Summarized by the Editors
A group of plaintiffs have submitted a complaint of the discrimination by UNHCR in Bangkok against Pakistani Christian asylum seekers (dated: 15/07/2015)
Farrukh Harrison Saif from “Farrukh Saif Foundation”, Keith Davies from “Rescue Christians”, Graham Ford from “Partners with the persecuted”, Claudio Lobos Villanueva from “COMRADE” and Nazir S. Bhatti from “Pakistan Christian Congress”
Thailand, which is a vacationing haven for many expats, is also home to the four thousand Pakistani Christians residing in the outskirts of Bangkok illegally….. Most refugees arrive in Bangkok with a passport and tourist visa. This means on initial entry they are legally in the country. Once their tourist visas expire they are considered illegal migrants under Thai law….
…….the authorities themselves are corrupt and biased. The irregularities in UNHCR Thailand’s system are countless and it contradicts its own set rules and laws on many occasions.
Thailand has not ratified to the Refugee Convention. Refugees seeking asylum in Thailand …they have to live in hiding and find work illegally to secure survival after their visas expired. They face the constant threat of deportation to a country they have fled from…. Thai policies towards refugees appear to have no flexibility and are enacted with little humanitarian protection.
Over the last one-and-one-half years, we have been working to aid Pakistani asylum seekers in Bangkok, Thailand. We have observed and noticed many things that clearly show that there is discrimination by UNHCR officials in Thailand. Pakistani Christians who practise their religious beliefs, have become a highly vulnerable community in Thailand…..due to the failure of the UNHCR to provide them the basic needs of life.
Examples of their discriminatory behavior towards this community:
Failure to protect
The Global Commission on International migration endorses the principle that entering a country in violation to its immigration laws does not deprive migrants of their fundamental human rights, nor does it affect the obligation of states to protect migrants in irregular situations. Thailand however fails to keep these laws and refugees are deprived of the basic human rights such as education, protection and shelter. ….On arrest, refugees and asylum seekers are obliged to pay a fine of 4000 THB under the Thai law for overstay, no representatives from UNHCR show up at the courts to contribute or pay the fine. Failure to pay the fine results in the victims being sent to Thai prisons containing dangerous criminals, stay in prisons is for short time but it is extremely inhumane. Detainees reported being stripped for checking and sexual abuse with young girls and women…. They were shackled and kept in degrading manner.
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