Announcements : Thailand’s Progress on Prevention and Suppression of Torture and Enforced Disappearance News

Announcements : Thailand’s Progress on Prevention and Suppression of Torture and Enforced Disappearance

              Thailand attaches great importance in the prevention and suppression of torture and enforced disappearances as well as fulfilling its international obligations under key human rights conventions. Thailand has taken the following major actions:  

          1. Thailand has become a party to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) since 1 November 2007. The country also signed the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (ICPPED) on 9 January 2012 and the Cabinet as well as the National Legislative Assembly have approved, on 24 May 2016 and 10 March 2017 respectively, in principle to ratify the ICPPED. Since becoming a party to CAT, Thailand has taken steps to ensure its compliance with the obligations under the Convention through legislative, executive, judicial and other measures in order to prevent and suppress the acts of torture.  Remedies are also available for victims and affected people through measures and mechanisms of such law as the Damages for the Injured Person and Compensation and Expenses paid to the Accused in Criminal case Act of 2001 and the Justice Fund Act of 2015. Thailand has fulfilled its obligation through its submission of its first report of the implementation under CAT in 2011. At present, all related government agencies are preparing for the second report due in May 2018 by taking into consideration concluding observations as well as recommendations given by the CAT Committee;

         2. Thailand has accepted recommendations and made voluntary pledges under the first cycle (2011) and the second cycle (2016) of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), to take relevant actions such as to become a Party to the Optional Protocol to CAT (OPCAT), to undertake the obligations to implement CAT in full under the national legislation, and to establish national preventive mechanisms on torture. The Ministry of Justice has continued to organize training courses for police and military personnel to properly discharge their duties as well as to prepare for the accession to OPCAT. Thailand has also sought cooperation with relevant international organizations and partners such as the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in promoting capacity building activities in this area. In addition, the Ministry of Public Health has provided trainings for their medical personnel on physical and mental examination of victims suspected to have been tortured;

        3. Thailand is now reviewing the draft Prevention and Suppression of Torture and Enforced Disappearance Act, which has been approved in principle by the Cabinet, and in parallel, as recommended by the Standing Committee of the National Legislative Assembly, arranging for public hearings as well as conducting a regulatory impact assessment (RIA) as stipulated under Section 77 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand 2017; and

        4. Recently, on 26 June 2017, the Ministry of Justice has organized the first meeting, of the Committee to Receive Complaints and Investigate Allegations of Torture and Enforced Disappearance, established following the Prime Minister's instruction and chaired by the Minister of Justice. The meeting agreed upon the Committee’s work process in line with its mandate to receive complaints, perform fact-finding, monitor as well as provide assistance and remedies, and protect the rights of people affected by acts of torture or enforced disappearance. The Committee will work with the support from its three sub-committees on (1) Follow-up and monitoring; (2) Remedy and; (3) Prevention and Training. The channels available for complaints will also be broadened to include Government agencies (Ministry of Justice, Royal Thai Police, and Nationwide Damrongdhama Centers) as well as the National Human Rights Commission.