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UN Urges Thailand to Apply International Standards to Torture, Disappearance Law

Thailand map
Thailand map

The United Nations Human Rights Office has called on Thailand to enact a torture and disappearance law that fully incorporates international standards.

The U.N. office said in a statement Friday that draft legislation approved by the Thai Cabinet “is an important step, but the approved draft lacks essential international principles, including the absolute prohibition of torture and non-refoulement – both non-derogable rights in international law.”

It also added the “definitions of the crimes in the proposed law are also not in line with international standards.”

Cynthia Veliko, South-East Asia Regional Representative for the UN Human Rights Office in Bangkok, said, “A domestic law can provide effective judicial recourse to the victims and families if it is compliant with the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) and the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (ICPPED).”

Thailand ratified its CAT agreement in 2007 and its ICPPED pact in 2012.

“Thailand’s willingness to enact a bill into law that fully incorporates the principles enshrined in international human rights law would show its commitment to zero tolerance of torture and enforced disappearance, as well as justice for victims of these crimes,” Veliko said.