(BANGKOK, May 2023)—On May 25, 2023, during their weekly press conference, the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand (NHRCT) echoed recommendations by Fortify Rights to revise provisions establishing the eligibility criteria for accessing Thailand’s National Screening Mechanism (NSM).
On May 27, 2023, the Thai government published a “Notification” in the Royal Gazette establishing problematic criteria that would exclude certain applicants seeking protection through the NSM—a mechanism created in December 2019 to identify and potentially protect refugees that has yet to be implemented. On December 15, 2022, Fortify Rights sent an open letter to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and published a news release highlighting concerns with the criteria that would needlessly and arbitrarily exclude individuals, including migrant workers from Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos, from accessing protection in Thailand.
Among the NHRCT’s recommendations, it called for amendments to ensure the criteria, methods, and conditions for reviewing an application would facilitate full and equal access to the NSM for those seeking protection in Thailand. Specifically, the NHRCT proposed that “a foreign worker of Myanmar, Lao, Cambodian, and Vietnamese nationality cannot be disqualified from the rights to be protected.”