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  • Writer's pictureManushya Foundation

Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Thailand are living their lives without any legal protection!

#WhatsHappeningInThailand 🇹🇭 Imagine being forced to flee your home country, escaping war, violence, and persecution, only to feel even less safe in a foreign land? This is what’s happening to asylum seekers and refugees in Thailand. Help us spread the word and push Thai authorities to provide sufficient protection and legal guarantees to asylum seekers and refugees!

🚫 Did you know that Thailand never ratified the 1951 Refugee Convention, leaving asylum seekers and refugees without any legal protection in the country? Worse, under Thailand’s 1979 Immigration Act which prohibits unauthorized entry or stay, refugees become the target of police controls, looking for 'illegal migrants'. As a result, they can be arbitrarily arrested, detained, and face refoulement, even if it's dangerous to their life and personal security to return to their home country!

⚠️ In 2021, military coup and attacks on citizens forced thousands of people in Myanmar to find refuge in neighboring countries, including Thailand. Thai government and authorities have enforced strict inspection on the borders and have returned at least 2,000 refugees to Myanmar against their will. Thai authorities also prevent humanitarian organizations and UN agencies from accessing newly arrived refugees from Myanmar - leaving them without basic subsistence!

🚫 Some of immigration detention centers still even detain children - there are over 40 of them in centers in Bang Khen and Songhla. This happens despite the explicit commitment undertaken by various governmental agencies to find alternatives to detention when it comes to children refugees. At the same time, the Thai Government refuses to make an official commitment at the international level and withdraw its reservations to the Convention on the Rights of the Child concerning children refugees!

📍 In November 2021, Thailand will undergo its 3rd Universal Periodic Review (UPR) — a comprehensive review of its human rights record where it will be held accountable for its human rights violations in front of delegations from the whole world. Each UN Member State, individual country, can make recommendations to Thailand to improve the human rights situation on the ground. The Thai government will accept or note those.

In the last UPR cycle, Thailand received eight recommendations relevant to refugees and asylum seekers, including recommendations to ratify the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol and provide legal status to refugees, abide by the principle of non-refoulement, and end the arbitrary detention of refugees. However, Thailand only accepted two out of eight recommendations!

🗣️ We call on Thai authorities to:

✔️ Establish a screening mechanism for refugees in line with the international human rights standards.

✔️ Prevent refoulement of refugees and assure the UN and humanitarian agencies have full access to Myanmar refugees.

✔️ End arbitrary arrest, detention, and release all refugees that are detained only because of their immigration status.

✊🏽 To support the initiative, Manushya Foundation has teamed up Asylum Access Thailand and Fortify Rights on the basis of their Joint NGO Submission with the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN) and People's Empowerment Foundation (PEF), Refugee Rights Litigation Project to prepare the UPR Factsheet on Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Thailand and tell the world the truth. #VoicesOfThailand

Share this with your network to ensure the world knows about #WhatsHappeningInThailand!

👉🏼 Access the UPR Advocacy Factsheet on Asylum Seekers and refugees in Thailand here.

👉🏼 Access all the UPR Advocacy Factsheets on #WhatsHappeningInThailand here.

👉🏼 Learn more about the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) here.

🎨 Design by: @art_poka .




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