During his three-day visit, which concludes on Tuesday, UNHCR the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, has engaged in dialogue with the Royal Thai Government (RTG) regarding the predicament of refugees and stateless individuals within theThailand.
Consistent with Thailand’s extensive historical practise of aiding and protecting individuals seeking refuge from turmoil and discord, the High Commissioner urged the nation to uphold the principle of non-refoulement and maintain open borders.
Refugees from Myanmar greeted Grandi at the Tham Hin Temporary Shelter in Ratchaburi Province, where they recounted their experiences and expressed their aspirations for the future.
Presently residing in nine temporary accommodations, Thailand accommodates 90,801 Myanmar refugees, the majority of whom are Karen and Karenni ethnicities and some of whom have been in exile for thirty years.
As an opportunity for refugees, including those in Tham Hin, to reconstruct their lives in third countries, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the RTG, and the United States have launched a large-scale group resettlement initiative.
Grandi stated, “The massive resettlement is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for these refugees” during his sojourn in Tham Hin. “However, not everyone will leave, and it is critical that we continue to collaborate with the Thai government to expand refugee rights, such as providing them with access to education and employment, for those who remain.”
In regard to individuals requiring international protection, the High Commissioner lauded the RTG’s development of the National Screening Mechanism (NSM).
Grandi restated the UNHCR’s ongoing dedication to providing assistance to the RTG in order to guarantee that the regulation is in accordance with global asylum standards and principles.
The High Commissioner urged Thailand to intensify its efforts to address and diminish statelessness, including the formulation of a comprehensive national action plan, in continuation of the commitments it made during the 2019 High-Level Segment on Statelessness and its participation in the Group of Friends of the #IBelong campaign.
“To reduce and eliminate statelessness has always been Thailand’s priority,” Grandi recognised. However, resources are indispensable for the implementation of political determination. Our unwavering support for Thailand will continue to incentivize additional reforms that will expedite the process of eradicating statelessness.
Ultimately, Grandi was granted the chance to discuss potential avenues for Thailand to augment the commitments it initially established at the 2019 Global Refugee Forum (GRF). Promoting regional and international cooperation to enhance aid and resolutions for stateless and forcibly displaced individuals, he urged Thailand to assume a prominent position at the forthcoming 2023 GRF.
In furtherance of the protection of stateless individuals, refugees, and asylum-seekers in Thailand, the visit bolstered the RTG and UNHCR’s enduring partnership.
Tuesday, October 17th, following his discussions with the Senior Representative of the Thai Government on Monday, the High Commissioner will participate in a High-Level Regional Meeting concerning Rohingya refugees.
About the UNHCR
The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is an international organisation whose mission is to safeguard the rights of refugees and those compelled to flee their homes due to persecution and conflict in order to ensure their safety and a better future.
They spearhead global efforts to safeguard refugees, internally displaced persons, and stateless populations.
Their ideal world is one in which each individual compelled to emigrate can construct a brighter tomorrow.
Formerly known as the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees, the United Nations General Assembly established the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in 1950 to assist the millions of people who had lost their residences in the aftermath of World War II.
UNHCR is currently active in 135 countries. We offer critical aid to individuals compelled to flee persecution and conflict, including shelter, food, water, and medical care. A significant number of these individuals have no one else to turn to. They advocate for the refugees’ right to seek refuge and assist them in securing permanent housing in order to reconstruct their lives.
Consistently, they collaborate with nations to enhance and oversee refugee and asylum policies and legislation, thereby safeguarding human rights.