Press Release Cross Cultural Foundation (CrCF) and Coalition on Racial Discrimination Watch Writing a Shadow Report on CERD and Sending Delegate to Meetings in Geneva, Switzerland, from 9-10 August 2012
During 9-10 August 2012, the Thai government’s delegate shall attend a meeting to review a country report submitted by the Thai government on an effort to eliminate racial discrimination. In pursuance to the occasion, CrCF and the Coalition on Racial Discrimination Watch have written a shadow report on the elimination of racial discrimination and will send delegate to observe the meeting of the Thai government’s delegate with CERD Committee, which shall be held in Geneva, Switzerland from 9-10 August 2012.
The country report, civil society’s shadow report and reports of the UN Human Rights Committee have been compiled and featured in the website of the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights (UNHCHR) and can be accessed through the website of the CERD Committee as well (http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cerd/cerds81.htm).
The shadow report is made possible by the Coalition on Racial Discrimination Watch Writing a Shadow Report and is made available in both Thai and English at http://crcfthailand.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/shadow-report-thai-english_submission-to-un-cerd-new.pdf . The Coalition was established as a loose network at the workshop on “the Shadow Report on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD)” organized by the Ethnic Studies and Development Center, Sociology Faculty, Chiang Mai University in cooperation with CrCF and the Highland Peoples Taskforce on 5 July 2012. It covers issues concerning the policy and treatments of various populations in Thailand including the indigenous people and ethnic groups in Thailand as well as the Malay-Muslim, refugee, asylum seeker, and migrant worker.
Though Thailand’s efforts to address racial discrimination through amendments of law and regulation and improvement of treatments toward various populations in Thailand should be commended, racial discrimination still exists disproportionately among Indigenous peoples and ethnic groups; including their lack of entitlement to medical care, restriction on the right to travel among indigenous people, ethnic groups and migrant workers, restriction on the right to access natural resources, housing and cultivation land, the right of indigenous people living along coastal area, the right to run in elections and to vote, the right to marriage, the right to education proper to one’s ethnic identities including teaching conducted in mother tongue language and dialect, the right to justice process, treatments concerning the arrest, detention and deportation and racial profiling. Such discriminating treatments are found widely practiced during the wars on drug, suppression against deforestation committed by indigenous people and ethnic groups, and operations in the Southern Border Provinces that affect the Malay-Muslims, etc. The Shadow Report in English has been submitted to the CERD Committee since 24 July 2012, and now is available in Thai, too. More studies can be done through the Manual on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) in Thai and available at http://www.crcf.or.th/th/media_de.php?id_media=9)
The report review in Geneva is pertinent since it is the first time Thailand has submitted its country report since her accession to the Convention in 2003. The first Country Report and two periodic reports covering from 2003- 2007 have also been submitted at the same time. It also marks the louder outcries from the indigenous peoples and ethnic groups, migrant workers, refugees, and the Malay Muslim in Thailand who want prompt amendments of relevant laws and regulations and change in attitude of the governmental officials in order to uphold respect of ethnic diversity in Thailand and respect of human dignity and rights of individuals in Thailand on an equal and indiscriminating basis.
For more information, please contact Pornpen Khongkachonkiet, CrCF 02-6934939 and Wiwat Tamee, Highland Peoples Taskforce, Chiang Mai, 082-3814040