thailand’s comments on Annual World Report of Human Rights Watch news3

Press Release : Thailand’s comments on Annual World Report of Human Rights Watch

With regard to the World Report 2017 published by Human Rights Watch (HRW) which provides a summary of human rights situation around the world including Thailand, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to state as follows:

The Royal Thai Government takes note of the report which unfairly contains outdated allegations. The authors have expressed their views with no updates of the latest status of each issue and, therefore, without taking into consideration progress and efforts made in the country.

There has been significant progress regarding the Government’s efforts on the Roadmap towards restoring a strengthened and sustainable democracy, social harmony as well as political stability. Thailand is now in the second phase of the Roadmap where the Government is currently forging ahead with comprehensive reforms to lay a strong foundation in order to achieve a genuine democracy as well as undertaking legislative reforms. Over 190 laws have been promulgated with a view to addressing chronic problems from the past, including inequality and human rights issues such as gender equality, human trafficking, illegal fishing and labour rights. Such foundation will facilitate the proceeding to the third phase of the Roadmap, whereby the general elections will be held, and ensure long-term political stability after the new Government takes office.

Thailand has signed the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (ICPPED) in 2012 and is now in the process of passing the domestic legislation to ratify the ICPPED. The draft Act on Prevention and Suppression of Torture and Enforced Disappearance has already been reviewed by the Office of the Council of the State and endorsed by the Cabinet. The draft Act is currently under the consideration of the National Legislative Assembly.

On the displaced persons from Myanmar, given political development in Myanmar, the Royal Thai Government has cooperated with the Myanmar Government and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to facilitate the voluntary return of 71 Myanmar displaced persons in October 2016. The Joint Working Group co-chaired by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand and the counterpart from Myanmar will soon meet to discuss the work on the eventual return of the remaining 102,000 individuals, which will be assisted by the UNHCR. The process will allow for the readiness of all sides to ensure sustainable return and reintegration.

There are many positive steps that Thailand has taken in the promotion and protection of human rights but the report fails to take into consideration such developments and efforts.

The Royal Thai Government will nevertheless continue to promote and protect human rights in line with our international obligations for the benefits of the Thai society and people.