Leaving no one behind! Elderly Rights must be protected and included in Thailand's 3rd UPR
Manushya Foundation jointly with Foundation for Older Persons’ Development (FOPDEV) collaborated on a joint submission ahead of Thailand’s third Universal Periodic Review (UPR) cycle. This submission examines the compliance of Thailand with the recommendations it received during its 2nd Universal Periodic Review (UPR) cycle, particularly in relation to the protection of the rights of elderly people.
The UPR is a unique mechanism of the UN Human Rights Council, through which each UN Member State makes commitments to improve its human rights record, following an assessment of progress made against previous commitments. Thailand will be reviewed at the 39th Session of the Working Group of the UPR on 10 November 2021.
This is the third time Thailand has undergone review under the UPR, and the joint submission details the Thai government’s failure to fulfil previous UPR recommendations on elderly rights.
This submission brings to light Thailand’s treatment of elderly people, who are facing severe challenges in accessing their human rights, as the Thai government has failed, until now, to put in place a comprehensive approach to enhance their rights, to provide sufficient pension and welfare allowance, and to ensure their access to information, justice and seek remedies.
In recent years, there have been some positive steps taken to recognise the rights of the elderly under Thai law. We can recall the Elderly Person Operational Plan (2020-2022) focusing on preparation for old age, promotion of elderly person’s careers, and the development of professional careers. However, their rights have not been enhanced and they continue to face substantial challenges.
This submission clearly indicates that elderly persons face severe challenges in accessing their human rights, in the following manner:
Gap in national legislation to protect and uphold the rights of the elderly.
Right to retirement.
Insufficient allowances and pension schemes.
Lack of access to the care required.
Physical and mental abuse faced by elderly persons.
Difficulty in public infrastructures usage.
Discrimination of elderly in employment, and the particular vulnerability of elder women.
Lack of assistance for the elderly struggling with mental health issues.
Thai Government’s inactivity in addressing climate change-related issues.
Elderly’s lack of access to justice and effective remedy.
The submission also provides recommendations to the Thai government, addressing the challenges and rights violations to advance the human rights situation on the ground, and the implementation of UPR recommendations received during the 2nd UPR cycle.