Press Release : A Special Lecture “A Lifetime Experience Working on Statelessness: Reflections on Progresses and Challenges in the Elimination of Statelessness in Thailand” by Mrs. Tuenjai Deetes, National Human Rights Commissioner news3

Press Release : A Special Lecture “A Lifetime Experience Working on Statelessness: Reflections on Progresses and Challenges in the Elimination of Statelessness in Thailand” by Mrs. Tuenjai Deetes, National Human Rights Commissioner

On 17 October 2018, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand organised a Special Lecture entitled “A Lifetime Experience Working on Statelessness: Reflections on Progresses and Challenges in the Elimination of Statelessness in Thailand” by Mrs. Tuenjai Deetes, National Human Rights Commissioner and the 2018 Nansen Refugee Award Finalist for Asia in recognition of her outstanding work on stateless persons in Thailand. The lecture was presided over by Mr. Thani Thongphakdi, Deputy Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs, and attended by approximately 100 representatives from government agencies, diplomatic corps and international organisations in Bangkok, educational institutions as well as general public.
 
In his opening remarks, the Deputy Permanent Secretary highlighted the policies of the Royal Thai Government in eliminating statelessness in Thailand and the progress made such as the acknowledgement of legal status of stateless persons through birth registration, the right to adequate housing and access to social services. Thailand has worked in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in addressing this issue. The UNHCR and IOM have commended Thailand as a leading example in addressing and preventing statelessness. In addition, Thailand is one of the founding members of the Group of Friends (GoF) in the Global Campaign to end statelessness by 2024, also known as #IBelong Campaign, of the UNHCR.
 
Mrs. Deetes shared her forty-years experience and efforts to end statelessness in Thailand and emphasised the importance of ethnic identities, values and diversities. She also reflected on the policies and situation of ethnic groups and stateless persons in Thailand, as well as progress, including the amendment of the Registration of Residential Inhabitant Act in 2008 to provide birth registration for all children born in Thailand and the amendment of the Nationality Act in 2008, and challenges such as land rights, acknowledgement of legal status of stateless persons, social security in everyday life, and effective implementation and management. Mrs. Deetes recommended integrating the work of all agencies concerned and across sectors, especially through setting up a network of registration databases and raising public awareness on this issue.
 
This lecture is part of the Ministry’s ‘Lecture series on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the announcement of human rights as a national agenda for the years 2018 – 2019’ with the objective of raising awareness and supporting the promotion and protection of human rights in Thailand, in line with Thailand’s international human rights obligations.
 
A video clip of this lecture can be found at the Ministry’s facebook page ‘Rights Now’ (https://bit.ly/2Amgjkc)