Press Release : Signing Ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding on the Determination of Measures and Approaches Alternative to Detention of Children in Immigration Detention Centers news3

Press Release : Signing Ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding on the Determination of Measures and Approaches Alternative to Detention of Children in Immigration Detention Centers

           On 21 January 2019, Mr. Paskorn Siriyaphan, Deputy Permanent Secretary, represented the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand at the signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the Determination of Measures and Approaches Alternative to Detention of Children in Immigration Detention Centers at the Government House. The MoU was signed by Heads of seven government agencies; namely the Royal Thai Police, the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Public Health, Ministry of Education, and Ministry of Labour.
 
           The signing ceremony was presided over by H.E. General Prawit Wongsuwan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, and witnessed by high-level representatives from related government agencies, including Mr. Thani Thongphakdi, Deputy Permanent Secretary, on behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, as well as 14 foreign Ambassasdors to Thailand, heads of international organisations in Thailand (ICRC, UNHCR, UNICEF, and IOM), members of civil society organisations and media, totaling around 400 people.
 
           The objective of the MoU is to determine responsibilities and provide common guidelines for all related government agencies in an effort to integrate procedures on non-detention of migrant children under the age of 18. Instead of staying in the Immigration Detention Centers, the children will be put either under the care of the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, private organisations, or civil society organisations while waiting for long-term solutions. The MoU reaffirms the commitment by the Royal Thai Government in adhering to humanitarian principles. The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, in his speech during the signing ceremony, stressed that the Royal Thai Government places high importance in fulfilling its commitment to humanitarian principles, particularly on the protection of children and adhering to the national agenda on human rights.
 
           The conclusion of the MoU is the outcome from the participation by H.E. General Prayut Chan-o-cha, the Prime Minister of Thailand, at the Leaders’ Summit on Refugees on 20 September 2017 in New York. On that occasion, the Prime Minister pledged to adhere to non-detention of children in the Immigration Detention Centers on the basis of the best interests of the child and obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was actively involved in the drafting of the MoU since its initial phase, including its translation into English. The Ministry will coordinate with UNHCR, IOM, and UNICEF in ensuring the effective implementation of the above-mentioned MoU.