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- Afghanistan/Pakistan: Earthquake - Oct 2015
- Pakistan: Floods - Apr 2015
- Pakistan: Floods - Sep 2014
- Pakistan: Drought - 2014-2017
- Pakistan: Polio Outbreak - 2014-2017
- Pakistan: Dengue Outbreak - Oct 2013
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By Chayanit Itthipongmaetee, Staff Reporter
BANGKOK — A tiny room is bedroom, living room, kitchen and storage combined. At the end of a stained bedsheet, an old CRT television lies on the floor. Above worn wooden cabinets are three large suitcases piled up to the ceiling. Water bottles, utensils and kitchenware are stacked on a low, plastic table.
Thailand’s refugee policies and violations of the principle of non-refoulement
On the evening of 26 May 2017, Muhammet Furkan Sökmen, a Turkish national, recorded a video in Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport. In the video, subsequently sent to diplomats and human rights organizations, Sökmen stated:
Bangkok is home to roughly 8,000 urban refugees and asylum seekers, primarily originating from Pakistan, Somalia, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam. As a non-signatory of the 1951 Geneva convention and the 1967 protocol, Thailand, with strict anti-immigration laws and government checkpoints, has become a harsh environment for the refugees and asylum-seekers, as they relentlessly face fears of detention and have no means of supporting themselves through employment.
For the past few decades, Thailand has been a major destination country for asylum seekers and refugees from Myanmar. Since 1984, Thailand has provided refuge to people fleeing violence in Myanmar, and more recently to economic migrants. The population in the Thai refugee camps, located along the Myanmar-Thailand border, is now estimated at 111,000 people. Many were born in the camps and have never set foot outside.
Thailand has witnessed an exponential increase in the number of asylum seekers of various nationalities arriving in the country in the last few years, more than half of whom are from Pakistan. In the absence of a formal legislation for asylum seekers, they are not only unequipped with means to sustain their livelihoods and face limited access to basic services, but are also not entitled to the protection normally granted to such individuals under International Refugee Law.
Government Raid Wrongfully Detains Families With Refugee Claims
(Bangkok, September 16, 2015) – Thai authorities should release 64 asylum seekers detained in a recent raid who are being held in immigration detention, Human Rights Watch said today. The asylum seekers – including 7 children – are from Pakistan and Somalia, and possess “person of concern” documents issued by the United Nations refugee agency.
Thailand is not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention or its 1967 Protocol and does not have a formal national asylum framework. The Thai Government currently hosts refugees from Myanmar in nine temporary shelters along the border.
Thailand: Migrant Children Locked Up
Thousands Held in Immigration Detention
(Bangkok, September 2, 2014) –Thailand holds thousands of migrant children in detention each year, causing them physical and emotional harm, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Child migrants and asylum seekers are unnecessarily held in squalid immigration facilities and police lock-ups due to their immigration status or that of their parents.
Pakistan Christian Congress (PCC) President Dr. Nazir S Bhatti has expressed serious concerns over the arrests of Christian Pakistanis seeking asylum in Bangkok. Based on reports received in the past days, hundreds of homes of Pakistani refugees, awaiting hearings for the recognition of their right to asylum, were searched by police in the Thai capital.
Bangkok, 21 January 2013 — Increasing numbers of asylum seekers are arriving in Bangkok each year. It is currently home to more than 1,000 registered refugees and 1,037 asylum seekers, according to statistics from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). In the past year, Jesuit Refugee Service's Urban Refugee Programme (URP) served more than five hundred refugees and asylum seekers from Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and other African countries, providing legal aid, psychosocial counselling, and material assistance.
Bangkok (UN ESCAP Strategic Communications and Advocacy Section) – The top United Nations official in the Asia-Pacific region today expressed grave concern over the unprecedented loss of life and livelihoods caused by heavy monsoon rains and tropical storms in South-East Asia and reiterated continued United Nations support to affected countries in improving resilience to natural disasters.