Thailand's Third UPR Outcome: We Must Not Congratulate the Thai Government!
Despite the apparent effort to be seen as a human rights champion, the Thai government has let down whole communities. Today, 23 March 2022, its final Universal Periodic Review (UPR) outcome will be formally adopted during the 49th Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. Put simply, the list of UPR recommendations that Thailand accepted after its 3rd UPR on 10 November 2021, will be formally finalized. However, Thailand has already indicated which recommendations it would accept and which ones it would only ‘note’ (effectively meaning ‘reject’.)
Thailand received 278 UPR recommendations, accepted 218 recommendations, and noted 60 recommendations. In total, it accepted 78% of the recommendations it had received. Despite this high number, the Government rejected key recommendations that are crucial for the further advancement of human rights in Thailand. In a backward move, Thailand rejected all 4 recommendations aiming at legalizing marriage equality. Unfortunately, this hardly comes as a surprise, after the Constitutional Court upheld the discriminatory Section 1448 of the Civil and Commercial Code, which only sees marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
Showing its undemocratic side, the Government also did not accept recommendations calling for revision or amendment of the draconian lèse majesté law, infamous Section 112 of the Criminal Code. This, neither, unfortunately, comes as a surprise. On the very day of Thailand’s UPR, 10 November 2021, while Thailand was congratulating itself on its progress in human rights protection in Geneva, Bangkok offered a very different picture. The Constitutional Court had just passed a verdict that rendered all efforts to reform Section 112 unconstitutional.
The Government also refused to fully commit to signing and ratifying important international human rights treaties, including treaties putting an end to the death penalty or providing protection to migrant workers. In a slightly more positive development, 8 recommendations calling for a revision of the draft NGO law were accepted.
Can we expect the Royal Thai Government to truly implement the accepted recommendations and improve the human rights situation on the ground?
Not without us. Not without YOU!
It is now a duty of all stakeholders, civil society organizations, local communities, international organizations, and most importantly foreign diplomats representing countries (Recommending States) that had provided the recommendations in question, to pressure the Thai government to comply with its international human rights obligations and commitments!
Have a look at our analysis of Thailand's final UPR outcome below!