ICJ holds second regional workshop on the investigation of unlawful deaths and enforced disappearance in Asia

From 24 to 26 July 2018, the ICJ co-hosted a workshop for authorities from Thailand, Cambodia, and Myanmar.

The theme of the workshop was on conducting investigations of potentially unlawful deaths and enforced disappearance in accordance with international human rights law and standards.

The workshop was co-hosted with Thailand’s Ministry of Justice, the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the New Zealand Embassy in Bangkok.

The participants included 25 criminal investigators, public prosecutors and representatives of the Cambodian Ministry of Justice and the Thai Ministry of Justice.

The event commenced with opening remarks by James Andersen, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of New Zealand in Bangkok; Aim-orn Siangyai, Deputy Director General of Thailand’s Rights and Liberties Protection Department, Ministry of Justice; Frederick Rawski, Asia Pacific Regional Director, ICJ; and Shivani Verma, Human Rights Officer, OHCHR Regional Office for South-East Asia.

Kingsley Abbott, Senior Legal Adviser at the ICJ, gave a summary of the international human rights legal framework that applies to the investigation of unlawful deaths and enforced disappearance.

He then provided an outline of the revised Minnesota Protocol on the Investigation of Potentially Unlawful Death (2016), which was launched in Thailand on 25 May 2017 and which formed the core of the materials used at the workshop.

Other speakers included Glenn Williams, Detective Inspector, Field Crime Manager, New Zealand Police National Headquarters, who addressed the investigation process including crime scene management; Sean Buckley, International Investigator, who addressed witness interviews; Shivani Verma of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights who addressed Witness Protection; and Dr. Pornthip Rojanasunan, Adviser of Thailand’s Central Institute of Forensic Science (CIFS), who addressed the issue of forensic pathology.

This workshop followed three workshops the ICJ co-hosted between 5 to 8 December 2017 and 30 May to 1 June 2018 in Thailand on the investigation of potentially unlawful deaths and enforced disappearance for lawyers from Thailand and India, academics and State authorities from Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar and Nepal.


Kingsley Abbott, Senior International Legal Adviser, ICJ Asia Pacific Regional Office, t: +66 94 470 1345, e: kingsley.abbott(a)icj.org

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