THAILAND: Amnesty urges Thai government to protect the rights of refugees and asylum seekers

20 June 2021

Amnesty International Thailand

June 20 is World Refugee Day. On this day, Amnesty International Thailand stands in solidarity with those who have fled their homes seeking safety, and urges the Thai government to protect the rights of refugees and asylum seekers. 


Piyanut Kotsan, the director of Amnesty International Thailand, said: 


“Each year, World Refugee Day should serve as a day to look back at the year to review what measures have been taken to help refugees, and look forward to the upcoming year to plan for future steps. It also a day to reminds us the core concept of humanity that goes far beyond boarder. 


In the past year, there have been more and more people seeking asylum coming from Myanmar, due to their oppression of ethnic minority groups including the Rohingya. The Thai government still needs to provide better protection without discrimination to those who are seeking safety. As a country, Thailand must welcome refugees with open arms rather than detain them because of their immigration status and push them back across the border. 


The COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions that follow have presented immediate challenges and highlighted long-term concerns about refugees in over-crowded detention facilities. Additionally, there has always been the problem of refugees arriving by sea whose lives are at risk due to government policies that bar them from landing on Thai shores. 


Undoubtedly, Thailand has a responsibility to provide protection for refugees in the region. However, there is a global need for all countries to pitch in as well. The responsibility of protecting refugees does not fall on any single country — this responsibility rests with the entire international community. We must all do our part to ensure the wellbeing of the world’s most vulnerable population.”