Pattaya Daily News

19 February 2010 :: 10:02:21 am 13558

UN: Thailand May Breach Human Rights Laws Over Deportations

Thailand's pending expulsion of large numbers of migrant workers from Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia, caught between bureaucracies in their home countries are fearful and inconsistent. Thai authorities were brought to the attention of the United Nations human rights expert on migrants yesterday.
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Geneva, the 19th of February 2010 [Pattaya Daily News]: UN expert Jorge A. Bustamante raised serious concerns about the nationality verification process in Thailand and warned that the kingdom’s implementation of procedures in their current form may lead to the forced deportation of a great number of migrants, in breach of fundamental human rights obligations.

“A potentially large number of documented and undocumented migrant workers from Myanmar, Cambodia, and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic face the threat of deportation from Thailand after 28th February,” said the expert, who is mandated by the Human Rights Council to monitor the human rights of migrants.

Last month the Thai Cabinet resolved to allow two-year extensions of work permits for some 1.3 million migrants provided that they submit biographical information to their home governments prior to February 28. However, migrants who fail to do so by this deadline risk deportation after the deadline.

While welcoming the resolution to extend the period of registration, Mr. Bustamante was concerned that “the scheme is only applicable to regular migrants who submit registration before February 28 and does not include irregular migrants.”

“The precarious situation of migrants in Thailand is further exacerbated by the requirements of the nationality verification process,” said the UN Special Rapporteur on migrants.

“In addition, among the groups who may potentially be deported, there may be some who may be in need of international protection and should not be returned to the country of origin”, warned Mr. Bustamante. “Thailand should respect the principle of ‘non-refoulement’”.

“I am disappointed,” the UN expert added, “that that the Government of Thailand has not responded to my letters expressing calls for restraint; I reiterate my earlier messages to the Government to reconsider its actions and decisions, and to abide by international instruments.”

“If pursued, the threats of mass expulsion will result in unprecedented human suffering and will definitely breach fundamental human rights obligations,” he said. (TNA/UN)

Reporter : Methawee   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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