Thailand: 2nd follow-up visit with HR Committee member

Published on 09 Jan 2020, 05:29 AM

Meetings with State and civil society representatives organised for the follow-up to the 2nd review of Thailand by HR Committee

Follow-up workshop with HR Committee member, Mr. Shuichi Furuya and State representatives of Thailand on 20 December 2019 in Bangkok

Thailand was last reviewed by the UN HR Committee in March 2017 on its implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), whereby a number of recommendations were issued by the Committee to Thailand specifying concrete actions to be taken. CCPR Centre has been carrying out various follow-up activities in Thailand since the last review, including the follow-up visit with a member of the UN HR Committee, Mr. Yuval Shany, in February 2018, production of follow-up tools as well as several meetings with civil society.

In December 2019, CCPR Centre has carried out second follow-up visit with another HR Committee member, Mr. Shuichi Furuya, from 19 to 21 December 2019, in order to assist efforts of national stakeholders in Thailand to protect and promote civil and political rights in the country through more comprehensive implementation of the HR Committee's recommendations. The visit and related meetings were organised with financial support of the British Embassy and the Embassy of Switzerland in Thailand.

Workshop with State representatives on the implementation of the HR Committee recommendations

During the visit of the HR Committee member, a workshop was organised with relevant State representatives in cooperation between CCPR Centre and the Ministry of Justice Thailand, to discuss and analyse progress as well as challenges in implementing HR Committee recommendations, in particular those selected for the Committee's follow-up procedure including issues such as: compatibility of the 2017 Constitution with the ICCPR; torture, extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances; and conditions of detention.

The workshop was opened by Mr. Ruangsak Suwaree, Director General of the Right and Liberties Protection Department of the Ministry of Justice, Thailand, and attended by the more than 60 participants from: Royal Thai Police; Office of the Attorney General; Office of the Election Commission; National Anti-corruption Commission; Office of Public Sector Anti-corruption Commission; Office of the Ombudsman; Office of the Constitutional Court; Office of the Court of Justice; Office of the Administrative Court; Office of the Prime Minister; Office of the National Security Council; Office of the Council of State; National Economic and Social Development Board; Internal Security Operations Command; Southern Border Provinces Administration Centre; Ministry of Defence; Ministry of Social Development and Human Security; Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment; Ministry of Digital Economy and Society; Ministry of Interior; Ministry of Labour; Ministry of Culture; Ministry of Education; Ministry of Public Health; Department of International Organizations (Ministry of Foreign Affairs); Immigration Bureau; and various departments of the Ministry of Justice including: Department of Probation, Department of Juvenile Observation and Protection; Department of Corrections; Department of Special Investigation; Central Institute of Forensic Science; and the Office of the Narcotics Control Board.

While certain progress can be identified, advices was also given by the HR Committee member to overcome remaining challenges for effective protection of civil and policital rights on the ground including effective engagement with the HR Committee, especially on the areas and issues, for which more and/or concrete information needs to be provided in the follow-up to 2nd review as well as in the process of coming 3rd review of Thailand. Updated information and possible schedule of the follow up evaluation for the 2nd review, adoption of the list of issues for the 3rd review and the next review were also shared with the participants.

Informal meeting with civil society representatives

An informal consultation was also organised between the HR Committee member and  Thai civil society including representatives from the International Commission of Jurists, Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, Cross Cultural Foundation, Human Rights Lawyers Association, Democracy Restoration Group, and Amnesty International. Concrete information and updates were shared by civil society representatives on the situation of issues addressed by the HR Committee's follow-up recommendations as well as the freedom of peaceful assembly, for which the HR Committee is currently preparing new General Comment (No.37). Feedback was also given by the HR Committee member as to when and how civil society can engage with the HR Committee more effectively and what kind of information should still be provided.

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