On 25 March 2021, the ICJ filed two submissions to the UN Human Rights Council Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) ahead of the review of Thailand’s human rights record in November 2021.
For this particular review cycle, the ICJ made two joint UPR submissions to the Human Rights Council.
In the joint submission by ICJ and Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), the organizations provided information and analysis to assist the Working Group on the UPR to make recommendations addressing various human rights concerns that arise as a result of Thailand’s failure to guarantee, properly or at all, a number of civil and political rights, including with respect to:
- Constitution and Legal Framework: concerning the 2017 Constitution that continues to give effect to some repressive orders issued by the military junta after the 2014 coup d’état, the Emergency Decree, the Martial Law, and the Internal Security Act;
- Freedom of Expression and Assembly: concerning the use of laws that are not human rights compliant and, as such, arbitrarily restrict the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly, in the context of the Thai government’s response to the pro-democracy protests and, purportedly, to COVID-19; and
- Right to Life, Freedom from Torture and Enforced Disappearance: concerning the resumption of death penalty, the failure to undertake prompt, thorough and impartial investigations, and to ensure accountability of those responsible for the commission of torture, other ill-treatment and enforced disappearance, and the failure, to date, to enact domestic legislation criminalizing torture, other ill-treatment and enforced disappearance.
In the second, joint submission by ICJ, ENLAWTHAI Foundation and Land Watch Thai, the organizations provided information and analysis to assist the Working Group to make recommendations addressing various human rights concerns that arise as a result of Thailand’s failure to guarantee, properly or at all, a number of economic, social and cultural rights, including with respect to:
- Human Rights Defenders: concerning threats and other human rights violations against human rights defenders, and the restrictions on civil society space and on the ability to raise issues that the government deems as criticism of its conduct or that it otherwise disfavours;
- Constitution and Legal Framework: concerning the continuing detrimental impact of the legal framework imposed since the 2014 coup d’état on economic, social and cultural rights;
- Community Consultation: concerning the lack of participatory mechanisms and consultations, as well as limited access to information, for affected individuals and communities in the execution of economic activities that adversely impact local communities’ economic, social and cultural rights;
- Land and Housing: concerning issues relating to access to land and adequate housing, reports of large-scale evictions without appropriate procedural protections as required by international law, and the denial of the traditional rights of indigenous peoples to their ancestral lands and natural resources; and
- Environment: concerning the widespread and well-documented detrimental impacts of hazardous and industrial wastes on the environment, the lack of adequate legal protections for the right to health and the environment, and the effectiveness of the environmental impact assessment process set out under Thai laws.
The ICJ further called upon the Human Rights Council and the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review to recommend that Thailand should take various measures to immediately cease all aforementioned human rights violations; ensure adequate legal protection against such violations; ensure the rights to access to justice and effective remedies for victims of such violations; and ensure that steps be taken to prevent any future violations.
UPR Submission 1 (PDF)
UPR Submission 2 (PDF)AdvocacyWeb stories