END Persecution of Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Thailand
As Thailand is not a party to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (1951 Refugee Convention) or its 1967 Protocol, it has no refugee law or formalised asylum procedures. The lack of a legal framework leaves refugees and asylum seekers in a precarious state, making their stay in Thailand uncertain and their status unclear.
Without legal status, individuals have no right to work, no education and no medical treatment rights. Anyone without a valid visa or a work permit risks being arrested and charged with illegal immigration and jailed. Refugees also fear being forced into the harsh conditions in immigration detention centres or in jail with hardened criminals, until they’re bailed out, can pay for a return flight, or are resettled.
In April last year, the BBC aired a documentary which highlighted the plight of those, who, having “overstayed”, were then arrested and locked up in detention centres in Thailand. Members of the British Parliament urged the Thai government to adopt a less harsher official assessment of Refugees.The MPs expressed their concerns that the UN officials in Thailand were not sufficiently concerned that refugees particular, were facing “a real risk of persecution” if returned to their home country.
The documentary drew global attention to the plight of refugees and some positive responses were made by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in Thailand. Procedures for issuing refugees with a UN document, which certifies them as an "internationally recognised UN person of concern" at the time increased. This meant that refugees were able to stay in Thailand without fear of being arrested or detained for seeking asylum while the UN investigated their case. It appears however that this was short lived and the process has again slowed leaving refugees in limbo.
As they await the outcome of their case, thousands of Asylum seekers set up a temporary home in dingy rooms in a network of tower blocks on the outskirts of Bangkok. People who were once comfortably-off professionals arrive with just a few possessions, their rent and food paid for by local and International charities.
VOILATIONS of Children Rights.Children live in constant fear of detention and growing without proper care.
Thailand is also a signatory to the Convention to the Rights of the Child (CRC). Article 22, Section 1 of CRC states, “State parties shall take measures to ensure that refugee children receive protection and assistance in the enjoyment of their rights to which the said States are parties." Additionally, Article 22, Section 2 mandates that nations cooperate with United Nations organisations to aid refugee children in reunifying with their families. Thailand is failing to provide this protection for young children of refugees.
HOPE Worldwide-Pakistan (HOPE) a not for profit organisation based on Peace, Justice and Humanitarian Development is calling on the Thai government to bring an end once and for all to this crisis.
We submit this petition highlighting the ongoing concerns for the situation in Thailand. We ask that the Government of Thailand and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in Thailand immediately take action to overcome the continued persecution of refugees and should pay mercy by introducing soft and humanitarian support system for Children as an obligation of CRC . Finally we urge and request an immediate release of detained Refugees children and families, so they can receive protection and assistance in the enjoyment of their rights. We further request the immediate implementation of a speedy immigration process to grant permission to refugees and asylum seekers to live freely. At a minimum, at least, to give them the opportunity to continue to seek asylum without detention by introducing a special humanitarian visa and grant mercy for the period of their refugee claim to be processed. Please sign this petition now, and a copy of this petition will be sent to these agencies along with your signatures.
Sign this petition now!
Petition to: Prime Minister of Thailand