(THAILAND, December 3, 2021)—The U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination included in its most recent report information and recommendations on the treatment of refugees in Thailand that Fortify Rights and Thai allies brought to the Committee’s attention in a joint shadow report in September 2020.
Specifically, the Committee highlighted concerns on hate speech, forced return, and the immigration detention of refugees, and recommended measures to combat racist hate speech, ensure the principle of non-refoulement, and develop alternatives to detention in accordance with international standards. The Committee issued its observations following its review of Thailand’s compliance with the U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), to which Thailand is a state party.
Fortify Rights and our allies produced the report in September 2020 but only submitted the report to the U.N. in August 2021 due to repeated COVID-related postponements of Thailand’s review process. Between November 22 and 23, 2021, the CERD Committee reviewed Thailand’s record with regard to racial discrimination. In advance of this session, on November 22, 2021, the CERD Committee welcomed Fortify Rights and our Thai allies to elaborate on the shadow report and present information to the Committee on concerns related to the situation of refugees in Thailand.
Our 25-page submission to the CERD Committee included recommendations to ensure rights for refugees in Thailand by protecting against hate speech, ensuring the right to freedom of movement, prohibiting arbitrary and indefinite detention, preventing refoulement and forced returns, ensuring the right to non-discrimination, and reforming the National Screening Mechanism—an as-yet unrealized mechanism intended to enable the Thai authorities conduct refugee status determination.